When will the 2010 budget be adopted?

Publish date: 24-11-2009
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During the 1990s, years of profound economic and political instability, the adoption of next year's budget was a common occurrence in a country immersed in democratic transition. The absence of the budget caused, each and every time, damages to both the internal business environment and to the drawing of foreign investments.

After a decade of political stability and economic growth Romania finds itself once again in the position of starting a new fiscal year without a budget of revenues and expenditures for the overall economy but also for the planning of expenditures on social insurances.

The difference is that today Romania is a member of the European Union and one of the countries that quickly climbed several steps up the ladder of economic prosperity. But the fact that we are now the only EU state that won't have the next year's budget adopted does not seem to draw the parties' attention or the attention of other political-administrative structures.

On the contrary, a veritable competition between two camps seems to be more important in itself than the subject at heart. On one side there is the Democrat-Liberal Party (PD-L) that is obviously backed by the President, and on the other side there is the Parliamentary coalition formed in an ad-hoc manner on the occasion of the no confidence vote against the Emil Boc Government. Although compromises were sought, none of the camps left room for consensus.

At first the Parliament (without the PD-L MPs' votes) adopted a Decision that enabled the toppled Government to devise and file for approval the draft budget and the draft of the social insurances budget for 2010.

Interim Prime Minister Emil Boc showed flexibility in the face of this novel solution, pointing out for the press that if the Parliament lawfully allows him to file the draft of next year's budget then he would do so as soon as the law that allows the toppled Government to file the draft budget to Parliament is published in the Official Gazette.

President Traian Basescu's opinion was entirely different back then, with the President stating that he would not promulgate the law through which the Parliament enabled the interim Government to file a draft budget, arguing that the Emil Boc Government is only a caretaker government after it was toppled by Parliament.

The 'war of the Governments' followed, namely of the nominated Prime Ministers, with the Head of State staking on a Government formed around PD-L and with the other parties, including the group of MPs representing the national minorities, backing only a Government made up of technocrats that would be led by the Mayor of Sibiu.

That is how the first round of Presidential elections came and went, with Romania being left without a 'full-fledged' Government and without a 2010 budget alike.

In the week that preceded the first round of Presidential elections President Basescu introduced shades of difference in his point of view and pointed out that he wants to convene a meeting attended by all parties in order to discuss the issue of the 2010 budget. But the Head of State hinted that the meeting is conditioned on respecting his projections, namely those of a Government formed around PD-L.

Meanwhile, the end of the year closes in and both the public and private sectors in Romania lack a point of reference for planning next year's activities. Moreover, Romania has all the chances of entering 2010 without a budget that would set the state's fiscal policy, revenues and expenditures, the possibility of recovering from the crisis or of maintaining a chance to balance the public deficit.


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