Romanian Parliament votes on Patriot missile acquisition; Bucharest bids to host European Medicines Agency
MILITARY – The Senate in Bucharest meets in full session to approve the purchase of Patriot missiles. The bill was passed by the Parliament Defense committee. It goes on Tuesday to the lower chamber of Parliament for final approval. The legislators are voting on the acquisition of seven surface to air missile systems, for a total of around 4 billion dollars. The first of the seven was approved for delivery by the administration of the United States, for a value of 750 million dollars, to be delivered this year. Right now, the air defense capability of the Romanian armed forces relies on obsolete Soviet systems.
AGENCIES – EU European affairs ministers meet today in Brussels to establish which cities will host the future headquarters of the European Medicines Agency and the of the European Banking Authority. The two institutions were so far hosted by London, to be relocated after the Brexit. 19 European cities, including Bucharest, compete to host the Medicines Agency, which has 900 employees and monitors the safety of medication sold on a market with over 500 million consumers. Eight cities compete to host the European Banking Authority. According to press sources, favorites in the running are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan and Vienna, while Bonn is a favorite as host for the banking institution.
CHISINAU – Over 87% of the voters in the referendum held on Sunday in Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova, voted to oust the general mayor of the city, pro-Western Liberal Dorin Chirtoaca, with about 13% voting against. The result of the voting has not been validated, as a result of a mere 17.54% of voters showing up. For the referendum to be valid, at least one third of voters needed to show up. This referendum, a first for Moldova, was called by the Party of Socialists, led by President Igor Dodon, supported by two more pro-Russian political parties.
FISCAL – The effects of the new fiscal measures on businesses passed by the government are being debated on Monday by the relevant committees in Parliament. Invited to take part are representatives of employer unions, foreign and domestic investors, as well as the Association of Romanian Cities and Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The executive recently passed a number of amendments to the Fiscal Code. The most controversial transfers social insurance contributions from employers to employees, starting on 1 January 2018. This latter measure is accompanied by an emergency executive order, by which employers this Monday have to start renegotiating labor contracts, irrespective of the number of employees. The government deems this measure necessary, since so far legislation required employers to negotiate labor contracts only if they had over 21 employees. The renegotiation of labor contracts has to be finalized by December 20.