December 28, 2019 UPDATE

december 28, 2019 update A roundup of domestic and international news

GOVERNMENT - The Liberal Government in Bucharest on Friday adopted a memorandum of the Justice Ministry calling for the shutdown of the Special Unit investigating magistrates. Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu said the unit was set up by the previous Social-Democrat Government without any public consultations, against the backdrop of negative reactions from several magistrates' associations, European partners, GRECO and the Venice Commission. Minister Predoiu said the law regulating the unit is flawed, rendering the special section inoperable. At present, the Social-Democrats say it is outrageous even discussing the possibility of disbanding the special unit, claiming abuses are a daily reality in the justice system. Recalling that Romanians voted in the May referendum against any emergency decrees being passed in the justice field, interim Social-Democrat leader Marcel Ciolacu suggested a debate in Parliament on this matter and the consultation of all associations and stakeholders in the justice field. Former Social-Democrat Justice Minister Ana Birchall, recently excluded from the party ranks, has however hailed the adoption of the memorandum, which she labels as a major step towards restoring public confidence in the justice system.

SURVEY - The labor force crisis, the high inflation rate and the potential negative evolution of the exchange rate are the biggest challenges facing the business sector in Romania next year, reads a survey titled "Survey on the state of the economy", published by a consultancy company. According to the survey, the labor force crisis deepened in 2019, while the import of foreign workers offset under 10% of the needed workforce. Moreover, business people believe that, beyond boosting consumption, the salary increases in the public sector have spiked imbalances on the labor market. Asked what measures would be needed to develop a stable economic framework, companies mentioned fiscal predictability, the digitization of public administration, investment in infrastructure or a national plan for vocational requalification. The survey was conducted over December 1-15 on a sample of 450 companies from various fields of activity, from trade to financial services, agriculture, energy, textiles and IT.

NEW YEAR'S EVE - Successful bands from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s will perform live in Bucharest as part of the 2020 New Year's Party dubbed Disco Night Fever. 11 bands and artists from Romania, the Republic of Moldova, Germany and the United States will electrify the crowds with live concerts. The list of performers includes the band O-Zone, which has reunited for this special occasion, the famous duo Milli Vanilli, Haddaway or Turbo B, the soloist of the band Snap! The New Year's Eve Party will end in Bucharest with a spectacular fireworks show.

MONEY - Romania is the second country at EU level in terms of money being wired from outside the country in 2018, a Eurostat report reveals. Some 2.7 billion euros were wired to Romanians as "personal transfers", while 89% of it came from people in other EU Member States. Portugal ranks first, with over 3 billion euros being transferred to this country. Some 5.6 million Romanians live abroad, Bucharest authorities say.

EUROPALIA - The exhibition "Brancusi - the Transcendence of Form" opened in Brussels as part of the "Europalia 2019" International Arts Festival can be visited until February 2, 2020, the Romanian Cultural Institute reports. Over 50,000 people have already visited the exhibition, which features 200 of the sculptor's works, including "The Wisdom of the Earth" and "Prayer", films, drawings and letters to his lover. Romania is guest of honor at the 27th edition of the Europalia Festival, and will organize over 250 events until February 2020.

WEATHER - Meteorologists have issued two alerts against extreme weather conditions, in place until Sunday evening. A code yellow alert against heavy snowfalls and blizzard was issued for six counties in the east and northeast, as well as for mountainous regions. Additional snowfalls and strong wind are expected in the center, east and southeast. Meteorologists have also announced a drop in temperatures nationwide. On Sunday and Monday temperatures are expected to drop below 0 down to minus 10 degrees Celsius. Highs will predominantly be negative in the northern half of the country during the interval, while temperatures in the south will go as high as 4 degrees Celsius, which is normal for this time of the year.

(Translated by V. Palcu)
Publicat: 2019-12-28 18:58:00
Vizualizari: 535