Daily Newsletter - 25 February 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

ANRE consumers to bear 2% tax

Electricity distribution tariffs will increase by more than 2.5% on March 1, according to an order released by the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). The purpose of this order is to pass to consumers the 2% turnover tax introduced by Decree 114.


Mandatory pension fund assets passed RON 48 billion in January

Mandatory private pension funds held more than RON 48 billion in assets on January 31, 2019, up 17.1% on an annual basis, according to the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF). State bonds accounted for most of these assets (63.2% - RON 30.37 billion), followed by stocks (16.52% - RON 7.94 billion) and bank deposits (9.38% - RON 4.5 billion)


Ministry of Agriculture sets up commerce unit

The Ministry of Agriculture established in January the "Unirea" Romanian Food Commerce House (CRCA). The new entity will work to increase the consumption of domestic products by creating a national chain of stores that will compete against the foreign hypermarkets and supermarkets.


Winkler: Operating programs should be reviewed

Rural communities and localities would have developed better, but the excessive centralization and high bureaucracy plaguing the country hurt their chances of securing EU funds, according to MEP Iuliu Winkler. The MEP added that EUR 2 billion should be relocated from operating programs to the local authorities.


Financial News (2)

Budget rejection could hurt currency

Tension begins to mount on the inter-bank market as the lack of liquidity is driving interest rates higher. The depreciation of the national currency, cased by structural deficits and the president's decision to reject the draft state budget, is not helping. The Ministry of Finance will dump approximately RON 6 billion on the market on Monday, when an issue of bonds matures.


Prima Casa rules to change

Eugen Teodorovici, the Minister of Finance, stated on Sunday evening that the Prima Casa program would continue this year, with a RON 2 billion budget. However, the program's rules would be adjusted to make it a more social program. "The proposals to modify the program will be ready by the end of February," said Teodorovici.


Investment News (1)

Transgaz investments to reach RON 1.9 billion

Transgaz has investments worth a total of RON 1.9 billion planned for 2018-2027, according to the Development Plan that would be submitted to shareholders for approval at the meeting scheduled for March 11. The most important project for the company is still the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria pipeline.


Politics (2)

Frans Timmermans issues stark warning

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, told PSD leader Liviu Dragnea that the party mst observe the fundamental values of the socialist movement if it wants to be part of the socialist group. The warning was delivered during a speech held at the European Socialists Congress in Madrid.


Ciolos: Unless we hold early elections to choose a new legitimate government, we may not be able to pay pensions and salaries in a couple of months

The leaders of the Save Romania Union (USR) and the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) were in the Victoriei Square to attend the rally against Decree 7. Dacian Ciolos, leader of PLUS, said early elections should be held in order to choose a new government that has political legitimacy. Dan Barna, leader of USR, told the media that Romania cannot end up a Russian vassal just because Liviu Dragnea wants to avoid jail time.


Social (1)

Hundreds gathered in Victoriei Square to protest decree

Several hundred people are protesting in Victoriei Square at the time of writing, voicing their opposition to the decree amending the judiciary rules. The protesters brought Romanian and EU flags, as well as posters reading "Resign!", "Thieves!", "Down with the Government!". They're chanting "We don't want to be led by thieves!" and "Justice, not corruption!".