GOVERNMENT - Prime Minister designate Ludovic Orban announced he would submit, on Monday, in Parliament the list of ministers and an updated governing program with a view to starting procedures for swearing in the new government. The announcement came after President Klaus Iohannis designated the Liberal leader to from a new cabinet. The decision was made after the first Orban government was dismissed on Wednesday through a no confidence motion initiated by the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Party, following the government's decision to take responsibility for a bill on returning to the two-round voting system for local elections, only a few months ahead of the elections. The Romanian president also reiterated his opinion that holding early elections was the best option for Romania at the moment. Interim Social-Democrat leader Marcel Ciolacu announced his party on Monday will notify the Constitutional Court over Orban's second appointment, after just being removed from office. To call early elections Parliament must reject two consecutive proposals of Prime Minister designate.
MERGER - The leadership of Save Romania Union, the 3rd largest party in the Romanian Parliament and of PLUS, led by the former Prime Minister and European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, met on Saturday in separate meetings to decide on a merger. The two parties will next agree on the conditions. Following internal elections called at the initiative of the Union president Dan Barna, 91% of the Union members voted for their party to be positioned on the center-right side of the political spectrum. Elected on common lists, Save Romania Union and PLUS MEPs are affiliated to the Renew Europe centrist group in the European Parliament.
CURRENCY - Financial experts report an upward end-of-week trend for the national currency, apparently unconnected to the instability caused by the demise of the Government. The Leu has gone up on Thursday and Friday, and it now sells at 4.76 against a Euro. National Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu believes investors have grown accustomed to political uncertainty, and the reason beind the appreciation is the lack of market liquidities. At this time of the year, both companies and the population are paying their due taxes, therefore the Finance Ministry accounts report surplus revenues, money which is taken out of circulation. The National Bank on Friday decided to cut back on the minimum reserves for currency liabilities from 8 to 6%. Commercial banks will therefore see their hard currency reserves reduced, the equivalent of a little over half a billion euros, financial experts say.
IAEA - Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Monday will co-preside the ministerial meeting of the International Conference for Nuclear Security, held under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Conference is held every three years. Co-presiding alongside Romania this year is Panama. Both states are managing the negotiation of the Ministerial Declaration to be adopted on this occasion. The Conference, venued in Vienna, will also include a scientific and technical section, where Romania will also be represented. On the sidelines of the conference, Minister Aurescu will hold bilateral meetings with the Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi and the OSCE Secretary General, Thomas Greminger.
TOURISTS - Over 12.8 million foreign tourists crossed Romania's borders in 2019, up by 9% compared to 2018, the National Statistics Institute reports. Nearly half of them originated from EU Member States, 90% of whom were from continental Europe. The largest share of foreign tourists was represented by tourists from neighboring Moldova. Compared to 2018, Romania reported a growing number of arrivals from Africa, America and Australia. Road transport was the most frequent choice by foreign tourists to reach Romania, although rail and naval transport have also gone up by 10% compared to the previous year.
(Translated by V. Palcu)