GRECO – The GRECO report published on Tuesday is a ‘new red car’ shown to the Romanian government made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, said Wednesday the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis. He added that the report is in line with the MCV report and the recommendations of the Venice Commission. Klaus Iohannis called for the dismantling of the special committee for the investigation of crimes in the judiciary through a government initiative. The Romanian President called on the government to swiftly initiate a draft law that should modify the legislation in line with the rule of law, with the people’s will and the recommendations of the European bodies. GRECO said that Romania made very little progress in adopting measures meant to prevent corruption among MPs, judges and prosecutors and to respond to concerns about the controversial reform of the judiciary.
Economy - The EC has revised upwards to 4% its estimates regarding Romania’s economic growth after in May it estimated an increase in the GDP of 3.3%. The EC published on Wednesday its Summer 2019 Economic Forecast. For 2020 the EC forecasts a slight drop in Romania’s economic growth rate to 3.7% as compared to 2019. Romania’s inflation rate is going to reach 4.2% this year and 3.7% in 2020 after in May the EC had estimated an inflation rate of 3.6% for 2019 and 3% for 2020. Previously, the National Institute of Statistics had announced that the annual inflation rate dropped at 3.84%. The national bank of Romania increased in mid May to 4.2% its inflation forecast for the end of 2019, estimating an inflation rate of 3.3% for 2020. In another development, Romania’s trade deficit increased by 6.5 billion Euros after the first 5 months of the year, being more than 30% higher than the level reported in the same period of last year. As compared to January- May 2018 exports have risen by almost 4.5% with imports having grown faster by 8.3%.
Brussels – The president of the EC Jean-Claude Juncker meets on Thursday with the former Social Democratic MEP Ioan Mircea Paşcu, proposed by the Romanian government for the position of interim commissioner for regional policies. Romania made this proposal after the resignation of Corina Cretu from this position. She will next occupy an MEP position. Previously, the president of the EC called on the Council not to appoint for 4 months other commissioners for the vacant positions, but according to Radio Romania’s correspondent to Brussels, his request was rejected. The assignment of new portfolios is the exclusive decision of the EC president who will take into account the candidates’ abilities and competencies. The other portfolio left vacant is that of digital policies and it belongs to Estonia. (news update by L. Simion)