President Traian Basescu said yesterday, after meeting Philippe Le Houerou, World Bank vice-president for Europe and Central Asia, that although he no longer has a government of his own in place, he is glad to see that his agenda of measures aimed at ensuring the competitiveness of the Romanian economy is continued by Romania’s accord with the IMF, EU and World Bank. “The only chance we have for the future is competitiveness. Romania will have no other chance. I am very glad to see this programme continuing as initially agreed,” Basescu said, quoted by Mediafax. The WB official had previously mentioned that the Board of the financial institution acknowledged the macroeconomic and structural progress achieved by Romania, by deciding last week to extend a EUR 1 bln loan to the country, and added that structural reforms lay the bases for a competitive economy.
President Basescu thanked his guest for the EUR 1 bln loan granted by the World Bank, adding that he appreciates the preconditions set to the government in view of drawing the money, which put pressure on the Executive to fulfill the commitments assumed in the Accord with the IMF, EU and WB. According to Basescu, “there still are certain issues with privatising some state companies or the management” of these companies – which are also measures agreed in the Accord with the IMF.On this occasion, the head of state said that he is “extremely convinced” that the present economic crisis of Europe will not disappear in the next 12 months and the difficulties will continue “on a medium and long term.” Additionally, Basescu mentioned that Romania is one of the countries that do not support the idea of abandoning the measures of austerity in view of re-launching the economy and securing the growth. “It is the biggest mistake that can be done now. In real terms, we must preserve macroeconomic stability and, starting from this, to generate economic growth, rather than the other way around,” the president explained. In his turn, the WB official said that the present economic crisis of Europe causes problems throughout the entire region, but Romania’s efforts aimed at macroeconomic stability have been acknowledged, and reforms must continue in view of securing “long-term stability.” President Basescu added that Romania also needs balance in exploiting natural resources directly by Romanian companies, and in partnership with foreign companies, such as shale gas or the mining operations of Rosia Montana and Rosia Poieni. “Because of its lack of resources,” Romania is trying to attract private capital for the extraction of shale gas, for the gold mining operations at Rosia Montana and the copper mines of Rosia Poieni, but Romanian companies need loans in order to catch the available opportunities, Basescu mentioned. “We also have other places where we would be glad if World Bank and market loans were operated by our companies, which have other opportunities for Romania’s economic growth,” the president said.Speaking about the Rosia Montana project, Environment Minister Rovana Plumb yesterday stated that authorities will once again analyse it, together with environmental NGOs. “We want an open and transparent dialogue. We want to know their position and to be able to continue the analysis,” the minister said. Anyway, no decision will be made before the project is analysed once again, she assured.