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Bucharest, April 27 /Agerpres/ - Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the head of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) reviewed on Monday the achievements of his governing over the past three years since the USL (Social Liberal Union, PSD's alliance with the National Liberal Party PNL) toppled the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) government led by then PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. He cited the unblocking of all the operational programmes, which - he claimed - have meanwhile become functional and available for the future governments.

In an event styled "Three years - the beginning of the end of Basescu - MRU - Predoiu regime", Ponta presented two slides reading "USL has promised: prime minister from PSD, President from PNL" and "USL has promised: Basescu and Udrea in jail - partly done." He was referring to former president Traian Basescu, former prime minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, former justice minister Catalin Predoiu (now PNL's nominee for prime minister, after the party withdrew from USL and merged with PDL) and former minister Elena Udrea (Basescu's political pupil; she is currently under arrest pending trial for several counts of corruption and money laundering).

Ponta's report pointed out that back in 2012, when USL came to power, graduates - including those of the Police Academy - used to go directly to unemployment. He mentioned as USL's successes the unblocking of teaching, medical and military positions.

"I want us not to forget that, after 700,000 working places were lost in 2010-2011, we managed together to create more than 250,000 jobs. After the economic recession - because Romania was in economic recession in the second quarter of 2012 - we are now in the fourth year of economic growth, although in such a fluctuating region I think it's also the merit of the USL governing," Ponta declared.

He mentioned the restoration of pensions and salaries cut by his predecessors as perhaps the most resounding promise made by the USL.

"More than restoring all the pensions and wages, we have abided by the pensions law and will keep abiding by it. I think it is the obligation of a government and of a normal society not to repeat the 2010 moment, ever. (...) The social support for those disfavoured categories, namely the people with disabilities, the child allowance, the allowances for people of disfavoured families - in the end this government was the one who supported the granting of legitimate rights of those who have suffered under the communist regime. (...) I think we could pass a new normative act to render justice to this category, too. The Liberal part of the USL has always insisted - and was right to - on the strictly fiscal and economic component, and this Social-Liberal government was the one who exempted from taxation the reinvested profits, reduced the contributions to social insurance and the VAT on bread," the prime minister added.

The PM pointed out that this is the fourth straight year of growth for Romania's agriculture, and that Romania has turned into an exporter of agricultural products.

"We are no longer in the situation to import more than we export. The minimum wage is a key element a society like Romania's needs, and we can carry on in this direction," Ponta explained.

The Premier also stressed that moves towards energy independence and investments in energy have continued and that the halt of energy supply contracts with the "smart alecs" was crucial to this, stating that those contracts were causing Romania's budget a hole of roughly one billion lei. (...) "The USL Government did no longer extend illegal licenses, nor did it proceed to illegal property returns or plunder the country, although the times were good in economic terms, we were no longer witnessing recession like in 2010 and 2011," said Ponta.

Not in the last place, the Prime Minister pointed out that motorways represent another main goal of the Government. "There is still a lot to do about motorways and this is one of our major goals for the next period. Nevertheless, we opened the motorway to the seaside - begun by Ceausescu, we also commissioned the motorway to Ploiesti - which was begun by Mr. Tariceanu, and the Deva - Sibiu motorway stretch. (...) There are things we need to accomplish by a steadfast approach. (...)
We only succeeded in reopening 23 of the 62 hospitals shut down by the previous government, but I think that through the investments we envisage, we will be able to ensure a decent standard of medical assistance," said Victor Ponta.

According to the Premier, in the past three years, the Government moved steadily towards increasing investments in troops' training and military equipment, the more so as Romania is, alongside Poland and Turkey, the main security provider in the region.AGERPRES

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