Romanian President Traian Basescu criticized extensive bureaucracy in the harshest terms during a reunion of mayors from across the country in the northern city of Baia Mare on Wednesday. He said there is no difference between how the Romanian state used to work under the communist regime and how it works now, in terms of public administration.

He urged local officials to speed up the process of decentralization, a target that he said is also supported by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu. And he warned that because of the complicated decision-making procedures in Romania he foresees a failure for euroregions.

Basescu said he believed no administrative department across the Romanian territory was working in the service of the population but only to serve the hierarchically superior bureaucratic institutions, a situation that must change if local authorities want to keep up with their tasks once Romania joins the EU next year.