IMF revises upwards estimates for Romania/ GRECO report on Romania/ UK Prime Minister announces plans for snap election
IMF report – The IMF has revised upwards, from 3.8% to 4.2%, its estimates regarding the evolution of the Romanian economy in 2017, shows the most recent IMF report on the prospects of the global economy published on Tuesday, ahead of the IMF spring summit. The IMF also improved estimates for 2018 regarding Romania’s economic growth rate from 3.3% to 3.4%. According to the report in 2017 Romania will register the second biggest economic growth rate in Europe, being outrun only by Iceland (5.7%). In another development, the IMF revised downwards the estimates regarding Romania’s unemployment rate, which is going to drop in 2017 to 5.4% from 6.2% as previously estimated, to reach 5.2% in 2018.
GRECO report – In a report published on Tuesday, the Council of Europe anti-corruption body GRECO expresses concern about the use of emergency procedures to amend legislation in Romania instead of using proper parliamentary process. The report also shows that the Romanian authorities have implemented satisfactorily part of the recommendations made in the previous GRECO report on the criminalization of corruption and the transparency of political funding, but they still need to take further steps to fully comply with the recommendations. The GRECO report also alerts the authorities to the need to be mindful of the country’s commitments regarding incriminations against corruption. Two recommendations remain not implemented and three recommendations have been partly implemented.
Extradition – The Romanian justice minister, Tudorel Toader, said Tuesday that the extradition procedure for the former Romanian MP Sebastian Ghiţă was ready but that they were still waiting for the decisions of the courts that issued arrest warrants. Minister Toader also added that the Romanian Justice Ministry would send the extradition request to the Serbian authorities. Sebastian Ghiţă has been placed into temporary custody in Belgrade for 18 days, being investigated for possession of forged identity papers. He was arrested on Friday in Belgrade, 4 months after he disappeared from Romania, during a police check, when he presented a driving license and ID card from Slovenia. In Romania Sebastian Ghiţă is being investigated in two corruption cases and prosecuted in another two.
Weather report - Romanian meteorologists have issued code yellow and orange alerts for heavy precipitations and strong winds valid from Wednesday morning until Friday in all of Romania’s regions. The weather will be colder than usual for this time of the year. Snowfalls will be reported in the mountains, with the wind speed reaching 80-90 kms per hour. Minimum temperatures will range from minus 4 to plus 7 degrees C with highs ranging between 4 and 13 degrees C.
Workers in the UK – Almost 61% of the Romanian and Bulgarian workers in Great Britain are working more than 40 hours per week as compared to 32% in the case of British workers, the Office for National Statistics announced, according to the BBC. Migrants from the EU are probably overqualified for the jobs they have, and they tend to work more hours than the average number of working hours, shows the report of the Office for National Statistics. According to it, 1 in 7 employees (that is 14%) hired in retail trade and the hospitality industry is an international migrant and 64% of them come from the EU. The British government intends to change the way migration is managed after Great Britain leaves the EU.
London snap elections - UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June. She motivated her decision quoting Parliament’s lack of support for the government’s plan as the UK prepares to negotiate its exit from the EU. According to Theresa May, the government has a Brexit plan that will allow the UK to regain control of legislation and of its borders. She also underlined that the country needed security and a strong and stable leadership after the Brexit referendum.
Japanese art – The exhibition “Beautiful Handicrafts of Tohoku” organized by the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Foundation and the “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum will open for visitors between April 20 and June 1 at the Village Museum in Bucharest. The inauguration of the exhibition will take place on April 25 in the presence of the Ambassador of Japan to Bucharest, his Excellency Kisaburo Ishii and Mrs. Paula Popoiu, the manager of the Village Museum. The exhibition displays the most important traditional handicrafts in Tohoku, showing the high level of traditional techniques, the functionality and beauty of objects and household tools that have been used since times immemorial up to the present time. 70 objects have been selected that belong to various art genres: ceramics, lacquer objects, metal ware, weavings, textiles, clothes and so on. The exhibition travelled to many parts of the world and could be admired in museums and galleries in Italy, Germany, Hungary, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, etc.
Inter-ministerial groups meeting – Bucharest on Tuesday hosted the inaugural meeting of the inter-ministerial working groups that were created to set up Romania’s mandate for negotiation in the context of Brexit. Talks focused on the main stages of the negotiation process as well as on actions to be taken at domestic level with a view to better promoting Bucharest’s priorities. (translation by L. Simion)