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June 23, 2021
POLITICS

PM Citu presents Romania’s Recovery and Resilience Plan: Transport, education, healthcare get big money under PNRR

Romania’s Prime Minister, Florin Citu on Wednesday participated together with Deputy Prime Ministers Dan Barna and Kelemen Hunor, and the Minister of European Investments and Projects, Cristian Ghinea, in the presentation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The document was officially submitted on Monday to the European Commission and is following the official evaluation of the European Commission.

 

Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is a very important programme for Romania, under which big money will be doled out to three important sectors: transport – 6.7 billion euros, education – 3.6 billion euros, and healthcare – 2.4 billion euros.

“The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (…) can be analysed, read by all Romanians at this time. PNRR was submitted to the European Commission on Monday and today we unveil its details. (…) It is a very important programme for Romania. (…) It is about 29.2 billion euros, money that will be used to build about 450 kilometres of motorways, hundreds of schools and nurseries; we will build and renovate dozens of hospital,” Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Wednesday at the Government House.

The prime minister pointed out that in 2024 there will be a newly built hospital.

“And for the first time in the last 30 years, (…) we will have a hospital built in 2024,” Citu said.

He explained that under PNRR three large sectors will receive significant sums of money: transport – 6.7 billion euros, education – 3.6 billion euros, and healthcare – 2.4 billion euros.

 

Loans that Romania will draw under PNRR will be used for investment only

 

The loans that Romania will draw under its National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) will be used for investment only, Prime Minister Florin Citu told a PNNR news conference on Wednesday at the Government House.

“Romania badly needs investments; we invested record amounts last year, we continue to invest this year as well. These loans that we draw under PNRR will only go into investment, and to be clear: they cannot go into consumption. So, the money will not go into consumption, it will only go into investment, and I do not think that there is a debate at the level of the political class, at the level of society that loans are not good. Moreover, we already used to borrow money to invest in Romania, so we need motorways, we need hospitals, we need schools, and the loans we take up under PNRR are at a much, much lower interest rate; we are talking about close to zero percent, zero point something percent, an interest at which Germany, Spain, Italy, all the countries in the euro area borrow,” said Citu.

He pointed out that to Romania, it is a plus that it can borrow at these interest rates and will be able to make investment.

“The important part is that we invest a lot in a very short time, which means a challenge for the Romanian economy to be able to use these resources, 29.2 billion euros, without creating imbalances. And that is the good part of programme to carry through all these investment projects in 2026,” added Citu.

 

“Our fiscal-budgetary strategy, including below 3pct budget deficit in 2024, accepted as main strategy by EC”

 

The Prime Minister on Wednesday also said that the fiscal-budgetary strategy announced by the Government, with a plan to return the budget deficit below 3% in 2024, was accepted as the main strategy by the European Commission, which published the recommendations regarding the excessive deficit for Romania.

“I would like to announce that the European Commission has also published the recommendations regarding the excessive deficit for Romania. I am very happy to announce that our fiscal-budget strategy, with the return of the budget deficit below 3% in 2024, has been accepted as a strategy. So, there is confidence in what we said we are doing, in the reforms we will make in the next period. That reduction of the deficit is accepted by the European Commission,” said Florin Citu at Victoria Palace.

 

Deputy PM Barna: PNRR designed to leave no one behind

 

Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna said on Wednesday that Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) brings “the most substantial component of investment” that Romania has had since 1859, being thought out not to leave anyone behind.

“This is an important moment for Romania today. Two days ago we managed to conclude a very important stage, namely the submission of a programme that brings to Romania, I dare say, the most substantial component of investment since 1859. Focusing on the priorities of daily priorities and on the various lines and counter-lines of one side or the other, it seems that we miss the major importance of this moment, because, by submitting this PNRR, Romania accesses a development resource with a very clear time range – 2026, a resource that will change, and I vouch for what I am saying, will significantly change important components of the Romanian state and the way this state works,” said Barna at the Government House.

He said that the principles underpinning PNRR are: equitable distribution of funds, decentralisation and the role of local administrations in being a party to the thinking out of this programme.

“We have seen various accusations from the eternal political opposition. This programme is designed to leave no one behind, to cover all provinces of development,” Barna said.

 

Dragu: PNRR – an element of development for Romania; It does not affect our deficit

 

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is an element of development for Romania, has nothing to do with public debt and does not affect our deficit, the Senate’s Speaker Anca Dragu said on Wednesday.

“The fact that we come with some cheaper financial resources through PNRR, on the one hand, the fact that we have some firm, clear resources, written on paper, for a period of several years, on the other hand, that makes PNRR a real element of development for Romania, so it is not the ‘black sheep’,” Dragu specified after the meeting of the Permanent Bureau of the Senate.

Dragu was asked what the loan taken through PNRR means for Romania, against a public debt that has already exceeded 47%, and the answer of the Senate’s Speaker was that the money from PNRR goes “categorically” towards investments and reforms.

“I looked at the analysis on the sustainability of public debt and there are provisions to somehow stay at 51%. I must tell you that, this year, the budget deficit is 80 billion lei, last year it was 100 billion. So we are already talking about very large deficits that we have accumulated. The advantage of PNRR is that these expenditures – which are either from public revenues or from loans – definitely go towards investments and reforms. This is how we look at PNRR, including the loans which are taken in relation to PNRR,” Dragu pointed out.

 

National Recovery and Resilience Plan published on Ministry of European Investment and Projects website

 

Romania’s 29-billion-euro National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) was published on Wednesday on the website of the Ministry of European Investment and Projects.

“We have thought of all the details in the plan so that it is truly a success story, with all the projects and transformations combined, with support from European Recovery and Resilience funds. Modern and reformed Romania,” according to Minister of European Investment and Projects Cristian Ghinea.

Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is designed to ensure an optimal balance between the European Union’s priorities and Romania’s development needs amidst the recovery after the COVID-19 crisis that has significantly affected the country, as it affected the entire European Union and the world, reads the document.

The general objective of PNRR is the development of Romania by carrying out essential programmes and projects that support resilience, preparedness for crises, the capacity to adapt and the growth potential, through major reforms and key investment on funds from the European Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The specific objective is to raise funds made available by the European Union under NextGenerationEU in order to reach the milestones and targets for reforms and investment.

Romania’s PNRR has 15 components that cover all the six pillars provided for under Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

For the green transition pillar, they are: the water management system; afforesting Romania and protecting biodiversity; waste management; sustainable transport; Renovation Wave funding; energy.

The digital transformation pillar has a single component, namely government cloud and digital public systems, and the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth pillar has two components: tax reforms and the reform of the state pension system and support for the private sector, research, development and innovation.

The components of the economic, social and territorial cohesion pillar are the local fund for the green and digital Transition, and tourism and culture, while the components of the healthcare, economic, social and institutional resilience pillar healthcare; social reforms; public sector reform; increasing the efficiency of the judiciary, and strengthening the capacity of the social partners.

Policies for the new generation have only one component, namely Educated Romania.

 

Compiled from Agerpres

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