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March 4, 2021

Basescu: We are setting reasonable entry term for eurozone

After the European Council meeting, the president said the European Parliament’s debate on greater fund flexibility would be an opportunity for Romanian MEPs to obtain an extra eight to nine billion euro for their country.

President Traian Basescu said on Friday in Brussels that Romania had set ‘a reasonable term for entering the euro zone’, as the EU member states that had adopted the single currency were not willing to wait for too long and would carry on with their respective integration processes. ‘We are setting, however, a reasonable term for entering the eurozone, and, while we are at this, I would like to tell you the following thing: no one is going to sit and wait for those who are not making preparations for joining the eurozone. One can sense Europe and the eurozone are not willing to wait for us. They are moving on with their rules and those who meet the conditions for joining will join and those who don’t will be lagging father behind the eurozone platoon. Which, to me, would be a loss’, Basescu said after the European Council meeting in Brussels.

The president also reminded of the address he had given to the Romanian Parliament on Tuesday on the fact that the official term assumed by Romania for moving to the euro currency – 2015 – was no longer ‘realistic’ and reiterated the fact that the Government, Parliament and National Bank were the institutions with relevant competence over analyzing the new objective concerning the adoption of the single currency. At the same time, Basescu said the debate going on in the European Parliament on achieving a greater flexibility of European funds would be a good opportunity for Romanian European parliamentarians to obtain an extra eight to nine billion euro for Romania. ‘This debate (on funds’ flexibility – a/n) that will take place in Parliament will be an opportunity to our MEPs to obtain an extra eight to nine billion euro – if I remember well, they were blaming me for the increase of the budget by only 18 per cent – and I am convinced that they will put their skill, talent, wisdom and persuasion ability to work in order to obtain a higher budget for Romania’, Basescu pointed out. He also noted that the EP resolution on the 2014-2020 multinomial financial framework was a political Parliament act he personally deemed justified, yet one that did not target any budgetary allocation rise. The president was ironical about some Romanian politicians over their understanding of the resolution. He said that the European Council had roughly spoken about the possibility of a budget review in better times, towards 2014-2015, in the hope that extra funds could be added, and noted that the EP was urging an obligation to review the budget. Basescu also said Romania had approximately 170,000 unemployed young people with aged of up to 25, for whom it would have EUR 140 M European money available in the 2014-2020 financial period.

The president however added that domestic measures would also need to be implemented, such as socials security exemptions. ‘Romania has a rough total of 650,000 unemployed people, of whom 170,000 are young people, with aged of up to 25. (…). We will have EUR 140 M available for creating jobs strictly for young people. I want this to be very clear: This doesn’t man that we can spend this money on building some motorway end, but rather on setting up small companies where young people can make an income and contribute to the society’, Basescu said after the Spring European Council. On the agenda of the EU summit there was also the extremely steep rise in unemployment among young people, considered as an urgent matter for the EU. Basescu said he did not wish to suggest solutions to the Government, but young Romanian unemployed people would get jobs more easily if employers were exempted from the payment of SS contributions for a period of two years. On the assertion that the state budget was paying every year EUR 7 M for the Tarom Airbus A-130 aircraft leased for the president’s travels abroad, Basescu said that was ‘a lie’.  He stressed that it was ‘impermissible’ for the president of Romania to not be able to fly back to the country quickly in case there was a natural disaster or some other exceptional development for which he has to sign off on the institution of the state of emergency.

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