Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, May 9 - 16, 2018
The past week was dominated by a series of subjects that are expected to continue shaping the public agenda over the coming weeks. PM Viorica Dăncilă’s visit to Israel, reactions to Gov't's decision to relocate the Romanian embassy to Jerusalem, and more recently to Vatican generated debates over who holds prerogatives over Romania’s foreign policy. Whereas the President’s public intervention indicate that the Government does not have the authority to relocate the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem or to represent Romania abroad, the ruling coalition argues that PM Dăncilă and President of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea have the liberty of meeting their counterparts whenever needed, without asking for Iohannis’ approval.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report May 7 - 14, 2018
The past week was dominated by a series of subjects that are expected to continue shaping the public agenda over the coming weeks. PM Viorica Dăncilă’s visit to Israel and more recently to Vatican generated debates over who holds prerogatives over Romania’s foreign policy. Whereas the President’s public intervention indicate that the Government does not have the authority to relocate the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem or to represent Romania abroad. On the other hand, the ruling coalition argues that PM Dăncilă and President of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea have the liberty of meeting their counterparts whenever needed, without asking for Iohannis’ approval.             On May 7, Iohannis addressed the budgetary execution for Q1 2018. The president severely criticized the ruling coalition consumption-based economic policies, and the overall economic situation. Once more Iohannis asked for PM Dăncilă’s resignation. Iohannis’ intervention was followed suit by Călin Popescu Tăriceanu and Liviu Dragnea’s position. Tăriceanu argued that everything goes as planned in the Governing Program and that Iohannis imposes a negative perception on Romania, while Liviu Dragnea straightforwardly accused Iohannis of ‘undermining’ Romania. In the background, April’s inflation rate surged at 5.2%, the Central Bank raised the key interest rate at 2.5%, Romania is expected to not meet the 3% deficit threshold, and the 3m ROBOR interbanking index continues pushing new records (2.75% on May 14); all these are expected to be used as arguments against the Government and the ruling coalition.  


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Fiscal Policies Review, May 7 - 14, 2018
On May 7, President Klaus Iohannis held a press conference in which he was highly critical of the recently published budgetary execution for the first months of 2018. Once again, this time invoking economic factors, President Iohannis requested PM Dăncilă’s resignation. PSD’s Liviu Dragnea reacted promptly, saying that the President presented a “list of lies”, while the PM has no reason to resign, as long as the Governing Program generates economic growth. Over the past week, Dragnea accused Iohannis of “undermining Romania”. The following evening, on May 8, Deputy PM Viorel Ștefan held a press conference, presenting the main indicators of the budgetary exercise for the first four months of 2018. Deputy PM Ștefan's intervention aimed at contradicting the negative numbers presented by Iohannis. Among the most important issues presented by Ștefan: ANAF’s income collection rate increased by 11.8%; incomes from excise collection increased by 14.7%; the state budget money transferred to the Pensions’ Second Pillar increased by 19.7% in January 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.             The ongoing public debate over economic matters between President Iohannis and the Gov’t, or the ruling coalition for that matter is expected to continue. On May 14, INS published the official inflation rate (5.2% in April, up from 5% in March). This constant increase of the inflation rate alongside spikes of the ROBOR inter-banking rates are most likely going to be used against the ruling coalition.          


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, May 2 - 9, 2018
On May 7, President Klaus Iohannis made an official statement concerning the budgetary exercise of the first quarter of 2018. Iohannis used this opportunity to ask once more for PM Viorica Dăncilă's resignation, referring to the ruling coalition’s inability to propose a feasible economic program and arguing that the lack of predictability creates an unsafe environment for economic growth.   PSD President Liviu Dragnea reacted swiftly, rendering the President’s viewpoints as invalid, since "statistics" contradict him. Moreover, he added that Iohannis’ political goal was to justify his request for PM Dăncilă's resignation. Dragnea accused Iohannis of presenting "false economic data and lies” in order to cover that Dăncilă’s visit to Israel was in fact the cause behind Iohannis' request. Dragnea stressed that, according to him, there is no reason for the PM to resign, since the Governing Program is on track. 


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Weekly Policy and Political Report April 30 – May 7, 2018
A group of PSD MPs initiated a legislative proposal that heavily amends the electoral legislation.  On May 2nd, the proposal was registered to the Senate for debate, sent for notice to the Legislative Council and for a POV from the Gov’t.  Some of the prospective modifications refer to: - the possibility of a voter to endorse multiple candidates - the voting count has to be done in 48 hours - the ballots are to be kept for six months - a special ballot box can be asked for on the day of elections (as opposed to one day before as it currently is) - schools were eliminated from a list of institutions where political campaigning is strictly forbidden. Apart from the proposed changes, the Draft Bill made way for a series of reactions.


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