PM Tudose's velvet-glove message to banks: They should start paying taxes to Romanian state

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Premier Mihai Tudose said on Friday that his message to the banks operating in Romania, during a meeting with the representatives thereof, was that "the romantic era" is over and it's time they started working for profit," in other words pay taxes to the Romanian state and not transfer all the money abroad.

"I met with the representatives of these banks and asked them if their ancestors have fought in the Battle of Solferino that was the inspiration for the foundation of the Red Cross," Tudose said with a hint of irony to the banks' apparently doing charity or "economic apostolic missions. (...) You cannot operate as a bank and claim you made no profit for 10 years. (...) We don't buy this anymore. I talked with Mr. Finance Minister, and I told the banks myself that the romantic era is over and that these five or even ten years of on-the-job training, during which they learned how to run a bank are enough and it's time for them to start working for profit and also pay taxes to the Romanian state, not transfer all the money abroad. Not all of them fall in this category, there are also banks that play fair. I repeat, everything has a limit. It is my understanding that Mr. Finance Minister also had a discussion with them, we'll hold other talks, we are at the stage of nice talk, coloring nicely. If this doesn't work, we'll sharpen the pencils," Mihai Tudose said in an interview with Realitatea TV private broadcaster, commenting on the fact that apparently Romania-based "banks make no profit." AGERPRES (RO — author: Daniel Florea, editor Irina Poenaru; EN — author/editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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