President Klaus Iohannis asked Government to clarify plans regarding privately-managed pension funds
PENSION FUNDS - President Klaus Iohannis asked the Government to clarify its plans with respect to the privately-managed pension funds known as the “Pension Pillar II.” The head of state voiced concerns regarding the situation and said people might begin to question the government’s capacity to design and manage the pension system. PM Viorica Dăncilă promised that Pillar II will not be dismantled, but did not rule out possible changes in the laws regulating its operation. Dancila explained there was a draft in this respect put together by the National Strategy and Prognosis Commission but not approved by the Government, and that an analysis will be made on the topic.
REVOLUTION TRIAL – Romania’s former leftist president Ion Iliescu was heard today at the Prosecutor General’s Office, in the case concerning the 1989 anti-communist revolution, in which he is accused of crimes against humanity. Last month the head of state Klaus Iohannis approved the prosecutors’ request to prosecute Iliescu, the ex-PM Petre Roman and the former deputy PM Gelu Voican Voiculescu. They allegedly plotted a military diversion designed to give them legitimacy as the new leaders after the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled the capital city. The diversion resulted in 1,166 deaths, of which more than 800 after Ceausescu was ousted, as well as in losses, damages and injuries.
EU COMMISSIONER – The European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu carries on her visit to Bacau County, in eastern Romania. Jointly with the Minister for European Funds Rovana Plumb she is taking part today in a dialogue with the citizens, hosted by the Vasile Alecsandri University. On Monday, Corina Creţu and PM Viorica Dăncilă had talks with the mayors of county capitals regarding urban investments financed by European funds. The EU Commissioner once again called on the Romanian authorities to make sustained efforts to reduce the risk of losing European money, and mentioned that procedures should be simplified and project assessment processes should be sped up.
JUDICIARY – The High Court of Cassation and Justice in Bucharest may pass a ruling today in a case in which Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the Senate Speaker and president of the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats, in the ruling coalition in Romania, is charged with perjury and encouraging an offender. In the last hearing of the case, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate requested a 3-year prison sentence for the Liberal Democrat leader. According to prosecutors, during investigations into the unlawful return of landed estates near Bucharest, Tăriceanu gave untrue statements while under oath.
AmCham - Romania had a fairly high investment rate compared to other EU member states in 2001-2016, but the effects of these investments were late in appearing, Anda Todor, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania said in a press conference. In turn, AmCham treasurer Ciprian Lăduncă said Romania should have a national investment plan, a long-term business plan approved by all stakeholders in the Romanian society. Another very important measure for the Romanian economy is to encourage long-term saving, whether through life insurance, private pensions or investment funds, Ciprian Lăduncă added.
EU TRADE – The trade ministers of EU member countries have today authorised the European Commission to initiate negotiations on free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand. The announcement was made at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council for trade, held in Brussels. Romania is represented by line minister Ştefan Radu Oprea.
FACEBOOK – The European Parliament holds a meeting today in Brussels with the Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. He will answer questions concerning the illegal use of the personal data of over 87 million users of the social network by the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, specialising in political strategy. The hearing comes ahead of the implementation in the EU, on May 25, of a new regulation on the protection of personal data. The document comprises some of the strictest rules in the world in this respect. In April, Zuckerberg was heard on the same topic in the US Senate.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)