Press Review - November 9, 2017

11.09.2017 By Oana Gavrila

Magistrates Body Discusses Parliament-Amended Justice Laws

The High Council of Magistrates on Thursday discusses the ruling coalition's justice system overhaul bill and will issue a non-binding stance on the legislative package.

So far, prosecutors and associations of magistrates have rejected the proposed changes, which would muffle anticorruption investigations.

The bills have been amended in Parliament. The initial stance of High Council of Magistrates on the government's proposed justice laws package was negative.


Government Approves Patriot Missiles Acquisition

Romania's government on Wednesday approved the acquisition of seven Patriot missile defense systems from the United States for $3.9 billion, net of VAT.

The draft law will be sent to Parliament for approval.

Romania, a NATO and EU member, plans to acquire the first system by the end of the year.

The country requested the Patriot systems back in April and the US State Department cleared the sale in July.

Mid-October, Romania's government, through aircraft construction and repair company Aerostar SA, and US Raytheon International Defence System on Wednesday signed a memorandum to collaborate in the maintenance and repair of Patriot missile defense systems.


Government Raises Child Care Benefit, Cuts Private Pension Contributions

Romania's government on Wednesday approved two emergency decrees raising the minimum child care benefit by RON17 as of January 1, 2018, and the minimum pension by RON120 as of July 1, 2018.

The government said it raised child care benefits to RON1,250 from RON1,233 starting January.

In a separate decree, the government raised the minimum pension to RON640 from RON520 and the hike of the pension point to RON1,100 from RON1,000 starting July 1, 2018.

It also lowered contributions to a mandatory private pension system known as pillar II to 3.75% from 5.1%. It said the nominal amount transferred to the mandatory private pension system remains unchanged at least next year. It said the reduction in percentages was necessary due to a 20% wage hike in the average wage starting 2018.


Romanian Royal Family Reports Former King's Grandson To Police

Romania's royal house said Wednesday it has filed a complaint with Swiss police alleging that the estranged grandson of the ailing ex-King Michael I tried to force his way into his grandfather's home.

The royal house said Nicholas Medforth-Mills attempted "to violate the home of His Majesty" in Switzerland and had "physically and verbally aggressed" three staff members.

Medforth-Mills, 32, accused his relatives of doing their "utmost to stop me seeing my grandfather and discredit my name."

The royal house announced this week that the former monarch's health had deteriorated. He is suffering from leukemia and a form of skin cancer.

The 96-year-old Michael was Romania's last king and is one of the few leaders from the years of World War II still living. He occupied the throne during 1927-1930 and again from 1940 until 1947, when communists forced him to abdicate.

He stripped Medforth-Mills of his royal title in 2015.


Government Approves Controversial Tax Changes

The Romanian Government on Wednesday passed an emergency decree that includes controversial tax changes which would come into force starting January 1, 2018.

The measures include the transfer of social security contributions from employer to employee, cutting the income tax to 10% from 16% and lowering the social security contributions by 2%.

Employers will pay a 2.5% labor insurance contribution and the threshold for micro-enterprises will increase from EUR500,000 to EUR1 million.

The government also approved mandatory separate payment accounts for the value-added tax.

The measures received severe criticism from trade unions and business associations and have led to rallies over the fear of lower wages and economic instability.

The Romanian leu hit a five-year low midday Wednesday amid tensions over the government's plans to overhaul the tax system and signals from the central bank that it would allow more flexibility in the exchange rate.

press review

Please fill all required fields!

Your comment was successfully added!

Comments will appear only after the moderation.