Liviu Dragnea, the president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) – the ruling party in Romania, has reacted on Sunday evening to the recent statements of finance minister Viorel Stefan, who said that the Government is ready to cut the expenses if the budget deficit target were at risk of being exceeded.
The finance minister said last week, at the launching of the European Commission country report for Romania, that the Government has repeatedly stated its commitment to keep the budget deficit within the limits set by the Stability and Growth Pact, and is considering additional measures to reduce expenses if the country will be at risk of exceeding the deficit target of 3% of the GDP.
However, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea was not happy with what the finance minister said. According to him, Viorel Stefan’s statements on expenditure cuts were rather “hasty.”
“Yes…a very inspired statement of the minister. He’s already talking about cuts after only two months,” Dragnea said at local TV station Romania TV when asked about the finance minister’s statement.
Liviu Dragnea also said that Viorel Stefan has no reasons to worry if he follows and implements the governing program step by step. Moreover, he added that he believes that the Prime Minister should have a talk with finance minister Viorel Stefan on this issue.
Angela Cristea, the head of the EC Representation in Romania, also said last week that the European Commission is worried that Romania could have the highest increase in the budget deficit in the European Union this year, although it received assurances from the Government that there are no reasons for concern in this respect.
Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that Romania’s budget deficit might reach 3.7% this year and 3.9% in 2018 if the Government doesn’t take other measures besides the ones included in the budget project.
It’s not the first time that the PSD leader criticizes the finance minister. After the Government presented its first budget draft for 2017, Dragnea said that the finance minister was soft and that he should have granted lower allocations to several public institutions, including the Presidency and the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
Irina Popescu, [email protected]