Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania
- 7th day with over 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases in Romania: There have been 1,151 new cases of COVID-19 infections reported in Romania in the past 24 hours out of 21,135 processed tests. Separately from the new confirmed cases, 594 persons who tested positive before have retested positive. At the same time, 33 deaths have been reported in the past day. The number of patients at intensive care also increased to 357.
- One in nine Romanians says they do not know anyone infected with the SARS CoV-2 virus, and three-quarters of Romanians fear they could become infected with the new coronavirus: Three-quarters of Romanians are very worried about the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania, and 7 Romanians out of 10 are afraid that they could also be infected with coronavirus, shows the data of an IRES poll published on Tuesday.
Political and regulatory
- Orban: We will use legal instrument to second medical staff: The authorities will be able to use “the legal instrument of secondment” of medical staff in the medical units involved in the anti-COVID fight, said on Tuesday Prime Minister Ludovic Orban. He was asked, after meetings with representatives of the Sanitas Federation and the Health Solidarity Federation, how the authorities will solve the problem of lack of medical staff recorded at the level of some hospitals in the country on the backdrop of the COVID pandemic.
- Romanian finance minister says child allowances will increase by “around 15%”: Child allowances will increase by “around 15%” starting August 1, Romania’s finance minister Florin Citu said on Monday at Realitatea Plus news channel. The decision regarding the increase in child allowances is pending approval and it will be communicated at the Government meeting as soon as probably, the Ministry of Finance, Florin Citu, stated on Monday, adding that the increase will take place in stages, in order not to endanger the stability financial at this point.
- Deputies pass bill on furlough during state of siege, state of emergency: The deputies partially admitted, on Monday, the request for re-examination of the draft law for completing the Labor Code, which concerns provisions regarding the suspension of individual employment contracts during the state of siege or the state of emergency.
- FinMin: We must make sure we lose nothing of European money, which is not for pensions, salaries: Finance Minister Florin Citu said on Monday evening that a team must be readied by October, that will meet with President Klaus Iohannis on a weekly basis and will prepare programs eligible for EU financing, so that not a dime from the European funds goes lost.
- FinMin Citu: Deficit figure at six months is smaller than foreseen in program: The budgetary execution at six months could be presented on Tuesday, but the figure of the deficit is smaller than that foreseen in the program, said, on Monday evening, the Finance Minister, Florin Citu, at private TV broadcaster Realitatea Plus.
- All state-owned companies, to receive notification to comply with corporate governance law: The Ministry of Public Finance will send a notification to state-owned companies to comply with Ordinance 109/2011 on corporate governance of public enterprises, because professional management, with a clear mandate is needed, the relevant Minister, Florin Citu, told private TV broadcaster Realitatea Plus.
- FinMin Citu: I guarantee we will not ask IMF for help in 2020: Romania will not ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help in 2020, Minister of Public Finance Florin Citu stated on Monday. In respect to the collection of taxes to the state budget, the head of Finance said things are much better than expected.
- FinMin says country is ready for any development in relation to Covid-19: Minister of Finance Florin Citu says the authorities are ready for any situation that might appear in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and that the economy will remain open. Asked if the Romanian economy would survive another month of shutdown, as it happened in March, the Minister said yes, but that the authorities take all the necessary measures to not reach that point.
- Cîţu: The reform in the public system will be done. During the pandemic, it worked very well with fewer public clerks in the ministries: The Minister of Public Finance, Florin Cîţu, stated on Monday evening that the reform in the budgetary apparatus has already started by reorganizing some ministries or institutions and it will continue. Cîţu specified that, during the coronavirus pandemic, it was noticed that it is possible to work “much better” and with fewer clerks in the ministries, News.ro reported.
- Deputy PM Turcan asks city mayors to reimburse COVID-19 healthcare equipment, materials: On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Raluca Turcan asked mayors of the cities where healthcare facilities are operating under their authority to request the reimbursement of healthcare materials and protective equipment so far purchased as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, mentioning that a call for this procedures is open with the Ministry of European Funds.
- PM Orban calls on city mayors to back Gov’t’s actions to limit novel coronavirus spread: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Monday called on local government officials to support the Government’s efforts to combat the risk of the novel coronavirus spread. Orban sent this message in a video conference with the members of the General Assembly of the Cities of Romania Association.
- Senate passes bill allowing online pre-university, university classes: Pre-university and university classes can be taught online in case the state of emergency or siege is constitutionally declared, according to a bill initiated by Social Democratic Party (PSD) Senator Ecaterina Andronescu, that passed the Senate on Monday.
- New restrictions might be enforced as of August 1: The Government might take new measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus infections, with PM Ludovic Orban saying that proposals will be submitted today and adopted in the government sitting on Wednesday. Among the new restrictions that might be enforced as of August 1 there is wearing the facemask in open air, crowded spaces but also the limitation of the programme for certain terraces and clubs. The PM mentioned that masks will be mandatory in crowded areas, for instance the seafronts, markets or fairs, but the measures will be enforced locally, if necessary. Meanwhile, Arges County, which has seen a significant increase in new daily COVID cases, decided not to wait and became the first county in Romania in which wearing a mask becomes mandatory in open public spaces, a measure that comes into force on Wednesday morning.
- Ludovic Orban: One billion euros support for the business environment: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said the government plans to approve new bills for supporting the business environment this week, based on an allocation of European funds of 1 billion euros. “I will refer to the economic recovery program. (…) We have committed that, in a record period of time, within 30 days, we will adopt the necessary normative acts for the implementation of the introduced measures. The situation is in as follows: the 1 billion euros was in first reading, our goal is to adopt it in this week’s government meeting on Friday – 350 million restart capital, 550 million investment grants and 100 million grants for microenterprises without employees”, announced Ludovic Orban during the meeting with the representatives of the Coalition for the Development of Romania, Agerpres reported. He added that with regard to the aid scheme for supporting the payment of rents for retailers operating in malls, “the bill is being drafted”. Regarding the grants for the digitization of SMEs, the prime minister specified that they will also be adopted on Friday.
Impact on the economy
- Blue Air cancels 64 flights Romania – Italy, Romania – Cyprus: Blue Air will cancel 64 flights to Italy and Cyprus, scheduled between August 3 and 31, 2020, in the context of the restrictions imposed by the authorities of the two countries, informs the low-cost air operator.
- Analyst: EU financing adds 5pp to Romania’s GDP annual growth by 2027: If Romania absorbs the EUR 80 bln financing from the European Union, the country can reach an additional economic growth of 5pp each year in the next seven years, estimates CFA Romania president Adrian Codîrlaşu, quoted by Ziarul Financiar.
- EC grants EUR 47 mln for regional hospital in southern Romania: The European Commission (EC) has approved an investment worth EUR47 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to build an 800-bed Regional Emergency Hospital (REH) in Craiova, southern Romania. The total value of the project in Craiova is estimated at RON 2.85 billion (EUR 590 mln).
- Israeli developer builds EUR 16 mln residential project in exclusive Bucharest area: Israeli real estate developer HAGAG Development Europe has received the construction permit for the premium residential project H Eliade 9 Residence, located in Bucharest’s Primaverii neighborhood. The works are scheduled to start in August of this year and involve an investment of EUR 16 mln.
- German pump producer Wilo opens EUR 6.9 mln regional centre near Bucharest: German water pump system producer Wilo has invested EUR 6.9 million in building a regional headquarters in Otopeni, near Bucharest, Ziarul Financiar reported. The company will use this office to manage its operations across ten countries in the region.
- Romanian gambling group Superbet takes over online peer Lucky7: Romanian gambling group Superbet took over a majority stake of 60% in online peer Lucky7.
- Major RO cable operator RCS&RDS gets permission to take over key rival: Romania’s Competition Council has authorized the transaction by which major Romanian cable operator RCS&RDS will take over three networks operated by its rival Digital Cable Systems (DCS) ahead of a more complex planned takeover, Profit.ro reported. The targeted networks are AKTA Telecom, Digital Cable Systems, and ATTP Telecommunications.
- Share of innovative enterprises increases by 4.4 pct in 2016-2018 period: The share of innovative enterprises among total enterprises has increased, in the 2016-2018 period, over the 2014-2016 period, by 4.4 percentage points, according to data of the National Institute for Statistics published on Tuesday.
- Coronavirus makes the first victim among travel agencies: Agetur, among the first agencies launched in Romania, entered insolvency, while over 500 tourists lost 50% of their holiday advance: The first victim of the coronavirus pandemic among Romanian travel agencies is Agetur, one of the oldest companies in the country, founded in 1990 and with a turnover last year of 12 million lei. At the moment, over 500 tourists who had already paid the advance for thier holidays abroad have to recover money from Agetur.