Fiscal Policies Review April 10 - 16, 2018
On Monday, April 16, 2018, Government Resolution No. 209/2018 amending GR No. 957/2005 and placing the INS under the Government came into effect as it was published in the Official Gazette. Last week the Government adopted the Government Resolution during its weekly sitting, its adoption raising suspicions that the Gov’t would subordinate the activity of the Institute. Recently INS published a series of negative reports on the inflation rate, wage evolution and GDP growth rates. On Thursday, April 11, Minister of Public Finance Eugen Teodorovici announced that the pension transfer mechanism from Pillar II to Pillar I could be put up for debate with the Government by mid-2018. The mechanism would be an optional, transparent one, according to Teodorovici, who added that “in many fields the state proved that it cannot be a better manager then the private one”. With regards to EC’s Country report, Teodorovici cleared, on April 11, 2018, that by mid-April an answer containing data on keeping the deficit below 3% would be drafted, and submitted. On Tuesday, April 10, Eugen Teodorovici met with European Commissioner for Single Market Elżbieta Bieńkowska, and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici to discuss on future “amendments and simplification of the legislation on public procurement” – with focus on public procurement centralization –, and on preventing and countering tax evasion.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, April 4 - 11, 2018
PSD's Liviu Dragnea announced on Tuesday (April 10) the legislative priorities of the ruling coalition. In a brief press statement, Dragnea announced that the Criminal Codes (including the presumption of innocence Directive), the new laws on national security, and the referendum on "traditional family" are next on the legislative agenda of the ruling coalition. According to Dragnea, the constitutional referendum on "traditional family"/against same-sex marriages is scheduled to take place this spring. When it comes to amending the Criminal Codes, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party announced that the Special Committee is to begin discussions on amendments `next week at the latest.' Dragnea's statement also reveals that the Parliament will establish a new special committee (based on the same model as the Special Committee for Justice chaired by Florin Iordache).


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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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Fiscal Policies Review April 2 - 10, 2018
Tuesday, April 3, President Iohannis met with PM Dăncilă and Minister of Labor Lia-Olguța Vasilescu to discuss the effects of the Unitary Wage Law. The official press release issued by the Presidential Administration warns that the Law breaks the principles of predictability and equality. The press release was criticized by both members of the Government present at the talks with the President, minister Vasilescu arguing that the President was only trying to turn the public agenda around. The same day, PM Dăncilă was in Parliament at the request of the National Liberal Party (PNL). Dăncilă presented data on Romania's economic outlook, highlighting the 7% economic growth, the 2% in GDP spend on the military, and higher collection rates to the state budget. Both Dăncilă and Vasilescu dismissed the possibility that pay raises are unsustainable.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, March 28 - April 4, 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 staffas 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.


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