Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu declared on Friday that at his meetings in Brussels with European officials he made it very clear that he does not agree with the increase of the VAT rate past 19 percent.
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He noted that he also addressed the issue of the budget deficit amid the current geostrategic and security reality.
"I met today with all the European leaders. We had a normal, constructive, and most of all integrated dialogue.
"We discussed the NRRP at length, stressing that Romania has implemented the reforms undertaken in the NRRP without exception.
"We discussed the amendment of the NRRP because we cannot submit payment request No. 3 without the 2.1 billion euro cut in NRRP grants and the Repower EU chapter.
"Both chapters were closed. I knew we were going to also have a discussion on special pensions, following the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Romania, that's why I was accompanied today by a technical team from the Justice Ministry and the Ministry of European Funds.
"As expected, we also tackled the issue of the budget deficit, against the current geostrategic background and security crisis.," Ciolacu told a press conference at the end of his visit to Brussels, Agerpres informs.
He mentioned that he will take responsibility in Parliament for the package that will include administrative reform, the combat of tax evasion and "fiscal adjustments".
"The legislative package I will take responsibility for in the Parliament of Romania will be three pronged, including administrative reform with both central and local components, the fight against tax evasion, which in Romania is currently estimated at 10 percent of GDP, and also the fiscal adjustments," the prime minister added.
Ciolacu also said that "Romania is a credible, responsible and, above all, fair partner of both the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament."
Asked about the cut of the budget deficit, the prime minister said: "The technical commissions remained with Recovery and Resilience Task Force head, Mrs. Céline Gauer, to discuss certain aspects. Technical talks will continue next week as well."
"However, we laid down the principles. I announced very clearly that, as prime minister of Romania, I do not agree that we should raise the VAT rate above 19 percent, a move that would obviously trigger an increase in inflation and an economic downturn.
"A VAT rise by one percentage point would bring about an inflation of 0.5 percent. It's the first time in almost 2 years that we managed to bring inflation down to a single digit and we will continue to lower it as much as possible, this is the only way we can increase the Romanians' purchasing power," Marcel Ciolacu explained. ■