Daily Newsletter - 3 April 2020


Macroeconomic News (4)

1 million Romanians unemployed

More than 1 million Romanians have had their employment contracts suspended or terminated in the two weeks since the state of emergency was declared, as several economic sectors ground to a halt, according to data from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. 862,557 individual employment contracts are suspended, including 239,279 in manufacturing and 171,454 in wholesale and retail commerce.


Economy to recover in one-two months

"I am optimistic that our comeback will be as strong as our fall. We will have a V-shaped situation. A fall followed by a rapid recovery. I am hoping and counting on the scenario of a recovery in one-two months. I have no indications that it is not so," Finance Minister Citu said. Citu added that the economy may contract this year, but he has no reason to believe the more pessimistic scenarios circulating in the media.


Ministry of Development paid more than EUR 134 million to EU program beneficiaries

The Ministry of Development announced that it had paid more than EUR 134 million to the beneficiaries of EU programs in the first three months of this year. Most of the funds were paid out under the 2014-2020 Regional Operating Program (POR).


Industry prices up 2.9%

Industrial production prices increased by 2.9% in February, 2020, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. However, prices dropped 0.86% compared to January, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INS) published on Thursday.


Financial News (3)

BCR received 13,000 payment suspension applications

BCR announced that it has a program allowing retail and microenterprise clients to suspend their loan payments for three months, without interest capitalization. The bank has received so far 13,000 applications to suspend payments from retail clients, accounting for around 3-4% of its portfolio.


CEC Bank app lists taxes owed

CEC Bank's Mobile Banking application allows clients to see whether they have outstanding taxes and fines, following the application's integration with Clients can also pay their taxes without fees through the app. "CEC Bank started several digitization initiatives last year - such as launching mobile payments, opening accounts online - and we are convinced that mobile internet is one of the channels that will allow us to attract new customers and contribute to increasing financial inclusion in Romania," said President and CEO Bogdan Neacsu.


State to borrow RON 4 billion this month

The Ministry of Finance (MFP) wants to buy around RON 4 billion from the domestic market this month in order to cover the budget deficit and roll over the public debt. The figure is down around RON 1 billion from the previous month.


Investment News (1)

Regional hospital contract signed

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and Development Minister Ion Stefan announced on Thursday the signing of the financing contract for the Cluj Regional Hospital, a project worth an estimated EUR 500 million. The Ministry of Health had launched in January the acquisition procedure for building design services.


Legislative News (1)

Salaries to get more holiday

Employers will be allowed to grant all employees additional leave when Easter and Pentecost are celebrated at different times, based on each religion and denomination's calendar, according to a bill signed into law by President Iohannis.


Politics (2)

President Iohannis spoke with Italian counterpart

On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis delivered a message of solidarity to his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, in a telephone conversation. Iohannis said the COVID-19 pandemic is "a challenge for the whole European Union and that, in these difficult times, the solidarity and responsibility of the Member States is the key to overcoming the crisis".


Bonuses for doctors

Medical staff working with Covid-19 patients could benefit from bonuses of around EUR 500 per month, using European funds, according to statements made by President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday, following a discussion with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. "I have assurances from the government that, in a very short time, they will come up with solutions," President Iohannis said.


Social (2)

Official gives hint of lockdown end

Alexandru Rafila, President of the Romanian Microbiology Society, believes that the restrictions on free movement may be relaxed after May 15th. "I think after May 15. But be careful: social spacing may not be needed, social spacing measures may be reduced, but many of the elements, for example the holding of major events, will probably be in force for a longer time," Rafila told Digi 24.


Aid for parents with young children

On Thursday, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban asked Violeta Alexandru, the Minister of Labor, if she had prepared regulations allowing parents to benefit from the aid worth 75% of their salaries during the holiday. The Minister said parents will benefit from financial support granted in order to stay at home with their children even during the school holidays.