The end of the year brought a significant series of fiscal changes that were published in the last numbers of the Official Gazette. By means of Emergency Ordinances, the Government made small corrections to secondary legislation needed in the context in which November's "Fiscal Revolution" comes into effect on January 1, 2018. Additional adjustments on fiscal matters being expected over the course of the next year.
The Parliament will also work on amending the Criminal Codes, the Special Committee on Justice Reform chaired by Florin Iordache resuming its activity one week before the end of the Parliamentary recess. Apart from efforts to keep the 3% deficit and ongoing judiciary reforms (albeit threatening the rule of law), Romania also prepares for holding the Presidency of the EU Council. These subjects are also expected to sharpen the political fight between the opposition and the ruling coalition. PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban criticized the ruling majority for focusing on the Justice Laws, while being incapable to deliver positive economic results. At the same time, PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea's New Years' Eve message gave assurances that in 2018, Romania will pick up the pace in 2018.
Parliament entered the winter recess after the 2018 budget and the justice laws were adopted in the last days of this legislative session. However, the Special Committee for Justice (Chair Florin Iordache) convenes in the last week of January (the last week of the recess) to resume discussions over the proposed amendments to the Criminal Codes. While the Parliament closed its doors for the next month, the Government continues activity. During the recess the Government was habilitated to issue Ordinances on specific legislation and domains.
The end of the year also brought changes in the structure of the Government. Emergency Ordinance 115/2017 published in the Official Gazette on Friday, December 29, and gives more power to the two vice-PM (Marcel Ciolacu and Paul Stănescu). Same as PM Tudose, the two vice-PMs can now appoint their own secretaries of state and councilors. As both vice-PMs are close to PSD's Liviu Dragnea, their updated powers can weigh in when it comes to ongoing tensions between the PM and the head of his party.
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