Romania recorded a EUR 758.6 million deficit in agri-food trade in the
first nine months of 2021, down by almost 40% compared to the same
period of 2020, according to data centralized by the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR). The deficit exceeded EUR
1.245 billion during the period January – September 2020. Data from the
Ministry of Agriculture show that exports grew by 26%, to a total of
EUR 6.57 billion, while the advance of imports was lower, of only
13.5%, to EUR 7.33 billion.
The euro area’s economic recovery stuttered in December as a renewed
wave of COVID-19 infections curtailed growth in the bloc’s dominant
service industry, and could weaken further if tighter restrictions are
imposed, according to data released by financial analyses firm Markit
on Wednesday. As the Omicron coronavirus variant spread rapidly at the
end of 2021, governments re-imposed measures to contain infection
rates, particularly in Germany, Europe’s largest economy. That meant
IHS Markit’s Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a good gauge
of overall economic health, sank to 53.3 in December from 55.4 in
November, its lowest since March 2020, according to data from
The International Monetary Fund will release its World Economic Outlook
report on 25 January, a week later than initially planned, to
incorporate the latest developments generated by the spreading of the
Omicron variant of Covid-19 around the world into the economic
forecasts, an IMF spokesperson announced on Tuesday, amid signs another
downgrade will come. In October, the IMF had slightly revised downward,
by 0.1%, its estimate regarding global economic growth, to 5.9% in
2021. According to the international financial institution, this
revision was partially due to supply chain disruptions.
Insurance companies activating on the mandatory civil liability car
insurance (RCA) segment sold 230,537 direct settlement clauses in the
first nine months of 2021, 42% more than in the same period of the
previous year, according to information published in the Financial
Supervisory Authority (FSA)’s report. The value of premiums
underwritten based on the over 230,000 direct settlement clauses
concluded by RCA insurers is thus RON 23.17 million, which means a
43.6% increase in underwriting at the end of the first nine months of
2021, year-on-year. As a result, the average annualized premium at the
end of September 2021 stood at RON 115, while the number of direct
settlement clauses in force amounted to 257,918, 32.2% more than in the
first nine months of 2020.
The National Bank of Romania now has the lowest key rate in the region
after the central bank of Poland increased the monetary policy rate at
a fast pace amid the rising inflation. Romania is also faced with high
inflation, but has had the most passive central bank in the region over
the past half year. NBR’s first monetary policy meeting in 2022 will
take place on 10 January. During the previous such meeting, in
November, it had increased the key rate from 1.5% to 1.75%. In the
meantime, the National Bank of Poland has raised the monetary policy
rate twice and has gone from 0.5% to 2.25% - the latest increase, by 50
basis points, has taken place this week.
WellCode, a provider of programming courses and mentoring services,
headquartered in Cluj-Napoca, has launched, in partnership with Banca
Transilvania, a solution to finance IT training with the help of a
student loan, which can be accessed by students who want to pursue a
programmer career, but do not have the financial resources to pay for
the training. The partnership, which will be in force until the
beginning of 2023, stipulates the provision, by Banca Transilvania, of
a study loan to those who want to attend the mentoring program launched
by WellCode, at the end of which they will become junior programmers
and can be employed with monthly salaries of up to RON 5,000. In the
case of pupils and students interested in attending the WellCode
program, the financing solution can be accessed through their parents.
Most modern trade networks in Romania continued their development in
2021. Nearly 400 new hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount stores and
proximity stores were thus opened. Foreign players made about EUR 1
billion total investments, according to ZF estimates based on data
provided by companies. The money was used both for opening new stores
and refurbishing existing units, and for purchasing land and building
On Wednesday, the Government approved a RON 42.8 million total
investment aimed at reducing the risk of floods in the Danube Delta.
The financing of the project "Complex defense of localities in the
Danube Delta to minimize the risk of floods on life in Tulcea County"
will be ensured from non-reimbursable external funds, through the
Environment, Waters and Forests Ministry’s budget, from the "Romanian
Waters" National Administration’s own revenues, as well as from other
legally constituted sources.
On Wednesday, the Government approved, upon the proposal of the
Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, the Agreement concluded
between the Government of Romania and the Government of the Republic of
Moldova regulating the construction of aqueducts with under-crossing
the Prut River for the supply of drinking water from Iaşi County
(Romania) to Nisporeni, Ungheni, Glodeni and Falesti districts
(Republic of Moldova). The investments will be carried out from S.C.
APAVITAL S.A.’s budget. The first stage of the project involves
building an under-crossing of the Prut River between the localities of
Măcărești (Romania) and Măcărești (Republic of Moldova), which will
serve the citizens in thirteen localities in Ungheni and Nisporeni
districts, with a population of approximately 30,000 inhabitants.
During the first meeting of the ruling coalition, the Social Democratic
Party (PSD) will call for the urgent adoption of amendments and
additions to the legislation on citizens’ protection against the
galloping increases in electricity and gas prices, a press release
indicates. Previously, on Tuesday evening, PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu
said that the current law could not be enforced.
On Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law amending
Article 202, paragraph (1), letter b) of the National Education Law no.
1/2011. As a result, all students will have equal and free access to
university libraries, including to Central-University Libraries. Upon
the adoption by Parliament, Save Romania Union (USR) deputy Filip
Havârneanu, one of the initiators, said that thousands of students in
Romania wanted to benefit from this facility.
For Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, it is too early to assess
whether the cooperation mechanism at the basis of the enforcement of
the EU’s privacy rules, the GDPR, is functioning correctly. Reynders
stated his view in a reply to an open letter from 6 December co-signed
by Dutch MEPs Sophie in’t Veld and Tineke Strik and the German Birgit
Sippel and Cornelia Ernst. He pointed out that, under the GDPR, Ireland
had the lead on most of the high-level cases as most Big Tech companies
had their European legal basis there. MEPs consider the Irish Data
Protection Commissioner (DPC) has interpreted such policing role too
timidly and have called several times on the Commission to act.
The Romanian Government approved, on Wednesday, the draft law amending
and completing the list of medicines that insured persons benefit from,
with or without personal contribution, based on a prescription, in the
social health insurance system, as well as the corresponding
international common names of medicines provided under national health
programs. According to the Ministry of Health, the update to the list
of free and subsidized medicines stipulates the introduction of 20
innovative molecules for patients with neurological diseases,
oncological diseases - leukemia and lymphomas, mucoviscidosis,
hypertension, chronic lung diseases, hemophilia and thalassemia, rare
diseases, chronic hepatitis, Parkinson’s disease, severe chronic
psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The Minister for Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities, Gabriela Firea
has announced that the 119 Children’s Line has been created. As of
Wednesday, cases of child abuse can be reported by calling the
aforementioned phone number. The 119 Children’s Line can be used 24
hours a day and the call is free of charge, Gabriela Firea announced
yesterday. The official explained that children who felt abused,
neglected or victims of violence, but also people who knew of
situations where children were in difficult situations can call 119.