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SocDem's Ciolacu: PNRR's making by private companies in conflict of interest has a criminal side

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Marcel Ciolacu

The way in which the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) was made by private companies in conflict of interest, for which the consultants were paid with amounts between 1,200 and 1,450 euros per day, has a "criminal side" and the investigative bodies must notify themselves, on Thursday night said the Social Democratic Party (PSD)'s chairman Marcel Ciolacu at the private B1 TV broadcaster, agerpres reports.

"The problem is not that these companies were paid as consultants. No, they are not consultants. These companies are in conflict of interest. It is a crime what is happening at the moment in Mr. Ghinea's ministry (Investments and European Funds Ministry, ed. n.) and I assume with Mr. Ghinea's well knowing it. There has never been an official document written by private companies, there was only one violation, that of Minister Costache, at the Ministry of Health, when an emergency ordinance was received by e-mail from a private company with interests in the medical field, I hope that by now DNA (National Anti-corruption Directorate, ed. n.) will solve the problem. State documents are being written in private offices. We will communicate these aspects to the European commissioners, but it is a criminal side," Ciolacu said.

According to the Social Democrat leader, the consultants were paid between 1,200 and 1,450 euros a day, even though many documents were taken from older ones with copy-paste, which is obvious because they left 2006 as the deadline for completion of certain activities.

The PSD president stated that PNRR is in fact used at this time by the relatives of the Minister of European Funds "in order to get rich".

"It is written by their people to get rich. We make a loan of 15 billion euros, we indebt all Romanians, instead of looking to attract grants from the financial years 2014-2020, we come with some huge loans, we come with some reforms, because we need some measures to prevent it from collapsing, and (for this reason, ed. n.) they have cut salaries, frozen all salaries and pensions, the standard of living is falling. What for? Today we found out the truth. For some companies that subscribe directly to the Romanian Government and the Romanian state. And what else have we discovered today, and we do not have all the annexes, because they cannot be downloaded. There still are annexes at the PNRR that cannot be downloaded from the ministry's website," Ciolacu mentioned.

He claims that there is a "gross conflict of interest" between the Minister of European Funds and private companies that want to benefit from money from the PNRR, and the UATs (Territorial Administrative Units, ed. n.) do not have any transparent mechanism to access this money.

"There are subcontractors or consultants who probably have private companies as clients that will take money from PNRR. They write the projects, and the Romanian state has become an intermediary between money and companies. They have designed the documents in such a way that they are the direct beneficiaries, because no selection is made. Do you think the European Commission will ever accept such a thing? These PNRR projects will not be subject to the Public Procurement Law. There is no transparent mechanism for the UATs to access this money from the PNRR. Some lists are being made and they want to make some contracts between the Minister of European Funds and the UATs. There is no study regarding the development areas: we have a migration of the Romanians towards Europe, we want our Romanians back so that they bring an added value here and the pension fund gets sustainable," the PSD president added.

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