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WB’s Proskuryakova: Romania doing well on average, but regional, social discrepancies not yet healed

Romania is doing well on average, but regional and social discrepancies are not yet healed and this is because of the public sectors inability to implement policies carrying opportunities for everyone, WB country manager for Romania and Hungary Tatiana Proskuryakova told a conference organized by the institution this Friday.

Romania is a country that does well on average, but regional and social discrepancies are not yet healed. Overall Romania has a strong growth, but not everybody benefits from this growth and this is what the strategy set forth in the newly approved Romanian Country Partnership Framework is trying to address. In our opinion, the reason why these divisions persist in Romania has to do with the weaknesses of the institutional framework, and with the public sector being unable to implement policies providing opportunities to everyone, the WB official remarked, adding that Romania has the second largest economic growth in Europe but this doesn’t translate in poverty reduction.

Tatiana Proskuryakova says the new country strategy was prepared in consultation with the government and it general goal is strengthening institutions.

Asked about the stage of the implementation of the Revenue Administration Modernization Project, the WB official said that she had several discussions with the authorities but no final decision has been made yet.

 

WB has not received official communication from Government about cancellation of Ploiesti-Brasov motorway project

 

The World Bank has not received any official communication from the Government about the cancellation of the preparation project for the Ploiesti-Brasov motorway, Tatiana Proskuryakova also stated on Friday, saying that she read in the press about this.

“If you read our strategy document, you will see that the investment in the Ploiesti – Brasov motorway is part of our strategy because we received a request from the Government in October or November last year to prepare this operation. I have now understood from the media that we have not received any official communication from the Government about canceling this operation. I understand from the press that the Government no longer wants to continue the project with the World Bank, but that it wants to prepare it by itself. I mean, first of all, I am disappointed because we have invested heavily in the preparation of this operation and we believe we have a very good plan. But what I want to point out here is that the World Bank project intended to prepare the investment, not necessarily to finance it. We have not had a discussion in recent days. I saw the news in the press when I was in Washington. I came back yesterday. We have not yet had a discussion with the Government, but, normally, it is the decision of the Government if it goes ahead with the project or not”, Tatiana Proskuryakova told a conference organized by the institution.

She mentioned that there is a large gap in terms of infrastructure in Romania, and the poor condition of the infrastructure is also due to the fact that the projects are not properly prepared. In fact, this is the reason why the absorption of European funds has been very weak during this programming period, says the head of the World Bank for Romania and Hungary, adding that the World Bank is not against the Government’s wish to do things independently, as long as everything is be well prepared.

Moreover, the World Bank official pointed out that a discussion is currently being held about using a 2005 feasibility study for a public-private partnership (PPP) and under these conditions she has serious doubts that this will work, “because 10 years is a very long period”.

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