Today in Romania: 09/01/17

Temperatures in Bucharest reached lows of -16°C early on Monday morning, with even colder weather set for Monday night/Tuesday morning. Lows of -29°C are expected in some parts of Romania, with temperatures in the capital slipping below -20°C. Much of the country is subject to an amber weather alert, which will remain in place until at least Tuesday evening.

Schools were closed on Monday in Bucharest and much of southern and eastern Romania due to heavy snow and the extremely low temperatures. They will stay closed – in Bucharest at least – on Tuesday.

Update: Schools in Bucharest will remain closed all week. All week! 

On Calea Victoriei a number of parked cars were badly damaged after being hit by huge pieces of ice which fell from the Victoria department store.

The Minister of the Interior, Carmen Dan, said that her ministry had been able to deal with the extreme weather so well (well? Could have fooled us) because of the outstanding way she had been taught to do so by Prime Minister PSD leader Liviu Dragnea.

Here’s a reminder of Dragnea’s expertise in a weather-induced crisis:

Late on Sunday night Dragnea said that he had found a 10 billion lei hole in Romania’s 2017 budget, and that he intends to set up a parliamentary inquiry to investigate the shortfall. Former Minister of Finance Anca Dragu rubbished the claims, saying that if they were true Romania’s budget deficit would be over four per cent, not the 2.59 per cent it currently stands at. Former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos also rubbished Dragnea’s claims, saying that the PSD leader was trying to divert attention away from his ‘lies and false promises made during the election campaign.’

One such promise – that taxes would not be raised – is already falling apart. Vice-prime minister Daniel Constantin appeared to suggest in an interview on Sunday that Romania’s flat tax rate of 16 per cent might soon be a thing of the past. He told Digi 24 that the government was discussing a return to progressive taxation.

Augustin Lazar (Romania’s Attorney General) and Laura Codruta Kovesi (head of the country’s anti-corruption unit, the DNA) both stated this afternoon that they were opposed the amnesty and pardon law which the new government is rumoured to be preparing.

The National Institute of Statistics said that Romania’s unemployment rate fell in November to 5.7 per cent.

Something else worth reading.

This is an utterly bizarre story. It appears to be part of a PR campaign being run in the UK on behalf of Dan Adamescu, the owner of newspaper Romania Libera (and much else), currently serving a four year prison sentence for corruption. This report, published last week by the little-known think tank The Henry Jackson Society, which claims that Romania’s fight against corruption is ‘threatening the rule of law’, may also be part of the same campaign.

One thought on “Today in Romania: 09/01/17

  1. 🎵 There’s no hole in the budget, dear Dragnea, dear Dragnea,
    There’s no hole in the budget, dear Dragnea, no hole… 🎵

    Like

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