News review of the day – March 16th

Finance Minister Darius Vâlcov resigns

Finance Minister Darius Vâlcov, key member of the Cabinet, has announced his resignation two days after being placed under criminal prosecution by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate. He is accused of receiving a 2-million euro bribe while Mayor of Slatina municipality. However, his resignation will become effective only after the Fiscal Code draft is completed and sent to the Parliament. The announcement was made last night by Prime Minister Victor Ponta shortly after President Klaus Iohannis had asked him to initiate the revoking procedure for the minister.
PM Victor Ponta has stated that the resignation will be sent to the President next week at the latest, explaining that the Fiscal Code is now undergoing endorsing procedures which would be delayed by an immediate replacement of the Finance Minister.

Romanians show the highest amount of trust towards the European Union compared to all other EU citizens

Romanians show the highest amount of trust towards the European Union and its future compared to all other EU citizens, according to the latest Eurobarometer published by the European Commission representation in Romania. Data reveal that a high percent of the interviewees trust the mass media more than public institutions. Nearly 70 percent of Romanians now consider themselves European citizens, a higher number compared to 2013 and half of the responders believe they know their European citizen rights.
The Eurobarometer also shows that Romanians are concerned with unemployment, inflation and the healthcare system on a national level. The most part considers that situation of EU’s economy is good and they support the single currency whereas the national economy’s situation is seen as being bad and very bad by 80 percent of the responders.
On a personal level, Romanians prove to be more optimistic. More than 30% think positively about their current jobs. The most important problems seem to be related to the rising price levels, unemployement and financial situation of their household. The Eurobarometer was conducted last autumn on a nationwide representative sample of 1016 responders with a plus/minus 3 percent margin of error.

National Authority for Consumer Protection calls for better bank practices towards impoverished clients

President of the National Authority for Consumer Protection in Romania (ANPC) Marius Dunca has called for better practices used by banks and other financial institutions regarding credits of clients in difficult situations and urged them to propose alternatives to solve these kind of financial shortages through correct, transparent and comprehensible offers. On the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, Mr Dunca added that Romanians have lost their trust in banking institutions and now fear to apply for any credits. In order to restore this trust, president of ANPC considers that better co-operation and communcation between state institutions, business environment and consumers is now necessary. President of ANPC also reminded about non-banking financial institutions that offer fast credits without many guarantees and unreasonable interests whose activity the authority intends to check up. ANPC is even considering to propose limitations to these interests that are being practised./ibianca

Transparency International launches campaign called „Get involved! Report corruption!”

Transparency International Romania has launched today a civic mobilization campaign called „Get involved! Report corruption!”. The event is aimed to determine public opinion to take action and help report corruption cases easier than before. According to a press release by the organization, corruption witnesses or victims that wish to report such situations are going to be supported free of charge by the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre which is also going to guarantee confidentiality. Radio Romania’s news station is supporting the campaign alongside other relevant institutions like the Higher Council of Magistrates, The General Anti-Corruption Directorate, Romania’s Ombudsman and The Magistrates Association in Romania.

New record for the US Dollar-Ron exchange rate

Central Bank has published a new record value for the US Dollar-Ron exchange rate. The American currency is now quoted at 4.21 Ron and the appreciation is due to the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Euro.The Euro-US dollar exchange rate has registered fluctuations around 1.05 value whereas 1 Euro is now selling for 4.43 Ron. The Romanian currency has gained two units against the Swiss Franc reaching a 4.19 rate.

Number of unemployed persons in Romania went up

Nurses and postmen are the most wanted occupations among foreign employers, according to EURES job portal, which states that Germany has the highest number of job openings for nurses and caretakers as well as mailmen. Another company in the Czech Republic offers 20 cleaning service openings. According to the latest statistics, the number of unemployed persons in Romania has gone up by 15,000 against January and is now reaching 490,000 persons.

US-Romanian military exercise starts at Campia Turzii Airbase
A common US-Romanian military exercise featuring flights, air-to-air and air-to-ground training missions has started today at Campia Turzii airbase in northwestern Romania and will continue until March 26th. 250 US military and six F-16 fighters are involved in the drill. The Romanian army has mobilized 200 military, pilots and technical personnel, six MiG-21 Lancer aircraft and four IAR-330 helicopters. The exercise was planned last year and has interoperability purposes between NATO members’ militaries.

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