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Romanian report Romanian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-04-29 10:04:16
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European fund absorption in Romania could increase by involving commercial banks

The absorption of European funds in Romania could be improved by improving access procedures and by boosting the participation of private commercial banks, Director of the Romania Office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Claudia Pendred said. 'There is obviously a huge potential for increasing the absorption in Romania of European funds, because only 13 percent of the funds available for 2007-2013 has been accessed and the actual absorption rate after advance payments is even lower,' said Pendred.

She mentioned that a report released last month by the Vienna Initiative indicates that the involvement of private banks could boost the absorption of European funds and capitalise on the private banks' expertise in the corporate sector and the initiatives to identify new entrepreneurial means and financial instruments. 'This method could ease off pressure on co-financing that has faced the public sector, especially in a time of budgetary consolidation, as it happened in Romania,' said Pendred.

She added that there are signs increasingly more favourable in the Romanian economy and, although a new recession is not ruled out, it is still improbable, since the Romanian economy is expected to record modest growth this year and a more dynamic medium-term growth. At the same time, she said, a decline is expected in inflation in the second part of the year as a result of the tight monetary policy of the National Bank of Romania.


Romania delays plans to adopt the euro

People with an investment in the Romanian timber industry have heard that the government has shelved plans to adopt the euro for now. The Eastern European country had planned to switch to the currency by the start of 2015, but Mediafax newswire has suggested this may no longer be the case. It is unclear when Romania will reignite the plans to embrace the euro following the scrapping of the self-imposed deadline.

Romania must put measures in place to make its economy more flexible before it is considered eligible to use the euro. The country joined the European Union in 2007 and it is thought the nation is still intent on becoming part of the eurozone, despite the fact the European Commission is yet to receive any concrete timeframe for this. Earlier this month, Balkans.com reported that Romania had witnessed an economic resurgence in recent months, with the timber industry continuing to be a key element of the country's trade.


Eurostat voices doubt over Romania's deficit data

The statistical office of the European Union said Tuesday it has doubts over the quality of Romania's government deficit data. According to a document published Tuesday, Eurostat expressed a "reservation" on the quality of the data because of "uncertainties on the impact of some public corporations on the government deficit." It also said it had doubts on "the nature and impact of some financial transactions and on the consolidation of intra-governmental flows." The Romanian Statistics said a team from the institute, the Finance Ministry and the central bank is reviewing the financial statements of the state-owned companies to identify data discrepancies, according to a Bloomberg News report. Against that backdrop, the Romanian leu strengthened against the euro, with the euro buying 4.06 leu, down 0.4% from Monday.


Romania rethinks adoption ban despite child-trafficking concerns

When Romania's Communist autocracy was toppled from power more than two decades ago, the plight of the children living under state care in the country shocked the world. Television scenes of children left bereft of any form of love or attention proved heartbreaking and many western families were keen to adopt. While those intentions were good, the system was also shown to have been exploited by child trafficking groups. As conditions in children's homes generally began to improve, the practice of international adoption from Romania came under a moratorium in 2001.

Legislation to cement the ban in law was put into place following pressure from the EU. Former member of the European Parliament, Baroness Emma Nicholson was a key figure in pushing for this as a special reporter for Romania's EU accession. "I unveiled a huge network of global corruption and global trafficking," said Nicholson. "We really uncovered horrors of a scale and dimension you would wish never to know about."  However, there are those - such as the Romanian campaign group Catharsis - that believe an outright moratorium was an overreaction. The group is a leading a campaign to resume international adoptions and cites numerous cases where children have missed out on loving homes as a result of the ban.

Madalina grew up in a children's home from the age of two, where she suffered serious abuse. Catharsis found Madalina an adoptive family in Italy, to whom she herself said she became much attached. Unfortunately, the timing was wrong. Mandalina was a victim of the moratorium on international adoptions and the move was blocked.  "They asked if I'd like to be adopted by them, and I said yes," said Mandalina. "Only, then we found out that international adoptions had been blocked. It felt terrible for all of us."

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