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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 60,358 44,428 38,700 52
GNI per capita
 US $ 2,310 1,850 1,720 100
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Romania


Area (




Traian Basescu

Private sector 
% of GDP 

Update No: 098 - (01/07/05)

EU Spat
The Romanians, like most Europeans, are transfixed by what has happened in France and Holland. Does this portend the end of their bid to join the EU by 2007? 
Leaders of the EU have vowed to keep their commitments to countries lining up to join the 25-nation bloc. In a draft Presidency Conclusion, the EU leaders welcomed the signing of the accession treaty in Luxembourg on April 25th, which allows Bulgaria and Romania to the EU at the beginning of 2007. 
Both Bulgaria and Romania are now participating in the proceedings of the EU policy-making bodies as active observers. In the draft conclusion the EU leaders reaffirmed their commitment to full implementation of the Thessaloniki agenda, which emphasizes that the future of the Balkans lies in the bloc. "Moreover, in this process, regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations will remain essential elements of EU policy," said the Conclusion. 
The EU has been seeking to reassure aspiring candidates that its door will remain open to them in the chaos that has arisen since French and Dutch voters rejected the European Constitution Treaty.

The Balkan option still open
European Union leaders have said they will stick to their pledge to admit Bulgaria and Romania, despite the crisis over the EU constitution and the bloc's budget. 
But despite welcoming the signing of their accession treaty, they have not mentioned any accession dates. In draft conclusions for the Brussels summit, the leaders remained cautious over the prospects for Turkey and half a dozen Balkan countries lining up to join. 

The centrist view
Luxembourg is a tiny and very rich country of one third of a million people. But it was a founder member of the EU for all that in 1957, a signatory of the Treaty of Rome.
Its Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, who was chairing the summit, was asked if Romania, a country of 22 million people, could fear a delay. 
"There is no predetermined will of the EU leaders to delay Romania's accession," he said. "The accession treaty was signed. It will be entirely respected, which means that Romania must answer in a timely fashion to all the demands of the treaty. For the rest, EU member states will also respect all the commitments and provisions of the accession treaty." 

French concerns 
Romanian Foreign Minister, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, said his country and Bulgaria, which were both participating as active observers at the 16th-17th June EU summit in Brussels, had received assurances of support from all EU member states.
"Romania and Bulgaria are part of the club and so should they be considered," he said. "As for enlargement in general, after gulping this large chunk of political geography, we need some time to rest - quote, unquote - this is the basic meaning of their words." 

EU leaders were never expected to discuss enlargement at this summit
But French President, Jacques Chirac, reminded them that the main role of the European constitution had been to make an enlarged Europe work better. "In this new situation, can the EU continue to expand without us having the institutions needed to make this enlarged EU work effectively?" he said. There was an echo of a non-answer.

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Three banks enter market

The standings of banks operating on the Romanian market is set to undergo substantial changes by European integration time, as this year is expected to see the sale of 37% in the Romanian Commercial Bank, the privatisation of the National Savings Bank (CEC) and possibly, the merger of Tiriac Bank with HVB Bank Romania, New Europe reported.
According to sources in the banking market, quoted by Ziarul Financiar daily, businessmen Ion Tiriac is attracted by the option of a merger of Tiriac Bank, in which he holds 92% of the stock, with the Romanian subsidiary of HVB Bank. The parties made no comments with respect to this piece of information.

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S&P boosts Bucharest City rating

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services recently raised its long-term issuer credit ratings on the Romanian capital City of Bucharest to BB+ from BB. The outlook is stable, the company said in a statement, New Europe reported.
"The rating action is based on the city's improving debt management, increased implementation of much-needed infrastructure investments, and its growing economy, which is supported by the commitment of the new central government to step up economic and institutional reforms in Romania. This should lead to further growth in city's budget revenues," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Felix Ejgel.

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New Distrigas Sud owner wants to implement subscription

Gaz de France, the new owner of Romanian natural gas distribution company Distrigaz Sud, is in favour of implementing the natural gas subscription and would like to return to the invoicing system practiced in April and May, New Europe reported.
"We would like to implement the gas subscription in Romania, too. In case the Romanian authorities wish so, too, we will cooperate," said Bernanrd Arnaud, general manager of Distrigaz Sud. The new manager said that the natural gas subscription does not represent a tax by which the supplier will finance its investments.
"The subscription is a guarantee that the distributor will do its job correctly, will ensure the network's maintenance and exploitation works. For the consumer, the subscription is a facility ensuring the constant level of the gas invoice throughout the year," Arnaud added. Implemented on April 1st, the gas subscription was removed as part of the invoice and included again in the price of the cubic metre of consumed gas following protest waves from consumers.

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Currency and gold reserves rise to 14.37bn Euro

The foreign currency reserves of National Bank of Romania (BNR) increased by 338.8m Euro in May for a total level of 13.23bn Euro, the central bank said in a statement recently, New Europe reported.
The growth was the result of 689.6m Euro inputs, representing foreign currency acquisitions, revenues from the administration of the international reserve, the modification of the minimal reserves of foreign currency of commercial banks and yielding foreign currency to the state reserve.
Foreign currency outputs amounted to 350.8m Euro representing payments of interest for the external public debt and following the developments in the world price of gold its value increased to 1,136.2m Euro, taking the international reserves of the central bank (foreign currency and gold) to over 14.37bn Euro, the statement read.
By end-2005 payments due on external public and publicity guaranteed debt will amount to 1,001m Euro, according to the central bank.

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EU to finance highway

Romanian Prime Minister Popescu-Tariceanu announced that the partnership for the construction of a new highway on the Prahova Valley - involving the Romanian State and three companies, Vinci, Strabag and Ashtrom-Riochmann - is about to be rendered obsolete. Tariceanu said recently that the highway will be built, after an international auction, with half of the financing coming from the European Union, while the other half would be offered as a credit by the European Reconstruction and Development Bank (ERDB), New Europe reported.
After announcing that the partnership was broken, Tariceanu came up with the surprise: the European financing is non-refundable.

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