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FinMin: European money is not for pensions, salaries

Finance Minister Florin Citu said on Monday evening that a team must be readied by October, that will meet with President Klaus Iohannis on a weekly basis and will prepare programs eligible for EU financing, so that not a dime from the European funds goes lost.

"A huge success achieved by the President of Romania in Brussels, this amount of 80 billion euros, which comes in two categories - 46.7 billion for the budget for the next seven years, and the remaining amount in grants and loans. An enormous amount. If we look in the region, as a percentage of GDP, we have the highest amount; if we look at Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, it's the largest amount we obtained in grants and loans and the second largest, I think, after Poland as a nominal figure. (...) We are aware that we have to roll up our sleeves to prepare all these programs all the way through, because we must contract 70 percent of this money in grants and loans in the next two years. Until October, Mr. [Minister of European Funds] Bolos, myself, Deputy Prime Minister Raluca Turcan and the Prime Minister must ready a team that will meet with the President on a weekly basis to make sure that not one dime of this money goes lost. This is money that will come in the next period, it's money intended for investments and we want to get it all," Citu explained at private broadcaster Realitatea Plus.

He made it clear that this money is not for pensions and salaries and said that as a sustainability strategy, the government plans to switch investments to European funds and cover the current expenses from Romania's budget.