Govt. debates budget and anti-crisis measures to prepare for tough year

Newsroom 19/01/2009 | 16:13

It has withdrawn the civil and penal codes and their procedures from the Parliament to be re-analyzed by the new teams at the Ministry of Justice, and issued an ordinance which forbids the cumulation of pension and salary for public workers. The latter angered various professions, such as actors and doctors, who voiced their disapproval, as well as the Romanian Constitutional Court, which said the ordinance was not constitutional and should be annulled. Boc said the government would still pursue the decision, which, in his opinion, cuts unnecessary public spending.
Dropping the idea to create a national energy company was another government measure taken this year. The new Minister of the Economy, Adriean Videanu, announced that a new urgent ordinance would annul the one which created the national energy company and said each of the companies included in the project would be privatized instead. The national energy company project was proposed in October last year by the former government, made up of National Liberal Party members, but the new ruling parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party, decided not to support the initiative.
The Finance Ministry's priorities for 2009 are an adjustment of budget deficit and a cut in current expenditure, as well as finding financing sources for investment projects and applying the anti-crisis measures drafted by the government.
The PSD's internal quarrel over the nomination of Virgil Ardelean as the head of the General Direction of Information and Internal Protection (DGIPI) was another issue on the public agenda since the new line-up was in place. Ardelean's nomination by the then minister of Internal Affairs, Gabriel Oprea, without consultation with the PSD leaders, eventually drove both Ardelean and Oprea to quit their jobs. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is being headed by Dan Nica on an interim basis.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism, headed by Elena Udrea, has come up with several solutions to revive Romanian tourism. One of Udrea's main priorities is to promote spa resorts in Romania, with Bucharest poised to become one due to a thermal spring underneath the city.
Corina Saceanu

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