Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, October 1 - 4, 2017
Over the past week, the Social Democrat Group in Parliament submitted the proposed membership for the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee in the case of the former General Directorate for Protection and Anticorruption (SIPA, then DGPA). PSD's Șerban Nicolae was appointed Committee Chair and his first proposal was to invite for hearings in the SIPA Committee all Ministers of Justice, General Prosecutors and heads of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) between 2005-2017. 


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Weekly Policy and Political Report September 25 – October 3, 2017
The topic of Parliamentary Committees (including the inquiry ones) has risen to a level which prompted a journalist to sarcastically propose a new Committee tasked with investigating fuel prices. This proposal came after a handful of Ministers (Minister of Energy and Minister of Finances included) stated they do not follow fuel price increases, either because they do not drive, or because they are looking after the higher matters. PSD’s Liviu Dragnea, president of the Chamber of Deputies did not reject this proposition, however suggested postponing it until the Committee tasked with investigating ANRE reaches its conclusions. However, Dragnea announced his own conclusions, namely that fuel companies “are influenced by other interests, namely profits no matter what.”


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies September 26 – October 3, 2017
During the September 26 meeting, the Senate’s Committee for Budget and Finances brought significant changes to the Split VAT Ordinance. Members of the Committee voted for a positive report with amendments, proposing that the split VAT measure only to apply for state companies and companies who have contracts with the state. If the measure proves to be functional, all other companies have the possibility to opt for the new system starting with 2019. Eugen Orlando Teodorovici (PSD), Chair of the Committee for Budget was criticized by PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea who stated that "this high office is making Teodorovici act this way", implying that he would be replaced from his position in the Committee. Dragnea was highly critical of Teodorovici's attempt to 'undermine' the work of the PSD-ALDE Government.  


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Weekly Policy and Political Report September 18 - 25, 2017
The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) launched an investigation into a series of normative acts issued by the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Environment. These acts were signed by Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb (among others that are part of the same file) and transferred the ownership of a Danube island and its canal to Teleorman County Council that afterwards rented the waters to private companies. According to media reports, companies that rented these properties are linked to PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea. DNA put current Minister of Development Sevil Shhaideh (then Secretary of State within the same Ministry) under investigation, and demanded the Parliament the approval to prosecute current Minister for European Funds, Rovana Plumb (then Minister of Environment). Shhaideh and Plumb stand accused of illegally signing two Government Resolutions that ensured the property transfer.


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies September 18 - 25, 2017
 On September 19, FinMin Ionuț Mișa announced that the Government plans to elaborate a draft bill to compel private companies to increase their employees’ gross salary. The measure aims at avoiding situations where employees’ salaries would be reduced after the transfer of contributions from employer to employee starting with January 2018.  


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