Wednesday, July 11th

Former head of Romania’s anti-corruption watchdog to get a new job

Prosecutors’ department of Romania’s Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) is expected to discuss a new position for the former head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) who was officialy removed from office on Monday. Participants in the meetng on Wednesday is expected to include Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, and Attorney General Augustin Lazăr. Laura Codruţa Kövesi’s dismissal complied with a ruling from Romania’s Constitutional Court, which had ordered it over the accusations of incompetence, President Klaus Iohannis’s office said. Canada’s ambassador to Romania, Kevin Hamilton, said that Kövesi’s „forced dismissal” was „discouraging news,” while some Romanians voiced dismay on social media about her ousting. Flanked by prosecutors, a visibly emotional Kövesi later hit out at politicians who are currently passing laws that critics say will make it harder to punish graft. She said lawmakers were seeking „protection for the past, the present and the future.” Kövesi has led the DNA since 2013 and, under her management, conviction rates have risen sharply in one of European Union’s most corrupt states, winning plaudits from Brussels who has its judiciary under special monitoring.

Unemployment on the rise in northern Romania

Unemployment rate in the Romanian northern county of Suceava increased last month, according to figures issued by Romania’s Employment Agency on Wednesday. Suceava unemployment hit 5 percent by the end of June, slightly up from the 4.77 percent in May. However, Romania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 4.6 percent in May of 2018, the same as in a month earlier. It remained the highest jobless rate since December 2017, as the number of unemployed went up by 1.9 thousand from the previous month to 413 thousand. The unemployment rate for men edge down to 5 percent (from 5.1 percent in May) and that for women inched up to 4.1 percent (from 4 percent). Unemployment Rate in Romania averaged 6.59 percent from 2004 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 8.90 percent in January of 2004 and a record low of 4.40 percent in March of 2018.

Romania’s inflation at 5.4 percent in June

Core inflation came in 0.1ppt lower at 2.9 percent. CPI is likely to remain subdued during the summer months and annual inflation to stay near or slightly above 5.00 percent until October, when we expect a 0.8ppt drop due to large base effects – in October 2017 excise duty for fuel was raised and regulated energy prices were hiked. Some risks to the short term inflation profile have arisen. These are due to bad weather conditions, with floods affecting large parts of Romania. Still, the impact is likely to be much lower than historically seen as large retailers with continental supply chains have gained market share. This implies diminished price-setting power for domestic producers, according an ING Bank report. For the end of 2019, the country’s National Bank (BNR) estimates an inflation rate of 3 percent, down 0.1 percent./adanga

Alexandru Danga – RADOR