EUGEN TEODOROVICI SEES A CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN THE POSITIONS HELD BY IONUȚ DUMITRU
BURSA 01.02.2017

A.A. (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
mărește imaginea
     * Ionuț Dumitru: "I will not go into this politically motivated argument"
     * Ionuț Dumitru has also been criticized by Liviu Dragnea
       PSD senator Eugen Teodorovici thinks that the Fiscal Council makes misleading predictions, and as a result has asked for the resignation of the president of the Fiscal Council on Tuesday. Ionuț Dumitru said that he would not enter this "politicianist" debate.
     Eugen Teodorovici is proposing that bank representatives no longer be allowed on the Fiscal Council.
     "There is a conflict of interest in the situation of Mr. Ionuț Dumitru, because it is not acceptable to be referee and player at the same time", Eugen Teodorovici told us yesterday.
     He added: "I gave an example, in the Commission (ed. note: - in the joint budget-finance Commissions), and Mr. Dumitru gave no answer. I asked: Can a negative opinion by an institution such as the Fiscal Council, concerning the macroeconomic indicators influence the cost of government bonds? Categorically yes!
     Being with Raiffeisen (ed. note: chief economist) and knowing full well the real situation in the market, even if it was the Council that painted it negatively and not himself, the bank that employs him would buy government bonds from the Finance Ministry at the fair price. But all of the other banks, being worried following the considerations of the Fiscal Council, might decide to ask for higher prices. Raiffeisen would automatically place its money more easily. This is a clear conflict".
     The president of the Fiscal Council, Ionuț Dumitru, said, at the end of yesterday's hearing, that he won't go into the "politicianist debate", and that the Law no. 69 only stipulates political incompatibilities: "I won't go into this politicianist debate, I think that we should look at the law, and Law no. 69 based on which we used to operate stipulates no incompatibility in that regard (of him working as an economist at Raiffeisen Bank and president of the Fiscal Council - ed. note), only political incompatibilities are taken into account. I have no relatives, I am not a member of any political party, I have not been involved in any political activity, so let's leave politicianism aside".
     On the other hand, the senator told us that the law invoked by Ionuț Dumitru is not correct and should be changed: "It doesn't mean that if he is invoking the law no. 69/2010 (ed. note: Ionuț Dumitru) he is right. I have explained that even when the law is not correct, The Court of Auditors makes a recommendation in its report, and states that the law should be changed. In that regard, I will be making a proposal to amend the law no. 69/2010, to at least bar bank representatives from being part of the Fiscal Council.
     In 2013, 2014 that Council was saying that Romania would not attract European grants, and it did. In a similar vein, they have criticized the Fiscal Code. If we didn't draw up the Fiscal Code, with our Finance Ministry and Government, all the advantages that we got since 2016 wouldn't have happened. Who could we have blamed for that? On one hand, the Finance Ministry and the Government are liable for the way they are managing the country's financial resources, but on the other hand, people who issue such statements that never get confirmed by facts are not liable for them".
     During the hearings, Ionuț Dumitru quoted from the law, according to news.ro: "As far as your claim of conflict of interest, I would like to read from the law, voted by the parliament, you probably were a member of the parliament at the time as well. Law no. 69 states that a person that has served in the government, in the Parliament or the European Parliament four years earlier may not be nominated for the Fiscal Council - not my case".
     Eugen Teodorovici said that Mr. Dumitru did not answer the question: "Is something like this a conflict or not? Can it deliberately influence the borrowing cost or not?"
     The president of the Fiscal Council further said: "I, Ionuț Dumitru, am not the only one on the Fiscal Council. Together with me there are four more colleagues who are representatives of the NBR, of the Romanian Academy, of the Academy of Economic Studies, and the Romanian Banking Institute, respectively, so it is not me writing those opinions, they are worked on approved together with our colleagues".
     In October, Liviu Dragnea also attacked Ionuț Dumitru, the president of the Fiscal Council, as the latter called the program of the PSD "unrealistic".
     Back then, Liviu Dragnea said that it is not the first time when Ionuț Dumitru "gets involved in the political struggle" and he reminded that Dumitru "would speak out in favor of the Boc government's plan to cut wages and raise VAT".
     When asked on his comments concerning the statement made by Ionuț Dumitru, who called the programs of the PSD and PNL "unrealistic", the PSD leader said: "I am not convinced that the person who made this statement talked on behalf of an independent public institution as you say he did. Perhaps he spoke in his position as chief economist of a multinational Romanian bank. Because he strangely has this dual role: he is simultaneously the head of an independent public institution where he was appointed by the Parliament, and a major representative of a foreign private bank. I think that that bank will not be very pleased with Romanians having more money in their pockets and borrowing less. Perhaps that's where that characterization comes from. I was expecting him to base his statements on numbers and official figures, if speaking based on official data and numbers. At least that's how we did it in our program."
     Back then, Ionuț Dumitru said that when the wages had been cut and the VAT raised, the Fiscal Council did not even exist. 
 

 
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