Weekly Policy and Political Report April 16 - 23, 2018
  On April 23, over 2000 trade unionists working in the public railroad transportation system (CFR Marfă) picketed the Ministry of Transportation, demanding higher wages and the adoption of provisions concerning the status of the industry personnel. Minister Lucian Șova met with the protesters to discuss their requests.  Protests in public hospitals have been taking place last week in certain parts of the country (e.g. Iași, Craiova, Oradea). Employees are discontent with the bonus cuts that have affected certain categories of medical personnel, namely nurses and orderlies. Some doctors still refuse to be on call to ensure emergency services. On the 26th of April, a protest is to be organized in Bucharest, expected to reach 10,000 people. Also, a general strike has been scheduled for the 11th of May. On Monday, April 23, hospital managers met with PM Viorica Dăncilă to discuss their concerns. This comes after Viorica Dăncilă’s request last week directed towards FinMin Eugen Teodorovici, Minister of Health Sorina Pintea and Minister of Labour Lia Olguța Vasilescu to identify the issues and come up with proper solutions.  


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Weekly Policy and Political Report April 10 - 16, 2018
On Monday April 16, President Klaus Iohannis announced that he rejected JustMin Tudorel Toader's request to remove DNA head prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. The Presidency is going to release the official explanation. JustMin Tudorel Toader had an immediate reaction on Facebook, announcing that he is going to take the matter to the Constitutional Court. According to Toader, Iohannis' refusal is in violation of the Constitution. PSD's Executive Committee On April 16, PM Viorica Dăncilă was invited at PSD’s National Executive Committee to review the Gov’t activity after the first 100 days in office.  When asked about an alleged cabinet reshuffle, PSD President Liviu Dragnea denounced the rumors as unfounded. Apart from the minister's assessment, SocDem's agenda included the referendum against same-sex marriages. The Executive Council was also used as an opportunity for Liviu Dragnea to deny rumors about existing tensions with DefMin Viorel Fifor.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report April 2 - 10, 2018
April 3rd, President Klaus Iohannis met with PM Viorica Dăncilă and Minister of Labour Lia-Olguța Vasilescu to discuss inconsistencies concerning the remuneration of civil servants as regulated of the Unitary Wage Law. The President reiterated the need for fiscal and budgetary stability while mentioning that 3 months after the Bill was signed into law, the salary increases were basically invalidated by the transfer of social contributions to the employee’s responsibility. Furthermore, a red flag was raised regarding wage discrepancies that might lead to selective treatment of various categories of personnel that operate in the public sector. Iohannis also stated that without a coherent fiscal policy, Romanians' purchasing power continues to decline. Iohannis and PNL’s views were later counterpoised by PM Dăncilă’s speech in the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies where she praised PSD’s government program that ensured "an outstanding economic growth" in 2017, one of the "highest in Europe and even in the world”. Further on, Minister of Labor Lia-Olguța Vasilescu argued that the press release issued by the Presidency falsely described discussions held at the Cotroceni Palace.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report March 26 – April 2, 2018
March 27, 2018, the Parliament marked the centennial of the 1918 unification of Romania with Bessarabia by joint a Romanian-Moldovan parliamentary meeting. During Tuesday's solemn sitting, and in the presence of Moldovan Parliament President Adrian Candu the Romanian Parliament adopted a Declaration by which it acknowledges Moldovan citizens unionist intensions as "fully legitimate." The Declaration also highlighted Romania's preparedness to assist the Republic of Moldova along this path. The Declaration was read by Chamber of Deputies Speaker Liviu Dragnea (PSD) and comes in the context in which both Romania and the Republic of Moldova prepare for parliamentary elections (R. Moldova - November 2018) and Romania (EP elections, May 2019).    Also this week, on March 26, the Senate (first notified legislative body) rejected President Klaus Iohannis reexamination request for the Draft Bill amending the Referendum Law. The bill reads that referenda are held in the last Sunday of the first 30 days since the legislative proposal approving a referendum is adopted by the Parliament. The Chamber of Deputies is the decision-making legislative body, and it is expected that it too rejects Iohannis' reexamination request. Once the Law passes, the proposed referendum against same-sex marriages must organized within the given deadline. Deputy PM Paul Stănescu announced that this referendum takes place in May. Also this week, USR MP Oana Bîzgan initiated a draft bill that proposes the legalization of civil partnerships.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report March 19 - 26, 2018
President Klaus Ioahnnis attended the European Council on March 23; at the end of the reunion Iohannis highlighted that outcome of Brexit negotiations looks favorable to Romania. According to Iohannis, negotiations on citizens’ rights and on the financial agreement are “100% satisfactory”. Apart from talks on Brexit, Iohannis also addressed domestic issues, including PM Viorica Dăncilă’s letter to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker in which she inquired about EC’s intervention into the Romanian legal system. Iohannis labeled it as a “legitimate concern” and confirmed that he had talks with Jean-Claude Juncker on this matter recommending him to explain the situation. “I personally believe that there was no interference, but I do not want answer for the EC”, said Iohannis.


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