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April 1, 2024

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NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 01.04.2024, 13:55

 

STRIKE The Romanian Postal Workers Union went on all-out strike as of today, but the management promises there will be no delays in public pension payments and other services. The protesters demand pay raises of EUR 80 after tax and increased loyalty bonuses, and argue that as of this summer 90% of the staff will be gaining minimum wages. According to the authorities, national minimum wages will be around EUR 740 as of July 1. The post company claims on the other hand that only 20% of the workers have given written consent for the strike initiated by a union which has been rejecting all the offers made by the management since the start of negotiations late last year. The Romanian Post Corporation is the national postal service and is owned by the Romanian state.

 

BANKING The consumer credit reference index (IRCC) dropped to 5.90% per annum, from 5.97% 3 months ago, the National Bak announced. This is the first significant decrease of the index in the past 12 months, and will lead to smaller interest rates as of this month. In June the IRCC is expected to decrease further, to 5.84%. The downward trend will help bring down interest rates for mortgage loans for nearly half a million Romanians. Meanwhile, the 3-month ROBOR index which influences the costs of variable-rate loans in the national currency has reached 6.06% per annum, as opposed to 6.05%. IRCC is the index used for setting the interest rates for variable-rate loans in the national currency since May 2019, when it stood at 2.36%. It was designed by the government as a solution to offset the effects of the ROBOR index, which had been rising from one month to the next at the end of 2018.

 

PARLIAMENT The Parliament of Romania convenes on Tuesday in a joint meeting to mark 20 years since the country joined the North Atlantic Alliance and 75 years since the establishment of NATO. Parliament will adopt a declaration on this occasion. Also this week, the Chamber of Deputies is scheduled to give its final vote on a government bill introducing penalties for breaches of the EU regulation on the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases in appliances such as refrigerators or AC systems. The penalties may reach EUR 20,000 in fines, and 6-month to 3-year prison sentences. Deputies in the specialist committees are also to discuss as of this week new draft regulations on the compulsory motor insurance, stipulating fines 15 times higher than in the past for uninsured drivers and a ceiling of EUR 400 on self-paid car repairs. Also this week, the Senate is to discuss the merger of local elections with the European Parliament elections, scheduled for June 9th.

 

DEEPFAKE The Romanian Cyber Security Directorate published a “Guideline for Identifying Deepfake”, aimed at protecting and educating the general public on cyber security risks. The Guideline provides detailed information on deepfake production and identification. The authors are confident that by understanding these concepts, users are more aware of the related risks and may take adequate protection measures. Deepfake is a form of digital manipulation using advanced AI techniques to create false images or audio-video materials. According to the institution, this may have a severe impact on society, as it erodes public confidence in online information.

 

EASTER Roman-Catholic and Protestant Christians around the world, including around 1.3 million believers in mostly Orthodox Romania, celebrate Easter Monday. This year, Easter for Roman Catholics and Protestants is 5 weeks before the corresponding Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Neo-Protestant celebration on May 5. In his peace message from Vatican’s St. Peter Basilica, Pope Francis urged people not to “yield to the logic of weapons,” for war is always an absurdity and a defeat. As new negotiations are scheduled for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Pope Francis appealed once again for the prompt release of the Israeli hostages and for an immediate cease-fire in the Strip.

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