Romania’s president on Thursday accused the leftist government of mishandling the economy, slamming it for overspending and failing to attract investment.
President Klaus Iohannis said that current annual economic growth of more than 5 percent was “not sustainable,” as it was based on spending. He noted foreign and local investment had fallen by 20 percent in the last year.
Iohannis said revenue from taxes had fallen to the equivalent of one fourth of GDP, less than the 35 percent forecast for the year.
“The government is behaving like a person who earns more every month, but borrows more from the banks, leaving [its] debts to be paid by children and grandchildren,” he said.
Referring to government proposals to hike social welfare taxes for employees, Iohannis said there were concerns “in the business environment, in trade unions and among Romanians,” that some wages would fall when the measure comes into effect next year. Thousands have demonstrated against the plans, which the government insists will not lead to wage cuts.
Romania’s largest trade union CNSLR-Fratia which represents 500,000 workers in the health, transport, communications and forestry sectors, threatened to stage a strike to protest the measures, which it said would lead to lower salaries and job losses.
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose reiterated the government’s position saying the measures would simplify the tax-paying process. Iohannis is a critic of the leftist government. Before becoming president in 2014, he was chairman of the center-right Liberal Party.