EU suspends $1.13 billion in funding for Romanian projects

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister says the European Union has suspended 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) in funding for Romanian projects over allegations of corruption and irregularities.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta says there was "a huge problem" of complaints, which are automatically investigated by Olaf, the body that investigates EU budget fraud.

Ponta said Thursday during a meeting with foreign news agencies that "if there is a suspicion about the case, it is stopped ... and we can't ask for money from the EU."

He says if there is no ruling on cases by Dec. 31, projects will be funded from the budget. He says the allegations referred to human resources projects, water supply and 400 million-euro ($452 million) subway projects.

Romania has recently launched a crackdown into high-level corruption.