PSD' Ciolacu says he'll sign PES activists Romania's petion on minimum European salary

PSD's (Social Democratic Party) interim leader Marcel Ciolacu announced on Saturday that he will sign the petition launched by PES activists Romania on a European minimum salary and proposed that Social Democrats also join this initiative. "I know that PSD needs to become active again at European level. We have to take responsibility for what we did wrong and work together. Our aim to create an external action group is meant to renew our relations with the European Social Democratic family. The proposals launched today by PES activists Romania are very important (...) and I think that some of them can be taken over in the political project that the party must undertake at the next Congress. Be creative, be active and let's work together to build a modern left and, last but not least, united. I want to say this from the very beginning, I will sign the petition regarding a European minimum salary and I am honoured to be invited to do so. (...) I propose that the PSD joins your initiative and therefore, at the party's BPN (National Political Bureau), I will propose we support this endeavour. I will sign the petition because this is an important topic for the Romanian and European left, which is about a decent life, about an income that will give a chance to people to have a future in Romania," Ciolacu said on Saturday at the PES activists Romania's National Forum - "A new social contract for Europe - 300 activists for a message of European left." Ciolacu mentioned that the PSD has always supported the increase of the minimum salary per economy, because "a developed society is a fair society." "We believe in a fair distribution of wealth. Romania's budget is made up of your money. It should not be made behind closed doors and passed through the procedure of Government assuming responsibility. They must tell people why they don't increase the child allowance, why they postpone increasing the salaries, why they postpone the pensions law. The campaign for a European minimum salary is a campaign for equal opportunities at European level. We want a social Europe, a European Union in which Romania plays a strong role, in which Romanians needs to have access to a decent income. (...) In the context of the current government is blocking the increase in the minimum salary, let's compel them through this European approach to do so," Ciolacu added. He stated that the PSD lost contact with trade unions and the civil society and that this dialogue should be resumed. "I thank the union leaders and civil society present today. After a long time we found ourselves in a format of public debates. We were wrong and we lost contact. Some have shown arrogance in our relation to you and we have to take responsibility for this. As long as I have a role to play in the PSD I will support the need for a constructive dialogue with you, which does not mean that we must always agree. I invite you to work together on a social agreement for Romania, to build together a social Romania according to the Constitution that will raise our profile at European level," Ciolacu said. In his turn, the former delegate minister for European Affairs Victor Negrescu, the leader of PES activists Romania, underlined that the PSD supports social values at both national and European level. "We want to show support for this topic. Today we want to launch a public petition through which we want to show the support of Romania on an important social issue (...) to introduce such a measure as it was initially discussed, to give a European minimum salary at a level of 60 per cent of the average salary in each country. (...) We want to show that the Romanian left, and especially the PSD, supports everything that means social values at national level as well and European," said Victor Negrescu. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists, Marije Laffeber, who also referred to future local elections. "We found out that the ruling party wants to bring about a change in the electoral law regarding local elections (...) We all know that there is little time until the local elections. If you want to make changes to the electoral law, in our opinion, it is absolutely crucial to have an open dialogue and a procedure that goes through Parliament. Parliament is the best place where those who have been elected by people to represent them can make a decision. There must be total transparency. So it is a good thing that the Venice Commission has gotten involved in this and it's important that the Council of Europe has decided to monitor what happens," Laffeber said. AGERPRES (RO - author: Livia Popescu, editor: Catalin Alexandru; EN - author: Cristina Zaharia)

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