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  Nr. 4065 de sambata, 20 octombrie 2007 
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EU asked to push Ford brake

The EU Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban demanded the European Commission for speed in the application of the procedures on the ongoing search for possible state financial support for the privatization of Automobile Craiova, the car factory in Romania, no matter the outcome of investigations.

The EU commissioner said last Monday while in Bucharest that such investigations and procedures could take up to 18 months, but he added he had demanded the EU authorities to be faster and complete the work in some 5-8 months. (...)

It is to be reminded that the privatization contract between Automobile Craiova and the US Ford Company was signed last Setpember and the transaction is to be over in January 20, 2008. Last week the European Commission started search on means to find state help for the transaction, asking Romania to suspend any illegal subventions until the search was over. The Romanian government assigned minister Mihai Voicu to ask the MPs to postpone debate on this draft until Romanian authorities received the European Commission's decision on the privatization of Automobile Craiova. Romanian authorities are going to provide the European Commission with a report on the transaction, authored by the Ministries of Finance and Environment together with the Competition Council.

PM ready to plead for it in Brussels

The Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu mentioned he would go to Brussels if the case and plead for the privatization of the Romanian car company, now under investigations. According to the PM, the transaction is in keeping with rules on state subventions. The Romanian official argued: "As a member state, we must obey rules on state subventions and the European Commission wants to check if they were obeyed. No problem. I will go to Brussels myself and plead for the privatization, if the case, since I am convinced it is useful for economy and obeys the state subvention regulation."

The PM mentioned having talked to the EU Competition Commissioner and asked the official to see that procedures should be applied as soon as possible.

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