Romanian labour minister: No need to hurry with the pension reform
Romania must reform the public pension system and find a way to curtail the so-called "special pensions" of policemen, military staff and prosecutors no sooner than the end of the year - so there's plenty of time and no need to rush with such debates, labour minister Marcel Boloş said on July 13, quoted by Economica.net.
He toned down concerns related to the Ministries of Interior and Defence ignoring his call for negotiations on this cumbersome topic.
He implied that the Government would seek to remove those milestones related to the pension system reform rather than deal with them.
Namely, he found it adequate to add that Romania is going to initiate this autumn procedures for renegotiating the National Relaunch and Resilience Plan (PNRR), thus implying that the provision (milestone) on addressing the "special pensions" may be eliminated or at least sweetened.
"Special pensions" exist all over Europe, so the Commission cannot force Romania to eliminate such benefits, he stated.
The Ministries of Interior and Defence refused to seal a memorandum initiated by the Ministry of Labour aimed at setting grounds for talks on how to curb the impact of such pensions paid from the central government's budget.
"We are in July; the milestone is due December. So, by the end of the year, this issue certainly needs to be addressed, at least under the provisions of the PNRR as of today. But we will resume renegotiation with the European Commission on PNRR in the autumn. Let's wait and see what the Government and the ruling coalition decide. We may renegotiate these milestones - or we may have to observe them," Boloş explained.
Failure to meet the PNRR milestones, including those on pension reform, puts on hold by default all the disbursements to Romania under the Resilience facility.
The disbursements are assumed to sustain Romania's economic growth this year significantly and in the years to come, while also playing an important role in the structure of the balance of payments.