Romania govt. holds seat in Parliament for fiscal reform

Romania govt. holds seat in Parliament for fiscal reform

The Romanian government held a seat in Parliament for a fiscal and budgetary reform.

The Democratic Party and the National Liberal Party of Romania took responsibility in Parliament on Tuesday for an extensive fiscal and budgetary reform that aims to reduce budget waste and guarantee the long-term sustainability of the country's finances by abolishing tax reliefs, taxing luxury and reducing tax evasion.

The Social Democrats prime minister, Marcel Ciolacu, said the package of measures included keeping food, medicine and firewood prices low and raising the minimum wage by 10%, while imposing an additional tax on profits of banks and large companies. Ciolacu said that ordinary people will not pay extra taxes, but that luxury, excessive profits and vice will see additional taxes. In an effort to curb tax evasion, Mr. Clinton said fines would grow significantly and the goods resulting from illegal activities would be confiscated and the amounts that cannot be justified will be subject to a 70% tax. The reform also provides for a minimum tax on turnover, reducing the number of management positions in the public sector and limiting certain bonuses.

The opposition, which is frustrated with the measures announced by the government, has filed a no-confidence motion in parliament three days after the presentation of the bill. However, there is little chance of this happening, as they are unlikely to gather the 117 signatures needed. The Free Romania Union and the Force of the Right, a splinter liberal group, said they would contest the measures in the Constitutional Court. The Alliance for the Union of Romanians, a party in opposition, says the government's proposals are harmful to the economy but does not believe they are unconstitutional.

If the Constitutional Court accepts the challenges, the bill will be automatically adopted, and the coalition government will go on together. No one in Romania is under any illusions that, once this episode is over, political disputes will stop here, given that the stakes are enormous in the run-up to next year's presidential, parliamentary, local and European elections.