European Commissioner for Regional Poliy Corina Cretu has reiterated the EC’s availability to finance the feasibility study and construction of the Targu Mures-Iasi-Ungheni (A8) motorway or the so called „The Union Motorway”, after the the Chamber of Deputies plenary has approved on Wednesday the draft bill on building the motorway from the state budget.
Commissioner Cretu underlined that the Romanian authorities should file a request for the financing of the motorway with EU money.
„I reiterate my and DG REGIO availability to finance with EU funds the feasibility study and the phasing of the Targu Mures-Iasi-Ungheni motorway construction. It can be eligible for co-financing of the structural funds and for European investments, considering it is part of the basic TEN-T network and it is also included in the General Transport Master Plan”, Cretu said.
She added it’s up to the Romanian authorities to file a request in this respect to the European Commission.
After the bill on the A8 has been adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, Catalin Urtoi, representative of the association lobbying for the motorway met ruling party chairman Liviu Dragnea at the Parliament. Dragnea told him a „dangerous precedent” has been created by adopting this bill and continued to criticise Commissioner Cretu.
„We can take up to 75% from the European Union for this highway, as EC and Mrs Corina Cretu say”, Urtoi told Dragnea, with the PSD chair retorting: „Give me a break with Mrs. Corina Cretu. She talks, but knows nothing concrete”.
Minister of Public Finances Eugen Teodorovici assured on Thursday that the A8 motorway will be made, either with EU funds, or from the state budget or through public-private partnership. Teodorovici stressed that the most important now is to have the necessary documentation ready to start the works.
However, two days ago the European Commission had warned on the risks coming from the Public Private Partnership, adding that the Government has never informed it about the intention to build A8, Targu Mures-Iasi motorway in such a partnership, not with European funds.
“Although the European Commission supports the finding of alternative resources for the development of the road network, we recommend precaution before going ahead in launching the Public Private Partnership contracts. We refer to the European Court of Audit report regarding the PPP in Europe and the challenges that come from it,” the European Commission says.
In his turn, former president Traian Basescu accused on Thursday that Dancila Government doesn’t want to spend non-refundable money granted by the European Commission for the Romanian infrastructure, arguing that „Viorica, Valcov and Dragnea” want to make investments through „the expensive and suspicious system of public-private partnership” for they want to rob the country.
„There is no more efficient option to legally or illegally rob a country than through the public-private partnership to build motorways”, Basescu argued.