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In the EU "5-star restaurant", Romania "must order as much as it can pay"

de     euRopeanul
Luni, 18 decembrie 2006, 0:00

“Once in the club, one risks despise if it fails to stand up to demands. In this five-star restaurant, one must order as much as he can pay, that is essential”, says Romanian President Traian basescu in an interview for the “euRopeanul”. And he warns that Romania joins the Union at a time when pessimism is the dominant feature among Europeans.

He says in the interview that Romania “is bothered that some countries, especially Britain, have applied more restrictive terms on Romania than on the ten countries that joined in 2004”. But the bitterness was partially removed when authorities in Paris decided to allow considerably more Romanian citizens to work in France, he says.

He warns that Romanian employers should improve salaries if they wanted to have access to workers as many have already left to work abroad. Still, he believes salaries in Romania as compared to the EU are attractive in certain fields, such as IT.

Traian Basescu says that once a member of the EU Romania must pay full attention to maintain its macroeconomic stability. That means the people cannot expect 30-50% higher salaries just because the country joins the EU, as salaries cannot exceed a pace of growth of 10-11% with a maximum of 14%.

And Romania still needs consistent reform in administration, education, health and agriculture if it wanted to remain stable and not return to higher inflation and huge budget deficits, he says. In his opinion, these are fields of activity where the situation has hardly improved since 1989 as centralization is still in place and the local communities has little to say about it.

When it comes to Romania’s position regarding the energy relationship between the EU and Russia, Basescu says EU member states must appeal to a common energy policy as there are fundamental elements to be considered - the predictibility of energy supplies, an inter-dependency between supplier and consumers, price transparency and the security of transport infrastructures.

And he says Romania will not abandon its strategic partnership with the United States even as a member of the EU as the country will continue to support strong trans-Atlantic relations.

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