Geoana, Basescu on economic crisis and solutions

Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in the December 6 presidential runoff Mircea Geoana and independent candidate endorsed by the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L) Traian Basescu on Thursday presented their views on the ongoing economic crisis and solutions to halt it at a debate hosted by the Parliament Palace in Bucharest.

Geoana talked about the need to preserve jobs and also for fiscal relaxation when the underground economy is brought to light. He said that during its first day in office, the Johannis Government will have talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an attempt to cancel the mandatory business tax.

‘We have accepted to keep the flat income tax in place, because taxes should not increase in a time of crisis. Once we have brought to light the underground economy, which Mr. Basescu did not tackle when in office, our first concern will be to cut taxes.

My preference is to cut social security contributions, which are among the highest in Europe and are suffocating both employers and employees. We will have to rethink the Romanian economic model, because the country can no longer develop haphazardly. Investments in agriculture are needed as well as the development of the Romanian countryside, a dynamic energy sector; industry should not be seen as a heap of scrap iron, and it has to be assisted,’ said Geoana.

Geoana also announced he wants the Budget to be multiannual, to cover 2-3 years, and focused on ‘Romania’s large development axes.’ In his turn, Traian Basescu said an important element in taking the country out of the ongoing economic crisis is to use some 8 billion euros available for Romania as European Union grants for rural development.

Basescu also said that boosting productivity in the countryside is necessary and can be achieved by setting up small and medium-sized enterprises in such regions.
‘Steering investments to the SMEs in the countryside will generate income for the countryside. As long as farmers come to town to sell their milk and pork, they will stay poor.

Only when we create SMEs in rural areas to process the farmers’ milk and then to trade the products in town will farmers reach prosperity. Then, developing a regional network of warehouses for farmers to have a place where to store their crops, fruit and vegetables, which are now traded in improvised places,’ Basescu explained.

The incumbent President also said that Romania may get out of the crisis is the Government focuses its policies on two main pillars: financing the reserves of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) to keep the exchange rate of the local currency, the leu (RON), to the euro at a convenient level, and financing the Government deficit so that the public wages and pensions may be paid and investments may be carried out.

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