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Iohannis: After drawing Gov't's attention, reimbursement requests of over 400 mln euro, submitted

Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that after he warned the Government about the absorption of European funds, reimbursement requests of more than 400 million euro were submitted. 

"A few days ago, I made a public warning to the Government for lack of performance in drawing European funds. I did it because somebody had to draw their attention to move a bit faster. The good part is that after drawing the attention of the Government for not moving fast enough, they have submitted (...) very quickly reimbursement requests for over 400 million euro. So, it is doable if someone shakes them a little bit," Iohannis told in Pitesti the debate "Automotive industry, the engine of the economy's development. Competitive growth factors." 

He pointed out that, unfortunately, in the field of infrastructure the projects are still on paper. 

"Unfortunately, in the field of infrastructure, the plans are to be found where they can usually be found with our governing people: on paper, colorfully colored, strategic projects and other promises. I believe that if we gathered the promises of motorway km made by all the governing people in the last, let's say, 20 years, we would have as many motorways as China. Obviously we don't. We do not even have 800 km of motorways. We are lucky there is one up to here [the Bucharest-Pitesti Motorway]," said the president. 

"Most of the projects that are being implemented or are in the bidding process are the so-called phased projects, that is, these are projects that were designed for the previous financial exercise, 2007 - 2013, were not achieved by those who were the decision-makers and were passed to the current 2014-2020 financial exercise," said Iohannis, who gave the example of rail transport. 

The head of state also drew attention to the fact that the project of the Moldova motorway is currently postponed by four years and for "the famous Deva-Lugoj section" "each prime minister inaugurates one meter of motorway." 

On the other hand, the president stressed that Romania also needs a high-performance health system, rhetorically wondering why the first three regional hospitals for which there is European funding are not ready. 

"Why do we wait for years and years to pass instead of using the readily-prepared European money with expected destination? It is hard to understand and what is even harder to understand is that if the president comes and draws a warning signal, they show they are upset because their attention has been drawn, because the European Commission draws attention to the fact that Romania has a significant deviation in terms of financial conduct. Let's correct them instead of going on air and inventing excuses," said Iohannis.

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