News review of the day – May 10

European Commissioner Corina Creţu welcomes adoption of Public Procurement laws

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu welcomed this afternoon the adoption of the Public Procurement laws in the Chamber of Deputies. Earlier this morning, the commissioner had criticised the authorities in Bucharest for delaying the adoption of these laws which needed to be aligned with certain European directives, otherwise blocking all European-fund projects. Commissioner Corina Creţu now hopes  Romania is going to increase its European-fund absorption rate.

Corina Creţu: This was an emergency and I was very worried public procurement procedures were practically blocking all operational programs, with beneficiaries unable to make any procurement in lack of regulations. From now on, we hope all other urgent matters be solved so that Romania be able to speed up its pace in European fund absorption and that year 2016 be not wasted from this regard.

The new public procurement laws were supposed to be aligned with European directives by April 18, but the decison-making Chamber of Deputies has only adopted them today.

Series of events marking Royalty Day as a national holiday in Romania

Starting this year, Romania is marking Royalty Day on May 10 as a national holiday. The celebration has three important meanings in Romania’s history: 150 years ago, Carol I born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was proclaimed King of Romania; eleven years later, Romania gained independence from the Ottoman Empire and, in 1881, our country became a constitutional monarchy.

The events started this morning in Bucharest, at King Carol I’s statue in the Revolution Square (known also as Palace Square) and continued at the Peles Castle in Sinaia, former summer residence of the Romanian kings.

For the first time since 1947 (the year of King Michael’s abdication), May 10 is going to be celebrated at the Peles Castle. A large number of visitors is expected and the access of the public  will be free on the lawn starting 4 PM.

The royal family will greet the people from the balcony at 6 PM whereas three aerobatics aircraft will fly over the castle’s park.

The moment will be followed by a special open-air concert performed, starting 6:30 PM, by the Romanian Royal Camerata, conducted by Tiberiu Soare  (main conductor of the public radio’s Orchestras and Choirs). 400 white pigeons are going to be released at the end of the concert.

The royal concert is going to be broadcast live by Radio Romania’s cultural and music stations and will also be aired after midnight on the main news station, Radio Romania Actualitati.

KazMunaiGaz representatives reported to DIICOT headquarters in Rompetrol-privatisation related criminal case

Representatives of KazMunaiGaz International, the former Rompetrol oil group, accompanied by lawyers, reported to DIICOT headquarters today – Romania’s Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism – in a criminal case investigating the privatisation of Rompetrol company. The prosecutors informed them about a seizure placed on assets and accounts of three legal persons with civil liability in the matter and on properties of four suspects. Radio Romania reminds that DIICOT prosecutors ordered a change in legal classification of offences and are pursuing criminal investigation against 14 suspects in „Rompetrol II” file, disjointed from the one in which Romanian businessman Dinu Patriciu had been sent to court.
Yesterday, the prosecutors have seized Romania’s largest refinery – Petromidia – as well as assets and properties of KazMunaiGaz and two other companies, redeeming 1.7 billion Ron, 290 million Dollars and 35 million Euros.

Central Bank’s inflation forecast significantly revised downwards

Central Bank’s inflation forecast for the current year and 2017 has been significantly revised downwoards. By the end of 2016, the inflation rate would reach only 0.6% against the previous 1.4% forecast and further on, only 2.7% against the estimated 3.4% for 2017. According to the Central Bank Governor Mugur Isărescu, the new Commissioning pay back law has influenced the forecast, as it will discourage bank loan contracting and will tone down economic growth as well. The VAT cut and lower energy prices have also been considered in the new assessment, Radio Romania reported.

Romania’s trade deficit increases

Romania’s trade deficit is increasing against the previous year, reaching nearly 2 billion Euros in the first quarter of 2016. According to data published by the National Statistics Institute, import value indexes continued to rise in March as well compared to exports. Therefore, the trade deficit registered nearly 974 million Euros this March, Radio Romania reported.

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