Daily Newsletter - 9 June 2020


Macroeconomic News (3)

ANAT urges travel restriction lifting

The National Association of Tourism Agencies (ANAT) has urged the government to lift the travel restrictions beginning with June 15, beginning with trips to neighboring countries, and mentioned that any extension of the self-isolation period would not be justified after that date.


Pandemic brought local workforce back to sea coast resorts

A positive effect of the epidemic is the return of the Romanian labor force to sea coast resorts, where employers are getting applications every day from those who have returned to the country. Salaries start at EUR 300-400 and can go as high as EUR 2,000. In Mamaia, a bartender earns EUR 700-800 per month, while a bartender's or waiter's assistant is paid EUR 300-400. In Vama Veche, however, the salaries of skilled workers reach EUR 2,000.


Average loss of production to autumn crops exceeds 30%

The average loss of production for autumn crops - wheat, rape, and barley - due to drought exceeds 30%, compared to a normal year, while for early fruit trees the loss is as high as 70%, according to Valeriu Tabara, President of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (ASAS).


Financial News (4)

Banks slash interest rates

Banks substantially reduced their profit margins by lowering interest rates on loans in April, under pressure from a substantial decline in credit demand and also the National Bank's (BNR) liquidity policy - both pressures being imposed by the coronavirus crisis. The net interest margin decreased to 5.93 percentage points, the lowest level since November, 2017.


BCR postponed installment payments of 34,459 clients

BCR reported 34,459 postponements of installment payments, out of a total of 38,525 applications filed by retail clients. In the last week alone, the bank implemented 880 applications, according to the official reports. 62% of clients used BCR's three-month deferral. The bank's staff called 30,000 clients and advised them of their options, both BCR's own payment deferral program and the government's decree.


Finance Minister feared stability and financing capacity threats more than COVID-19

The Minister of Finance, Florin Citu, stated that his only concern during this period was the state of public finances, while the fear for the stability and financing capacity of the country was greater than that of Covid-19, according to Agerpres.


Number of overdue loans up

Credit Bureau data published by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) showed an increase in the number of individuals who delayed the payment of loan installments for more than 30 days in March and April. While in February the number of individuals falling behind in payments was 524,204, it rose to 531,503 in March and 561,721 in April.


Investment News (1)

Danube bridge starts taking shape

The bridge over the Danube, linking Braila to Macin, is starting to take shape. The authorities are hoping that the work, which started in December, 2018, will be completed by the end of 2021. The project is worth EUR 500 million, including the access roads. Much of the funding came from the European Union, through the Major Infrastructure Operational Program.


Legislative News (1)

Parliament passes bills banning farmland sales

A bill drafted by Deputy Alexandru Stanescu (PSD), brother of former minister Paul Stanescu and a major land owner in the Olt county, prevents locals and foreigners who are not farmers from buying farmland in Romania. If the bill is signed into law, the current farmers will gain a monopoly on farmland acquisition.


Politics (2)

Ciolacu confirms alliance talks with ALDE and Pro Romania

Marcel Ciolacu, interim leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), announced on Monday evening that he was discussing an alliance for the local election with ALDE and Pro Romania leaders Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Victor Ponta. The alliance could extend beyond the Bucharest elections.


PSD: President must sign child rearing aid bill quickly

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) said President Klaus Iohannis must sign quickly the bill doubling the financial aid provided to children, while accusing the National Liberals (PNL) of delaying the implementation of this measure.


Social (2)

Minister of Health is not very optimistic

The Minister of Health, Nelu Tataru, stated that the state of alert may remain in force after June 15, depending on the public health situation after the restrictions are relaxed. "On June 15, we will still be in a state of alert and what happens these days will decide whether the state of alert is extended or not," said Tataru.


Romanians work an average of 34 years

A Romanian works on average 33.8 years during his active life, 8.2 years less than the average figure reported by Sweden, the European Union country where the inhabitants have the longest lifespan, but 1.8 years more than Italians, the polar opposite of Sweden, according to 2019 data published by Eurostat.