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Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that, despite the crisis, the public sector investments were the highest of the past ten years, and the government has tried to steadily increase allocations for the modernization of infrastructure.

"The volume of investments in the public sector is the highest of the last ten years, and this has happened in times of crisis when it's clear that budget revenues have declined. However, we have provided resources and we have tried to constantly increase the volume of public investments, because Romania needs to modernize its infrastructure, in all fields, as it needs air, and I am talking transport infrastructure, energy infrastructure, communications infrastructure, health infrastructure, education. The next ten years will have to be years of massive investments in these fields because they are essential for economic development," the Prime Minister told the conference "Together we protect Romania," organized by the MediaUno Press Group, in partnership with the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce and UGIR-1903.

He added that the government does not want a model of economic growth based on an "artificial stimulation of consumption", because it "generated serious imbalances, serious setbacks of the Romanian economy," but one based on massive public investment and support for private investment.

According to Orban, European funds are also one of the economy's "growth engines", and the current government managed to triple settlements from the EU budget.

"In the ten months of the previous government, about 1.1 billion euros were absorbed. These are settlements from the EU budget, and in ten months we have settled 2.67 billion euros, almost three times more, in the context in which most projects were far from satisfying. On the contrary, very many of the projects financed by European funds have a series of structural problems, which were generated by the previous catastrophic management, but also by regulations which, basically, made it so that it almost impossible to achieve certain projects. For example, Ordinance No. 114, which increased the labour costs of construction companies by more than 15 per cent. Basically, all the feasibility studies that were carried out before or immediately after the Emergency Ordinance No. 114 are no longer valid," he explained.

The Prime Minister also stated that approximately 300,000 Romanians are unemployed. "Unemployment is below 300,000, even if statistics show otherwise. But, in reality, the number of those who are highlighted by the ANOFM (National Agency for Employment) as receiving unemployment benefit and those who no longer receive unemployment benefit is around 300,000. And that's why we thought of a series of active measures to pay 50 per cent of the gross salary - but not more than 2,500 lei - for three categories of employees who find it more difficult to find a job," said Ludovic Orban. AGERPRES (RO - author: Irinela Visan, editor: Claudia Stanescu, EN - author: Cristina Zaharia, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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