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Romania's outgoing PM to talk to Merkel about hosting VW's new plant

Romania's outgoing PM to talk to Merkel about hosting VW's new plant Viorica Dancila

BUCHAREST (Romania), October 21 (SeeNews) - Romania's outgoing prime minister Viorica Dancila said on Monday that she plans to speak to German chancellor Angela Merkel about a letter sent by the European People's Party (EPP) to Volkswagen in support of Bulgaria's offer to host the planned new manufacturing plant of the German car maker in Europe - a project that Romania is also vying for.

"I will make a phone call to Mrs Merkel, I will do everything possible to bring this investment to our country," Viorica Dancila said in a televised statement, adding Romania's offer is better.

Dancila, leader of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), also said that Romania's opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and president Klaus Iohannis knew about the existence of a letter of support for Bulgaria's bid sent by EPP to Volkswagen (VW) but "did nothing about it". PNL and Bulgaria's governing GERB party are both members of the EPP's political family.

"The [Romanian] minister of business, commerce and entrepreneurship was in Germany talking about this project, we have the most favourable conditions for investment but unfortunately we do not have the necessary support. The EPP group sent a letter supporting Bulgaria. Mr Weber, who is leader of the EPP group, sent this letter to Volkswagen. I wonder where PNL was, what Mr. Iohannis did to prevent this," Dancila said.

The PNL leader and prime minister-designate Ludovic Orban denied EPP's involvement in the issue and stressed that no political party can intervene in any company's business decisions, local media reported.

On Tuesday, the Romanian ministry of business, commerce and entrepreneurship said Romania has resumed talks with Volkswagen on hosting the car maker's future new factory, after the company said it had postponed the final decision on whether to build the facility in Turkey because of international criticism of Ankara's military operation in northern Syria.

Given the situation in Turkey, Volkswagen could change the location for its new factory and might look at Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, local media reported earlier.

Volkswagen announced at the beginning of the month that it had decided to open a new factory in the Turkish city of Manisa following an initial investment of 1.3 billion euro ($1.43 billion). The planned production capacity of the plant is 300,000 units per year.

Romania is in a political deadlock since October 10, when Dancila's Social-Democrat government lost a no-confidence vote sought by PNL. Five days later president Klaus Iohannis said he has appointed Ludovic Orban as prime minister-designate tasked with forming a transitional government.

($=0.9083 euro)