President Basescu: Romania has a deficit of democracy and of efficient earmarking of resources

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President Traian Basescu said, on Wednesday, in an address before the joint chambers of the Romanian Parliament, that Romania continues to be a country of contrasts, it has two major deficiencies, he said, namely a deficit of efficient earmarking resources and a deficit of democracy.
 
"Because we do not allocate resources efficiently, we do not succeed to consolidate the democratic state. On the other hand, because we do not have enough political, economic and social democracy we do not succeed to use resources efficiently. So, in his or her public and private life, the citizen loses in all respects, politically, socially, economically, and culturally. This impasse of Romania is illustrated by the relations in the country, so the economic efficiency and the living standards are much lower in Romania than in most countries in the EU," said Basescu.
 
He added that GDP per capita is only 40% of the European average, but the energy intensity is also very high.
"In this respect, we are last but one in the EU. The economic structure in Romania is one of the most backward in the EU. 30% of the population of the country works in agriculture, which is twice than in the other member states. Practically, labour productivity in agriculture and production per ha are very low, " said the president.
 
The head of state mentioned that, in 2005, for example, in point of cereals, an area where Romania has the best natural conditions in Europe, the average production of corn per ha stood at some 3,950 kg, while in Germany, it stood at 9,200 kg.
"In conclusion, Romania inefficiently allocates the most important production factor, manpower," Basescu said.
He added that Romania saw big discrepancies in territorial development, showing that GDP per capita in Bucharest-Ilfov region, southern Romania, is three times higher than in the area of North-Eastern Moldova, and six Euro-regions in Romania are among the 15 least developed regions of the EU.
 
"We also register worrying trends in indicators reflecting an urgent need of structural reforms. We think, first, of the current account deficit and the trade deficit. With Romania being a country with many enough natural production factors – oil, natural gas, coal – I believe that we are wasting the resources and are allocating them inefficiently.
The growth in labour productivity and in the living standards, with recovering the difference from the EU average, has to be a strategic objective of all governments in the next 15-20 years. Romania needs time for a leap in efficiency. It is necessary, but not enough, to aim at 5-7% annual growth. Strategic objectives, structural in nature, have also to be set, which need longer periods of coherent action, " said Basescu.
 
He stressed that "the strategic reserve" of efficiency of Romania is in the rural area, where a strategic objective is to cut 10-15% the number of people working in agriculture, by 2015-2020.
"Such a structural modification in work places in the rural area would mean a radical improvement in the efficient use of manpower in Romania. A cut in jobs in agriculture and their generation in other sectors supposes a huge effort of strategic planning, " said Basescu.
 
According to him, another strategic objective of Romania is the adoption of the euro in 2014, "which supposes to rigorously meet some objectives in the years before adoption, which will cover the governmental activity in two electoral cycles."
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