News review of the day – Wednesday, July 22nd

Bills signed into law by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis signed into law on Wednesday a number of bills including new regulations concerning pensions for public servants in the country’s parliament. Public servants in parliament are expected to get a pension corresponding with 80 percent of their gains during their last year on the job after a minimum 14-year stage in parliament. Another bill signed into law by President Iohannis refers to ways addressing the end-of-life vehicule regime as the European Commission started infringement procedures against the country on the matter in 2013 including sanctions and penalties.

Romania’s governing PSD expected to elect its leader

Some 100 leading members of Romania’s governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) are expected to elect their party leader on Wednesday after Prime Minister Victor Ponta gave up his position as party leader last Sunday. Acting PSD president Rovana Plumb and Liviu Dragnea, a close ally of Mr. Ponta, are running for the job with approximately  equal chances, analysts say. Ms. Plumb became the new head of the PSD National Council while currently acting as Minister of Labour, Family, Social Welfare and Elderly in Romania’s government. She expressed her further support of the Ponta Cabinet along with other parties in the governing coalition. On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea was forced to quit his positions of PSD executive president and Development Minister after he received a suspended one-year prison term for his involvement in the so-called „Referendum File”.

Real estate prices on the rise

Romania’s real estate prices are on the rise with a further increase in short term, analyst said. Romanians seem increasingly interested in buying a house as banks relaxed mortgage regulations while an installment got cheaper than hiring,  Dragoş Vîlceanu, head of Real Estate Brokers’ Association, told Radio Romania. „The residential business is getting stronger while demand is exceeding the offer. People will be more likely to buy an estate than keeping their money in bank accounts”, Mr. Vîlceanu added. Growing demand is encouraged by the „First House” programme as its influence is higher on prices between 40-60,000 euros. Romania’s real estate prices went up more than 4 percent in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to a similar period last year.

US-appointed Ambassador to Romania before a US Senate committee for hearing

An American diplomat appointed as US ambassador to Romania appeared before a US Senate committee for hearing on July 21. The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations was expected to hear among others Paul Wayne Jones, to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Poland, Hans G. Klemm of Michigan, to be Ambassador to Romania, Kathleen Ann Doherty of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus, and  James Desmond Melville Jr.  of New Jersey, to be US Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia. Hans G. Klemm, 57, is an American diplomat who served as USAmbassador to East Timor from June 12, 2007 to May 25, 2010. He joined the United States Foreign Service in 1981 and was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service in 2001. Mr. Klemm was appointed US Ambassador to Romania on March 24.

Alexandru Danga