Basescu: 2008 image campaign in Italy and Spain – zero efficiency

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President Traian Basescu stated on Thursday, in an interview given to the public radio, that in his opinion the image campaign efficiency in Italy and Spain, in 2008, for which dozens of million of euros were spent, was „zero”, emphasizing at the same time that Romanians must learn to respect each other.

„More than ten million euros were spent on a campaign in Spain and Italy in 2008, to instill Italians the idea that Romanians are extraordinary, when their press was filled with incidents happened there. For sure the efficiency was zero and we need to be smarter than that.

Probably we will use to this end Romania’s tourist promotion campaigns (…), presenting popular, traditional dress and popular songs”, explained the President. He also stressed that statements related to the bad roads and services in Romania is a stereotype.

„For sure the roads are not great, but I can tell that normally 70 percent of travelers arrive by plane. (…) I met a lot of tourists this year, because there is a place where foreign tourists eat close to the place where I live.

They were absolutely delighted of what they saw in Romania, either Spanish tourists, German, American, Israeli (…) filled with enthusiasm when speaking about the country’s beauty, unknown to many of them till then”, he added.

Basescu said that foreigners are inclined to perceive Romanians according to the image in the press, but they should know how to highlight their positive features.
The President also appreciated that the Ministry of Tourism projects for Romania’s promotion at international level represent an extremely efficient work.

To this end he remarked that one of the priorities is informing the European Union about the real Romanian values.
He also said that beyond such campaigns it is important for Romanians to respect each other and noted the vented excessive criticism in the press at the address of the country.

As well, Basescu said that he carried out a discussion on this aspect with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who pointed out, in his turn, that the Romanian press is very critical at the address of its own country. That is why, the President said, mass media should prove a higher responsibility degree when using the words.

He underlined that, following its EU accession, Romania as a seventh country according to the „voting force”, enhanced its influence. On the other hand, Traian Basescu underscored that as for Romania’s image in Europe there is a problem of confidence on the part of the various member states’ populations, and not on the part of respective governments.

„If there is a question sign at the level of governments and parliaments it is connected to the fact that we do not succeed to have a performing justice system. This is the sole question mark for Romania. As for the rest, we have problems at the level perception in international press and of the population. And the effects were visible for all of us”, concluded the President.

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