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Iohannis: European funds must become essential pillar of our development


 President Klaus Iohannis stressed on Wednesday that European funds must become an "essential pillar" of the country's development, and Romania is no longer allowed to miss any financing and development opportunities.

"Any ambitious investment plan requires financing to match it. For this reason, European funds must become an essential pillar of our development. Romania is no longer allowed to miss any opportunity for financing and development, nor to pursue low stakes, momentary ones, possible connected to electoral interests. It is important to make the most of European funding mechanisms, such as the SURE initiative and the European Economic Recovery Plan. For example, SURE is a very useful tool because it supports both employees and companies, by the possibility of keeping jobs. We have a duty, in the next European financial exercise, to take full advantage of the development opportunities offered by European funds," Iohannis said at the presentation event of the National Investment and Economic Recovery Plan, which took place at the Diplomatic Club.

He emphasized that small and medium-sized enterprises, research and innovation, investment in trans-European transport networks could be supported through European funds, "with the aim of stimulating economic growth and creating productive and well-paid jobs for Romanians in the country, but also for those who return home from abroad".

The head of state told the members of the Government that they have the duty to accelerate the implementation of the measures and investment programs in the Relaunch Plan.

According to him, the National Investment and Economic Recovery Plan represents a moment of revving the "engines" on the path of economic recovery and stated that Social Democratic Party (PSD) totally neglected the expectations of the Romanians when it was in power.

"Against the background of the pandemic generated by the novel coronavirus, Romania faced the most difficult period in the last 30 years, a moment that highlighted the chronic lack of concern and vision of previous governments, which did not leave sufficient economic and sanitary resources for an urgent reaction to a crisis. In this context, the Government's activity focused on the rapid identification of solutions. Through the maximum involvement of the authorities, it was possible to manage a very complicated and constantly evolving situation, which required a continuous readjustment of the measures," Iohannis said at the presentation of the Government's National Investment and Economic Recovery Plan, which is taking place at the Diplomatic Club.

The head of state stated that, from now on, "efforts must be channeled with even greater force towards identifying opportunities that will generate development in the medium term, but also in the long term".

"In the current socio-economic context, increasingly more complex regionally and globally, amid the COVID-19 crisis, we need to adapt to the new conditions, to become more competitive, to become more flexible. (...) Today is the time for all the measures we adopt in the economic field to be included in a plan, in a single plan, and to rev the engines on the path of economic recovery," Iohannis mentioned.

He pointed out that resources and energies need to be intelligently directed towards sustaining the economy, as a vital element in ensuring economic and social cohesion.

President Iohannis said that "the economic model of the PSD government in recent years has totally neglected the expectations of Romanians."

Iohannis indicated that, under the pressure of the crisis caused by the coronavirus, solutions were found for the digitization of the activity in the public administration and not only.

"It is important to understand that all this progress now in crisis must be accelerated and taken further," Iohannis added.

The head of state pointed out, on this occasion, the importance of investments.

The head of state indicated that he received assurances from the Government that in the coming years the infrastructure works, which are currently in big delay, will be completed and that new consistent projects will be started, giving as examples the Pitesti-Sibiu highway, the Pitesti-Craiova expressway, Targu Mures-Targu Neamt-Iasi-Ungheni highway, Ploiesti-Comarnic-Brasov highway and Ploiesti-Buzau-Focsani-Bacau-Suceava highway.

The government on Wednesday unveiled its 'Rebuilding Romania - A National Investment and Economic Recovery Plan' in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis.

Opening the ceremony was Iohannis, who was followed by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Deputy Prime Minister Raluca Turcan, Minister of Public Finance Florin Citu, Minister of Labour Violeta Alexandru, Minister of Economy Virgil Popescu, and Minister of Transport Lucian Bode.
The event was attended by members of the Government, parliamentarians, representatives of the diplomatic corps.