Romanian President Traian Basescu met the heads of diplomatic missions to Bucharest on Thursday. In his first speech since demonstrations against him and the government started in Romania last week, he said nothing about the protests but focused on the country's international affairs priorities. "2011 was a difficult year in which the economic, financial, humanitarian and sometimes political crises challenged governments and the people", he said.
Basescu said on the occasion that confronted with its own instability in 2009 and 2010 and then with economic instability abroad, Romania continued institutional reform in 2011 and provided the grounds to return to a deficit of less than 3% by the end of 2012
He said Romania's public debt stood at below a third of the GDP - one of the lowest levels in Europe. And he said Romania reported constant growth in the Q4 2011 and predicted an average growth of 2.5% in 2012.
Basescu said that investments remain a priority in 2012, with money directed to projects having a direct impact on economic growth and job creation such as transport infrastructure, tourism, evironment, agriculture, IT and small and medium enterprises
On European affairs, he said the European project was at a crossroads and that European principles especially responsible solidarity maintain their relevance. He said Romania was interested that artificial divisions within Europe be avoided and that integration continued within the Union.
Basescu said that the the target of Euro adoption by 2015 was maintained and that Romania wanted to join the Euro and contribute to the consolidation of the EU.
He said the accomplishment of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline and the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania-Hungary inter-connector remained a priority. And he said Romania continues to encourage moves to connect energy markets in Moldova and Ukraine to the European network.
Romania was favoring cooperation with partners in the East and South, he said. And he noted that a strategy for the Black Sea would be complementary to the strategy for the Baltic Sea and the Danube.
He said Romania was building its relations with the US on a renewed platform; that the special partnership with Moldova remained a priority; that relations with Turkey was marked by intense contacts culminating with a strategic partnership.
And on Russia he said it was proper that Bucharest and Moscow promote the same values of European spirit in line with the positive evolutions in bilateral economic relations.