Philip H. Gordon
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Bucharest, Romania
August 13, 2012

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GORDON: Just a brief word because I’m really here to listen, and I really appreciate you all taking the time.

I appreciate the Ambassador inviting you all for this. I mean, I’ll be perfectly frank here -- we’re concerned in Washington about developments here -- We’re following it very closely. I wouldn’t be here in the middle of August if it wasn’t something that we were –- that we felt was very important and heading in the wrong direction, and so it’s important for me to come here. I wanted to get a better understanding of what actually is happening, and I can’t think of any group better than this one to start the day to help understand that, but also to communicate messages to the government and party leaders here about our concerns and the potential consequences for Romania of challenges to what we believe to be the democratic process and independence of the judiciary. So I really welcome the opportunity to hear from you all about the state of play on these issues, implications, and what the investor community may be thinking about.

So I really just -- other than underscoring the closeness with which we’re following it and the degree of our concern, I’d just open up the floor to you all to give me a sense from your perspective of where things stand and how we can help.