Monday, March 5th

NATO military exercise in the Black Sea

Romania’s Navy starts a major NATO military exercise at the Capul Midia Firing Range in the south-eastern county of Constantza on Monday. The exercise in Romanian and international waters of the Black Sea would involve more than 1,700 Romanian and foreign troops with vesseles and fighter jets. The event is part of NATO’s collective defence strategy in compliance with Article 5 in the NATO Treaty stipulating that an attack against one ally is seen as an attack against all NATO members. Monday’s exercise will involve troops from Romania, Uniated States, France, Bulgaria, and non-members such as Georgia and Ukraine. The exercises aim to increase interoperability of Romanian and foreign troops in a region where NATO members are uneasy after Russia’s interventions in Ukraine.

Final verdict expected in a corruption- related case

A final verdict is expected on Monday in the corruption-related case of Ludovic Orban, leader of Romania’s opposition National Liberal Party (PNL). The country’s High Court for Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) will give its final ruling on the file concerning Mr. Orban, accused of alleged influence peddling. A previous ICCJ verdict last year established his inocence but the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the DNA, appealed the ruling while requesting a one year-jail term. Mr. Orban denied any wrongdoing. The PNL leader was sent to court by the DNA in May 2016. Mr. Orban was accused of being in touch with Tiberiu Urdăreanu, a businessman who claimed that the PNL leader requested money in his attempt to become the next mayor of the capital Bucharest.

S&P confirms Romania’s growth

Standard & Poor’s maintained Romania’s rating at BBB-/A-3, with a stable outlook, due to the country’s moderate external and government debt, amid strong growth prospects.
„The stable outlook reflects our expectation that, although Romania’s twin deficits will remain elevated as a result of the government’s pro-cyclical fiscal stance, general government and external debt will increase only gradually over the next two years, barring a major economic slowdown,” S&P said in a statement last week. S&P also said it could raise the ratings if Romania’s government made more sustained headway with budgetary consolidation, put net general government debt firmly on a downward trajectory, and strengthened its governance framework, translating into more predictable and stable macroeconomic growth and government finances. On the other hand, ratings could be lowered if S&P considered that policy reversals could cause general government deficits, debt, and borrowing costs to increase significantly.
Alexandru Danga/adanga