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First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivica Dacic stated today that combating organised crime and corruption is one of the state’s priorities. Speaking at a roundtable discussion regarding the first year of the implementation of the Law on the confiscation of property obtained through crime, Dacic stressed that international cooperation and good cooperation among Serbian organs are the basic precondition for a successful fight against organised crime. read more
Bulgaria's right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party had initiated a probe of the State-run energy companies, the party leadership informs Tuesday. DSB have appraised last Friday the Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, of evidence for large-scale violations at the Thermal Power Plant (TPP) Maritsa – Iztok 2 and the Maritsa Iztok mines, committed between 2004 and 2007. On Monday, the file has been submitted with the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev. Velchev had ordered the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office to take over the probe to avoid conflict of local interests if the Prosecutor's Office in the city of Stara Zagora does the investigation. read more
Bulgaria registered the greatest labor and non-wage costs growth in the EU in 2009, according to data of Germany's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In spite of that, however, the country remains the EU member state with the lowest labor costs in the 27-nation bloc. The ranking of the Federal Statistical Office features two main components of labour costs: gross wages and salaries and non-wage costs. Employers’ social contributions, that is above all the statutory social security contributions payable by employers and the expenditure for company old-age pension schemes, constitute the main component of non-wage costs. read more
Bulgaria is not going to increase the VAT but will introduce a “luxury tax” in order to generate state revenue, the government, business sector, and trade unions agreed. The final round of the anti-crisis talks of the Council for Tripartite Cooperation uniting employers, cabinet and syndicates ended Tuesday night. The Finance Ministry has estimated that its anti-crisis program needs to generate or save a total of BGN 1.5 bn whereas the package of measures on which the three social partners shook their hands Tuesday night are expected to have a total effect of BGN 1,63 B. read more
Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu has said Parliament should concentrate more on problems faced by the Turkish economy than it currently does. Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting held in İstanbul on Tuesday at which the TOBB assembled the leaders of Turkey’s leading business circles to discuss unemployment, Hisarcıklıoğlu urged the government and opposition parties to accelerate work on finding solutions to difficulties facing the economy. “We want the economy be at the top of the country’s agenda.” Recalling that he met with the prime minister and opposition party leaders as recently as Monday, the TOBB chairman said he discussed with them the structural reforms needed for the economy. “We are happy to see that the opposition parties are ready to contribute to possible government suggestions in this regard,” he added. read more
The personal insolvency law, which went through the Senate last week, could have some significant negative consequences on the banking system in Romania, Moody’s considers, adding that credit institutions might need to supplement their capital by 10 per cent, in an optimistic scenario, Mediafax reports. The bill stipulates the debtor in good faith who files for personal bankruptcy may be fully or partially discharged of debts owed prior or after the procedure was opened, if their assets proved not enough to make up for the credit owed and if the court gives them the benefit of apology. The law also stipulates that the debtor who covered, by means of an installment plan or anticipated payment, a minimum of 75 per cent of the overall claim value accepted on the creditors’ list, will have the procedure closed in advance and all the legal consequences of the insolvency erased from all public records and advertisement registers. This will cut down by 25 per cent the loan principal owed by the bankrupt debtor. ‘Supposing, conservatively speaking, that the bad loans in late December 2009 alone were to be devalued as such, we estimate the banking system will need an additional capital of 10 per cent. As consumption loans account for 36 per cent of the overall loans given out by Romanian banks, the figure would be a lot higher if the persons who are not in a truly difficult financial situation try to take advantage of the new law,’ a Moody’s analysis shows. read more
The bank has revised downwards its estimate on the inflation rate this year, from 4.5 pc to 4 pc.
According to the latest BCR estimate, the Romanian economy will grow by 1.9 per cent in 2010, up from an earlier estimate of 0.6 per cent, and the GDP level reported before the recession onset will be reached in 2012 at the earliest, Lucian Anghel, the bank’s chief economist told Mediafax. ‘Although uncertainty level is high, the economy could return to growth in 2010 in the context of a more than moderate resumption of investments in the private sector, a resumption mainly backed by FDI,’ Anghel said in a press conference. At the same time, the population’s consumption could see low growth, mainly because of a good agricultural production and of a powerful base effect. read more
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn seems certain Romania will overcome crisis but not so fast. While greeting Strauss-Kahn at Cotroceni, Traian Basescu admitted he considers signing new stand-by assistance deal, or taking flexible credit line in the future.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) enforces constraint policies to discipline the states that cannot do so themselves. The IMF was and is for real, and it continues to support states like Romania or Hungary. The Fund focuses on fighting the crisis, though in the past it wished to save the world. read more
The premier on Saturday called upon MPs to urgently discuss draft laws tabled by executive. Heads of county directorates who delay salary payments to be dismissed.
The government sticks to its decision to increase teachers’ salaries by only 17 per cent under the applicable legislation and to schedule the payment of additional remuneration won in court for later on, as the executive cannot afford renouncing economic stability, PM Emil Boc said, quoted by Mediafax. Boc added that results of future economic growth would be reflected in people’s income but “obviously not today.” Boc also said pay inconsistencies were being caused by both court judgments granting education employees a 50 per cent rise (according to a law passed by Parliament in the autumn of 2008, although the government only accepted to give teachers 17 per cent pay rise in 2008 and has already abrogated the 33 per cent difference by normative acts), and by including bonuses unrecognised by current legislation into collective bargaining agreements. read more
Social Democrats plan to challenge vote with the Constitutional Court. Parliament’s joint chambers yesterday rejected the public television company’s 2008 activity report, with 195 votes against the document, 78 in favour and three abstentions, Agerpres reported. The move leads to the immediate removal of the state-run television’s Administrative Council and its general director, Alexandru Sassu. MPs also rejected a Social Democrat deputy’s proposal that the current TVR management board’s term be extended until a new leadership is named. The head of the Chamber of Deputies’ culture committee, Democrat Liberal Raluca Turcan, insisted there was no need for a special Parliament vote on the matter, since current legislation allows the board to go on as caretaker for 15 days until its successor is appointed. read more