‘Romania wants to become Germany’s strategic, trustful partner’, Ponta tells Merkel


Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of the rule of law and the independence
of the judiciary as well as the fight against corruption. Ponta met yesterday the Premier of
Baden-Wurttemberg and officials of Daimler Co before heading to Slovakia.

‘At today’s meeting, I have thanked German investors for their important contributions to the development of Romania. There is on the Government’s part an absolute determination to improve the legislative framework, protect German investors and secure a judicial framework for their protection,’ said Ponta.
The German Chancellor said in her turn that between the two countries there is a close partnership also because of the German community of Romania, hailing the presence in the visiting official delegation of MP Ovidiu Gant, the representative of the German community in the Parliament in Bucharest.
Merkel added that there is potential for development for Romania and Germany, underscoring the importance of the standards of the rule of law and judiciary safety being respected as well as of corruption being fought against.
The Chancellor said: ‘I am very glad that Romania’s Prime Minister, Mr. Ponta, is my guest today. This is his first visit to Germany in his capacity as head of the Romanian Government. We will also discuss economic and political ties that are characterised as friendly. There is much economic cooperation between the two countries. Germany is Romania’s most important trade partner and there is still potential for more development. I want the economic design of the country to succeed. Germany wants to be partners. To the German economy it is very important that the standards of the rule of law are respected and there is judiciary safety, while corruption is being fought against and there is transparency,’ Merkel said.
PM Ponta told the press said he also approached during the talks on Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the recent statements of the Interior Minister of Berlin, Hans-Peter Friederich, according to which Germany would take measures to stop Romanians and Bulgarians from entering the country under false pretence in order to obtain social benefits. ‘I actually raised this issue, saying – not in an aggressive manner – that I understood statements in a political context, taking into account that in Germany there would be elections in September. Mrs Merkel voiced her opinion, the German Government’s opinion very clearly, both privately and publicly, namely that no citizen, Bulgarian, Romanian, of whichever nationality, living, working in Germany and paying taxes and having come legally cannot be discriminated in any way or treated with disregard,’ Premier Victor Ponta told RTV private television channel. He added that Angela Merkel and the German Government would never speak of group blames, but would only make reference to individual cases.
Ponta said Monday, after attending a dinner extended in his honour by the German Chancellor that he was treated like the prime minister of an important country to Germany.
‘I was treated like the prime minister of an important country to Germany and I certainly displayed the same respect to the Chancellor and Germany, and I received the same respect for Romania and I think this is the most important thing,’ Ponta told Antena 3 private broadcaster on Monday.
He mentioned that he understood his reception and talks in Berlin as a sign of Germany considering Romania to be an important country and that, overcoming the tensioned moment of the last year, the two countries returned to a type of strategic partnership that is important to both countries.
Commenting on the fact that he was welcomed to the personal office of the chancellor, Ponta said that was a sign of respect for Romania, not for him.
Another German company will invest in Romania
PM Victor Ponta went to Stuttgart yesterday, where he met representatives of the Daimler business concern and a group of Romanian workers attending professional training classes there. At the company’s main office, Premier Ponta met Andreas Renschler, member of the Board of the corporation. There are currently 45 such workers who are to return to Romania once the Daimler factory opens at Sebes, Alba County. Daimler will relocate 50 per cent of its Stuttgart-based gearbox factory to Romania.
On Monday, in the first half of the day, the Premier participated in the conference focused on the ‘Romanian-German economic cooperation: New perspectives’ at the Deutsche Bank head office, as well as in a debate organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on the topic ‘Romania’s contribution to a social and democratic Europe’.
Ponta, announced that another German company is going to invest a large sum of money in Romania in this year’s autumn at the latest.
The head of the Romanian government had a meeting on Monday at the Deutsche Bank, the most important German bank, with a large number of German investors whom he invited to bring their money in Romania, while saying that the government in Bucharest will be a friend of anyone creating jobs in the country.
Meeting with Winfried Kretschmannm, Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg Land, PM Ponta said the his government plans to develop a system of professional education after the model applied in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, where over 1,500 Romanians are studying. The two officials signed a joint declaration on strengthening cooperation in the field of vocational training and of collaboration between the chambers of commerce and crafts in order to promote SMEs.
Ponta paid an official visit to Slovakia on Tuesday to meet Slovakia’s President Ivan Gasparovic and Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico.

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