The European Commission has taken the unusual step of commenting talks about Romania’s Recovery plan which were leaked to the press.
In a statement, the Commission on Friday essentially told government critics to calm down, and explained that a review process was underway.
It denied it had rejected Bucharest’s plan after feverish speculation by government critics that talks in Brussels had gone awry.
It said: “exchanges are an entirely normal and expected part of the assessment procedure.”
Opposition politicians have claimed that Brussels had rejected the plan submitted by Romania for funds from the pandemic-relief fund.
Romania has requested 14.3 billion euros in grants and 15 billion euros in loans from the fund.
Prime Minister Florin Citu earlier called reports that Brussels had outright rejected or kicked back Romania’s plan were “fake news.”
But opposition politicians sought to capitalize on the leak from talks in Brussels on Thursday.
Leader of the opposition Social Democrats said the centrist government had been “pulverized” by Brussels.
Claudiu Tarziu, a far-right politician of the AUR group went further. He said the Liberal-led government had “betrayed” Romania and should be ousted.
In a statement to G4Media, the Commission how its assessment process works, in an apparent bid to clarify the situation.
Saying that it normally didn’t comment on leaked documents, it confirmed it had started “started its in-depth assessment of the plan.”
During the review period, the Commission is “in constant contact with all member states”, the statement said.
The review process aims to “clarify any potential open questions by, for instance, seeking additional information.”
The statement said that during the assessment period it would not comment “on individual measures or provide a preliminary assessment”.
It said agreed to allow Romania an extension of the assessment period.
According to leaks, the European Commission reportedly balked at parts of the plan mainly due to unjustified costs or missing information about some projects, Hotnews reported.