Romanian prime-minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu launched a fierce attack on Thursday against what he called “the kings of asphalt - businessmen who he says are winning tenders for infrastructure works because of their close links to the Presidency, despite their not having the capacity to complete the projects.

Tariceanu accused that road traffic in Bucharest was completely blocked because of the companies run by these businessmen.

Tariceanu, who has long been at loggerheads with President Basescu over a large array of issues, threatened to modify the public procurements law so that such businessmen no longer have access to public contracts.

Tariceanu made the statements while he and Transport minister Ludovic Orban attended a ceremony for the opening of a second road passageway in a commercial area north of Bucharest, known as Baneasa, where a key national and european road linking Bucharest with central and western Romania begins.

He said the “kings of asphalt” were using their political support to set a monopoly on the market while they don't have the necessary capacity for that. That means they are subcontracting the projects to other companies, he claimed.