Radu Berceanu was approved to be the next Transport and Infrastructure minister, with 39 votes in favour and 17 against. He was heard on Tuesday by the parliamentary commissions for industry and services, the Commission for economic policy, reform and privatisations (Deputies) and the Commission for economy, industries and services and the Commission for privatisation and state active management (Senate).
During the hearings, Berceanu said European funds allocated for infrastructure cannot be attracted because the very low budget the Transport Ministry has. According to him, getting European finds entails high costs due to feasibility studies, expropriations, taxes etc. "If we get 85 million euros, we need to receive 70 million from the state budget. So we first got to have money from the state budget before getting the money from the European Commission", Berceanu said.
He complaint about having financing sources but no fiscal space: Romania allocates 1.4% of the GDP for this department. "We will not have considerable changes in regards to infrastructure for as long as these mechanisms fail to be understood", Berceanu said.
"We are the only EU country that does not invest in its railways infrastructure. No country employs the infrastructure usage tax to invest in the railway infrastructure. Everything is done with money from the state budget. I have requested that this situation changes. So far, I do not hope to be successful. For too many times, when the money wasn't sufficient, they cut from investments. The investments are cut because they cannot go on strike", Berceanu concluded.