January 26, 2023

Romania to relaunch „New House” programme and forecasts 2.8% economic growth for 2023

The Romanian government adopted a series of important decisions on Thursday. One of them concerns the „New House” programme, which was introduced in 2009 and has proved successful. „From our point of view, it is an instrument that allows us to support the beneficiaries, especially young families who want to buy a house under more favourable financing conditions than what the banking market is offering at the moment, especially in a context where interest rates are high and down-payment elements, i.e. guarantees, are quite limited or, if you like, restrictive,” explains Romanian Finance Minister Adrian Câciu. Also on the table of the Romanian government today was the report on the country’s economic growth in 2022, which shows a GDP growth of 49 billion euros and a 2.8% economic growth forecast for this year. „The data from the National Forecasting Commission, in my view, certifies, validates the efforts that entrepreneurs have made, but also the government. In 2022, a very complicated year from an economic, social, security and stability perspective, GDP growth was of 49 billion euros, 22 billion euros more than was forecast at the beginning of 2022,” said Adrian Câciu. „The forecast for 2023 maintains an economic growth of 2.8%, with a recovery in constructions and agriculture”, he added.

Romania has implemented most GRECO recommendations on corruption

Romania has implemented or adequately addressed most of the recommendations on preventing corruption among MPs and magistrates, says the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption, or GRECO. But the body believes Bucharest needs to do more on conflicts of interest and on introducing rules on the interaction of members of parliament with lobbyists. Concerning judges and prosecutors, the GRECO report welcomes the abolition of the special section for investigating crimes in the judiciary and the steps toward increasing the role of the Superior Council of Magistracy and the judicial inspectorate. The adoption of the new justice laws is also an important step forward, but this must be followed by an effective implementation of the new provisions. GRECO was set up in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor member countries’ compliance with the anti-corruption standards set by the organisation.

Romania and Ukraine open new border crossing points in the Chernivtsi region

Ukrainian authorities plan to open new border crossings with Romania in the Chernivtsi region to facilitate the transport of goods and the movement of people, following unprecedented traffic jams in recent months. In addition to the Diakivtsi-Racovăţ crossing point, which will soon be opened, two new crossing points are being prepared: one between Sepit and Izvoarele Sucevei, and another between Rusca and Ulma, which have not been operational since 2010, according to the deputy chairman of the Chernivtsi Regional Council, Mikola Guito. „The money allocated by the European Union through the joint Ukraine-Romania programme will be used to improve the infrastructure leading to the borders, especially the road to the future border-crossing point. This is a priority, although the nearly 25 kilometres distance is not very long, but this crossing point is very important for us because it allows trucks transit and, secondly, people’s passage with relatives on the other side of the border, and will therefore be able to visit them”, said Mikola Guito. Traffic through the Siret border crossing, which was at an all-time high in 2022 when there were queues of more than 40 kilometres on the Ukrainian side, is now much smoother, although there are still some hiccups due to power cuts caused by the situation in Ukraine.

Magda Baciu