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Romania: Government To Repay Owners Of Nationalized Hotels

Bucharest, 11 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Romania's government is working on a law to award reparations to hotel owners stripped of their properties by the ousted communists.

Tourism Minister Akos Birtalan said in a weekend interview that a law on reparations for nationalized hotels is due for completion when parliament returns from summer recess next month.

Birtalan said the government cannot fulfill its pledges to privatize tourist assets quickly without settling reparations due to former owners.

He said there are around 1,000 hotels, villas and chalets still owned by the state. Some might be returned to their former owners, should they wish to claim them back. But he said full-scale return is no longer possible.

Tourism in Romania suffers from lack of infrastructure, bad roads and communications and poor or surly service. Birtalan said he hoped to complete privatisation of the hotel sector by the end of the year to bring standards up to those in Western countries.