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Romania's Tariceanu says EU-entry safeguards unlikely

The European Union is unlikely to set out safeguards on Romania in its September 26 report on the Balkan nation's bid to join the EU in January, Romanian Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said. Imposing such safeguards would deny Romania full membership rights in the 25-nation trading bloc, which it hopes to join on January 1, 2007. Romania agreed that it still has to improve its record in areas such as agriculture, setting up payment agencies and tackling sanitary and veterinary issues such as eradication of swine fever, Tariceanu said yesterday in Brussels. „I can only express the hope that there will be no safeguards imposed by the commission, although they won't be mentioned in this upcoming report,” Tariceanu said today at a news conference. „The system of safeguards is part of the treaty and is being applied in the case of any member country.” The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, is to say in two separate reports September 26 if Romania and southern neighbor Bulgaria, with a combined population of almost 30 million inhabitants, can join the bloc on January 1. Tariceanu said he was confident the commission's report will say Romania can join the EU in January. The German parliament will ratify the bill for Romania's entry into the EU in October this year, said Matthias Wissmann, a German lawmaker, after meeting Romania's president. Germany, along with Belgium, France and Denmark, hasn't yet ratified Romania's membership. Germany would be in favor of safeguards on Romania's entry, said Wissmann, a lawmaker of the Christian Democratic Union in the lower house of parliament and head of the parliamentary committee for European Affairs. „The clearer the European Union states the problems and the strengths of Romania in their report, and therefore voice European citizens' worries, the easier it will be for the German lower house of parliament to approve Romania's entry,” he said. „We pledge to use safeguards in a wise and moderate way,” he said. „The president knows that there will be such safeguards in some areas.” (Bloomberg)