The Bucharest Government will ask US company Bechtel to renegotiate a contract for the construction of a major highway in Romania by adding a supplementary document that would force the firm to guarantee it would respect deadlines for the works or risk penalties, PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Tuesday.

He said he would discuss the issue with the US Ambassador to Bucharest next week. And he asked Transport minister Radu Berceanu to change the law by introducing provisions to allow shorter deadlines for construction works such as the one involving Bechtel.

Bechtel, which was the subject of controversies when it signed a very costly contract with the Romanian state for the building of a highway between the cities of Brasov and Bors under the previous government, is pressed by Romanian authorities for years over the lack of progress at the road works.

Also on Tuesday, the Transport Ministry proposed the Government a new way to tackle the problem of road building across Romania financially. Minister Berceanu said today that European funds dedicated to such projects would be used in highway projects that are interesting for the European Union, while state budget money would be used for projects with a heavy social component.

According to the draft, a highway linking the eastern city of Iasi with Targu Mures in Transylvania would be funded with budget money.

And the plans say 13 billion euro are needed for the construction of 1,800 km of highway, 30% of which are covered by European funding programs and ongoing EBRD and EIB loans.