There have never been second hand states left behind, the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker has said in the Romanian Parliament/ The European Commission has downgraded this year’s economic growth rate estimates for 2017, to 4.3% of the GDP
EU MEMBERSHIP – This year, we celebrate 10 years since Romania joined the European Union, said the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, who addressed a plenary session of the Romanian Parliament. He said that, by Romania’s joining the community block, the EU makes its presence felt in the Black Sea region and gained more power at international level. Jean-Claude Juncker has said Romania should become a Schengen member as soon as possible, because it deserves it. As regards a multiple speed European Union, Juncker has said in his speech that this is stipulated in treaties, but he has underlined that there have never been second hand countries in the EU or states left behind on another path. The EU high official has pledged to militate with the Romanian authorities to guarantee the irreversible character of the reforms that have been achieved. Also today, the EC President, Jean-Claude Juncker will meet with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu. He will also have a dialogue with the citizens, alongside European Commissioner Corina Cretu, on Europe’s future and about their role in the European project.
COMMISSION – The plenary session of the Romanian Parliament on Thursday endorsed the proposal of the majority Social Democratic Party-The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats MPs to set up an inquiry commission into the organisation and unfolding of the 2009 presidential elections, won by Traian Basescu. The demarche is started following the disclosures made by journalist Dan Andronic, a head of publication and former political consultant to high ranking dignitaries, among whom former president Traian Basescu. The journalist suggests the electoral process of December 2009 was allegedly influenced by high-ranking state officials, including heads of law enforcement institutions. Following the disclosure, the Prosecutor General opened a criminal record in rem, for abuse of office and forgery of documents and electoral records. The opposition has opposed to the setting up of a parliamentary inquiry commission, saying its activity would reportedly overlap the investigation carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office.
GROWTH RATE – The European Commission has downgraded its estimates of Romania’s economic growth rate this year to 4.3% of the GDP, below the winter estimate which stood at 4.4%. According to the spring economic forecast made public on Thursday, for 2018, the Commission maintains its estimates according to which the growth rate of the Romanian economy is expected to slow down to 3.7%. Relative to the public deficit, it is expected to reach 3.5% of the GDP in 2017, and even 3.8% of the GDP in 2018. The European Commission warns that the unified pay law poses a high risk on fiscal objectives, with a potential impact of up to 2% of the GDP on the economic balance in 2018. Romania’s economy is to register a 4% economic growth rate this year, according to the estimates made by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as compared to a 3.7 growth rate estimated in November. The IMF has also revised upward Romania’s growth rate this year from 3.8 to 4.2% of the GDP.
EUROVISION – Romania will enter the Eurovision song contest in Kiev, this evening, in the second semi-final, with the piece "Yodel It", performed by Ilinca and Alex Florea, and composed by Mihai Alexandru. Romania’s representatives are among the first 10 favourites in all tops made so far. After the first semi-finals, held on May 9th, 10 countries, including the Republic of Moldova qualified for the finals. The 2017 Eurovision Song contest finals will be held on Saturday. This year’s edition has enjoyed the participation of 42 countries. Romania’s best performance at Eurovision along the years was achieved in 2005 by Luminita Anghel and the band Sistem, who ranked third, just like Paula Seling and Ovidiu Cernauteanu in 2010.
TENNIS – Romania’s best woman tennis player, Simona Halep, no. 8 WTA is today facing Coco Vandeweghe of the US, no. 20 WTA, in the quarter finals of the Madrid tennis tournament with 5.4 million dollars in prize money up for grabs. If she manages to qualify for the semi-finals, Halep will become again no. 4 WTA, after the elimination of Dominika Cibulkova. Also today, the other Romanian player in the competition, Sorana Carstea, no. 83 WTA and holder of a wild-card, will meet in the quarter finals the French player Kristina Mladenovic (France, no. 17 WTA).