Press Review - November 9, 2018

11.09.2018 By Oana Gavrila

Finance Minister Announces Possible Sovereign Fund Decree

Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici announced on Thursday that the Government could pass two decrees in Friday’s cabinet meeting, one which establishes the country’s Sovereign Fund and another instating tiered minimum wages based on the level of education.

“All aspects still discussed were clarified and I think that tomorrow we will also discuss the decree regarding the establishment of the sovereign fund.

We will set a general framework to establish this sovereign fund on a case basis”.

The establishment of a sovereign fund which would govern state shares in major public companies was one of the ruling coalition’s main objectives, but its establishment in the Parliament was shot down by a Constitutional Court decision earlier in 2018.


Leu Loses Ground Vs Euro

The Romanian leu lost a slight 0.03% on the day to the euro Thursday, standing at  4.6630 units from Wednesday's reference rate of 4.6617 units.

Against the US dollar, the leu depreciated to 8.0825 units Thursday from 4.0588 units Wednesday.


Senate Chairman Cancels Trip To ALDE Europe Congress After Legal Woes Emerge

The chairman of Romania’s Senate and co-leader of the country’s ruling coalition, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, decided not to take part in the ALDE Europe congress starting Thursday, after anticorruption prosecutors in the country announced that he is suspected of corruption offenses.

“The chairman (Calin Popescu Tariceanu, ed.) canceled his trip to Madrid,” sources from within the leadership of Romanian party ALDE told MEDIAFAX on Thursday.

The ALDE Europe Congress, scheduled to take place until Saturday, is also due to discuss the exclusion of the Romanian party, following a request by an Austrian member of the pan-European political group.

Tariceanu denied the accusation on Wednesday night, calling it a “ridiculous spectacle” and an attempt to save General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar from the dismissal procedure launched by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader.

Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) requested the Senate on Wednesday to lift parliamentary immunity for Tariceanu, who it intends to indict under the accusation of receiving a bribe of $800,000 for a state contract signed during his time as prime minister.

DNA prosecutors accuse Tariceanu of receiving the bribe from representatives of an Austrian company in exchange for approving several additional clauses to a state contract, with the sum representing 10% of the clauses’ value.

The money, received through multiple fictitious contracts signed with offshore entities in 2007 and 2008 – when Tariceanu was prime minister – was then used to finance the 2008 parliamentary electoral campaign.

It is speculated that the contract in question was a software licensing agreement with Microsoft, mediated by local representatives of former German-Japanese joint venture Fujitsu-Siemens Computers.

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