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Saturday, 06 August 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae – Ionel Ciucă met with the representatives of local public authorities in Vrancea County

Press statements by Prime Minister Nicolae – Ionel Ciucă after meeting the representatives of local public authorities in Vrancea County


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Nicolae – Ionel Ciucă: Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me and holding the commemorative event at the Heroes’ Mausoleum in Mărășești. It is an activity I attended and will attend each time, as it is a reminder for us all and the future generations of the sacrifice of our forerunners so that today, we can enjoy what we have. It is where each of us needs to reflect on the sacrifice, patriotism, unity and willpower in the service of national ideals.

I met with the chairman of the county council and the prefect of Vrancea County, and some of Vrancea county mayors, having an applied dialogue on steps which have been taken at the government level, projects on the table of local authorities, and the problems and aspects which need to be resolved. I was informed about the problems generated by the drought. I have seen the crops on the route to Focsani. I decided at the Government level to establish an inter-ministerial committee. In the Cabinet meeting this week, the Agriculture Minister presented an area of nearly 200,000 hectares which have been affected so far. The activity is ongoing and based on site data and analyses, we can identify all areas and take the measures proposed by the Agriculture Ministry.

We discussed the issues relative to funding for unfolding projects on European funds, which I wanted to discuss with local authorities, and I mentioned the need to bolster the registration and unfolding of the programs from European funds, as they are available. There is enhanced attention to drawing European funds, the increase in the process of drawing European funds in the first part of the year is conclusive in this respect. There is nevertheless a need for a closer and more applied collaboration between local authorities and the Ministry of European Funds, as well as the other Ministries unfolding programs through European funds in support of local authorities. There have been aspects related to some punctual issues of Focsani municipality understanding that the local structure here is in insolvency although it carried out a project which can produce energy through co-generation. We agreed with the Energy Ministry to find a joint solution o that the citizens of Focsani municipality will benefit from thermal energy.

Reporter: Because you mentioned the situation of the Heating Company, what options would you take into account?

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: The most feasible solution discussed is for this company to carry out its insolvency process, followed by the re-establishment of another company that can take over the responsibility of providing heat for Focșani. Of course, there are technical aspects that the local authorities, together with the Ministry of Energy, can solve, considering that there are already preliminary discussions in this regard.

Reporter: There were also substantial financial allocations this year from the Ministry of Development. Will more money come?

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: There were substantial allocations, some progress is already there, taking into account the fact that the company started to produce and sell energy. I understood that part of the funds was recovered and they were talking about 2.4 million that they already managed to achieve. And, of course, through this budget allocation, we will be able to secure funds so that we can solve the problem. Therefore, I mentioned the need for technical details that the local authority alongside the Ministry of Energy, and, of course, the Ministry of Development should cover.

Reporter: Will a state of emergency be declared or not because of the drought in Vrancea county?

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: I am waiting for the proposal from the Ministry of Agriculture in direct coordination with the local authorities.

Reporter: And related to the same issue, what amounts do you envisage as compensation to farmers?

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: The amounts will be determined when we know the total affected area.

Reporter: How will the rectification be for UATs? You said you talked about the situation.

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: The amendment is, as aforementioned, a positive one. I want to say that, during the next week, it will be made public and it will be put in transparency at the Ministry of Finance. Some aspects mean, as the representatives of the local authorities have required, the continuation of the programmes already underway, which for the moment had to be halted due to the rising prices for construction materials and the lack of co-financing funds. It is an aspect considered regarding the amendment at the level of the Ministry of Finance. The moment we have all data connected to what we have to do on the part of compensation for the electricity prices, after April is closed, as we could not finalise all elements of the amendment, as we want to see how much the compensation for April, the suppliers could not supply until this moment the bills so that we can close down a month, completely.

Reporter: Regarding the issue of voluntary army reservists, how do you assess the steps taken so far, have they achieved their goal?

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Following the discussions held, the first step on the first draft law, the number was very small compared to the changes we made at the time, and the legislative changes aimed to motivate those who could opt for such an approach. From what I understand, currently, there is a number three to four times higher than under the first form of the law. It did not achieve its goal and probably from what we discussed, there is a need for more communication and presentation of everything that such an approach means, the benefits, the activities, and the ways to apply for such a status. Thank you! 

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