Daily Newsletter - 5 May 2020


Macroeconomic News (3)

Farmer and small food companies could be paid compensation

Member States will be able to use rural development funds to compensate farmers and small businesses from the agri-food sector. The compensation caps are EUR 5,000 per farmer and EUR 50,000 per company, the European Commission announced on Monday, during the launching of the latest package of exceptional measures for the agricultural and food sectors. These sectors were hit the hardest by the coronavirus crisis.


Cabinet's plan

Among the measures considered by the Cabinet to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic are a massive public infrastructure investment program, amounting to over 6% of GDP, over a period of 2 years, granting state aid for greenfield investment projects, reducing the price of electricity for large consumers, guaranteeing working capital and investment loans for large companies, shouldering the taxes paid by employees, and even the establishment of a National Investment Fund.


Number of residential construction permits up 4%

The number of building permits for residential buildings increased in March, compared to February. 3,224 permits were issued in March, up 4% from February, but down 15% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS). 68% of these permits went to projects located in rural areas.


Financial News (4)

Special mortgages for doctors

CEC Bank has launched a mortgage loan for the employees of hospitals fighting against the coronavirus, featuring better terms than the "Prima Casa" program: 4.19% interest and 0.15% annual administration fee. The offer is open solely to the employees of assistance and support hospitals, as designated by Order 623/2020 of the Minister of Health.


BCR clients get pension option

Clients of BCR who want to receive their pensions in their card accounts will have the option to request this without going to a branch office or to Pension House (CP). Clients can simply call the bank's ContactCenter and the bank will send the application to the authorities.


40,000 clients had their loan installments suspended

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said that 40,000 bank clients have had their installment payments suspended by April 30, out of about 200,000 clients which requested this. Orban said in a press conference that one of the measures taken during this period was to suspend the payment of loan installments until December 31.


BNR foreign currency reserve down EUR 1 billion

The foreign currency reserves managed by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) dropped by EUR 967 million between March 31 and April 30, reaching a total of EUR 33.15 billion, according to data released on Monday. On the other hand, the national currency depreciated only 0.3% over the same period of time, despite the coronavirus crisis.


Legislative News (1)

The EUR 1.5 billion problem

With the lifting of the state of emergency, the facility exempting companies from paying taxes without the accumulation of penalties and without the risk of forced execution will come to an end. However, the financial difficulties that companies will face in the coming months make it extremely likely that many of companies will resort to instruments allowing them to paying their taxes in installments. However, these tools cannot be accessed by all taxpayers, because applicants have to present guarantees - which few companies can do.


Politics (1)

Pro Romania demands investigation

Pro Romania has asked the Parliament to set up a commission tasked with investigating all procurement contracts signed during the state of emergency and demanded a report from the Cabinet on its plans for economic recovery. The party has also asked for a report on the Cabinet's COVID-19 testing program.


Social (2)

250,000 students lack access to technology

The Minister of Education, Monica Anisie, stated that there are approximately 250,000 students who do not have access to technology and who cannot attend online courses during this period. The ministry will take action if the situation continues in the fall.


Layoffs up 10%

The number of employees laid off after the beginning of the state of emergency climbed 10% between April 30 and May 4, reaching a total of 303,945, according to data released by the Ministry of Labor on Monday.