IMF’s Romania outlook
The Romanian economy is growing strongly, unemployment has fallen to a record low, and the financial sector is improving, according to a IMF report issued on Wednesday. But without policy changes, growth will turn increasingly fragile, IMF warned. However, the world body also expects the country’s GDP growth to slow down in 2019. In its review of previous figures, IMF estimates the country’s GDP will go up at 5.1 percent as compared to its previous 4,4 percent last year. Meanwhile, inflation outlook shows a rise of nearly 5 percent which is 1.4 percent higher than figures issued in October last year. „A prudent mix of fiscal consolidation and monetary tightening would avert overheating, while reducing the fiscal and external deficits, and enhancing macro-financial stability. Monetary policy needs further tightening to rein in inflation and anchor expectations, given the pressure from global energy prices, strong domestic demand, a tight labour market, and recent currency dynamics”, IMF said in a report issued last month.
Former Romanian finance minister faces bribery allegations
A former finance minister is facing bribery allegations. Sebastian Vlădescu, a finance minister in the first Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu cabinet (August 22, 2005 and April 4, 2007) and starting from December 23, 2009 in the cabinet of Prime Minister Emil Boc, is expected to answer bribery allegations following a request put forward by the country’s anti-curruption watchdog, the DNA. The head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate Laura Codrunţa Kövesi submitted the request to Prosecutor General’s Office while a final decision on the issue was expected from President Klaus Iohannis.
Romania’s Gaudeamus Book Fair opens in Cluj-Napoca
The traditional Gaudeamus Book Fair opens in the Romanian Transylvanian town of Cluj-Napoca on Wednesday. Scheduled in the city’s Piaţa Unirii (Union Plaza) between March 18-22, Gaudeamus Book Fair is ogranised by the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation (Radio România). The event is part of the Reading Program initiated and organised by Radio Romania since 1994. The Reading Program is a complex cultural project of national interest aimed at supporting the country’s written culture through exhibitions and events dedicated to books and education. After more than 20 years, Gaudeamus currently includes 96 book fairs organised in Bucharest and across the country with over 2.7 million visitors and some other 11,300 cultural events.
Romanian folk singer Ionela Prodan dies at 70
Ionela Prodan, one of Romania’s most famous folk artists, has died in a Bucharest hospital on Monday. She was 70. Born in Dăubuleni, a village in th southern Romanian region of Oltenia, on October 6, 1947, Ionela Prodan made her debut in 1969 when she won the first edition of Maria Tănase Singing Contest in Craiova, capital of the Romanian county of Olt. For many years she made a musical duo with Ion Dolănescu, another famous Romanian folk artist, who died in 2009. It was in 2002 when Ms. Prodan received the country’s National Cross of Faithful Service III from former Romanian President Ion Iliescu. She then bacame the country’s special envoy for relations with Romanians abroad a few years later. Ms. Prodan’s famous songs include „Money, Money”, „Man, Don’t Lose Your Mind”, „Who Are You, Where Are You From”, „This Is Life, That’s Not Your Choice”, and many others. She is survived by two daughters including Anamaria Prodan-Reghekampf, a well-known footballer agent.
Ionela Prodan will be buried at the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest on Thursday, April 19.