FORUM - The Black Sea region presents huge investment opportunities
for the development of infrastructure, including for the transport and
production of energy, Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Ana Birchall said on the
sidelines of the Economic Forum in Delphi, Greece, held over February 28 -
March 2. Ana Birchall pointed out that the escalation of trade tensions,
political uncertainty, the gap between the rich and the poor, the worsening of
global finance, the prospect of a Brexit without an agreement, are risk factors
that can destabilize an already slowed down global economy. The fourth edition
of the forum has brought together political leaders, diplomats, economic
experts and representatives of the most important international think tanks.
Talks focused on the current economic challenges.
GOVERNMENT - Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Monday will
appear before the Chamber of Deputies upon the request of the Liberal
opposition, who demands explanations over the controversial decree 114,
bringing new taxes in the fields of banking, telecommunications and energy. The
decree was passed tacitly by the Senate, without a proper debate and a vote,
considering the deadline was March 1. A debate and a vote are scheduled for
this week in the Chamber of Deputies. On Thursday, the European Commission
winter report showed that the measures stipulated by decree 114 are weakening
the second pillar of private pensions. The measures, EU experts warn, will have
a negative impact on pensions, the capital market and future investment,
increasing uncertainty and making Romanian economy less attractive for both
Romanian and foreign investors.
VISIT - Minister for Romanians Worldwide Natalia Intotero has paid
a visit to Chisinau, where she met with the Minister of Culture, Education and
Research, Monica Babuc. According to a press release, the two officials
discussed the possibility of intensifying joint projects in the field of
education and culture. A major topic on the agenda for talks was preserving and
promoting tradition, considering both states have cooperated for the
recognition of the Martisor symbol by UNESCO. The two parties discussed the
promotion of the cross-border project "The traditional blouse - an element of
cultural identity in Romania and the Republic of Moldova", the nomination for
UNESCO's Representative List of the Immaterial World Cultural Heritage.
EP ELECTION - The European Parliament has made public a new estimate
regarding its future structure after the European Parliament election due in
May. The estimate is based on surveys carried out in individual Member States.
According to Radio Romania's correspondent in Brussels, the new Parliament will
have less MPs, 705 as compared to 751 right now, as a result of Brexit.
Estimates show that the European People's Party is expected to secure 181
seats, Socialists 135, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats 75 followed by
the Green Party with 49 seats. Figures also point to a slight decrease in the
number of seats obtained by anti-European and Eurosceptic parties. Of the 73
seats left vacant by British MEPs, 27 will be shared by some 14 member states,
considered fairly underrepresented in the European Parliament. Romania will get
one seat and will total 33 seats. Of these, 13 are expected to go to the
Social-Democrats, 13 to the European People's Party representatives, three to the
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, one each to the Conservatives and European
reformists and three seats to other groups. The document also highlights voting
intentions in Romania: the Social-Democratic Party in power is expected to win
29.9% of the vote, followed by the Liberal Party in opposition with 24.4%, the
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats with 9.1% and the Save Romania Union with
LCK - Former Anticorruption Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi
on Saturday said the Romanian judiciary is experiencing "a difficult moment",
which is the signal sent by the latest magistrates' protests. Kovesi said the
fact that prosecutors and judges ended up suspending their activity due to laws
violating the recommendations of the Venice Commission and GRECO is "a very
serious issue". Hundreds of magistrates again protested on Friday in Bucharest
and other large cities against the modifications brought to the justice laws. A
candidate for the position of European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi
on Wednesday grabbed the most votes in the Committee on Civil Liberties,
Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Budgetary Control in the European
Parliament. The latter's vote is purely consultative. The upcoming European
Chief Prosecutor will be appointed following negotiations between the European
Parliament and the Council of the EU.
RATING - The International Standard and Poor's financial rating
agency has confirmed Romania's rating at BBB minus/A-3 for long- and short-term
debt in national and foreign currency. Romania's rating reflects a moderate
level of external and public debt as well as the current economic growth
forecast, which remains robust, the agency writes. Standard and Poor's however
says Romania's institutional efficiency remains weak, and the growing deficit
could affect the country's financial reserves in time.
HANDBALL - Romanian handball team CSM Bucharest on Saturday lost
22-23 to RK Krim Mercator Ljubljana of Slovenia on Saturday as part of
Champions League Group 2. This is the second consecutive defeat for CSM after
losing last week's match against Gyor. The Romanian champions have already
secured qualification to the Champions League quarterfinals, with two more
games left to play in the group phase. In the group standings, the Romanians
are ranked 2nd, after the title holders Hungary's Gyor. CSM will
next play Thuringer of Germany on March 8.
RUGBY - Romania's national rugby team
is playing Spain on Sunday in its third fixture as part of the 2019 Rugby
Europe Championship. In the first two games of this competition, Romania lost
to Georgia 9-18 and won against Germany 38-10. In the upcoming fixtures,
Romania will play Russia at home on March 9 and Belgium away from home on March
17. Rugby Europe Championship is the second-tier of the famous Six Nations Cup.
Romania is ranked 18 in international rugby standings, its lowest ranking in
the past six years.
(Translated by V. Palcu)