President Iohannis held talks with parties, civil society. A conclusion may be reached by next weekend.
The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, has announced today that a new round of talks will be held next week, for the designation of a new prime minister. On Thursday and Friday the head of state met with representatives of parliamentary parties and, for the first time in Romanian politics, with civil society members. President Iohannis, who Thursday appointed the Education Minister Sorin Câmpeanu as interim PM, said a solution could be presented towards the end of next week. The talks take place after the Social Democrat Victor Ponta resigned, against the background of large scale street protests in the past few days. Last week’s deadly fire at a nightclub in Bucharest, which killed 32 people and left more than 100 severely injured, fuelled public anger at the political elite. Tens of thousands of people protested every evening in Bucharest and other Romanian cities, demanding the reform of the political class and demonstrating against corrupt politicians.
65 people who were injured in last Friday’s fire at a Bucharest nightclub continue to be in a critical condition. The fire killed 32 people. The health minister, Nicolae Banicioiu, pointed out that skin transplant surgery has so far been performed on several patients and in some cases surgery was performed to help them breath. The state secretary, Raed Arafat, announced that several countries offered to take over some of the patients. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate prosecutors have started investigation for abuse of power at the city hall of Bucharest’s sector 4 where the tragedy occurred. They are investigating how the authorization for the functioning of the nightclub was issued. The three owners have been taken in temporary custody. They are being investigated for gross negligence and irresponsibility. In another development an explosion occurred Thursday night at a bread factory in Brasov, in central Romania, which killed one person and wounded another 5. The authorities are investigating the causes of the explosion.
The growth of the Romanian economy will be accelerated this year and in 2016 reaching 3.5% and 4.1% respectively. It is supported by the fiscal relaxation measures that boost domestic consumption but that will deepen the budget deficit, show the autumn estimates made by the European Commission. The estimates are better in comparison with those made in spring. Romania’s economic growth may exceed expectations if Romania manages to absorb more European funds. Also the EC improved estimates related to the budget deficit from 1.2% in 2015 to 2.8% in 2016 in comparison with the spring prognosis when it had anticipated a budget deficit of 1.6% this year and of 3.5% in 2016. With a low unemployment rate and following the reduction by 4% of the VAT, domestic consumption is expected to grow in Romania in 2016 to reach a maximum post-crisis level, but the level will drop in 2017, the EC report shows. The EBRD also anticipates the growth of Romania’s economy by 3.5% in 2015 and by 3.7% in 2016.
Refugees and immigrants will continue to come to Europe through Turkey, their number being likely to reach 5 thousand per day this winter, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Thursday. This means that the total number of people who will reach the European continent this year will exceed one million, Reuters reports. As many as 760 thousand people already crossed the Mediterranean in 2015, reaching mainly Greece and Italy after fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other conflict areas in Africa. Over 3,400 immigrants have died this year in their attempt to reach Europe by sea.