Cîțu: Romania seeks EU ”flexibility” on budget and energy tax

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Romania’s new finance minister is asking Europe to allow “flexibility” in its budget rules as the pro-EU government in Bucharest faces a critical test in its early days, writes Politico.

EU budget rules, while lightly enforced, set a deficit limit of 3 percent. But Romania deserves an exception due to the “difficult moment” the country is in, Minister of Finance Florin Cîțu said.

“Romania does need money for investment,” he said. His plan is to ask the Commission to approve all expenses above the 3 percent line to be directed toward infrastructure spending.

An area where Romania is looking for clemency is on EU plans to revamp energy taxes with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.

“The other partners have to acknowledge that in a country like Romania, where the energy sector is very labor-intensive, a tax does bear social costs, and we cannot go the same speed as everybody else,” Cîțu said. “If we want to achieve results fast, we need the help of the European Union.”

Cîțu also said he will investigate Russian government influence in the country’s energy markets in 2020.

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Bogdan Tudorache

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