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June 29, 2022

PM Ponta: Transferring procedures of Constanta Port to go ahead

While in Constanta recently, Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced that the procedures for transferring Port Constanta to the Local Council will move forward, even though they may “upset” certain people. The PM argued that port development would be more efficient after the shares are listed on the stock exchange. “We will proceed as planned. I don’t know who might be upset by this, but I believe it’s better to have more private capital and investors and not add the money to the state budget, but reserve it for investments,” Victor Ponta said, Mediafax reports. When asked by reporters who might be upset, the PM replied President Traian Basescu could be one of these persons.
He went on to say that listing 15 percent of the port’s shares on the stock exchange, a procedure similar to the one implemented for Transgaz, Transelectrica, and Romgaz, guarantees transparency. Procedures for this operation have already been set in motion, the PM noted, and the Gov’t will not take money for the 15 percent of shares, but leave it within the company for investments.
“Mr. Sova has initiated the procedures, but this takes time because they must comply with all European standards. I don’t want us to take money for the 15 percent of shares, add it to the budget and start spending it. The plan is the same as with the other companies – the company will keep the money and invest it in further development; the port can continue to grow with private management, private capital, and investment and European funds,” Victor Ponta stated while in Agigea.
He approached the topic again during a subsequent visit to Mamaia by saying it is normal for local authorities to own port shares and have a say in port-related matters.
On Thursday, President Basescu accused the Prime Minister of “serving two negative lines of interest” – the tycoons and media trusts.
Catalin Predoiu, First Vice-Chairman of PDL, stated Thursday that the Gov’t is prepared to adopt a decision by which 13 percent of Port Constanta shares would be transferred to the Constanta Local Council free of charge. He warned PM Ponta that he would go to prison if he signs the decision.
In turn, former Minister of Transport Ramona Manescu underlined PNL would challenge a potential Government Decision on the transfer of an additional 13 percent of Port Constanta shares to the Local Council (LC) with the Constitutional Court of Romania, because the LC does not have the necessary financial strength to support investments in the port.
The Ministry of Transport plans to hand over 13 percent of the shares to the Constanta Town Hall and list 14 percent of the capital on the stock exchange.
More investments in the upcoming period in Tulcea
On the other hand, during the press conference held in Tulcea, the head of Executive announced more investments that will be carried out in the upcoming period in Tulcea, such as the modernization of the Danube Delta International Airport, of the Tulcea-Constanta national road, supporting the investment in the arrangement works on the wastewater system in the Sfantu Gheorghe commune, and the procurement of an angiography equipment for the County Emergency Hospital.
In addition, Ponta announced that two months from now, the European Commission will give Romania an answer regarding the funding for the investment in the bridge over Danube, between the towns of Macin and Tulcea. He also pointed out the fact that thanks to the financial instrument Integrated Territorial Investments, the county of Tulcea will benefit from several hundreds of millions of euros to improve the living conditions of the people residing in the Danube Delta and for environment preservation.

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