Press Review - October 10, 2017

10.10.2017 By Oana Gavrila

Romanian PM To Replace Several Cabinet Ministers

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said Monday on Antena 3 he will replace some of his government's ministers who are ill-perceived by public opinion and, in some cases, the European Commission.

Political sources told Mediafax transport minister Razvan Cuc and SMEs minister Ilan Laufer are among the ministers targeted for a reshuffle.

The Parliament is expected to hold a vote on whether to lift the immunity of Rovana Plumb, minister in charge of EU funds, who is targeted by a corruption investigation.

Deputy prime minister Sevil Shhaideh is being investigated in the same case.

Earlier this month, the Senate rejected a request by anticorruption prosecutors to lift the parliamentary immunity of  Viorel Ilie, minister in charge of the liaison with Parliament.


PM Says Romania Won't Borrow Money from IMF

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said Monday Romania will not seek a loan from the International Monetary Fund, adding the institution has made erroneous forecasts on the country's economy so far.

Tudose said the country has other instruments available if it needs financing.


Commodities Exchange Accuses Parliament of Trying to Nationalize Gas Market

The Romanian Commodities Exchange on Monday accused a parliamentary committee of “arbitrary decisions and breaching the principles of a free market by excluding a private operator from the Romanian natural gas market”.

The Oct 4 vote in the committee has changed the meaning of a piece of legislation, which will have major negative effects on the natural gas market and Romania's economy as a whole, the exchange said.

“Nationalizing the activity of the Romanian Commodities Exchange by imposing state monopoly on the natural gas trade, through misguided legislation, goes against ten Constitution and breaches EU laws on commodities exchanges and antitrust principles,” the Exchange said in a statement.

Lawmakers in the lower house industry committee voted to entrust wholesale natural gas transactions solely to state-operated energy exchange OPCOM, excluding the commodities exchange from the natural gas market. The bill must be voted by Parliament and signed by the head of state to become law.


S&P Affirms Romania at BBB-/A-3 With Stable Outlook

Standard & Poor's maintained Romania's rating at BBB-/A-3, with a stable outlook, and said that the country's budget and trade deficits will widen due to the consumption-focused growth.

"Romania's procyclical budgetary stance is amplifying wage pressures in an already overheating economy. While wage convergence is desirable, pay increases that significantly outpace underlying productivity have historically led to boom-bust cycles," S&P said in a statement.

S&P also said it expects the consumption-focused growth to generate wider fiscal and external deficits, increasing the economy's vulnerability to an abrupt downturn over the medium term, though public and external debt is modest.

The stable outlook reflects the analysts' view that general government and external debt is likely to increase only gradually over the coming two years, S&P added.


Railway Workers Find Unexploded WW2 Bombs in Central Romania

Seven unexploded bombs from the Second World War have been found by the railway in Harghita county, central Romania.

The bombs were found by railway workers digging in the area. Local bomb technicians lifted the ammunition to have it safely destroyed.

Railway traffic was not affected.

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