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Romania: Parliament to vote on tax cuts that president nixed

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s center-left ruling party will recall Parliament from its summer recess to vote on a redrafted series of tax cuts after the president refused to pass the previous proposals into law.

Acting chairman of the governing Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, said Monday that Parliament would debate and vote on the new measures on Aug 24-25, after consulting with central bank officials about their viability.

President Klaus Iohannis refused to pass into law the tax cuts on June 17, saying they could lead to “domestic and external risks,” including unsustainable economic growth.

The measures included a proposed sales tax cut to 19 percent from 24, salary tax cuts, and a reduction of fuel taxes, all scheduled to take effect at the start of next year.

The tax cuts are important for the embattled ruling party to boost its popularity ahead of 2016 Parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta was indicted on wide-ranging corruption charges on July 13 related to work he did as a lawyer in 2007-2008. In May, acting chairman Dragnea was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence for defrauding an election to impeach the former president. Both Ponta and Dragnea deny wrongdoing.

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