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On the agenda of the talks between the two heads of government – maintaining the interest of Austrian banks in the Romanian economy. Premier Victor Ponta held a speech to R 20 Conference on energy and sustainability, alongside EC president Jose Manuel Barroso, Chancellor Werner Faymann and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta had Wednesday, in Vienna, a working meeting with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. The talks aimed at identifying concrete economic fields and projects where the two countries can cooperate, the government announced in a press release quoted by hotnews.ro. “Victor Ponta expressed his interest for maintaining at a high level the interest of Austrian companies and banks in the Romanian economy and presented the recent decisions made by the Government of Romania with regard to economic reform and securing an attractive environment to foreign investors,” the government informs. During the meeting, the two officials also discussed about the importance of using the framework provided by the EU Strategy of the Danube Region for promoting projects of common interest at region scale. Also on agenda were actual topics of the European agenda, such as the negotiations for the new financial multi-annual framework of the EU 2014-2020 (MFF), economic governance and the enlargement of the Schengen Space.As for the MFF, the two dignitaries revealed the importance of reaching an agreement in the next European Council of February, which will take into consideration the need to close the development gaps between member states and will boost economic growth and the job creation process at EU level.Also, Ponta yesterday announced that the Government is going to raise before 2015 the level of royalty taxes charged to oil and gas producers, pointing out he would discuss the issue with the general manager of OMV, Petrom’s owner. “We must see, from the viewpoint of budget revenues, which the solution is best, starting from 2014, and how to, on one hand, to continue boosting energy investments, not only the OMV’s, but other companies’ as well, and on the other, to get budget revenues as well to sustain economic, social and investment programs,” said Ponta. Oil and natural gas companies pay royalty taxes of 3.5 to 13.5 pc from their output, depending on the type of the hydrocarbon deposits. The royalty tax levels, which were stipulated in 2004 in the Petrom privatisation contract with Austrian group OMV, are valid thru December 2014. Constantin Nita, Delegate Minister for Energy, recently said that oil and gas production royalty taxes nee to the European Union level, “somewhere in the region of at least 20-30 pc.”
Ponta brings Arnold Schwarzenegger to Romania
Premier Victor Ponta, Environment Minister Rovana Plumb and Arnold Schwarzenegger share a concern for environmental protection and energy. The two Romanian officials were in Vienna to attend an international energy conference on Thursday. The event is organized by R 20, a non-governmental organization founded by Schwarzenegger. The famous actor, too, attended the event. The conference guests included the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. The premier managed to persuade Arnold Schwarzenegger to pay a visit to Romania, Victor Ponta announced in Facebook post. “We talked and I persuaded Mr. Schwarzenegger to come to Romania, since his celebrity can endorse some extraordinary ideas, such as this one. And he actually said that he’s aware he is known throughout the world from films, and will promote a very important topic, energy efficiency,” Premier Victor Ponta said after the Vienna R20 Conference ”Implementing the Sustainable Energy Future”.