Weekly Policy and Political Report, April 11 - 15, 2016
This week, the Parliament passed the controversial debt-to-equity swap law, contributing to the ongoing debates over Romania’s economic outlook and macroeconomic stability. The draft bill has managed to polarize public opinion into two main camps: MPs and borrowers on the other hand, and lenders represented by the Central Bank and the Romanian Banking Association on the other. Conflicts sparked between MPs and banking regulators, as the latter accused members of Parliament of destabilizing the local economy and of unnecessarily increasing lending costs.


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies, April 11-15, 2016
The World Bank has released the results of its latest evaluation of the Revenue Administration Modernization Project and the conclusion was that the Fiscal Authority (ANAF) has underperformed according to WB's standards and expectations. Amid internal changes and higher pressure from state authorities, including from the part of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, ANAF's activity has been graded "moderately unsatisfactory". In this sense, the WB highlighted that ANAF only drew EUR 5 million out of the EUR 70 million lending line to be used for internal reforms.


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies, April 4-11, 2016
Echoes of the Panama Papers leaks have reached Romania over the course of the past week, prompting the head of ANAF to initiate a working group in charge of investigations. In this sense, ANAF is working on identifying cases of fiscal violations based on information provided by journalists' investigations. It is worthwhile noticing that only the previous week, the former head of ANAF accused a foreign ambassador of influence paddling in favor of a Western-based multinational company with regards to the issue of avoiding national taxation and financial control. More so, PNL deputy Octavian Popa has proposed a 16% tax on offshore deals, arguing that "impressive sums" avoid being taxed through such deals.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, April 4 - 8, 2016
    Initiated last week, the procedures aiming to dismiss Senate Speaker Călin Popescu Tăriceanu and Justice Minister Raluca Prună have failed in Parliament. Members of the Lower Chamber have debated a simple motion initiated by ALDE against the Justice Minister, which failed to pass and had a low voting turnout. More importantly, the two actions gave an insight into the current political camps in Parliament, a polarization also reflected in the population’s voting options, recently presented in an INSCOP poll. Both the number of votes in Parliament and the INSCOP poll confirm that PSD and PNL stand on the same level - at 38% - according to voters’ intention. 


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies, March 28 - April 4, 2016
  This week, problematic allegations concerning the payment of taxes by a multinational company have reached public attention. Former head of ANAF Gelu Diaconu accused the former ambassador of the Netherlands to Romania of influence peddling in favor of a multinational company that was trying to avoid paying taxes to the Romanian state. So far, his allegations have not been confirmed, yet they are problematic. On a European level, Commissioner for economic affairs Pierre Moscovici highlighted that multinational companies ought to pay taxes in the countries where their profit is made. Both Diaconu and Moscovici pointed out at a shift in EU's taxation policy, yet it is hard to tell whether large taxpayers will receive a different treatment in the near future.    


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