New government reshuffle in Romania goes to Supreme Court; Romania plans to raise minimum wage across the board
RESHUFFLE – Romanian PM Viorica Dancila announced that the Romanian government notified the Constitutional Court on its latest reshuffle. President Klaus Iohannis informed the PM on Thursday by telephone that next week it would not make any decision on the nomination of the new ministers, the ones for transportation and regional development. Previously, the head of state had said that he had not finished analyzing proposals for the Development Ministry, Olguta Vasilescu, and the Transportation Ministry, Mihai Draghici. Late last month, Klaus Iohannis had accepted six proposals for reshuffling made by Dancila for the ministries of defense, labor, economy, culture, communications, and youth and sports. The president showed his discontent with the fact that, in two years of governing, the ruling coalition replaced around 70 ministers.
BUCHAREST – The Romanian government discusses today proposals to raise the minimum wage, as well as salaries for workers with higher education. If the executive adopts these measures, they would come into effect on 1 January. The minimum wage would go from around 410 Euro to around 450 Euro. For employees with positions requiring higher education, with at least one year experience in that position, it would go from 1,900 lei to 2,350 lei, around 500 Euro. The ministers may discuss today a project to bring into 2020 the period when vacation vouchers are granted. In the opinion of the government, the vouchers, worth around 310 Euro each, would breathe oxygen into the tourism industry. In September alone this year, the number of tourists seeking accommodation went up 14% compared to last year in the same period.
TRANSPORTATION – The Transportation Ministry in Bucharest applied with the EC for financing for 15 infrastructure projects, a total of 4.8 billion Euro, as announced by Transportation Minister Lucian Sova. Two of the projects, the metro line to the main airport in Bucharest, and the Bucharest Beltway, are defined as major projects, worth around 1.5 billion Euro. From the beginning of the year to the present, three portions of highway have been inaugurated, for a total length of 40 km, and 14 more km are expected to be inaugurated as part of Transylvania Highway, and six km of the Bucharest- Ploiesti highway.
WARSAW – Romanian Chief of Staff of the armed forces, General Nicolae Ciuca, met with some of the enlisted men part of the Anti-air Defense Squadron 'Black Bats', deployed to Poland as part of the US led NATO Combat Group. The squadron is made up of 120 soldiers providing forward consolidated presence, by rotation, in the northeast of NATO, in line with measures taken at the Warsaw Summit. During his visit to Poland, General Ciuca spoke to his Polish counterpart, Lieutenant General Rajmund Andrzejczak, on identifying new areas of cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries, and diversifying means of training in common.
TENNIS – The first Grand Slam of 2019, the Australian Open, will take place in Melbourne between January 14 and 27. In the women's competition, Romania has six players going there: Simona Halep, number 1 in the world and top player of 2018, Mihaela Buzarnescu, 24, Irina Begu (67 WTA), Ana Bogdan (76 WTA), Sorana Cîrstea (85 WTA) and Monica Niculescu (100 WTA). In the men's competition, Romania will be represented by 60th seeded Marius Copil. Also present in the competition are current cup holder, Danish Caroline Wozniacki, 3 WTA, Serena Williams, 16 WTA, and Maria Sharapova, 29 WTA.
SCHENGEN – EuroMPs will be debating on Monday, and voting Tuesday, a resolution calling on the EU Council to make a quick and positive decision on including Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen Space as full members. The European Parliament approved making the two countries part of Schengen in June 2011, and confirmed this stance several times afterward. The final decision has to be made unanimously in the EU Council. The two countries joining the free movement space was repeatedly postponed because of opposition from some member countries, for reason of delays in judicial reform.