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Transgaz and Transelectrica switch to SGG: regulator cannot be administrator too

Prime Minister Victor Ponta explained on Friday the switch of the Transgaz and Transelectrica companies under the authority of the General Secretariat of the Government (SGG) and said that the Ministry of Finance had the reform of the system of royalties, fees and taxes as it objective and the 'regulator cannot be an administrator too.'

'Transgaz and Transelectrica are listed on the stock exchange and must work and they really work on the basis of the professional management and of observing all the competitiveness criteria all over Europe. According to European norms, Transgaz as Transelectrica, as they are transmission operators, cannot be in the same portfolio, namely energy, where producers are. One of the fundamental objectives of the Ministry of Finance for 2014 is the reform of the system of royalties, fees and taxes and, in keeping with the European norms, the one who makes the rule, the regulator, cannot be an administrator too,' Ponta told a press conference at the Government House.

He explained that in 2014 Romania plans to develop energy infrastructure by means of interconnections with Moldova and by finalising the design of a project establishing an energy transport infrastructure between Romania and Turkey. Ponta emphasised the importance of this project and said that Romania's energy output will thus be exported 'to one of the countries that is a great energy consumer and where the Romanian energy had extremely competitive prices.'

'For these reasons of economic policy, the Government, through the agency of its General Secretariat, therefore the prime minister, will be in charge with all these economic policies,' Ponta concluded.

No political influence on Transelectrica, Transgaz management, Ponta says

Romanian gas transporter Transgaz and grid Transelectrica that have been switched from the Finance Ministry's authority under the authority of the General Secretariat of the Government (SGG), are being managed with no sort of political influence, this being an approach reflecting 'the period when the Democratic Liberal Party was at rule,' Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Monday.

'The opinion of some people working in the mass media that Translectrica and Transgaz are ruled by a party reflects the PDL-ruling period (the Democratic Liberal Party, PDL, at rule between Dec. 2008 and May 2012 - editor's note), when everything was under the party's influence. Transelectrica and Transgaz, as well as Romgaz, have been managed with no political influence since their listing on the stock exchange,' Ponta said at the Parliament Palace.

The premier also said that former Finance Minister Daniel Chitoiu, as well as all the ministries involved, agreed to the switch of the two companies under the General Secretariat's authority.

'Transelectrica, Transgaz belong neither to the National Liberal Party, nor to the Social Democratic Party, they belong to no party. (...) They are two companies listed on the stock exchange, two companies with private investors, two companies with private management and two strategic companies for Romania's fundamental interconnection projects, first of all with the Republic of Moldova, as well with Turkey and other countries,' PM Ponta concluded.

The Government on Feb. 12 passed an emergency ordinance concerning the exercise of rights and the meeting of obligations arising from the Government being a stockholder in the Transelectica SA National Electricity Transmission Corporation and the Transgaz SA Medias National Natural Gas Transmission Corporation and amending certain pieces of legislation.