News review of the day – December 5th

Negotiations between the Cabinet and IMF delegation prove difficult

Romanian authorities consider IMF’s and European Commission’s demand of budget deficit reduction down to 0.9 percent of the GDP in 2015 as unacceptable, according to a statement made earlier this evening by Prime Minister Victor Ponta who has suggested that negotiations with Romania’s international creditors prove difficult but a break of the agreement is not an option at this point. Different visions of the negotiating parties had previously been announced by minister delegate for budget Darius Vâlcov who had already said his aim for 2015 was a 1.4 percent deficit level with possible expansions due to co-financing of European investment projects.
PM Victor Ponta: Negotiations proved difficult every time. As we speak, I don’t believe a break of the agreement can be considered, but beyond the agreement with the IMF our relationship with the European Commission is essential. We are Europe’s model disciples, however I wouldn’t wish we were the model disciples in terms that could hinder our accelarated development. For my Cabinet ministers a 0.9 deficit is unacceptable.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Romania’s PM Victor Ponta

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has had a meeting this morning with Romania’s PM Victor Ponta at the Cabinet’s headquarters in Bucharest. Tony Blair is on a private visit to Romania. Last year, the two officials had several meetings in Bucharest and abroad, the last one in December 2013 in Johannesburg when Mr Blair intermediated the meeting between Victor Ponta and US President Barack Obama. Romania’s chief minister has reiterated on different occasions that Tony Blair remains his political role model.

Price of natural gas produced in Romania is not going to rise until July 1st 2015

Minister Delegate for energy sector Razvan Nicolescu has assured today on a debate at the public radio station that price of natural gas produced in Romania is not going to rise until July 1st 2015, neither for household consumers nor for thermal power stations. The minister explained that a new liberalization schedule to be discussed with representatives of the European Commission  is going to be established on an institutional level after thorough analysis. Razvan Nicolescu added that July 1st 2015 is not necessarily the deadline for the first price revision.

Romania registers highest economic growth in the European Union in the third quarter

Romania has registered the highest economic growth in the European Union in the third quarter of 2014 against the previous one -1.8 percent, according to data released today by EU’s Statistical Office Eurostat and quoted by Radio Romania’s permanent correspondent to Brussels. Our country comes first in the EU followed by Poland, United Kingdom, Slovenia and Greece – all of them with a 0.7 percent advance. On the other hand, Cyprus, Austria and Italy’s economies have registered a decrease.

Trade unions in the food industry protested over VAT reduction for meat products

Trade unions in the food industry protesting today in front of Romania’s Finance Ministry have not managed to cut any deal with the authorities regarding a reduction of the VAT on meat products from 24 percent to 5 percent starting January 1st 2015. Leader Dragoş Frumosu has stated for the public radio that the currently high VAT level determines a 50 percent tax avoidance in this sector. Today’s protest ocurred shortly after a Cabinet announcement stating VAT may be cut down in 2015 only for ecological products. Unionists say too few Romanians buy ecological products due to their high price and are determined to further negotiate VAT reduction for all categories of meat products.

Romania’s ambassador to Armenia recalled to account for anti-Semitic remarks

Foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu has ordered the recall of Romania’s ambassador to Armenia Sorin Vasile to account for his comments at a public conference in Erevan. As instructed by the FM in Bucharest, the ambassador has already made a public apology over some anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks that he had made, apology published on an Armenian newspaper’s website. Romania’s Foreign Ministry has stated it does not or will not tolerate any misbehaviour or language deviation of active Romanian diplomats which could prejudice values, norms or basics of contemporary international relations.

Romania takes over as President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

Romania has taken over as President of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, according to a press release by the Foreign Ministry. The decision has been made by consensus of the 31 member states of the organization during a reunion in Manchester. Romania’s FM has pointed out  it will go on supporting all initiative meant to promote cohabitation based on respect towards fundamental human rights and liberties as well as participation of our country to common efforts meant to counteract anti-Semitism and intolerance. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an  intergovernmental organization created back in 1998 on Swedish PM’s Göran Persson initiative. Romania has been a full member of the organization since 2004.

3,000 job openings in the IT industry in Cluj county

The IT industry in Cluj county has consolidated its title of main economic branch in 2014.  Investment rate has risen this year, IT products have become more competitive and the qualified personnel in this sector is in great demand. Approximately 3,000 jobs are available at the moment for IT-specialist positions. Many IT graduates are looking for jobs in Cluj where salaries are higher than in other Romanian cities. Things have shifted in 2014 on the IT market, as companies have focused more on developing their own added-value applications against outsourcing production for Western markets.

Bianca Ioniţă