Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania

  1. Coronavirus cases surpass 20,000 in Romania: Almost 200 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Romania in the last 24 hours, according to the official daily report released on Friday, June 5, at 13:00. Thus, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reached 20,103 (up from 19,907 reported the day before). The number of confirmed patients who have recovered from COVID-19 also increased to 14,145 (up from 13,919 reported on Thursday). Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 1,308. At this time, 152 confirmed patients are admitted to intensive care units. More than 484,700 tests were processed nationwide by June 5.
  2. Central Military Hospital to participate in WHO study regarding COVID-19 treatment schemes: The Dr. Carol Davila Central Military Emergency University Hospital (SUUMC) is entering the “Solidarity” clinical study which consists in the application, for comparison, of four therapeutic schemes used up to now, schemes that have been proven safe and efficient in the case of most patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the representatives of the medical unit announced, on Friday, in a press release.
  3. PM Orban urges Romanians to protect themselves; significant increase of COVID-19 cases can lead to new restrictions: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban urged Romanians again to protect themselves and observe the “physical distance for health protection,” warning that “any significant increase in the number of cases [of COVID-19 infections] can lead to new restrictive measures.”

 

 

Political and regulatory

 

  1. PM Orban says European Green Deal provides clear guidance for Romanian gov’t program: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said the European Commission’s new plan, called the European Green Deal is “a clear guide in the Romanian government’s program and in all subsequent government actions.” Orban and Minister of the Environment Costel Alexe participated on Friday in the launching event of a project called “Made in Protected Natural Area,” organized at Cernica to mark the World Environment Day.
  2. Iohannis on World Environment Day: We have to stop illegal logging: In a message on June 5, World Environment Day, President Klaus Iohannis is sounding the alarm over illegal logging in Romania, urging all citizens to participate in reforestation programs. Iohannis adds that “the environmental problems facing Romania today require decisive action by all responsible authorities to combat pollution, illegal logging and waste contamination.”
  3. EnviMin Alexe launches trademark “Produced in Natural Protected Area” for World Environment Day: The World Environment Day is celebrated each year on June 5, and in this context, the Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests will launch, as a first in Romania, the trademark “Produced in a Natural Protected Area”. The Environment minister, Costel Alexe, will participate in the launching of the brand together with producers from several natural protected areas, which will be able to use the brand.
  4. PSD’s Ciolacu: In the last six months, PSD trend is increasing; it reached 29pct in internal polls: In the last six months, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) trend is increasing, and it reached 29 percent in internal polls, while the National Liberal Party (PNL) trend is decreasing, Social-Democrat interim chairman Marcel Ciolacu said on Friday. “There are several polls. In the past six months, the PSD trend is increasing, it stands at 29 percent in our pools, and the PNL trend is decreasing, now it stands between 33 and 35 percent,” Ciolacu told DC News, when asked about PSD percentage in internal polls. Ciolacu mentioned that the PSD should have a full leadership prior to the elections and a congress will be organized in the coming period.
  5. PSD’s Ciolacu: If censure motion prevails, we’ll present President Iohannis an economic program: Acting Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel Ciolacu declared on Friday that if a censure motion against the Orban Government is adopted, the Social Democrats and their political partners will first of all present President Klaus Iohannis a short- and medium-term economic program. Ciolacu reiterated that PSD will table a censure motion in the next period and voiced his conviction that it will prevail.
  6. FinMin Citu: 8 bln lei available through large companies support program: The support program for large companies has an allocation of 8 billion lei, with a multiplier effect of almost 28 billion lei in the economy, and it will be operational in three weeks or maximum one month, Finance Minister Florin Citu announced on Thursday evening after the government meeting. The beneficiaries of these instruments are private law legal entities from the SME category with a turnover of over 20 million lei in 2019, or large companies with more than 250 employees, said the minister.
  7. 2.7 bln RON EU funds grant for “Vision 2020” project regarding rapid reaction to disasters: The government has approved, by a decision, the substantiation note regarding spending relating to the investment project “Vision 2020”, worth over 3 billion RON (around 681 million euro), of which 84.4 pct (around 2.7 billion RON) are European grants, the project focusing on “increasing the preparedness level for a rapid and efficient reaction to disasters of intervention crews,” said minister of Internal Affairs Marcel Vela. He added that from the same sum will be purchased 12 helicopters, namely “6 light helicopters in the acquisition and delivery stage” and “6 medium and heavy helicopters for use on land and the maritime area, which are presently in the competitive negotiation procedure”.
  8. LabMin Alexandru: Funding source to increase children’s allowance to be found at budgetary correction: The government will increase children’s allowance if the law comes into force and the source of funding will be identified at the budget correction, which will take place within a month, the minister of Labour and Social Protection Violeta Alexandru on Thursday evening told the private television Digi24.
  9. Ombudsman welcomes COVID-19 inclusion in disease category entitling to 100 pct work incapacity pay rate: The Ombudsman welcomes the inclusion of COVID-19 in category A of infectious diseases, so that temporary work incapacity gets 100 percent compensation.
  10. ForMin Aurescu, Ukrainian counterpart discuss minority rights, pandemic co-operation: Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu had a telephone conversation on Thursday with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to discuss the situation of national minorities in the neighboring country and co-operation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  11. PLUS’s Tudorache on vote during pandemic: We can increase number of days, number of polling stations: MEP Dragos Tudorache from PLUS (Liberty, Unity, Solidarity Party) believes a solution in organizing the elections during this period impacted by the pandemic would be to increase the number of days and the number of polling stations for the respective vote. He added that the vote by mail sounds “very good” but, “unfortunately” “culturally speaking, it is not well enough digested by the collective mind yet.” Tudorache underscored that the solutions must come from the Permanent Electoral Authority and the Government, especially since this is an exceptional situation, and that there is need of a debate in this regard with the political parties and the civil society to identify the challenges and possible solutions. According to him, Parliament must take responsibility, especially after the repeated decisions of the CCR – Constitutional Court of Romania, and quickly debate and adopt the necessary legislative changes for these elections. National Liberal Party (PNL) Bucharest leader and Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru has stated on Thursday that she is also in favor of introducing the electronic vote, including in local elections.
  12. PSD’s Manole says all election-related decisions should be taken by consensus at dialogue table: Social Democratic Party (PSD) MP Florin Manole said on Thursday that it was important for all decisions related to this year’s elections to be taken by consensus, at a cross-party dialogue table where civil society would also sit. He called for the mobilization of the government and specialist bodies, such as the Standing Electoral Authority, as soon as possible and for openness to dialogue on their part towards the civil society and experts for the drawing up of a set of rules regarding organization at polling stations.
  13. UDMR’s Csoma Botond says party supports organization of local elections in September, parliamentary elections on term: The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) supports the organization of local elections in September or October and parliamentary elections on term, and their possible postponement for next year would not be “a correct message for society,” UDMR deputy Csoma Botond said on Thursday, at the online debate organized by the Expert Forum, called “Organizing elections during pandemic. Scenarios of political parties.”
  14. After talks with PM Orban, PMP’s Tomac says sure local elections to be held on September 27: National leader of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) Eugen Tomac said on Thursday he was convinced local elections would be held on September 27, adding that he had a discussion with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on the elections and insisted on the date. The leader of PSD Arad, senator Mihai Fifor, stated on Friday on Antena 3, related to the organization of local elections on September 27, the option discussed in the PNL, that the Social Democrats also want local elections to take place as soon as possible and indicated the period that PSD wants: “Our party is also discussing about the end of September, it is the best time for organizing local elections, maybe even the last Sunday in September,” said Mihai Fifor. The government considers that a “suitable” period for organizing local elections is the end of September, the beginning of October, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban also said on Friday, adding that both September 27 and October 4 are “good” for holding elections.
  15. PM Orban urges ministries to finalize legislation for economic recovery package: On Thursday, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban asked the ministries of Finance, Economy, Labor and European Funds to finalize the pieces of legislation to be included in an economic recovery package.
  16. President refers the ‘Trianon Law’ to the Constitutional Court: President Klaus Iohannis has referred the “Trianon Law” to the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR), arguing the law is just a statement. The Parliament passed this law upon PSD’s proposal. The Social Democrats accused President Iohannis on Thursday, June 4 that he has no national dignity to promulgate the law.
  17. Scandal and hustles at the press conference held by the PNL-USR candidate for Bucharest City Hall: The PNL-USR candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, Nicusor Dan has held a press conference on Friday morning, in order to present and criticize the activity report of the incumbent Bucharest mayor, Gabriela Firea, who is running for a new mandate on behalf of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). The conference has been interrupted by the SocDem deputy mayor of Bucharest, Aurelian Badulescu, who came on the venue with a cupboard, clamoring and constantly interrupting Nicusor Dan’s speech. PNL chairman, PM Ludovi Orban said that deputy mayor Badulescu had been sent there by mayor Gabriela Firea to cause a fuss. USR chairman Dan Barna has also reacted to the incident.

 

Impact on the economy

  1. Reopening malls. Orban: The decision will be made 3-4 days before June 15: A decision on the reopening of the malls will be taken by the authorities 3-4 days before June 15 and will be based on the evaluation of doctors, says Prime Minister Ludovic Orban . Orban spoke again on Friday, in a press conference, about the plan of the authorities to relax the measures in steps, every 15 days, based on the assessments made by specialists and according to the epidemiological risk related to each type of activity.
  2. Biggest Romanian drug producer Terapia eyes 10% growth this year: Romanian pharmaceutical producer Terapia targets a 10% rise in revenues this year, assuming that the exports return to the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the company’s CEO Dragos Damian.
  3. Lithuanian hotel owner reopens its units in Bucharest: Lithuanian company Apex Alliance Hotel Management announced that it would reopen, on June 5, both Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest hotels it manages (in Old Town and Airpot areas). The Courtyard Bucharest Floreasca hotel will resume operations on June 15.
  4. 29,780 individuals, companies, registered in Jan-April 2020, 46.99pct drop over similar period of 2019: The number of registrations of individuals and companies has dropped in the first four months of 2020 by 46.99 pct over the similar period of 2019, to 29,780, of which 21,115 (71 pct) are LLCs, according to the data centralized by the National Office of the Trade Register (ONRC).
  5. Event for Romanian companies’ promotion organized by Bucharest Trade and Industry Chamber: The Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIB) organized an event attended by representatives of the mechanical engineering, electrical engineering industry and of the related research sector, with the aim of contributing to the promotion of Romanian companies, especially of machine building companies, the institution announced on Friday. “The presidents of the Uzinsider Bucharest Group (that includes Promex Braila, Comelf Bistrita and 24 January Ploiesti, all NATO-certified for the production of complex machinery and equipment), the ‘Elie Carafoli’ National Institute for Aerospace Research (INCAS), Popeci Heavy Machinery Craiova and the director of East Electric SRL Bucharest, who attended the meeting, presented the technical, technological, research and design potential of the companies they represent, as well as their interest in participating, either in collaboration with companies in the defense industry, or individually, in national defense and security programs,” the release says.
  6. Official statistics: Household average monthly income at 4,790 lei, spending at 4,092 lei in 2019: The average monthly income per Romanian household was 4,790 lei in 2019, up 12.7 percent compared to 2018, and total expenditures reached 4,092 lei per month, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on Friday. The gross average total monthly income was 1,853 lei per person, up 13.6 percent, and the average total expenditure amounted to 1,583 lei per person.
  7. FinMin Citu: IMM Invest program works very well; 3,083 companies took funds: Minister of Public Finance Florin Citu on Thursday stated that the IMM Invest program (SMEs Invest) works very well and 3,083 companies took funds until now.
  8. Minister of Finance: I hope that the country rating will be maintained; It would come as a surprise for me if the performance from the first quarter is not appreciated: Rating agencies cannot ignore Romania’s success with the issuance of bonds on international markets and the fact that economic growth was maintained in the first quarter, said in an interview with AGERPRES , Minister of Public Finance, Florin Cîţu. Regarding a possible reduction of the country’s rating, the Minister of Finance said that such a decision would have long-term consequences.
  9. Over 10,000 tourists are expected at the seaside during the Pentecost holiday. How did the hotels prepare to receive them: So far, over 10,000 tourists are expected to arrive on the seaside during the short Pentecost holiday. Although the seaside will be full, the opening of the season caught the owners of the terraces and those who manage the beaches a bit unprepared. The owners have just now started the preparations for the opening. Terrace owner: “They took us a little unprepared. Initially, we understood that we were opening on June 15 and then it was decided that we could open on the 1st of June and all is done in a rush”. Hotel owners seem to be better prepared to receive tourists this holiday.
  10. The government is preparing a bailout of 1 billion lei for three commercial credit insurers. Taxpayers’ money to be used to pay damages instead of foreign reinsurers: The Ministry of Finance is preparing a state aid scheme that wants to guarantee 80% of the compensations that commercial credit companies would owe to insured customers for not collecting invoices on time. The stated purpose of such a scheme, inspired by those approved in Germany and Denmark, is to avoid a blockage of commercial credit between Romanian companies. The main direct beneficiaries would be, however, only three commercial credit insurers – Coface, Euler Hermes and Atradius – which have only a few thousand large customers in Romania, and their foreign reinsurers, for which Romanian taxpayers would take over the compensation obligations in their place. An intense lobby of the three insurance companies has been made recently at the Government for Romania to apply the guarantee scheme that Germany and Denmark afforded to support in the recent crisis. Today, the Coalition for the Development of Romania (CDR), a business organization, has a new meeting at the Government to discuss with the leaders of the Executive the stage of preparation for such a scheme, to which the Finance should allocate the last billion lei available from the total guarantee ceiling that the state can allocate, in addition to IMM Invest and First Home programs.
  11. IMF on measures taken by Romania in the pandemic and those for economic recovery: The International Monetary Fund has constantly evaluated the measures taken by the 189 member countries. Romania, is mentioned among the evaluated countries, in a report last revised at the end of May.
  12. Oil companies write to the Government showing that the regulations endanger Romania’s oil and gas production: The National Oil and Gas Federation (FPPG) says that the current regulations, which force them to put gas on the market at the low price of the hub in Austria, actually force them to sell at a loss, which will have as effect even the closing of some wells. Romanian companies say they can’t sell at this price because we have higher gas production costs than the Russians for their gas, which actually sets the hub’s price. They sent a letter to the Government, asking to sell gas at higher Romanian market prices, but they have not yet received a response. In the meantime, however, although gas is getting cheaper in the market, this is not seen in the offers made to the population by large suppliers.