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PM Grindeanu : European funds are seen as an engine for economic growth

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Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said Thursday that European funds are seen as an engine for economic growth, pointing out that he wants things to get unblocked in this area. 

"Very many technical aspects have been discussed because we, the Romanian Government, believe the European funds to be an engine for economic growth and we know that for a fact, and we place emphasis on drawing European funds, while trying to get unblocked things that were previously blocked. There are actual things in each separate field that we have to do in the period ahead and where we can count on support from Mrs Commissioner [Cretu] and more. There are deadlines we have to meet, deadlines that we set ourselves, so that we may follow the schedule we want to keep in place," Grindeanu said after a meeting with visiting European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu. 

He added that measures were taken so that all the management authorities may be accredited by the end of the year, mentioning that funding agreements will be signed for the IT axis in operational programme competitiveness and a very large number of funding guides will be released. 

"A good thing that used to be unexpected some time ago is that we will close the month from the 2007-2103 financial framework on an unexpectedly high absorption rate when we think about 2010 and 2011, as that will be somewhere around 90 percent," said Grindeanu. 

Commissioner Cretu hailed the openness of the Romanian Government towards Romania speeding up the absorption of European funds. 

"Today, I had an excellent conversation with the prime minister's team, and I am hailing the Government's openness toward having this excellent cooperation with the European Commission to accelerate making up for the existing delays. (...) The good news is that 17 billion [euros] have been invested in Romania's economy that created more than 10,000 jobs. Transportation was somehow delayed - just 124 km of motorways, yet 900 km of national roads. Schools and hospitals have been built and refurbishments conducted on European funds, so I believe the added value is palpable in every county and even in every settlement," said Cretu. 

"This year is decisive to Romania. It is essential that the country spend the European funds at its disposal in a strategic manner consistent with Romania's investment priorities as designed in the partnership agreement," said Cretu. 

She mentioned that also discussed was the need for the structural and investment funds to be backed up by funding under the National Local Development Programme. 

Grindeanu and Cretu attended the presentation of a post stamp issue celebrating Romania's 10th EU membership anniversary, also attended by Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu; Minister of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds Sevil Shhaideh and Romfilatelia Director General Cristina Popescu. 

"To me, this is a touching moment, because, as far as I know, this is the first event that celebrates the 10th anniversary of EU membership. It is an important year. (...) I believe it is important for us to think about what we have gained over this decade," Cretu said, adding that President of the European Commission Jean Claude-Juncker intends to accept an invitation from Romania's President Klaus Iohannis for him to visit Romania.  

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