BUCHAREST, Romania - Romania's dismal roads are near legendary. Even so, nobody expected the president to tell a forum for Arab investors that the best way to see his country is from the air.
President Traian Basescu raised eyebrows when he told the forum on Tuesday that the country's potholed highways detracted from Romania's natural delights.
"Romania has mountains, sea and hills ... If you ever really want to see Romania, don't use the roads. I recommend a helicopter," he said.
His surprised Transportation Minister Anca Boagiu replied that not everyone could afford to travel by chopper and promptly invited investors to invest in Romanian highways.
Romania is the ninth largest country in the European Union by area and has 322 kilometres (200 miles) of highways.