Crin Antonescu wagering on common sense and decency

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Economic crisis has taken Romania aback, with a Government seeking solutions in its purse and foreign indebtedness, chairman of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and the party’s presidential candidate Crin Antonescu told daily Business standard in an interview on Friday.
‘Romanians are going through hard times, and the role of the Government should be to help the economy adjust itself, offer the entrepreneurs a free path to new business opportunities, but exempting re-invested profit from taxation, an expected measure, is postponed and the government has no intention of taking it this year,’ says Antonescu.
He argues that the most serious mistake of the current Romanian Government is the de facto cancellation of the flat tax rate by the introduction of a new bracketed tax. ‘The burden of this ‘present’ is borne exactly by the most dynamic part of the entrepreneurial class, that is the small and medium-sized enterprises,’ he argues.
‘Freezing wage incomes and public employment jobs will not take the country out of the crisis, but the reform of public administration through more efficient use of public money will do. Government deficit is widening, and the Government is squeezing the banks for money, leaving private companies, which are more competent when it comes to resource management, without financing,’ says Antonescu.
The PNL leader also says a policy of tax relaxation designed to stimulate the private sector, production and employment, coupled with cuts in social security contributions and tax brackets would have been the better ways of countering the effects of the crisis.
‘Taxes and tax burden have to be eased off, and so should be the single tax, maybe toward 10 percent; social security contributions should be halved in the next years, with an overall reduction in the Value-Added Tax to 15 percent. Moreover, very many incentives should be introduced for those staring up in business, for taxpayers, for job creators and for those who want to work in the legal economy,’ says Antonescu.
Asked what his assets will be to draw voters to his side, Antonescu said ‘people want normalcy, and installing normalcy should start with a president who will indeed be of all Romanians, noted for common sense and decency.’
In case of a failed presidential bid, Antonescu says he will analyse whether or not his failure affects the Liberal project and will do ‘precisely what is the best to the party.’
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