The Minister of Energy, Andrei Gerea, said that approximately half of the electricity production capacity in Romania is economically inefficient or, at best, barely efficient. His statement referred to coal, wind and solar energy projects. He was contradicted by FIC, which pointed to the EUR 22 billion that foreign investors had poured into Romania's energy industry.
Romania loses EUR 502 every second, EUR 30,000 every minute, and some EUR 16 billion every year because of tax evasion, said Mihai Daraban, President of Romania's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "This represents about 70% of the tax evasion which state institutions, NGOs or the Fiscal Council calculated. In total, there are about EUR 23 billion that are lost every year due to an inefficient collection system," Daraban added, cited by local Economica.net. He spoke during the launch of the Fiscal Pact petition. The document was signed by institutions such as the Romanian Academy, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Foreign Investors Council or the Competition Council.
The 2014-2020 Regional Operations Program (POR) was signed yesterday in Brussels by the European Commissioner for Regional Policies, Corina Cretu, and the Minister of Development, Sevil Shhaideh. Under this program, Romania will receive a total of EUR 8.2 billion, almost twice higher compared to the 2007-2013 program.
The European Commission reacted on Tuesday to the Romanian Government's intention to reduce the VAT rate from 24% to 19% by announcing that such an "unilateral proposal" could have a negative impact on Romania's fiscal situation. The statement made by spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt indicates that the EC does not believe Minister Teodorovici assurances of sustainability.
The government bonds spread reached 2.8 pp last week, the highest value since January, 2014. The situation is seen as positive for the national economy. "The macroeconomic indicators' dynamic, the news from Greece and the domestic political risk pushed the interest rates of state bonds up in the second week of June," according to Andrei Radulescu, senior economist of Banca Transilvania.
The Greek crisis continues to unfold despite yesterday's meetings of Eurozone leaders and international creditors, widely seen as the Athens's last chance to avoid capital restrictions. Greek investments in Romania amount to a not exactly negligible EUR 13.5 billion. However, the situation in Greece has had little effect on Bucharest so far.
The real estate acceptance in lieu of payment bill was the subject of a heated debate yesterday, involving MPs, bankers and citizens. Lawyer Gheorghe Piperea, who helped draft the bill, stated that the bill could apply to ongoing loan contracts, as per an EUCJ ruling based on Directive 2008/48, a position that the bankers reject. The bill is currently being studied by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).
Bucharest One, the office building developed by investment fund Globalworth, controlled by Greek businessman Ioannis Papalekas, is starting to take shape in the vicinity of the Aurel Vlaicu subway station and the Pipera overpass.
Rompetrol Rafinare, the oil company controlled by KazMunaiGas, announced it had completed an investment project worth USD 11 million. The purpose of this project was to reduce the pollutants released by the Petromidia refinery through the construction of the first particle separation system in Romania.
French retailer Carrefour has opened a supermarket on the ground floor of Green Court B, the office building developed by Swedish group Skanska. The retailer has also relocated 500 employees from the Anchor Plaza office building to Green Court B.
The Parliament passed on Tuesday the 2015-2019 National Defense Strategy (SNAR) in a 282 to 1 vote. One MP abstained. The bill needed 278 votes of the total 554 and Chamber president Zgonea pressed the caucus leaders to summon their colleagues to the meeting chamber in order to gather enough votes.
The interim Prime Minister, Gabriel Oprea, stated on Tuesday evening that he would run the Cabinet "military-style", with less political subjects and faster processing of bills. President Klaus Iohannis signed on Monday the decree appointing Oprea the interim PM while Victor Ponta is recovering from a surgical intervention on his left knee.
The unemployment rate went up from 6.7% in Q4, 2014, to 7.4% in Q1, 2015, according to the National Institute for Statistics (INS). The number of unemployed reached 655,000, out of a total active population of 8.89 million.