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Romania, EU sign deal on financial aid

Romania and the European Union signed an agreement on Thursday through which the EU will extend funds to the fresh member state to support its development. 

The Agreement on the National Strategic Reference Plan, signed by Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Danuta Hubner, EU's commissioner for regional policy, was reached as a reference document for the allocation of Structural and Cohesion Funds. Under the deal, the EU will earmark €19.67 billion ($26.75 billion) from the funds for the country in the 2007-2013 period. The Structural and Cohesion Funds is the EU's major financial means to support social and economic restructuring across the 27-nation bloc, particularly in addressing disparities and regional development.

Hubner said the money will go to areas including infrastructure, education, research, training and economy in Romania, which joined the EU earlier this year. Tariceanu said the funds are one of the main advantages of being an EU member, vowing that the national and local authorities will consolidate the capacity to manage these funds. (