LAWS - The Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest has decided that taxes that an employer must pay for foreign workers will be reduced. The initiative was supported by all parliamentary groups, who emphasized the need for measures to reduce labor force deficit in several sectors of the economy. Employers will have the obligation to pay foreign workers only the minimum salary and not the average salary as it is at present. Procedures for the release of labor permits will also be simplified. Also on Wednesday, the Romanian MPs passed a bill on personal data protection. Both bills will be sent to the head of state to be signed into laws.
BILL – The Romanian Government on Wednesday green lighted the public pensions system bill, that will be sent to Parliament for approval. Labor Minister Olguta Vasilescu has said that no pension will be slashed after recalculation and the standard retirement age will not be modified. The new law is aimed at increasing pensions and eliminating inequities in the system. Among other things, the bill stipulates that pensions will be paid only in keeping with each individual's contribution, and those whose seniority is the same, but retired in different moments in time, will get the same amount. The future law would be implemented in stages until 2021, benefiting more than 5 million Romanian pensioners.
MOTION - The simple motion filed by the opposition National Liberal Party and Save Romania Union against the Economy Minister Danut Andrusca was dismissed on Wednesday by the Chamber of Deputies, following Monday's debates. The National Liberal Party claims that the minister's incompetence, proven by the evolution of the main economic indicators, is bringing Romania to bankruptcy. According to the Liberals, in nine months of office, Danut Andrusca has made no progress in solving the main problems of his ministry, carrying out an activity described as 'catastrophic'.
JUSTICE - Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced that the Government passed on Wednesday an emergency ordinance for the setting up of the Section for the investigation of crimes in the justice system, made up of 15 prosecutors. Toader said that until October 23rd the Section will take over from the National Anti-Corruption Directorate all cases involving magistrates, including the ones solved in the past. The Justice Minister explained that emergency ordinance was needed given that, as of October 23, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) has no competence, under the law, to investigate these offenses, and that the newly established section, on paper, without being operational, cannot continue investigations.
FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR – Romania is taking part in the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Romanian stall, set up by the Romanian Culture Ministry, offers a series of events attended by writer Gabriela Adamesteanu, Radu Pavel Gheo, Robert Şerban, Jan Koneffke, Dana Grigorcea, Adriana Carcu, translators Jan Cornelius, Ernest Wichner and Georg Aescht, historian Adrian Majuru and others. A series of Romanian books translated into German will be presented. Also, writers Robert Şerban, Traian Pop Traian and Viorel Marineasa will take part in literary debates at Georgia’s stall, which is the guest country of this year’s edition of the fair.
INFLATION - According to the National Statistics Institute, in Romania, the annual inflation rate reported in September dropped to 5.03% from 5.1% in August, against the background of prices going up. This year, the highest rate was registered in May: 5.41%. This is the highest level since February 2013, when the increase in consumption prices was 5.65%. In early August, the Romanian Central Bank revised downwards to 3.5% the inflation forecast for the end of this year. We recall that in August Romania registered an annual inflation rate of 4.7%, the highest in the whole of the EU, for the seventh consecutive month.