Italy’s president assures no restrictions will be imposed on Romanian workers

Romanian, Italian heads of state held talks in Bucharest. Basescu thanked Napolitano for how Italy resolves the Romanian immigrants’ issue.

President Traian Basescu yesterday received his Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano, on a two-day state visit to Romania, at the ceremonial area of Cotroceni Palace. Basescu thanked his Italian counterpart for how Italy’s Government is trying to resolve the Romanian immigrants’ issue.

“I would like to thank you before the press for the way in which your Government and Italian local authorities are trying to resolve the issue of Romanian immigrants. Also, I thank you very much for recognizing the Christian denomination, of the Romanian Orthodox Church, as a functional church on Italy’s soil, and I also thank the Italian Catholic Church, which made available over 1000 churches to Romanians where they can attend the weekend sermons,” Basescu said in a statement after talks at Cotroceni Palace with his Italian counterpart. Basescu’s statement refers to a document signed by Napolitano recently recognizing the Romanian Orthodox Church in Italy.

In his turn, President Napolitano assured that Italian authorities will not impose restrictive measures against Romanian workers in Italy.

“We have not scheduled the passage of any restrictive measures whatsoever against Romanian workers. We still have in force an immigration quota system that we are going to carry on complying with, which allows the legal entry into our country of a certain number of foreigners, Mediafax quoted Napolitano as saying, who assured that this is how Italian authorities will continue adjusting the flow of immigrants.

“I repeat, there is nothing to even resemble a hypothesis of some restrictive measures against Romanian workers already working legally in Italy, and for those hoping to enter Italy under the said quotas,” the Italian head of state also said. Moreover, Napolitano declared himself content with the Romanian community in Italy consolidating itself, despite any other xenophobic temptations.

Basescu revives topic of United States of Europe

Part of the joint statement with his Italian counterpart, President Basescu reiterated the need for creation of a United State of Europe, saying that there’s no time for procrastinations, and the timetable for some major decisions is quite tight. “I have advocated the need for stronger integration and I won’t shy away from reviving the thesis for a need of a United State of Europe being created. (…) None of the EU states can face the globalization process alone. (…) Irrespective of the OECD, IMF reports, I can see that the solution to our problems can only be for Europe to have but a single answer: more, much more, plenty more integration. We must start off with budgetary fiscal integration,” the head of the Romanian state said. In his turn, the Italian president subscribed to the need for this goal to be stepped up.
In what concerns Romania, Basescu pointed out that the Romanians’ sacrifices in the last two years will be rewarded through macroeconomic equilibrium, although the pensions fund still has a deficit of EUR 3.6 bln, the health system a deficit of EUR 1 bln and there still are 54 social assistance programmes.

Thanks and appreciations

Traian Basescu also pointed out that he follows with utmost attention President Napolitano’s positions. “For us, President Giorgio Napolitano is one of the founders of the EU and one of the highly responsible politicians that the EU has right now. I follow with utmost attention all of President Napolitano’s positions and I’m saying this for the first time in my two terms as Romania’s President. He is the only President whose positions I follow with utmost attention and I often take heed of them,” the Romanian President stated. Likewise, thanking his Italian counterpart for the visit, Basescu also told him that he was impressed with the ceremonies that took place in June on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian unity. In early June Basescu attended a military parade in Rome, a parade occasioned by the 150th anniversary of Italian unity.

After their tête-à-tête meeting, the two Presidents exchanged decorations. President Traian Basescu offered to the Italian President Romania’s Order of the Star with Collar, while Giorgio Napolitano offered to the Romanian President the Italian Republic’s Order of Merit Knight Grand Cross with Collar.

Napolitano is accompanied on his visit to Bucharest by Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Franco Frattini. Last evening the Italian President was due to meet Speaker of the Senate Mircea Geoana and Speaker of the Lower Chamber Roberta Anastase, and was expected to attend a state dinner offered by Traian Basescu. Today, the Italian President will meet Prime Minister Emil Boc and is also scheduled to have talks with members of the Italian community here.

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