Fiscal Policies Review, July 9 - 16, 2018
During a talk show from July 11, PSD president Liviu Dragnea expressed his dissatisfaction with some of his colleagues who discussed the issue of fiscal amnesty (FinMin Eugen Teodorovici announced on July 6 that his team is working on a fiscal amnesty mechanism). The PSD Chairman argued that this proposal for a fiscal amnesty must be address only when fully drafted and understood. Dragnea argued that Romania needs more than a fiscal reconciliation, as it also needs a “general, political and social, pacification”. According to Dragnea, this need was caused by the “internal and external siege the country has been under in the past year.” After the National Union Block (BNS) released data on the results of the ‘fiscal revolution’, the Labor Inspectorate issued a press release informing that the results of an official campaign show that some 95% of Romanian employers fulfilled their obligations following the transfer of social contributions from employer to employees. On July 9, BNS held a conference on the effects of GEO 79/2017 (contributions’ transfer). On July 11, Minister of Finances Teodorovici announced that he wants to remove the measure which freezes individuals’ accounts, a measure which he considers to be aggressive.  ·   A press release issued by the Government informs that the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Gunther Oettinger, accepted the invitation for a visit in Romania, invitation launched by PM Dăncilă. ·   During the Government Sitting of July 12, the Executive decided to postpone the deadline for submitting the Single declarations to July 31. ·   July 13, FinMin Teodorovici attended a work meeting with representatives of Croatia and Finland in Brussels (2019 – 2020 EU Council trio). ·   July 12, FinMin Teodorovici signed the Common Customs Administration Charter.   A draft emergency ordinance on amending art. 1 of GEO no, 109/2011 on Corporate Governance was put up for public debate by the Ministry of Economy.   Draft bill on approving GEO 113/2017 was promulgated by President Iohannis.   Draft bill on approving GEO 103/2017 was promulgated by President Iohannis. Law no. 163/2018 on the distribution of dividends was published in the Official Gazette. GEO no. 63/2018 on postponing the deadline for submitting the Single Declaration was published in the Official Gazette.   Calendar Public debate on the National Strategy for Sustainable Development takes place on July 23, 10:00 – 13:00, at Victoria Palace.   MFP discussions on the Fiscal Procedure Code: July 17: Solving challenges against fiscal-administrative acts & Administrative cooperation in the fiscal field.   MFP discussions on the Fiscal Code: July 19: IFRS 9 July 18: Excises July 17: VAT  


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Weekly Policy and Political Report Political Evolutions July 9– 16, 2018
The Parliament ends the extraordinary session this week on July 19; this means that until either a new extraordinary sitting is called, or the autumn ordinary session begins, the Government cannot adopt Emergency Ordinances.  On July 11, in an interview for Antena 3, PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea presented a scenario that is nothing short of a ‘revolution’: “Romania needs more than a fiscal reconciliation, more than a fiscal pacification, it needs a general one, political and social. (…) Romania needs a new beginning, we must look forward, otherwise we will remain prisoners of the past. I do not know if we are capable, because I do not know if the rest have my courage, the courage to accomplish what we promised to do.” Dragnea argued that Romania needs a “clean slate” when it comes to the judicial system, taxation and economy. By that Dragnea referred to the legislative package on the reform of the judiciary, and on the expected fiscal amnesty. The PSD leader was followed suit by ALDE President Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu who echoed the same concerns.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report Political Evolutions July 2– 9, 2018
On July 9, President Klaus Iohannis signed the decree to remove from office National Anticorruption Directorate Head Prosecutor Laura Codruța Kovesi. The announcement was made by Presidential Administration Spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi, who stated that the President signed the decree to remove DNA's Head Prosecutor “as to enforce Decision 358/2018 of the Constitutional Court (CCR)".  This comes in the context of the statement made a day before by Senate President Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, who said that ALDE is to unconditionally endorse a decision to launch impeachment proceedings against President Klaus Iohannis if such a proposal were to arise. Tăriceanu went on to add that the ruling coalition is to take all necessary steps to ensure Parliamentary majority in case a decision to impeach the President is made. After the Presidency made the announcement about dismissing Kovesi, former JustMin Florin Iordache informed that an impeachment is off the table.  However, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated that discussions are to continue within the party and the coalition, since this option is seriously (still) being considered.   General Prosecutor Augustin Lazăr appointed Anca Jurma to serve as interim Head Prosecutor until a replacement is found. The Ministry of Justice already launched the selection procedures, which are to be completed by the end of July. The interview is to be held with JustMin Tudorel Toader, aided by secretaries of state. At the appointment of Laura Codruța Kovesi back in 2012, the interview committee comprised the Minister of Justice, three prosecutors and a psychologist.  


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Fiscal Policies Review, July 2 - 9, 2018
Continuing the debate around capping lending, BNR Governor Mugur Isărescu said that the main factor which limits lending is legislative uncertainty, while he explained that fiscal stimuli cannot continue indefinitely. Isărescu argued that the Romanian economy and market are reasonable and that perceived excesses are coming from an excessive presentation and debate in the media. FinMin Teodorovici announced “harsh” discussions over the budget adjustment began this week. Deputy PM Paul Stănescu presented it as a ‘positive adjustment’, so that everybody has money at least for salaries. The current account deficit, higher expenditures & stagnating economy should raise concerns. A press release issued by the National Union Block on Monday, July 9, presents the evaluation of the effects the transfer of social contributions had over the past months. Below are some of the main points presented by BNS: -   Some 50% of Romanian employers modified work contracts, while 24% have not made any changes. -   On March 31, 2018, 41.13% of full time contracts had the value of the minimum wage. -   Some 1.2 million employees had smaller incomes, and more than 600,000 were in danger of having them diminished. ·  July 3, Ministry of public Finances published the minute from the first consulting session with business representatives over the Fiscal Codes updates. ·  July 16 is the deadline for submitting the Single Declaration. ·  The National Institute for Statistics confirms the 4% economic growth for 2018 Q1. ·  BNR published for public debate the Regulation regarding the institutions authorized to issue electronic currencies.   ARRIVED   On July 5, the Draft bill for the approval of the general annual account for the implementation of the state budget, of the annual account for the implementation of the Single National Fund of Health Social Insurance, and of the annual general account of the 2017 public debt was adopted during the Government Sitting, On July 5, the Government adopted Draft bill on approving the annual general execution account for the 2017 social insurances budget and for the annual general execution account for 2017 unemployment insurances budget.   DEPARTURES On July 9, ANAF Order no. 1627/2018 to amend the Technical norms regarding the registration for border purposes of economic operators and other individuals, approved through ANAF Order no. 1886/2016 was published in the Official Gazette. On July 3,ANAF Order No. 1494/2018 for approving the procedure for establish by default the contribution to the social insurance and social health insurance funds owed by individuals was published in the Official Gazette.   Chamber of Deputies The Committee for budget, July 9, is expected to issue a report for the Draft Bill on offshore exploitation (Joint report with the Committee for Administration).   Committee for Industries – report on Access Economy Bill.   The Committee for legal matters, July 9, is expected to issue a report for draft bill on approving GEO 54/2010 on fighting against tax evasion, and a joint report with the Committee for Industries on the draft bill regarding the private-public partnership.      


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, June 27 - July 4, 2018
The draft Bill that amends the Criminal Code (Pl-x 406/2018) was adopted by the Plenum of the Chamber of Deputies with 167 votes in favour, 97 against and 19 abstentions. Representatives of the national minorities were the deciding factor in approving the draft bill, since several MPs from the ruling coalition were absent. Nine deputies from the national minorities voted in favour of the bill, thus securing and surpassing the 165-vote threshold required for the bill to pass. President Klaus Iohannis announced that he is to notify Constitutional Court over the Criminal Codes and that “all constitutional instruments are to be used to challenge these draft bills”. He added that PSD managed to pass the Criminal Code at a record pace through Parliamentary proceedings, with virtually no debate whatsoever. Former CCR President Augustin Zegrean sided with Klaus Iohannis, stating that “it is regrettable that it has come to this.”


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