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Friday, 18 Nov 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă visited the border crossing point with Ukraine – Bridge over Tisa

Press conference by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă after visiting the border crossing point with Ukraine – Bridge over Tisa




Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Good afternoon! Mr. Minister, Mr. Chairman of the County Council, representatives of the local authorities, ladies and gentlemen, I am very glad that we carried out this working visit in Maramureș County. We continued this morning, with the objective from Runcu. It is about the dam whose construction started many years ago, in 1987; it is completed to the extent of approximately 90%, but works lagged behind, and they have been stopped due to lack of funding. It is clear that there is a need for coordination at the level of at least three ministries, so that, together with the local authorities, a solution can be found to complete this work, which will ensure drinking water for approximately 300,000 inhabitants of Maramureș County and, of course, the energy component will also be able to be used, as it is also about an installed power of approximately 14 megawatts at the hydro plant.

 Afterward, we went to Câmpulung la Tisa where we visited a railway station that has a broad gauge railway line that has not been used for 15 years. In the current context, it was also possible, through an effort of the local authorities and the National Railway Company, to succeed in resuming operation, and following that, between December 1st and December 15th, the passenger and freight traffic is resumed on this line. It is a railway line that will ensure the connection between Romania and Ukraine and is very beneficial, both in terms of the continuation of bilateral activities, and economic exchanges at the regional level, but also at the national level, in the effort we are making to support the Ukrainian authorities, in the current context in which they have to face the aggression of the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

We also reached this objective that does not meet the traffic requirements. It is about a wooden bridge. The project has been assumed at the level of local authorities, it is very important, and I am glad for this openness to make this decentralization and a partnership between local authorities and National Roads Company. It is a model which once completed, can be used in other approaches of this kind. It is also rejoicing that we do not speak only about the bridge infrastructure construction but about the entire project which includes the technical elements of the border crossing point with the requested parameters, the requirements, and the standards required for the Schengen area.

I want to underline the fact that I could notice the worries, fears, and concerns of local authorities regarding the large projects, in a context that ensures the funding, considering that we further benefit from European funds, cohesion funds, and those from PNRR, funds from the state budget that should be very well coordinated, so that we become more effective in the projects we are developing. There is a further need for coordination between local authorities and central authorities to implement projects in support of citizens, in the economic development of the county, and in the region. As long as we aimed at supporting a developing economy, we need investments, and investments need infrastructure, this is what we further need to do, bilaterally, together, with local authorities –governmental authorities.

I will later visit the Memorial Museum to the Victims of Communism and the Cemetery of the Poor so that along with the governmental team, I can pay tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives in these prisons of a totalitarian regime, where those who really contributed to Romania's modernization, lost their lives. Thank you.

Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, regarding the military pensions. The European Commission further argues that they should be included in the service pension reform. Can you tell us the level of negotiations and that 9. 4 percent, did Brussels allow you to exceed it?

Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: During that press conference held on my visit to Brussels, and following the meetings I had with European officials, European Commission President included, I stated that one of the topics discussed was this ceiling of 9.4 percent of GDP for pensions to be replaced by another indicator, a fiscal discipline indicator which is stipulated in PNRR. It is the milestone that obliges us to make the pension reform and we are also discussing other milestones that obliges us to make the wage reform. Therefore, it pertains to that 9,4 percent.

As far as military pensions are concerned, we also discussed this aspect, including with representatives of the (European) Commission, on a technical visit to Bucharest. We discussed the report presented by the World Bank, the content of which stipulates very clearly that military pensions do not belong to the chapter of special pensions, but to the chapter of service pensions. Military pensions, amended by law,  are based on contributions. At our level, we continue to support the reform of the contributory pension system. In the steps we will take in the future with the European Commission we aim to reach an obvious understanding in line with the principles that the other EU states also observe regarding military pensions, according to which these are not special pensions, but service pensions. (...)

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