Daily Newsletter - 10 July 2020


Macroeconomic News (4)

EC agreed to finance natural gas projects

Marcel Bolos, the Minister of European Funds, announced at the end of Thursday's Cabinet meeting that the European Commission had agreed to finance projects for connecting households to the natural gas distribution network. The first stage of the national project is worth EUR 200 million and will be financed from the 2014-2020 budget. Negotiations for EUR 800 million worth of financing from the 2021-2027 budget are ongoing.


Average nominal salary up in May

The average nominal net salary stood at RON 3,179 in May, down RON 3 from the previous month, but up 2.5% from the corresponding month of 2019, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). The average nominal gross salary was RON 5,188 in May, down RON 13 from the previous month.


Cereals exports outside EU at five-year high

With more than 10 million tons of cereals exported outside the European Union, Romania was the second biggest exporters in the European Union in the July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 marketing year. This figure is also a five-year high for local exporters. Romania was the largest exporter of corn in the EU, second in wheat and third in barley, after France and Germany, according to European Commission statistics.


Improving public health could add 9% to Romania's GDP

Improving the population's health through investment in this field could add 9% to Romania's GDP in the next 20 years. The economic effects of improving the population's health, including extended workforce participation and increased productivity, could boost the country's GDP by USD 26 billion by 2040.


Financial News (3)

Cabinet to overhaul "Prima Casa" program

The Cabinet wants to increase from EUR 66,500 to EUR 95,000 the loan cap for the "Prima Casa" program, which will be renamed to "Noua Casa" (New House), according to a draft decree discussed at Thursday's meeting and published on the Ministry of Finance's website. Such a decision would eliminate the social aspects of the program.


EximBank to manage investment loan guarantee program

The Cabinet approved a document putting EximBank in charge of the investment and working capital loan guarantee program for big companies. The budget of the new program exceeds RON 10 billion. A decree was issued to amend EximBank's charter to allow the bank to manage this type of guarantee instruments for big companies.


Banks have 75% exposure to sectors affected by pandemic

The economic sectors that have been strongly or moderately affected by the pandemic account for 75% of all bank exposure in Romania and the problems experienced by the companies operating in these sectors could extend to the banks, according to Florin Dragu, senior economist with BNR's Financial Stability Directorate (DSF).


Investment News (1)

Bosch opens new CIC office building

Bosch inaugurated on Thursday the new office building belonging to the Cluj Engineering Center (CIC). 500 employees have already relocated to the building, an expansion project worth EUR 30 million.


Legislative News (1)

Forest Code could reach Chamber floor next week

Costel Alexe, the Minister of Environment, said the Forest Code amendments could reach the Chamber floor next week. One of the amendments put forward would see the authorities seize all vehicles and tools used to commit forestry crimes.


Politics (1)

PLUS leader accused Cabinet, Parliament of playing politics

Dacian Ciolos, leader of PLUS, said no party has a monopoly on incompetence, which is "the trademark of the two parties that control the Parliament and the Cabinet". Ciolos accused the two institutions of "playing politics, to their shame and the citizens' misfortune" during an international crisis.


Social (2)

National student program gets EUR 30 million budget

Marcel Bolos, the Minister of European Funds, announced that the Cabinet had approved a national program for students, worth EUR 30 million, with the purpose of creating 4,500 jobs. If needed, the budget could be extended to EUR 150 million. Another Cabinet decision was to grant food vouchers to approximately 290,000 pensioners.


Schools plagued by severe inequality

An oversized list of 900,000 students marked absent from online classes because they can't afford laptop computers or tablets was taken to the Ministry of Education on Thursday by Declic and the National Student Council (CNE). At the height of the coronavirus crisis, Minister Anisie signed the order regulating online classes. The order makes it mandatory for students, 38% of whom live in poverty, to attend online classes.