Daily Newsletter - 11 June 2020


Macroeconomic News (4)

Electronic cash registers to be connected to ANAF beginning with July 1

The large tax-payers will connect their electronic cash registers to ANAF's servers between July 1 and September 30, 2020, while medium-sized and small operators must complete the connection process by January 31, 2021, according to the Ministry of Finance. The data collected by ANAF will be used for analysis and remote control in order to cut down on the number of physical inspections.


EU retail sector down 18%

In April, the European Union's retail sector dropped 18% compared to the previous year and 11% compared to the previous month. The Romanian sector contracted by 18.5%, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). Romanians sacrificed less that other EU citizens when it comes to food and pharma purchases.


Gas market deregulation must lead to lower prices

The deregulation of the natural gas market must lead to lower prices, according to the Competition Council. The deregulation process is taking place at a time when foreign natural gas prices are falling, which must also lead to a reduction in prices for consumers. "In the context of the deregulation of the gas market for domestic consumers, the Competition Council is drawing attention to the fact that, both at the wholesale and retail levels, there must be a normal competitive environment, so that prices are freely formed by demand and supply, given that there are only two large domestic producers, and two large suppliers provide about 90% of domestic customers' consumption," announces the competition authority.


Labor market experts say some industries need more help

"In addition to stimulating the economy and consumption, the government must restore investor confidence and create programs to attract new investors. We also need labor legislation adapted to our times." Employers will benefit from a series of support measures after June 1, when the state will stop furlough payments to companies in all industries.


Financial News (3)

EC "corrects" Cabinet, demands modification of BNR charter articles

The European Commission thinks that Article 33 (10) of the National Bank of Romania's (BNR) charter, which allows the minister of finance and a secretary of state from the Ministry of Finance to attend the BNR board meetings (with no voting rights), is incompatible with Article 130 of the EU Treaty. A similar interpretation was adopted for other articles that infringe on BNR's independence.


Bankers borrowed RON 8.9 billion in May

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) bought RON 1.61 billion worth of state bonds from the secondary market in May, down from RON 1.88 billion in April. Some banks deposited a total of RON 448.8 million with BNR's facility, down from RON 665 million in April.


Romania no longer meets any Eurozone accession criteria

Romania no longer meets any of the nominal criteria for joining the Eurozone, according to a convergence report released by the European Commission. In addition, a number of other factors, including macroeconomic imbalances and the lack of legislative predictability, are making Romania unprepared for Eurozone accession.


Investment News (2)

First quarter brought 5% increase in net investment

Net investment in the national economy increased by 5% in the first quarter of this year, driven by an increase in new construction, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). New construction work jumped 20.3%, while other expenses plunged 37.3%. The overall value of investment was RON 18.4 billion.


EUR 1.2 billion invested in Galati Steel Mill

The Minister of Economy, Virgil Popescu, announced on Wednesday an investment project worth EUR 1.2 billion at the Galati Steel Mill. The purpose of this project is to turn the mill into a carbon-neutral company in the next five years.


Legislative News (2)

Parliament criminalizes cybernetic violence

On Wednesday, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill that criminalizes cybernetic violence on social networks or in any other online environment. The bill has thus added cyber-violence to the types of domestic violence, so that people who are harassed online can be protected and the perpetrators can be punished.


PSD pushes Dragnea gold bill again

On Wednesday, the PSD majority in the Senate rejected the request sent by President Iohannis to review the bill instructing the National Bank of Romania (BNR) to repatriate almost the entire gold reserve held in London, at the Bank of England. President Iohannis considers that the law does not observe the commitments made by Romania in the European Union Treaty, does not have the approval of the European Central Bank, does not take into consideration the country's efforts to join the Eurozone, and is unclear on the repatriation procedure and its costs.


Politics (2)

PM urges parties to reconsider state of alert position

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said the issue of extending the state of alert should not be addressed politically and that the parties opposing the bill "still have time to think". "A total relaxation at the moment will certainly lead to an increase in the number of infected people. We cannot estimate by how much. Any increase in the number of infections increases the number of people who risk death," Orban said.


Raed Arafat trying to convince Parliament to extend state of alert

Marcel Ciolacu, Dan Barna and Victor Ponta met on Wednesday with Raed Arafat, head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), in order to discuss the extension of the state of alert. The three politicians do not support an extension.


Social (2)

Some categories of citizens will receive 30 free masks per month

Some categories of citizens will receive 30 free masks per month, according to a bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies in a 224 to 64 vote. Unifarm will handle the acquisition and distribution process on behalf of the Ministry of Health.


Arafat: We are not in a normal situation

DSU head Raed Arafat said Romania is not in a normal situation and that the risk of coronavirus infection is still present, especially since the number of new cases tends to fluctuate every day. Arafat added that the state of alert cannot be restricted to a few counties.