News review of the day – October 22nd

IMF warning on Romania’s budget deficit

While praising Romania’s latest performance mainly in the macro-economic sector, the International Monetary Fund expressed concern about the budget deficit in the next two years. Despite a short term solid growth and a 2015 deficit designed to reach the planned target, recent policies including tax cuts and pay rises may push the fiscal deficit to almost 3 percent of the GDP in 2016 and even higher in 2017 unless compensatory measures are imposed, according to a statement issued by Andrea Schaechter, the head of the IMF delegation in Romania, after talks with Romanian officials on Wednesday. Romania was expected to ask the IMF for a new loan but IMF sources said such loan was unlikely. Ms. Schaechter has ended her one-week visit to Romania after meetings with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Romanian government officials and legislators.

New names in the Mineriad file

Romanian prosecutors opened legal procedures against former Romanian officials allegedly involved in the developments leading to the so-called Mineriad on June 13 -15, 1990. Former Prime Minister Petre Roman, former Defence Minister Victor Atanasie Stănculescu and Gelu Voican Voiculescu were expected to appear before prosecutors on Thursday and answer querstions concerning their alleged involvement in the events 25 years ago. Former trade union leader Miron Cozma, who led the Jiu Valley miners to the capital Bucharest, is also under investigation. The reports come after former President Ion Iliescu already appeared before prosecutors in order to answer similar questions on Wednesday.

Romanian secretary of state resigns

A Romanian secretary of state with the country’s Education Ministry resigned on Thursday. Vasile Şalaru submitted his resignation as secretary of state following sex-related comments he allegedly made some days ago while in Deva, a town in western Romania. However, Mr. Şalaru told a Romanian television channel he was partially denying the comments as reported by the press. Vasile Şalaru will return to the Romanian northern town of Iassy where he is a teacher at the Garabet Ibrăileanu High School.

DIICOT prosecutors on alert

Romanian prosecutors with the country’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) raided the Economic Department offices of the City Hall in the eastern town of Buzău on Thursday as a number of city hall employees were suspected of organising a criminal group wanted for cybercrimes and abuse of office. The suspects allegedly introduced forged information aimed at deleting or suspending debts owed by judicial persons to the city budget.

Alexandru Danga