Romanian President Klaus Iohannis to attend a EU summit in Brussels
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis left for Brussels in order to attend the two-day EU summit starting on Thursday. There are a number of issues on the summit agenda including security and defence, competitivity, unemployment and, last but not least, the so-called Brexit – the British attempt to leave the EU. The last thing most leaders want is UK to leave. And more, a British ‘no’ to Europe would boost anti-European movements and help populists make gains across the union. Migration is also one of the main concerns among European leaders, President Iohhanis said before leaving Bucharest.
New fiscal code adopted
The Romanian parliament adopted the new fiscal code at a session on Thursday. A key provision is the controversial VAT cut from 24 to 19 percent starting on January 2016. A cut by 9 percent for food, non-alcoholic drinks and restaurants already went into effect recently. Romania ignored warnings from international lenders by pushing through tax cuts aimed at bolstering the economy and the prime minister as he struggles to shake off a corruption scandal.
Measures aimed at accelerating restitution of buildings abusively confiscated
Romania’s government issued an Emergency Ordinance stipulating new rules designed to unblock and accelerate the restitution process of buildings abusively confiscated during the Communist regime. Land properties of 1,000 square meters in urban areas and similar properties of 3,000 square meters in rural areas are included in the ‘buildings and adjoining areas category’ in case such buildings already existed at the time of the seizure, according to the document issued on Thursday. As the law completing the restitution process allows beneficiaries to use the points awarded at a national public auction starting on January 1, 2016 in order to get a home from the state housing fund, the document became an emergency in order to prevent further legal action from beneficiaries blocked by the delay.
DNA raids in the Romanian north-eastern town of Iassy
Prosecutors with Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) were involved in a series of raids in the Romanian north-eastern of Iassy on Thursday. In a rare corruption-related case, the Romanian anti-corruption watchdog alleged that prosecutor Emilian Eva was involved in illegal trade in more than 200 paintings worth up to 300,000 euro despite his position preventing him to exercise such trade. Mr. Eva is the prosecutor who convicted Romanian media tycoon Dan Voiculescu to 10 years in prison in a case concerning the privatisation of the Food Research Institute.