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June 7, 2024 UPDATE

A roundup of the latest local and international news

Newsflash
Newsflash

, 07.06.2024, 20:11

EU Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova have met the conditions for starting EU accession negotiations. A spokeswoman for the European Commission said in Brussels on Friday that the decision now is in the hands of the member countries. The Commission has informed the Council that Ukraine has done the latest legislative amendments in its legal system, to regulate lobbying activities and in the fields of minorities and the Republic of Moldova has operated changes in its judiciary. In the case of both countries, the Commission will be monitoring the implementation of the new amendments, but the steps taken so far allow for kicking off accession negotiations. In a first stage, the member states are expected to endorse the Commission recommendation and there is one question mark concerning the position of Hungary. A second stage will be the setting up of an inter-governmental conference with Moldova and Ukraine a moment which coincides with the start of negotiations for bringing the entire legislation in line with the bloc’s laws. The council’s presidency is presently being held by Belgium, a country, which wants the setting up of the first inter-government conference during its mandate, by the end of July.

 

GROWTH The Gross Domestic Product of the eurozone and of the EU registered an increase of 0.3% in the first quarter of 2024 as compared to the last quarter of 2023, says data published on Friday by the EU statistical office Eurostat. According to the same data, Romania’s economy registered a slight growth above the European average with a GDP growth of 0.4% in the year’s first three months after a contraction of 0.6% in the last three months of 2023. Eurostat data are similar to those provided by the National Institute for Statistics, which revised down Romania’s economic growth in the first quarter from a previous forecast of 0.5% to 0.4%.

 

ELECTION In Romania, Friday was the last day of the first electoral campaign in 2024. Citizens with the right to vote are expected, on Sunday, to go to the polls to choose both their representatives in the future European Parliament and in the local authorities. According to the data of the Permanent Electoral Authority, over 200,000 candidates have tried, starting from May 10, to convince voters to vote them. The oldest candidate is 100 years old, and the youngest is just over 23 years old. 11,386 people are running for mayoral positions. All in all, 207,389 candidates have registered for all the positions of local, county and municipal councilors, mayors and presidents of county councils. For the European Parliament elections, 12 political parties and electoral alliances and four independent candidates have registered, i.e. a total of 494 candidates, of whom the Romanians with the right to vote must choose 33 that will represent Romania in the European Parliament. The electoral campaign will end on Saturday morning, at 7:00 a.m.

 

WAGES Almost 1,900,000 employees in Romania will receive increased salaries by 284 lei (57 Euros) net value, from July 1, after the Romanian Government approved the increase of the gross minimum wage from 3,300 lei (about 660 Euros) to 3,700 lei (approximately 740 Euros) and raised from 200 lei (approximately 40 Euros) to 300 lei (almost 60 Euros) the monthly amount exempted from the payment of the income tax. The executive believes that this approach will have positive effects on economic growth, the purchasing power of employees and will contribute to the reduction of undeclared work. However, the decision does not apply to employees in agriculture and the food industry, as legal provisions in force apply to these categories. The government representatives said that this increase is a step towards the adoption, from November, of the minimum wage at the European level.

(bill)

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