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President Traian Basescu
President Basescu Confident about Economy in 2012
Traian Basescu, President of Romania, was elected in 2004 following a referendum in 2003 in which Romanian citizens voted to amend their country’s constitution to bring it up to EU standards. Then Mayor of Bucharest and a former Minister of Transport, he was seen by voters as a leader who could help modernise Romania and strengthen its ties to the EU and global economy.
President Basescu was elected for a second five year term in 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. Today, the president is very confident about Romania’s future. In a speech he delivered on March 12, he said, “Romania will be able to finance itself, both by drawing on European funds and by raising money on international markets. We are convinced that Romania can absorb more EU funds in 2012 than it did in 2011 because we have a larger number of projects approved by our government and by the European Commission. This will allow us to focus on job creation.”
Growth in second quarter
The president also highlighted Romania’s remarkable economic recovery. He said, “Romania has become credible in international markets. We should no longer be as worried as we were in 2009 and 2010 and even in the first part of 2011, when we could not borrow off the market. Now Romania can not only finance itself but it also has some prospects for economic growth in the second quarter of 2012.”
President Basescu disagrees with predictions that Romania may fall back into recession. He says, “The way in which the results of the fourth quarter of 2011 were grossly misrepresented in the media left the impression of recession looming ahead. This is not true.” The president cited strong performance by the Romanian agriculture sector in the third quarter of 2011 as well as a growth in industrial output, construction and services by the end of the fourth quarter. He noted that public services and construction had received government support over the year.
The president points to a growth pattern. He says confidently, “There should be no worries about a real recession. If you compare fourth quarter 2011 with fourth quarter 2010, you can see a clear growth trend. So, why should we be scared about recession? It is true that the first quarter of 2012 will be weaker because of bad weather, but investments and services to the population will recover in the second quarter.”