Transport Minister Lucian Bode said on Friday that legal claims for compensation filed against Romania since 2007 up until now stand at 2.2 billion euros, an amount that could have covered the construction of a considerable stretch of motorways, and that he considers he isn't wrong when he terms this a "tax on stupidity".
"Can we just imagine how many kilometers of motorway could have been built with 2.2 billion euros? I don't deny this, claims are commonplace in this sector, that's how things are everywhere in the world, but with a whopping 2.2 billion euros, I think I am not wrong to say this is a tax on stupidity, to say the least. This is where legal claims in Romania have snowballed in 12 years," Bode said at a meeting with the contractors of several motorway lots and their suppliers.
At the meeting, the builders and suppliers said that had the various financial issues been solved during the contract, the compensations would no longer have been necessary, and that the claims are the result of commercial litigations arisen out of the fault of the Romanian state, not of the the builders.
"Let these claims be paid, and let the payments be duly made during the execution of the works. With this money we should no longer end up delaying payments to subcontractors, suppliers, and not being able to keep the pace of the works," the entrepreneurs argued.