News review of the day – January 7

Prime Minister Dacian Cioloş met in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Romania’s significant economic relations with Germany as well as the support Germany can provide for Romania’s accession to the Schengen area were the main subjects on today’s agenda during a meeting in Berlin between PM Dacian Cioloş and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany is one of Romania’s most important economic partners with trade exchanges now exceeding 20 billion Euros, according to Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Cioloş who added that he also discussed with Chancellor Merkel Romania’s priorities in this field, the ability to invest in bitcoin now and reforms regarding governance development or fiscal and financial predictability. The PM approached the subject regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen area amid progress that has been registered lately in the fight against corruption.

Dacian Cioloş: Romania met its obligations in order to join the Schengen area. We surely wish for a solid and reliable Schengen area and we are, therefore, aware we need to solve issues that are now on the agenda, strengthening the external borders of the EU; in this regard, Romania is already acting like a Schengen member, with extreme responsibility for border control. The Chancellor and I have also discussed migration aspects, starting from Romania’s well-known position in this matter, but keeping an open mind towards dialogue and solutions that can accommodate Romania’s and other member states’ expectations.

In her turn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel appreciated Romania’s progress in the fight against corruption pointing out, however, that she expected conclusions of the next justice report by the EC. Angela Merkel also stressed out that the Schengen area is a topical issue and member states should struggle to maintain this area.

As for Germany’s economic relations with Romania, the Chancellor considered them very important to both countries, a further boost in economic co-operation requiring, however, commitment from our country to tackle corruption and consolidate justice.

European Commissioner Corina Creţu about the „Pact of Amsterdam” to be signed in May

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu has provided details today for RADIO ROMANIA about the „Pact  of Amsterdam” which is to be signed in May and represents an Urban Agenda at European level meant to reduce poverty and increase city energy efficiency.

Corina Creţu: For the first time in the currrent budget cycle (2014-2020), the European Commission is going to allot money directly to the big cities. It is a trust proof between the EC and the cities. We have 15 billion Euros made available directly to them. We also know very well that regional policy in many member states can contribute to economic growth and create jobs. Structural funds represent more than 50 billion Euros over the next 7 years. The Commission and the Dutch Presidency rely on the impact this money can have to create jobs and determine economic growth and we try to focus on performance, not on fund absorption just for absorption’s sake.

World Bank improves Romania’s forecast regarding economic growth in 2016

In its latest report on global economic prospects released yesterday the World Bank improved Romania’s forecast regarding economic growth in 2016 from 3.2% to 3.9%. The forecast for 2017 was also improved from 3.5% to 4.1%. The international institution has also upgraded forecast on yearly GDP growth for our country in 2015 from 3% to 3.6%. The overall growth rate for Europe and Central Asia – region that includes Romania but not the Eurozone – is estimated at 3% for 2016 and at 3.5% for 2017 and 2018, Radio Romania reported.

Romania leads EU top of retail sales growth in November

Romania is leading in a top regarding retail sales growth in November the European Union. According to data released by Eurostat, retail market went up by 15% in November 2015 against the previous year. In the Eurozone, retail sales have registered a 1.4% growth and in the EU – 2.6%. The main influence in all 28 EU member states was the prevalence in sales of non-food products, Radio Romania reported.

Central Bank maintains reference interest rate at 1.75%

The Board of the Central Bank has decided to maintain the reference interest rate at 1.75% in the first monetary policy meeting this year. The Central Bank has also decided to reduce by 2% the foreign currency-denominated reserve requirements ratio from the current 14% level. The leu-denominated reserve requirements ratio was maintained to the 8% level, according to a press release by the institution, Radio Romania reports.

INS data regarding unemployment in Romania

Unemployment rate in Romania registered a 0.1% decrease to 6.7% in November 2015 against the previous month and equaled the rate in November 2014. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the number of unemployed persons in Romania is 620.000 whereas unemployment rate in men exceeds the one in women by 1.7 %, Radio Romania reported.

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