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SALARY INCREASE – The Government in Bucharest is holding its last session of 2015. Today’s agenda also includes a government ordinance providing for the increase of the minimum salary to 276 euros starting May 1, 2016. Official figures reveal that the number of employees to benefit from this increase stands at 1.1 million people. The Labour Ministry estimates the increase will positively impact economic growth by stimulating employment and cutting back on illegal labour. Also the increase will have a social impact, raising the standards of living and closing social gaps.
PERSONA NON GRATA – The Jordanian businessman declared persona non grata by the Bucharest Court of Appeal was arrested in his apartment in Constanta and is due to be deported. The judges denied the Jordanian citizen entry on Romania’s territory for 15 years. The Romanian Intelligence Service claims the Jordanian national supported the Islamic State, lobbying the group online and even trying to legitimise the Paris attacks. The Jordanian businessman was even willing to involve in the terrorist’s cell actions against Romania.
IMF – Global economic growth will be ‘tricky’ in 2016, International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde told the German daily Handelsblatt on Wednesday. The IMF official believes the financial sector is still weak in many states, with financial risks growing on emerging markets. Christine Lagarde went on to say that waning productivity, the aging population and the effects of the global financial crisis are obstacles in the way of economic growth, affecting medium-term economic forecasts.
MIGRANTS – Over 1 million asylum seekers and migrants reached Europe by sea in 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has announced. Of these over 80% reached Greece, mostly on Lesbos Island. The massive flow of migrants has prompted heated debates within the EU, some Member States raising walls and reintroducing border controls. The EU last week agreed to supplement the staff of the European agency dealing with the protection of its external borders – FRONTEX in Greece, where more and more migrants arrive every day, seeking a way into Europe. This is the most severe migrant crisis facing Europe after the Second World War.
MOLDOVA – The Prime Minister designate of the Republic of Moldova, Ion Sturza, will present his governing programme and the structure of his Cabinet on January 2 in Parliament, and will seek Parliament’s vote of confidence on January 4. Following consultations with parliamentary parties, Ion Sturza obtained the support of Democratic MPs only, accounting for 19 of the total of 101 seats in Parliament. On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court of Modlova ruled that the decree of president Nicolae Timofti to appoint Ion Sturza as the country’s new Prime Minister observed the Constitution. 14 former communist MPs, now members of the Democratic Party, had notified the court, claiming that Nicolae Timofti hadn’t consulted their party when appointing Ion Sturza and that the candidate he backed hadn’t been agreed by a parliamentary majority.
BANKS – Under the new Code of Fiscal Procedure, which comes into effect on January 1, 2016, banks in Romania will have to report to the National Fiscal Administration (ANAF) the number of natural or legal persons opening or closing a bank account or a safe deposit box. In addition, casinos, notaries public, lawyers and real estate agents will also have to report to ANAF all transactions exceeding 5,000 euros. All accounts, irrespective of kind or currency, are subject to this procedure, while the information provided will also refer to any changes operated after the account was opened regarding at least one element in the reporting format provided by the Fiscal Administration.
NEW YEAR’S EVE – 90% of accommodation units in Romania are already fully booked ahead of New Year’s Eve party. For the first time, a large number of Romanians chose to spend the New Year’s Eve at home. The favourite travel destinations this winter are rural areas, preserving traditions and customs, but also mountainous regions. Hotel owners say the number of tourists spending the New Year’s Eve in cities in Transylvania, such as Sibiu, Brasov or Sighisoara, has increased in recent years.
(Translation by V. Palcu)