Brussels expects Romanian infrastructure projects

brussels expects romanian infrastructure projects The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, harshly criticizes the Romanian Government for lack of projects that can attract EU funding

Pundits in Bucharest are commenting on the latest episode from the so called 'War of the Roses' saga, hinting at the roses that are part of the logo of the Social Democratic Party, the senior partner in the ruling coalition in Romania. Commissioner Corina Cretu, herself a member of the Social Democratic Party, supported by the former leader of the party Victor Ponta to get the office in Brussels, has become virulent in criticizing the Romanian Government, now headed by Viorica Dancila. She has perceived as an insult the lack of infrastructure projects, for which Romania could easily get European funds. The Commissioner has stated that as regards transports, the most vulnerable and at the same time one of the most important sectors, Romania has lost two billion Euros, and efforts are being made to avoid decommitment for the 2014-2020 period. Here is the European Commissioner Corina Cretu:

 "We have money for feasibility studies but we have received no applications for that. We could program the building of the Targu-Mures motorway for 2021. Unfortunately, the Government has announced that it wants to build the motorway based on the public-private partnership system. Our specialists are not comfortable with this approach, because it means de-prioritizing investment. We are completely open, but as long as we do not have projects, there is nothing to analyze, and therefore nothing to fund.  I would like to publicly announce that I will no longer tolerate any insult from the Romanian Government in relation to the work I do."

Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the junior partner in the ruling coalition in Bucharest, has stated that he fully supports the statements made by the European Commissioner, of whose good faith and good intentions he is convinced. The Social Democratic Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici has in turn admitted that the delay in attracting European money is affecting the budget. However, as regards the projects mentioned by Commissioner Cretu, he also said:

"They are being verified and analyzed by JASPERS, a body made up of experts with the European Investment Bank, and other structures, which, unfortunately are not moving as fast as they should, in the sense that they should submit to Brussels the funding applications faster. Our main problem, budget-wise, is that if these reimbursement applications are delayed too much, the disbursement is delayed too, therefore the state budget deficit grows."  

The media speculates that the chilly relationship between Corina Cretu and her colleagues in Bucharest could be motivated politically. Her term ends next year, and the parent party hasn't even proposed her to run again in the elections for the European Parliament due next year.

(Translated by M. Ignatescu)
Publicat: 2018-10-09 12:38:00
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