US official: Romanian gov't should be transparent

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A U.S. official has criticized Romania for passing legislation that could be seen to encourage corruption and has urged the government to be transparent to attract more business.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central and Southeast Europe Hoyt Yee said the audio-visual law that restricts the role of advertising agencies in the sale of TV ads "contribute to the perception of corruption."

The law that was passed in 2012 as an emergency ordinance has been criticized for helping the largest TV stations, who are affiliated with the ruling party, and complicating matters for small stations and advertising companies.

Yee asked Prime Minister Victor Ponta Monday to consult stakeholders before changing laws and said emergency measures that bypass public scrutiny create uncertainty, scare off foreign investment and "hinder economic growth."