Corruption “is still distorting the economic decision making and influencing the free competition and equal chances” in Romania, President Traian Basescu said at the presentation of the latest Interior Ministry activity report on Tuesday.

But Basescu used the occasion to appeal the interest of grassroot people as he avoided major policy issues and talked of the new driving code and the behavior of policemen towards citizens.

It was the first time when Basescu met PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, also attending the event, after the two were involved in an unprecedented televised clash a week ago, when they accused each other of being under the influence of various interest groups.

For his part, PM Tariceanu said today that a main focus for the Interior and Administration Ministry once Romania joined the EU was to secure its eastern borders. And he warned a tolerant attitude still existed towards small crime.