Klaus Iohannis – Romanian government: An ongoing row over amended budget

Klaus Iohannis – Romanian government: An ongoing row over amended budget

The disagreement lies in the fact that the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis has not yet approved of the budget amendment that the government proposed in August.

On Tuesday, Iohannis postponed the meeting of the Country’s Supreme Defense Council (CSAT) which would approve the amended budget, with the head of state claiming that CSAT members had not reached a consensus of approving the it.

The cuts include reduction of the presidency and secret services’ expenditure alike.

“Iohannis said that the Government didn’t explain these budget cuts”, romania-insider.com reads, “although the overall budget expenses estimated for this year were increased. He added that these cuts can only be interpreted as ‘political tease’ and asked the Government to review the proposed budget changes in order to get CSAT’s approval, which is not optional.”

Reacting to the decision made by Iohannis to suspend the meeting, Romanian Finance minister Eugen Teodorovici said, “The adjournment has practically no legal ground, is not stipulated by any legal provision”.

“If such a deadlock is maintained the investments will be also affected, both on local and central level”, the minister argued, as romaniajournal.ro wrote, adding that the countering of the African swine fever will be also affected, and that deadlocks might come up in agriculture and on healthcare.

Klaus Iohannis’s statement after Tuesday’s suspension of the CSAT sitting

“The only item on the agenda was the budget rectification proposed by the Government for the national security institutions. The CSAT opinion is mandatory when discussing the budget of the national security institutions.

The Government published in August a draft budget rectification, a highly positive rectification.

Surprisingly, on a strong positive rectification, the Government proposed significant cuts of the budget of national security institutions. This has not been explained.

Although the law provides for a 30-day deadline for discussing these documents by the CSAT, given the urgency and demands of some ministers, we have scheduled the meeting for today.

Meanwhile, the Government has published a new, even more optimistic draft: RON 3.5 billion in addition to the first variant. It has not been explained why it has continued to insist on diminishing the funds of the national security institutions.

The directors of the institutions have shown that, under these conditions, the goals set by the CSAT for 2018 cannot be achieved.

Under these circumstances, there was no consensus and the positive opinion for the budget rectification could not be issued. Given this situation, I have suspended the CSAT sitting. The budget rectification is necessary, it must be done, but we must not disregard the principle of cooperation between state institutions.

I have created the possibility for the Government to return with a new rectification draft, to give up the cuts of funds from the national security area, which can only be explained by the phrase ‘political chicanery’.

I expect the Government to return with a new budget rectification draft that eliminates these unexplained cuts if we want to be serious people. If we want to stay on these political chicaneries, we would only prolong this situation.

Romania is a safe country, Romanians are well defended, but these things do not come by themselves, but because we have performing institutions.”….. / IBNA