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March 23, 2023

Greeks need to accept austerity as Balkans suffers, PM Ponta says

Prime Minister Victor Ponta hopes that Greece is going to remain in the euro zone, he mentioned Friday for Bloomberg, Mediafax informs quoting Bloomberg.“Romania and all the countries in the region have already been affected. I hope they won’t be affected even worse in the future and Greeks need to accept steps to avoid exiting the euro as the prospect that voters will reject austerity measures may push the Balkan region into a prolonged recession” PM and the Romanian Finance Minister Florin Georgescu said. Greek efforts to form a Cabinet in May 6 elections failed after voters rejected pro-bailout parties, prompting a new vote next Sunday. The reluctance to accept more spending cuts led policy makers in Europe to speak openly about the possibility of Greece leaving the euro area. Romanian Finance Minister Florin Georgescu said voters would be “wise” to keep the euro because it’s “less costly and less painful.” Also, Romania wants to put shale-gas exploration and gold-mining projects on hold until after a general election this year as it balances improving environmental rules with energy needs, Prime Minister Victor Ponta highlighted. “I want to seriously discuss this issue next year, while keeping environment protection in mind, on the one hand, and Romania’s interest in ensuring additional energy resources, on the other hand,” Ponta said. Romania is trying to find new energy resources to cut its reliance on Russian gas imports and compensate for a natural decline in domestic production as the nation has been extracting gas and oil for more than a century. Its Black Sea territory may also hold additional resources after OMV Petrom SA (SNP) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) have announced a potential discovery in a deep-water well. Romania’s month-old government called for an immediate moratorium on shale-gas extraction in its governing program until European studies show the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment.

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