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Thursday, November 04, 2004
Business in Romania blog
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu, a leading presidential contender, said Wednesday that if elected, his government would reassess three major contracts recently signed by the current government.

Basescu, a top contender for the presidency in elections this month, said he did not rule out the possibility of canceling the contracts if they were found to have been awarded illegally.

The government signed a contract with U.S.-based Bechtel Group Inc., worth over US$2.5 billion (euro1.96 billion) to build a 415 kilometer (260 mile) highway connecting the central city of Brasov to the Hungarian border.

The European Union criticized the contract, saying there had been no bidding process and that it violated accepted EU procedures.

Basescu said that if his centrist Justice and Truth Alliance comes to power, his government would be obliged to analyze contracts which were signed without an auction.

Other contracts which would come under scrutiny include one worth more than euro1 billion (US$1.27 billion), signed with European aerospace consortium EADS to help Romania secure its borders, Basescu said.

He also recently criticized the government for signing a euro700 million (US$890 million) contract without an auction last month with French company Vinci for the construction of a highway.

The government has defended the contracts, saying they were legal, and that simplified procedures helped speed up the completion of the projects.

With presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for Nov. 28, Basescu is credited with about 37 percent of the vote, trailing Prime Minister Adrian Nastase by about five points in most polls. The two are expected to go head-to-head in a presidential runoff two weeks after the first ballot.

Posted by Mihai : 11/04/2004 12:07:00 pm Opposition leader says multibillion dollar contracts may be reassessed
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