Monday, January 19th

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu due in Brussels

Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu is due in Brussels on Tuesday. Mr. Aurescu is expected to attend a key meeting of EU foreign ministers where diplomats will discuss issues of common interest such as relations with Russia and ways aimed at fighting terrorism across Europe and around the world. The ministers will have talks with Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi focused on recent security threats in south Mediterranean states and warning threats posed by Islamic State militants. The Romanian minister is also expected to meet Johannes Hahn, EU commissioner for European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, and Corina Creţu, the Romanian EU commissioner for regional policy.

PNL and PD-L MPs resume merger talks

Romanian legislators of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Liberal Democratic Party (PD-L) resumed talks concerning a potential merger of their parliamentary groups on Monday. Party commissioners finalised negociations aimed at drawing the future strategy of the new group in parliament, Tinel Gheorghe, the head of the PD-L MP group told reporters. However, results of the negociations are expected in two days when a report on merger criteria is to be circulated for comments to party organizations in all counties across Romania. A merger of the two parties is expected in 2017 when PNL will vote a new party leader.

A third of Romania’s milk factories closed

A third of Romania’s milk factories closed last year. Some milk factories were forced to declare bankruptcy due to poor demand on domestic market and a cost surge. Massive imports and higher shelf taxes in many shops already led to renewed hardships for Romanian farmers. A new challenge is expected for the almost 130 Romanian milk factories on April 1 when EU will give up the milk quotas, a move which, according to sources, will result in a loss to producers of 4 billion euros, and a gain to consumers of 3.7 billion euros.

Romania’s population declines steadily

Romania’s population steadily declined in the last 25 years. Demographic decline remains one of the major threats for the country’s pension system, according to Vasile Gheţău, head of the Vladimir Trebici Demographic Research Centre of Romania’s Academy, said on Monday. After a population of 23 million people in 1990, Romania’s population declined under 20 million in 2014. Statistics show that women fertility currently hit 1.3 births/woman since the year 2000 as compared to around 3.7 births/woman in the seventies. The number of underage children also went down in the last 25 years, from 6 to 3 million children.

Alexandru Danga