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Basescu: A country that takes loans to pay wages and pensions is a second-rate one Updated: 06-08-2010 | Politics

President Traian Basescu made another appearance on national television on Wednesday evening, in which he commented on the crisis and the austerity measures taken by the government, while launching another round of criticism on certain strategies of the Executive, on banks and his old-standing adversaries - the tycoons. Government - taken to task, September 1 deadline - still on

The head of state argued Romania should only take loans for investments from now on, rather than for pensions and wages, as it risks becoming "a second-rate country from the start." "Be it as it may, and I myself have criticised the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL), it is the only party which has taken responsibility for an austerity programme. I pray to God that they will get to implement it, because, otherwise, Romania will go on begging to be able to pay wages and pensions. Many times Romanians feel entitled to act humiliated because they are represented by certain politicians… I ask you to think what it feels like for a head of state to go and say 'I need another loan.

What kind of highways do you plan to build? … None, it's for the payment of wages and pensions.' Therefore, a country which takes loans to pay wages and pensions is a second-rate one from the start," he said, arguing, nonetheless, that Romania is not bankrupt. "One is bankrupt when they no longer have liquidities. We still have them flowing in from the market, the IMF, the EU, the banks. We must understand we need to stick together to be respected as a country. In order to be respected as a country, we need to take money for investments, not for food," the head of state added.

Nine O'Clock

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