Covid-19 RO - In Romania, latest data published by the Strategic Communication Group show more than 26,500 cases of Covid-19. So far, most infections have been reported in the county of Suceava, in the north-east, and in the capital Bucharest. Of the people confirmed positive, more than 18,900 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. So far, 1,634 people have died of Covid-19 in Romania. Experts have suggested postponing the 4th relaxation stage that was scheduled for July 1, given the alarming rise in the number of contaminations reported in the past 10 days and most of the people’s failure to observe the hygiene and social distancing rules. Doctors warn that if prevention rules are not respected, the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 could intensify. The authorities recommend simple measures for the population to observe: wearing face masks in enclosed or crowded areas, washing their hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizers and staying 2 meters away from each other.
Economy – A comprehensive economic recovery plan will be announced in Romania on Wednesday. The Liberal PM Ludovic Orban promises that all the laws ensuring the plan’s implementation will be passed in a month’s time. He has given assurances that, despite speculations, the National Liberal Party will not give up the 16% flat tax, given that it is a Liberal measure that had good effects on the economy. In turn, the finance minister Florin Citu has explained that the plan will be based on investments and that record allocations will be made in this field. As of the next budget adjustment, funds will be increased by several billions of Euros, he added. According to the finance minister, if the project is successful, the 4th quarter of the year is going to be much better. Even the tax collection for June is going to be higher than in 2019, the minister also said.
Parliament – The Romanian Parliament might decide today on setting up an investigation committee that should look into the public purchases made during the period of COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal was made by the opposition Social Democrats, that make up the most numerous parliamentary group, as they want to check all the purchases of sanitary materials made by the Liberal government during the health crisis. Last week, the general director of Unifarm, a state company that manages the purchase of sanitary materials for hospitals, Adrian Ionel, was subjected to legal restrictions pending trial by the anti-corruption prosecutors, who accuse him of having asked for bribe worth 750 thousand Euros to grant a contract for the purchase of surgical masks and hazmat suits. The prosecutors of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate have also discovered that he has illegally occupied the position of general manager since 2016.
Survey - Most Romanian managers are anticipating a drop in their business’ turnover this year and a recuperation of losses by mid 2021 – shows a survey conducted among the managers of more than 500 companies operating in Romania. The most optimistic are the managers from the agricultural field while the most pessimistic are those in the services domain which was hard hit by the crisis. Half of the Romanian managers interviewed say that overcoming the crisis is possible through a pro-active attitude, through increased investments and increased productivity while one third of them say they would firstly cut down on costs. Another conclusion of the survey is that we are not facing a financial crisis right now. 44% of the managers interviewed said that, in their companies, the working capital has improved.
Gopo Awards - Corneliu Porumboiu’s film La Gomera is the big winner of the Gopo Awards Gala which granted prizes to Romanian filmmakers for 2019. The film got 9 prizes, including the one for best film, best director and best screenplay. “La Gomera” tells the story of Cristi, a corrupt Romanian policeman, involved in a business with the mafia worth 30 million Euros, who reaches the island of La Gomera in Spain to learn El Silbo, a whistled language used by the locals. This language will help him free Zsolt, a trafficker arrested in Bucharest and the only one who know where the money was hidden. The event is the first outdoor edition in the history of the Gopo Awards Gala which has reached its 14th edition this year. (tr. L Simion)