ECB head worried by central bank salary cuts

Publish date: 31-08-2010
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On August 19, Romania's Finance Ministry filed to the European Central Bank a draft ordinance in which salary cuts applied to employees of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) were "masked," after the previous ordinance had received a red light from the ECB, HotNews informs. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet once again expressed his "concern" with the fact that the Finance Ministry fails to understand that it has no right to cut salaries within the central bank. According to the draft, the sums that result from cutting BNR employees' salaries will no longer be sent to the budget and will remain within BNR instead. The calculus was simple. The resulting funds remain within BNR but then we take 80 per cent of them - the profit margin that BNR pays to the state.

Despite the diplomacy that always characterises this institution's opinions, one can note the categorical crescendo of dissatisfaction with the attitude adopted by the draft's authors. The ECB's opinion is technical but still extremely clear for a specialist and it diplomatically says "please don't try to fool us, it won't work." Referring to the sums resulting from salary cuts, the ECB points out that if they end up in the state's coffers under any form and especially if these salary cuts seek to enlarge BNR's profit in order to hike the sum it pays to the state, it will represent an infringement of the Treaty's Article 123. The government cannot benefit in any way from salary cuts applied to BNR's employees.

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