“What is happening on the Arad-Nadlac highway, the mark of impotence and poor governance,” the president said.
Traian Basescu loses no opportunity to criticize the Ponta Government. Present yesterday on the construction site of the Arad-Nadlac highway, where works are on hold, the President stated that what is happening there is “an expression and mark of impotence, of bad governance,” claiming that the government should intervene and earmark the funds needed for the completion of the construction works because it can recover the investment from European funds. “The contract for the Nadlac-Pecica section was suspended in November last year and a new constructor hasn’t been subcontracted, and the works were stopped in Pecica in July because the company filed for insolvency. Becoming insolvent however does not mean the company’s activity stops. (…) I am calling on the government to wake up,” Basescu said, quoted by Mediafax. He pointed out that Hidroelectrica was insolvent yet it nevertheless continued to produce electricity: “Companies become insolvent too, but for example in this situation the Austrian company no longer received money from the banks, and that means the government should have immediately intervened in order for the works to be completed, because the money are recovered from the European Union.”
The President also stated that the way in which the government set the priorities is inadmissible, forgetting that constructors work during the summer but hiking the taxes instead. Asked whether he believes there were vested interests behind the works being put on hold, he answered: “If there weren’t then there sure was stupidity.” Likewise, answering a question the Head of State said: “Don’t suspect them of sabotage, suspect them of something else: of bad governance and of the inability to establish priorities.”
On the other hand, Basescu criticized the government’s intention to hike some taxes or to impose new taxes, such as those in the case of rentals, while European funds are not used. “But during the crisis – because the crisis is not over – Romania is barely hanging on while Europe is in recession… During a crisis raising taxes is similar to stepping on the brake. Maybe you can’t lower them, but to hike direct taxes is a major mistake,” the President pointed out. He said that a lot of companies are “living off” rental, underscoring once again that these are “uncorrelated, un-thought-out policies.”
I’m not a propagandist for the Popular Movement
Traian Basescu stopped over at the Arad City Hall yesterday too, where he met Mayor Gheorghe Falca, his godson, and the city’s two deputy mayors. The press was not present at the meeting. Asked by a journalist at the end of the talks whether he convinced Gheorghe Falca (PDL) to join the Popular Movement, the President answered: “I won’t discuss this anywhere and I’m not acting as a propagandist for the Popular Movement, whether we are talking about the party or the foundation. I won’t do that.” On the other hand, he congratulated the authorities of Arad, stating that the unemployment rate is low in the county and an essential role in that was played by the absorption of European funds. “He didn’t miss a project funded with European funds. All projects that filed for financing were approved, which honors them. They know how to handle funds that come freely,” Basescu stated, pointing out that projects worth EUR 200 M are currently implemented in the county and 14 other European-financed projects are implemented in the city of Arad.
Moreover, the President continued to criticize the government in Arad too, this time Basescu expressing his dissatisfaction with the fact that works on the two overpasses located on Arad’s north-west beltway, which is part of National Road 7, were stopped, stating that these should be a priority for the government considering that this road is used by heavy-duty traffic to and from Europe.
Sova: Boagiu, responsible for the “bad governance” at Nadlac-Arad
The minister for Grand Projects, Dan Sova (PSD) said that it is the first time when he agrees with Traian Basescu about the “bad governance”, but this refers to Anca Boagiu, former minister of Transport, who was in charge of the Nadlac-Arad. He added that “the illegalities committed when awarding the Nadlac-Arad lot no. I (the contract was signed with the company controlled by Nelu Iordache) were the main reason for the one-year suspension of the Operational Programme for Transport by the European Commission. As for the second lot of Nadlac-Arad, Sova mentioned that Alpine Bau ran bankrupt in Austria, not in Romania: “I doubt that the government of Romania could have intervened to avoid the bankruptcy of Alpine in Austria. If the Presidency can do this, we would be grateful (…)”. According to the minister, the only possibility is to resume the tender after an expert establishes what represent the 15 pc that were not constructed, respectively the works that are still to be done. Sova added that the procedures for awarding new contracts have started and the winners of the tenders for the two motorway segments will be designated until the end of this year.
PSD spokesman Catalin Ivan describes Basescu’s attitude as “perfidious” and considers that the president is the last person to teach lessons of governance, “as he does not understand, even now, how much prejudice he brought to Romania during all these years.”
“The summer visits paid by Traian Basescu have the sole purpose of making trouble. The really revolting thing is that the president launches a series of accusations totally unrelated to reality, pretending to forget that he sponsored for many years the incompetence and impotence of PDL governments, the real culprits for the problems he criticises now,” reads a communiqué signed by Catalin Ivan.
Bechtel Contract – Boagiu files complaint against Sova
Former Transport minister Anca Boagiu filed a criminal complaint at the General Prosecutor’s Office against minister Dan Sova regarding the contract with Bechtel. Boagiu accuses Sova of hiding the original contract signed in 2003 by the Adrian Nastase government. “Dan Sova’s intention is obvious: he wants to defend his former party chief,” Boagiu said, quoted by realitatea.net. The former minister explains that the contract arrangements between the government and Bechtel have ended, so the contract can be made public integrally. Moreover, she added that the criticism expressed by Sova against her over the Nadlac-Arad motorway is “a new proof of stupidity and professional incompetence.” “Nothing new. Dan Sova really does not understand. He only knows how to lie and evade responsibility. (…) Never has a minister signed any contract of CNADNR! This is the task of the general manager of the company,” Boagiu said. Sova promptly answered, saying that if the former minister filed a criminal complaint against him for “hiding” the contract with Bechtel, then she has committed the crime if slandering denunciation, so he will retaliate with a criminal complaint against her. As for the Bechtel contract, Sova claims that the original document, which is formally needed for the declassification procedure, is being searched by the Control Body of the premier and those who are responsible for its disappearance will be prosecuted.