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May 17, 2021
BUSINESS

Bogdan Baltazar: ‘EU and Romania needs the jobs and financial stability generated by the industry’

“For the European Union, the time of fiscal relaxation is over. After three hard years of crisis, unfortunately it has to tighten up the belt even further and spend public with maximum caution. Romania is no exception to this, and as a signatory state, it will have reduced autonomy in terms of budgetary expenditures. As investments are no longer a priority for the Romanian state, it is even more so important that the authorities make more sustained efforts to attract private investments, especially foreign investments, that will generate money to the budget and create jobs, which are so necessary in times of crisis,” declared financial consultant Bogdan Baltazar.This statement has been made in the context that Romania is signing today (our note Friday), in Brussels, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. By the financial discipline it imposes, the Treaty is seen as an instrument meant to generate sustainable economic growth, employment, competitiveness and social cohesion in the European Union. At the same time, financial discipline risks to limit the openness of the signatory countries to investments. “It is sad and outraging that Romania does not have “turnkey” projects that are ready to start, and FDIs (Foreign direct investment) are on a free fall. I know only one major project which can be implemented quickly, everybody knows it, it’s the Rosia Montana mining project, a direct investment worth two billion dollars. However, the authorities’ answer, whatever it is, has been delayed for years. What is the signal given by Romania to the investors by this lack of decision? A developing country needs the industry, we cannot survive only with the construction of cars from Dacia”, says Bogdan Baltazar. The importance of the industry at the European level, in particular the mining industry, is supported also by the recent Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials proposed by the EU, which is aimed at increasing the Union’s own production of raw materials and implicitly at lowering its dependence on imports. The partnership, proposed on the last day of February, will bring together member states, companies and researchers around an effort to accelerate the exploration, extraction and processing of raw materials. Speaking about this European coalition aimed at creating new jobs, Ion Popescu, the President of the National Trade Union Confederation Meridian, also expresses his support for investments: “We strongly support the revival of industrial production in Romania, which would be a secure source of real economic growth, for the long term. The mining industry has a huge development and job-creation potential, but it cannot be done without massive investments. Using money from the budget, Romania can only close down mines, without even remediating them. Private money is the solution to reopen the mines, on modern, viable foundations.” After 1998, 550 mines were closed down in Romania, leaving more than 80,000 people unemployed; and the number of people laid off from the mining sector continues to grow. “We will definitely not go back to traditional mining, and it’s not even beneficial for us to want to do this. We need modern, performing mining, using the best available practices. A modern mining industry brings benefits to the economies and to the people, by the thousands of jobs it creates,” concludes Ion Popescu, the leader of the trade union confederation. Steering Committee of the Rosia Montana Project Support Group

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