Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, November 23 - 30, 2016
The electoral campaign entered its third week confirming PSD's leadership in polls, the party most likely to win the parliamentary elections. However, winning the election does not guarantee a majority in Parliament and the Government, which renders second-tier parties crucial in forming an alliance. The other main party, PNL, seems to have lost momentum, as the relationship with designated PM Dacian Cioloș appears to be wearing off. The voter turnout is crucial for the results of the elections, a low turnout being in favor of the Social Democrats, as they currently lead the polls and also benefit from a solid basis in the local administration. Political analysts expect the turnout to be at around 40-50%, close to the turnout registered during the previous elections.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, November 16 - 23, 2016
The National Anti-Corruption Directorate closed the file on the 2009 loan Romania drew from the IMF. The file was opened after DNA received a couple of hundreds notifications demanding an investigation on the 2009 loan. The notifications were most likely submitted by economist Lucian Isar and lawyer Gheorghe Piperea's clients. Among others, BNR's Mugur Isărescu and Lucian Croitoru, as well as former president Traian Băsescu and former PM Emil Boc. According to the DNA letter sent to Bursa daily, the publication that released the existence of such file, the file was closed on November 9.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, November 9 -16, 2016
In the Government Sitting of November 16, marking one year since the Cabinet took office, Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș reviewed the activity of his cabinet. Cioloș detailed on the accomplishments of the Ministries of Health, Transports, Energy, Education, and European Funds. However, his statement went beyond evaluating the performance of his Cabinet and the ministers' proposed or implemented policies, as he used the occasion to address a political issue. Cioloș replied to the "Zero Government" label that has been constantly attached to the current Cabinet by the Social Democrats. According to Cioloș, the "Zero Government" label should be rephrased as "the zero-corruption, zero-populism, and zero-lies Government."


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, November 2 -9, 2016
On Sunday, November 6, Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș was present at the PNL electoral rally held in Bucharest. This is the second PNL political event that Cioloș attended, after the National Congress held on Wednesday, November 2. The rally was designed to present the new slogan of the National Liberal Party, “Romania Forward”, as well as introduce the candidates and the Prime Minister proposed by the National Liberals. While the new slogan appears to be typical for the National Liberal Party, as it touches upon issues of continuity and progress, PM Dacian Cioloș’ speech was not so convincingly appealing to either PNL’s voters, or to the large numbers of undecided voters.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, October 26 –November 2, 2016
Last week, political parties validated and submitted their electoral lists to the Central Electoral Bureau. While the situation of the electoral lists can be considered a completed business, debates over who is going to fill the PM position have gotten into full swing. While Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș accepted the proposal made by the National Liberals early last week, across the political isle the situation has become more complicated lately. As President Klaus Iohannis has publicly stated that he would not appoint a Prime Minister with a criminal record, hinting at PSD’s Liviu Dragnea, the latter retorted accusing the President of getting involved in the electoral campaign and picking sides.


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