Romanian PM’s adviser says he doesn’t have a bank account
Former Romanian finance minister and a current economic adviser to prime minister Viorica Dăncilă, Darius Vâlcov, said he receives his salary in cash, in an envelope because he does not have a bank account, Hotnews.ro reported. He made the statements in a TV show at Antena 3.
When he needs to make online reservations for holidays, he turns to his girlfriend for help, he explained.
“I know so many people who had money in their accounts and were left without because of the fees. They had EUR 500 and after ten years, nothing, because the commissions are high,” Vâlcov said.
Romania's former PM Mihai Tudose also said in 2017 that he received his salary the same way because he did not want to pay the fees associated with having a bank account.
The main ruling party in Romania, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), has frequently attacked local banks and multinationals through its leaders' statements, in the last two years. Several measures adopted by the PSD-led Government also reflected the party's aggressive rhetoric.
At the end of last year, the Government introduced a new tax on bank assets after ruling party PSD leader Liviu Dragnea complained about “the banks' greed”. The banks will pay a tax on their financial assets when the average interbank offer rate – ROBOR for the maturities of three and six months exceeds the 2% benchmark.
Darius Valcov (41), who is officially only an advisor to PM Viorica Dancila, is seen as one of the most powerful people in her cabinet as most of the Government's initiatives with impact on the financial and business sector reportedly come from him. He is also one of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea's closest collaborators.
One thing Dragnea and Valcov have in common are their problems with the law. Valcov, who was mayor of Slatina from 2004 until 2012 and finance minister from December 2014 until March 2015, was sentenced, in February 2018, to 8 years of jail time for bribery. The court's decision is not final, however.
Valcov was sent to court in May 2015 for allegedly taking a RON 6.2 million (EUR 1.3 million) bribe from a local businessman to help him get a contract with a public utility company in Slatina, during his mandate as mayor of the city. During the corruption investigation against him, the media in Romania wrote, based on DNA documents, that he allegedly received the bribes in cash and even met with people in cemeteries to get the bags with money. He reportedly invested the money in gold bars and paintings, which he bought through intermediaries and were confiscated after searches carried out by the prosecutors. Some of the money he also reportedly held in cash, hidden in walls. Valcov said none of these reports were true.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea)