Daily Newsletter - 8 April 2019


Macroeconomic News (4)

How much oil does Romania import?

Contrary to widespread opinion, Romanian crude production is falling and cannot cover even half of the consumption of the few remaining refineries. Last year alone, Romania imported crude worth USD 4 billion. Romania's oil imports were 59.4 million barrels, or 71% of the consumption needs of the three remaining refineries - Petromidia, Petrobrazi and Petrotel -, according to the European Commission's statistical data.


Dragnea floats low VAT rate for bio and traditional products

Liviu Dragnea, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), announced that he would discuss with the Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, the use of a 5% VAT rate for ecological, bio and traditional food products. Dragnea has also urged Daea to speed up the establishing of a chain of state-owned stores meant to sell Romanian products.


Romanian economy is 15th biggest in EU

The Romanian economy ranks 15th in the European Union, according to the 2018 rankings. The country's GDP exceeded that of Portugal, while Poland overtook Sweden.


Teodorovici: When I think of Romania's economic interest, I am aggressive

Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici said he is aggressive in defending Romania's economic interests, but denied that plans floated by his ministry are a restriction of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. The comments came after he said on Saturday, at the end of the second day of the ECOFIN meeting, that European countries that lose a lot of workers to the rest of the European Union should think of an aggressive package of measures featuring solutions to selective mobility and brain drain.


Financial News (4)

CSALB says applications up 60%

The Banking Dispute Alternative Resolution Center (CSALB) received approximately 500 applications in the first quarter of this year, up 60% from the corresponding quarter of 2018. 108 consumers had their disputes with lenders resolved, up from 74 in Q1, 2018.


Cost of new loans surged in February

The interest rates of new bank loans increased by almost 0.5 pp in February, reaching the highest level since May, 2014. The cost of borrowing surged across the board in January and February, following the advent of the financial asset tax. On the other hand, the interest rates paid by the banks on retail deposits stagnated.


ALDE to file benchmark amendment

Senator Daniel Zamfir announced on Friday that ALDE would submit an amendment to the bill featuring Decree 19/2019 in order to make the new benchmark rate apply to ongoing loans. The bill would also be sent to the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager.


Teodorovici: "We have an eurozone accession plan"

Romania has a very well-established plan for joining the eurozone, and the accession date is 2024, according to statements made by Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici at the opening of the Eurogroup meeting and the informal meeting of finance ministers (ECOFIN), organized in Bucharest. "Romania has set itself a clear goal of joining the eurozone in 2024. Even if some requirements are already met, the decision is still taken at the European level, and Romania has a firm plan in this respect," said Teodorovici.


Politics (1)

IMAS poll

If the European Parliament election was held on Sunday, 25.2% of voters would choose the National Liberal Party (PNL) and only 21.5% would support the Social Democrats (PSD), according to an IMAS poll commissioned by Europa FM.


Social (2)

Air quality situation in Romania worse than reported

The European Commission (EC) identified serious and structural deficiencies in the air quality data measured by the Romanian Monitoring Network (RMR) and reported to Brussels. The situation could be far worse than actually indicated, according to the country report regarding the 2019 evaluation of the implementation of EU environmental policies (EIR) published on Friday.


Cabinet allocated Rabla Clasic and Rabla Plus budgets

The Cabinet published in the Official Monitor the Environment Fund and the Environment Fund Administration budgets. They include the funds allocated for the Rabla Clasic and Rabla Plus cash-for-clunkers programs.