Romania is among the first ten largest car builders in the EU, with over 350,000 cars produced at the end of 2017
CAR INDUSTRY – Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has today said in Pitesti, southern Romania that the Government should make all efforts to bring over to Romania new and highly performing foreign firms, particularly in those sectors of the economy which offer spectacular competitive advantages. Attending a debate organised by the Car Manufacturers’ Association, Iohannis said Romania is among the ten largest producers in the field in the EU, with over 350,000 cars produced at the end of 2017. Overall, the car building industry produces over 25% of Romania’s exports, and the companies active in the field are real pillars of the Romanian economy, the president has also said. We recall the French group Renault owns the Dacia factory in Mioveni, near Pitesti, and the Americans from Ford have invested in a factory in Craiova, in the southwest. Representatives of the two major companies have frequently asked the Romanian authorities to improve the transport infrastructure in order to maintain the global competitiveness of their production operations.
ECONOMY – The Romanian Government will further pursue a tax reduction policy, also meant to increase the minimum wage and state pensions by 2020, in an attempt to improve living standards, the president of the Social Democratic Party, the main party in the ruling coalition, Liviu Dragnea told Reuters on Wednesday. He added that choosing an optional private pension scheme might become optional. The European Commission estimates that Romania will register a deficit of 3.4% of the GDP this year, exceeding the 2.9% target, if no supplementary measures are taken to reduce costs. Liviu Dragnea is hopeful however that the Romanian Government will observe the deficit target without taking other measures and he confirmed the 5.5% economic growth target for this year. According to Dragnea, by 2020, social contributions will further be reduced, the minimum wage will be of at least 300 Euros, whereas the minimum pension will increase to 200 Euros.
REVOLUTION CASE – Romania’s former PM, Petre Roman, appeared today for hearings at the Prosecutor General’s Office in the 1989 anti-communist Revolution case, in which he is accused of crimes against humanity. Last month, Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis, approved the prosecutors’ request to start prosecution, against Romania’s former leftist president, Ion Iliescu, Petre Roman and the former deputy Prime Minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu. They allegedly orchestrated a military diversion, meant to give them legitimacy as leaders of the then newly instated power, after dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled Bucharest city. 1,166 people died in December 1989, over 800 of them loosing their lives after Ceausescu was toppled. This week, Ion Iliescu also went to the Prosecutor General’s Office where prosecutors told him the investigation against him has been extended. Both Roman and Iliescu rejected the accusations.
ITALY – At the end of lengthy political negotiations which lasted 11 weeks, Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, has asked Giuseppe Conte, a professor of administrative law to form a coalition government, made up of the far right League and the 5 Star anti-establishment movement. In order to garner support and form the new government, Conte, who lacks political experience, will hold talks today with the leaders of the political parties, to later meet again with the president of the republic. The voting in Parliament is due next week. The common program negotiated by the two parties puts and end to austerity and is meant to adjust deficits, providing for a policy meant to achieve economic growth, adding to which will be tough security and immigration measures.
GDPR – The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25, 2018 in all member states to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe. The new regulation stipulates how companies gather data about people and how they use it and brings in multiple changes, among which the need for "genuine consent."
TIFF – The 17th edition of the Transylvania International Film Festival, TIFF, opens up on Friday in Cluj Napoca, in the northwest, with “Foxtrot”, a controversial, award-winning film inspired by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the director Samuel Moaz in attendance. The 12 films running in the official competition feel the pulse of the new generation of filmmakers around the world. This year’s edition celebrates the Great Union Centennial by a selection of Romanian films, among which “The Uprising” (1965), which brought director Mircea Muresan the debut prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Soprano Angela Gheorghiu is the honorary guest of TIFF, which runs until June 3.