Tiriac: Crisis to last into 2014 if issues not resolved

Publish date: 19-06-2009
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Ion Tiriac, one of the wealthiest businesspeople in Romania, says that an economic rebound could occur at the end of next year, at the earliest. However, if the government does not handle problems well, the exit from crisis will only happen in 2014, he warned during an interview for Business Standard.

Tiriac, a former tennis player who controls a holding with operations in real estate, auto industry, banking and insurance, is thus offering one of the toughest verdicts on the duration of the crisis in Romania. So far, the authorities and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are forecasting economic growth recovery in 2011, at the latest.

The businessman said that the sign for revival must come from the United States, where the situation is to stabilize by the end of the year, while Romania's economy is to keep dropping until the final months of 2009.

"Everyone knew that the economic decline would last until October-November-December. We are the slaves of the United States. Everything that happens there immediately reverberates in Europe, not only in Romania. In my view, the U.S. will begin to come up for air at the end of the year or some time early next year. France and Germany will follow," he said.

Speaking of Romania's current economic situation, Tiriac said that the country is at an advantage because it is falling from the first floor, as opposed to Spain, which "fell from the 50th floor."

"After falling from the first floor, while not easy, it will at least be possible to climb back up, and I think that after that there is room for progress," he said. However, he warned that this will only happen in a year or two and this will require a political environment that "thinks only about the country and nothing else."

He warned that if solidarity, much talked about in Romania, will be visible only in the form of general strikes, "we must forget about any economic rebound in 2011, and look forward to 2014."

Business Standard

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