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Romania's parl adopts 2019 budget bill unchanged

Romania's parl adopts 2019 budget bill unchanged Romania's parliament

BUCHAREST (Romania), March 13 (SeeNews) - Romania's parliament on Wednesday adopted the 2019 state budget without making any changes to it, rejecting president's Klaus Iohannis request for re-examination.

The bill was adopted with 245 votes in favour, 115 against and two abstentions, according to data available on the lower chamber's website. Three MPs didn't vote.

The budget projects economic growth of 5.5% this year and targets deficit equivalent to 2.76% of the gross domestic product (GDP). GDP in 2019 is estimated at 1.022 trillion lei ($242 billion/214 billion euro), revenues are projected at 341.4 billion lei, or 33.4% of GDP, and expenses are projected at 367.5 billion lei, or 35.9% of GDP.

The parliament first adopted the budget bill in mid-February.

On March 6, Iohannis sent it back to parliament for revision after the country's top court rejected his objections related to its constitutionality. However, the court accepted the president's objection to capping of budget deficit at a sligthly lower level compared to 2018.

Last month, the lower chamber of parliament adopted an amendment lifting the deficit ceiling for 2019 to 2.76% of the gross domestic product from the earlier target of 2.55%. The amendment was submitted by opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) in order to increase child allowances this year from 84 lei to 150 lei.

Romania closed 2018 with a consolidated budget deficit equivalent to 2.88% of the estimated GDP, the same as in the previous year and within the EU's 3.0% limit, according to finance ministry data.

(1 euro=4.7776 lei)