Romania President Klaus Iohannis criticised the government's troubled economic policies again on Tuesday, urging it to state clearly if it has any more money to cover salaries and pensions until the end of the year. His statement comes as the government has become mired again in a scandal over suspected plans to suspend contributions to a private pensions fund.
Iohannis warned the government about its lack of action in absorbing EU funds, considering that Romania has drawn just a fraction of the available funds for 2014-2020.
And he scolded the government for its incapacity to deliver a clear message on alleged plans to suspend or cut contributions to the so-called 2nd Pillar pensions fund.
The issue has been highly disputed for almost a year, when information first appeared that the government eyed the pension fund. Governments changed, but the PSD party remained in charge, and more recently information appeared again that a form of suspension of the fund was considered at government level. Despite official dismissals, a public document revealed last weekend showed plans in this regard did in fact exist. Since then, as business and public outcry grew, government officials have delivered conflicting messages about the issue, from calling it "fake news" to diverting blame among each other.
On Tuesday, Iohannis asked the government two questions - to state clearly what it has in mind about the pension fund; and, in a strong push, if it "had money for pensions and salaries until the end of the year".