Traian Basescu: Control of European funds in Romania has been exaggeratedly scrupulous

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Romanian President Traian Basescu on Wednesday met the members of the Romanian community in Greece, at the headquarters of the Romanian Embassy in Athens, occasion on which he said the control of the European funds was exaggeratedly scrupulous in Romania, either because of over-zealous people or fear.
He replied thus to a question from the public saying control seems to be more severe in Greece of the European money.
‘Allow me to contradict you. We are controlling in Romania the European money at least in the same serious manner as here. Sometimes it is even unbelievable how much those responsible exaggerate with the control. That’s why we have only spent 300 million euros in 2007, 2008 and 2009 from the 5.9 billion available.
I believe in Romania the control on the spending of the European funds has been exaggerated, either because of over-zealous people or because of the bureaucrats fearing not to have problems. They rather preferred not to give the approvals so that to avoid any problems for them,’ Basescu said.
Moreover, the Romanian head of state underlined that, if a Greek company wants to do business with Romania, so it should do, for Romania benefits of a solid banking system. Which fact was proved during the crisis. On the other hand, Basescu underlined the big problem in Romania is the banks hesitating to grant credits and still maintaining very high interests.
‘The big problem we have noticed once again while discussing with the Greek business community is that the banks are still hesitating to grant credits in the current international economic context and that even when they do grant credits the interests they charge very high interests.
This has nothing to do with how small a company is, but the problem is that both the banks operating on the Romanian market and those operating on the Greek market grant credits not so easily and with high interests too.
This is not Romania’s problem and has nothing to do with a company being small. The banks are still financing very good business plans, but the big problem is their credits are rather non advantageous, because of the too high interests,’ he said.
A woman wanted to know why the Greek companies are allowed to open branches so easily in Romania, when the Romanian companies wanting to open branches in Greece found it much more difficult.
‘We will talk to them to see what we can do,’ Basescu replied.
In the context many of those at the meeting showed interest in the possibility of making business with Romania, especially through accessing European funds, the Romanian head of state underlined that any company on the EU territory can participate in tenders to access European money.
Participating in the meeting there were also the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Cristian Diaconescu, the Tourism Minister Elena Udrea and the Minister of Culture Teodor Paleologu.
Answering to some questions, Elena Udrea stimulated the public to promote the Romanian tourism showing that, if there are any tour operators present, they can cooperate with the Ministry to bring Greek tourists in Romania.
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