Romanian President Traian Basescu suggested on Monday the loans granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) could be used to develop three large investment projects, given the limited resources in the national budget.
President Basescu stated during the meeting with Werner Hoyer, EIB president, that the irrigation channel Siret – Baragan and the channel connecting the Danube and Bucharest should be build with EIB loans. He also pointed to the hydro-electricity plant Tarnita Lapustesti.
The government has been grappling with attracting investors for these projects that require massive capital. The Tarnita Lapustesti plant alone requires over EUR 1 billion in investments.
“The bank of the EU is ready to be of assistance and to do more for Romania. Of course, we see the budgetary constraints. They are due to the fact that this country has been on a very good stabilizing track for the last years,” said Hoyer.
President Basescu pointed to Romania’s inability to absorb enough EU funds, although it did better on the EIB allocations.
“How it comes we are able to absorb EIB money and we are not able to absorb EU money. Here we have a contradiction, because more or less the standards are similar,” said the president.
EIB’s lending resources for Romania have doubled this year to EUR 700 million – EUR 900 million, according to Hoyer, who has also met with PM Ponta and members of his cabinet.