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Ponta: Public investments difficult to achieve, with long procedures, frequent challenges

Romania must spend more than 3 billion dollars in public investments by year-end, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Monday, adding this is difficult to achieve as long as the procedures take a long time and are frequently challenged.

'I think 2 percent of GDP that we must further spend as public investment by year-end means a huge lot: more than 3 billion dollars for certain and this capital invested in the economy will mirror on the entire development. I think the Government and the business circles should particularly be concerned with the causes for which the public investments, the investment for which there is money from the budget, are so difficult to make. It is about long procedures, it is about a Romanian habit of challenging - there is not even a single procedure not to be challenged - it is about shunning responsibility by those who must take such procedures to the very end; I think that close cooperation of the businesses with the partner governments, aimed at learning from their experience would help us better use the money that we have for investments, which we are not spending for bureaucratic procedural reasons', said Ponta.

The prime minister was addressing a seminar on the Promotion of Strategic Economic and Commercial Partnership aimed at assessing the impact of the modifications to the legislation organized by the United States Embassy, AmCham and AMRO in partnership with the Romanian Government.

He stressed that the drop of the public deficit to 0.2 percent of GDP is not 'too good news' for the Romanian economy, given the dire need of investments.

'We have pursued an otherwise correct track: to cut the public deficit every year, to strive towards the European structural deficit targets. But I think this year we have gone towards this goal a bit too fast. After seven months of 2014, Romania has a public budget deficit at 0.2 percent of GDP. Normally, for a powerful consolidated economy, it would be good news. For an economy such as Romania's, which needs investments, I do not think this is too good news', Ponta stressed.

Attending the event hosted by the Palace of Parliament were the Speaker of the Deputies' Chamber Valeriu Zgonea, U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Bucharest Dean Thompson and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Hoyt Yee.