By Constantin Radut
It is a well known fact: Romania has one of the worst road infrastructures in the European Union. The causes are multiple. One of them is of notoriety. Based on the EU directives on public procurement, the majority of tenders in the motorway construction sector were won by foreign companies. Although some of them were by no means more competitive and technically endowed than the Romanian ones.
But it was on the removal of the Romanian manufacturers from the market. By means, at times, less orthodox and more influential of political decision-makers by diplomatic chancellors.
Famous from the point of view of the deceptions brought to the Romanian state was the well-known American company Bechtel, which in 10 years finished only 52 km of the A1-Transylvania highway. It is estimated that the Americans have damaged Romania’s budget by over 500 million euros. After numerous talks, Bechtel left Romania. We hope it never comes again.
In parallel with the “business” type Bechtel, the Romanian companies in the field were prosecuted for alleged tax evasion or delays in the execution of the works.
As a result, in the Romanian market, especially in the last 10 years, dozens of companies from Spain, Italy or other western countries have appeared. Most had an insignificant business card.
They robbed the Romanian state of tens and tens of millions of euros, money from the EU but also from the national budget.
The Romanian authorities have not implemented a policy of encouraging Romanian manufacturers. As the Poles did.
This is why, now, in 2019, two Spanish companies, committed to build a section of highway over 25 km between Lugoj and Deva, have done a poor quality work, for which they demand a lot of money for Romania.
Due to the poor execution, the Ministry of Transport did not want to receive the work and asked the manufacturer to remedy the defects or to extend the warranty period of the works.
The Spanishs, outraged, did not want any of the variants. They wanted money and still more money.
The Ministry of Transport was firm: it terminated the agreement with the Spanish companies: Comsa SA and Aldesa Construcciones SA. The consequence is that the two companies will no longer have access to the Romanian market.
The Spaniards say they want to settle the dispute with the Romanian state by diplomatic means. Not by commercial means, but by the intervention of the Spanish Embassy in Bucharest.
But the Romanian Minister of Transport, Razvan Cuc, is stubborn and does not agree.
Here’s what Razvan Cuc says:
“This highway has not even been put into traffic and there have already been cracks in the highway level. It is inadmissible and I will not allow anyone to come to Romania and beat their game … The evidence is clear: that highway has serious problems when it comes Exactly at kilometer 57, where that earthquake was ceded in 2017, the cracks have appeared there as well, so I urge the builders, regardless of origin, that they are foreign, that they are Romanian, to invest the money in quality works. Because things are clear, the images are striking, “the minister said.
Razvan Cuc said he “understands” the builder’s upset, because, so far, in Romania “no such thing has happened, namely that the Romanian state will execute the guarantee for not executing the work …
“They thought that here is a village without dogs. You come, you bring an ambassador, you make a little scandal and, ready, everyone takes a step back. No, Romania is not a country where everyone does what they want. while I am the Minister of Transport, I assure you that the works that are done respect the terms and quality, “said Răzvan Cuc.
The minister added that tests were performed, which showed, he said, that “the works are not of quality”.
It is an attitude that we welcome.
We hope to be a signal for foreign companies, especially for those from Spain and Italy.
By Constantin Radut