Businesspeople critical of government prioritiesPublish date: Astazi, 27-05-2009
Numerous baseless declarations, no collaboration with the business environment, excessive social dialog, and a lack of predictability in the fiscal sector were but a few of the reproaches that members of the "Private Government" heaped on ministers headed by Prime Minister Emil Boc, who presented the five-month balance sheet of the current Executive yesterday.
The business environment warned Prime Minister Boc that the pressure of the crisis could lead him to make hasty decisions, which might be detrimental for the economy. In reply, Boc said that he has acted on some of the measures proposed in the "Private Government" document by employers, and is analyzing others. Romania's Prime Minister made specific reference to Romania's energy strategy, currently being assessed, those responsible for infrastructure at the government level, the public-private partnership law, to be read today for the first time by the government, and the beginning of the decentralization process. Another measure mentioned by the Emil Boc for speeding up the absorption of European funds was an increase in pre-financing to 20 percent from 15 percent, and government plans to further raise this level to 30 percent.
Doru Lionachescu, CEO of the Capital Partners investment company, reproached the current government of excessive social dialog, and far too much dialog with the National Bank of Romania, as well as a lack of collaboration with the business environment and of interest in the capital market, which is treated like a "Cinderella" by the Executive. Minister of Labor Marian Sarbu, stressed the importance of social dialog for maintaining social equilibrium, considering that salaries are dropping and unemployment is soaring, and even added that he plans to intensify this dialog in the near future.
"The result of the social dialog was the maintaining of a stable social climate in the context of salary adjustments. Who would have thought that we would be able to maintain this rather stable climate without making the promised salary increases?" Sarbu added. Businesspeople also requested that the government identify Romania's priorities and set certain strategies based on these priorities. "We are presently in the midst of delicate moments, considering this crisis. Agriculture has been a priority for 15 years and we are no further ahead in this field, and no further ahead with infrastructure. When will IT be a priority?" said Sorin Mindrutescu, CEO of Oracle and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania. Constantin Stroe, President of the Association of Automotive Manufacturers of Romania (ACAROM), said that developing roads should be a top priority for the government, considering that Romania is losing foreign investments due to poor infrastructure.
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