News review of the day – August 11th

Prime Minister Victor Ponta in first interview after his holiday

Civil servants will not benefit from a new wage law unless the current draft of the Fiscal Code is endorsed by the Parliament, according to Prime Minister Victor Ponta who made this statment during the first interview after his holiday. The chief of the Cabinet pointed out that fiscal relaxation measures are sustainable and impact of their enforcement can be neutralized by the economic growth.

On the other hand, PM Victor Ponta has clearly stated that he is not going to resign and that he would only take this into consideration the moment he loses his party’s support or other coalition partners’ support.

Victor Ponta: Resignation is not just a personal matter to me. Since you’ve asked me, yes, I would have left at one time, on certain conditions. To me, it all comes to the fact that this position is not a personal inheritance or something, it is the result of a vote for USL and its governing program in 2012 expressed by 5 million people and a result of the support given to me by the parliamentary majority – PSD, UNPR, ALDE and national minorities.

The Prime Minister has also announced he is not going to attend the political negotiations on the Fiscal Code as he is no longer a party leader. The Cabinet will be represented by the Finance Minister and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. Victor Ponta claims that the Fiscal Code dispute is 100 percent political and points out that civil servants will not have a new wage law unless it is adopted, Radio Romania reported.

Inflation rate reached an all-time low in July, consumer prices went down

Inflation rate has reached another all-time low in July and data released today by the INS (National Statistics Institute) confirmed Central Bank’s forecast in this regard. Consumer prices were 1.7% lower in July against the same month in 2014.

Food merchandise like potatoes and fresh fruit have registered the biggest drop in price levels, but citrus fruit and eggs have become more expensive. Non-food products have seen a slight increase in price levels except medicines and medical products, automotive and car parts as well as fuels, which were slightly cheaper.

More significant gains in price levels were registered for natural gas, by more than 11%. Price levels in services were similar in June and July 2015, with slight decreases for air transport and mobile phone services and slight increases for running water, sewarage and sanitation. Central Bank’s experts forecast that inflation rate will continue to be negative over the next 9 months, although price levels for certain products may see monthly increases – Radio Romania reported.

Industrial production rises, energy consumption lowers

Industrial production has risen by more than 3% in the first semester of 2015 against the same period last year, according to data published today by the INS (National Statistics Institute). At the same time, energy consumption in the economy has registered an 8% decrease. The apparent paradox of producing more with less energy is explained by a shift from the heavy consuming industries like metallurgy to manufactured products that consume less energy and are more likely to receive supplementary automation.

However, Romania remains two times more inefficient than the European average in what energy consumption is concerned, according to Cristian Pârvan, secretary general of Businessmen’s Association of Romania – Radio Romania reported.

Press realease by King Michael’s grandson Nicholas

King Michael of Romania’s grandson Nicholas, from whom the king has recently withdrawn the Prince title and the right of succession to Romania’s Crown, has stated in a press release that he welcomed the decision and endorsed it, explaining that his royal position implied a lifestyle that he found difficult to accept. The king’s grandson pointed out that this decision follows a time of reflection. He thanked the authorities and all those who invested him with trust and supported him in his projects and said from now on he would dedicate himself to ecology, youth and charitable activities – Radio Romania reported.

Choking of Danube Delta’s channels threaten flora and fauna

The river Danube continues to fall below normal levels and specialists say circulation on channels in the Delta is likely to be blocked. More than 50 are already impassable and this number doubled in less than a week. The flora and fauna are now in danger and local authorities want to ask the Environment Ministry for emergency funding.
The choking of the channels in the Danube Delta associated with a long time of high temperatures can trigger low oxygen levels, algae and mortality hazard. That is why declogging of these water lanes represents an immediat emergency and the request will reach the ministry today – Radio Romania reported.

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