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What the newspapers say: January 21, 2010

de C.B.
Joi, 21 ianuarie 2010, 9:24 English | Press Review

Romania's debt will reach 43 billion euros by the end of the year. Elsewhere in the news, Romanian President Traian Basescu summarised his foreign policies. Last but not least, roads and ports are closed and trains delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions.

Romania's debt will reach 43 billion euros by the end of the year, namely 17.5% up against 2009 Gandul counts. At the moment, Romania's public debt is still "under control" and "comfortable", but there are "question marks" regarding its evolution in the future, Romania's representative at the IMF Mihai Tanasescu declared.

He points out to the disastrous situation in Greece and Portugal. Like Romania, Greece spends more than it has got. The IMF mission chief to Romania Jeffrey Franks declared that, starting with the fifth instalment, all money will go to Romania's National Bank; it won't pay the salaries and pensions anymore.

Gandul estimates that Romania's public debt will be 7.3 billion euros more in 2010 than in 2009. The burden per employee to pay up salaries and pensions will come to be 9.100 euros, which is over 1.500 euros more than last year. Out of the sum, 351 euros represent the credits to be taken this year to cover the 1.6 billion euros gap in the pensions' budget.

Tanasescu points out to Greece, which is close to bankruptcy due to a huge budget deficit: nearly 13% of the GDP for 2009. Romania's budget deficit last year came to 7.3% and is estimated to 5.9% in 2010. To face the crisis, Romania's public debt was 29 bln euros in 2008 and will be 43 bln by the end of this year.

This would amount to 34% of the GDP. Though the IMF allows a maximum of 60%, even 34% is a lot for a country such as Romania, economists appreciate. The Romanian state borrows at high rates: 14% and 10% for the credits in lei and 9% for the credits in euro. The smallest rate was 4.5% for euro credits. Countries like Germany and France got rates reading 3%.

President Basescu summarised his foreign policies yesterday, Romania Libera informs. Foreign ambassadors were present at the meeting. Traian Basescu reproached the US that Romania supported them in Iraq, but "a friendship lasts when both partners know how to give".

Listing the most important relationships Romania has, he mentioned the EU - where Romania is "interested in consolidating its position", then the strategic partnership with France, who helped Romania obtain the Agriculture commissioner role.

Next he mentioned the US, making sure to indicate Romania had expectations for its support. He mentioned Russia as well, but as the last on the list of major states. Ex-negotiator between Romania and the EU Vasile Puscas told Romania Libera that the president's discourse was descriptive, that he did not have any vision.

He opinionated that the president was superficial in his attitude to East Europe and he did not list the resources and means he'll use in his foreign policies.

Ex-Foreign Affairs minister liberal Teodor Melescanu believes Romania could go for a stronger Eastern politics, "if it got involved more actively with the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Azerbaijan" and that it should become "an interface between the EU and this countries".

Plus, Romania would have an Eastern policy that would consider energetic resources from Kazakstan, and even India and China.

Basescu declared that his first official visit will be to Moldova and that he was very fond of supporting Moldova into the EU. He also mentioned that Serbia's nearing the NATO and the EU was one of Romania's national interests.

Roads are closed in Constanta (South-East), Buzau (East) and Vrancea (East) and trains are cancelled, Cotidianul reads. The Transport Ministry announced that because of weather conditions, the maritime ports Constanta Nord, Midia and Mangalia have been closed. Numerous accidents occurred in Bucharest.

The closed roads are DN 22 Râmnicu Sărat - Brăila, DN 38 Agidea - Negru Voda, DJ 203K, in the region of  Săgeata, DJ 203A, Grebanu - Murgeşti, DJ 214A, between Caragele - Rusetu; DJ 203E, Rusetu - Padina; DJ 202, in the region of  Puieşti town and DJ 220, between Gara Bobocu and Cochirleanca.

Due to snowstorms, the traffic on DN 12A Miercurea Ciuc - Comanesti is very difficult. DN 22B Rîmnicu Sărat - Brăila is still closed because of the blizzard. Six county roads are partially closed for the same reasons. On the sea, the wind speed is expected to be 70 km/hour and the level of sea agitation - 7 or 8 on the Beaufort scale, with waves four of five meters high, Realitatea.Net informs. Several people have died in road accidents.

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