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January 28, 2022
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NEWS IN BRIEF

Romanian and Bulgarian GDP per capital level smallest in the EU in 2008


The GDP per capita level in Romania, expressed in purchasing power parity (PPP), represented 46 per cent of the EU-27 average last year, placing Romania last but one in the EU. Romania outranked Bulgaria where the GDP per capital level expressed in PPP was 40 per cent of the EU-27 average in 2008. The data was included in a preliminary estimate published on Thursday by the European Statistics Office (Eurostat), Agerpres informs.


In 2007 Romania’s GDP per capita stood at 41 per cent of the EU average, while Bulgaria’s represented 37 per cent of the EU average. Luxembourg continued to be the most prosperous EU member state in 2008 too, having a GDP per capita 253 per cent higher than the EU average. Nevertheless, that level dropped from the 267 per cent registered in 2007. Luxembourg is followed by Ireland and the Netherlands where the GDP per capita is 40 to 35 per cent higher than the EU average. The Netherlands is followed by Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Finland, Germany and Belgium, countries that had a GDP per capita 10 to 30 per cent higher than the EU average in 2008.


Survey: Most of SMEs affected by crisis


Almost two thirds of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Romania suffered from the economic crisis from October 2008 through to March 2009, says a survey conducted by the National Council of Privately-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of Romania (CNIPMMR). According to the research, 14.80 per cent of the Romanian SMEs have gone bankrupt, 57.58 per cent have downsized their operations, 23.39 per cent operated within the same parameters and only 4.23 per cent reported an evolution, HotNews informs. ‘The conclusion that can be drawn is that a considerable share of the Romanian SMEs are in major difficulty because of the fast economic downturn’, the CNIPMMR survey shows. CNIPMMR President Ovid Nicolescu says that, generally, seven to eight per cent companies go bankrupt in the course of a year. ‘Based on that, we realize that the number of bankruptcies has doubled in the context of the difficult economic conditions’, he said. The entrepreneurs who participated in the survey said their main problems were the dropping local demand for their goods and services, indicated by 62.06 per cent of the SMEs, excessive taxation and the red tape, claimed by 41.40 per cent – the first, and by 36.21 per cent – the second – of the respondents.


GF: Fines worth RON 530,000, following a control at Dragonul Rosu


Officers from the Bucharest Section of the Financial Guard yesterday conducted a control in the ‘Dragonul Rosu’ trading complex, resulting in fines worth some RON 530,000, of which RON 320,000 were paid on the spot, Agerpres reports. In addition, the officers seized sums unregistered at the pay desk and merchandise not covered by accounting papers, the National Agency of Fiscal Administration announced. The action staged by the Financial Guard between 5:00-11:00 AM aimed at reinforcing the financial and fiscal discipline, the trading regulations and the reality and legality of trading operations. Some 60 officers from the Bucharest Section of the Financial Guard participated in the control of more than 600 firms.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

Predoiu: ‘Justice system at risk of being destabilised by financial crisis’


Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu told the Council of European Bar Associations yesterday that the consequences of the financial crisis might seriously destabilise the carriage of justice ‘every here and there’. According to Mediafax, Predoiu also said that difficulties could not be overcome without sacrifices, referring to the ‘unjustified’ salary differences within the same professional category. ‘We need to grab the bull by the horns and make it clear that we cannot get out of this situation without sacrifices, we cannot spend more than we have’, said Predoiu.


The minister of Justice also listed some of the recent shortcomings of the Romanian justice system: the debts of the courts to various providers, the hundreds of executable court orders for the payment of outstanding salaries, the unjustified remuneration differences within the same professional category or the disordered management at some of the courts.


Accident in Bucharest, vehicles of UAE Embassy and FC Steaua involved


A car driven by Massimo Pedrazzini, former coach of the team Steaua Bucharest, was hit on Wednesday by a car of the UAE Embassy, on a street in Bucharest, Mediafax informs According to the spokesperson of the Bucharest Police Department, Commissar Christian Ciocan, the accident occurred yesterday at 15.00, on Clucerului Street. The driver of a Mercedes owned by the United Arab Emirates Embassy ignored the forbidden access sign and hit a Ford Focus car owned by FC Steaua, driven by Massimo Pedrazzini, former coach of the team Steaua. Ciocan mentioned that the accident only caused material damage.


Exam-free admission to the Medicine University of Iasi, for EUR 5,000


The new admission rules to the University and Pharmacy (UMF) University of Iasi stipulate that students are granted the option to skip admission exams, were they to pay an annual tax of EUR 5,000. University professor, dr. Vasile Astarastoae mentions that the regulations are updated to the European circumstances: “We have European students from EU countries and, considering that we have no possibility to organize admission exams in English, they will be provided the chance to be admitted without exams. And Romanian students are European citizens as well, so they should be granted the same rights. Other members of the University staff are against these regulations: “It is an immoral measure, because it will allow some people to use money as a substitute for intellectual abilities. If the university needed money to solve the issues created by the crisis, everybody should have been admitted without exams and taxes should have been increased. It is an obvious discrimination, causing a competition between the skilled and the rich,” university professor dr. Vasile Burlui, former UMF rector, declared.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

‘First Home’ programme


A total of 12 banks have submitted their bids for the ‘First Home’ programme, the total value being EUR 814 M, PM Emil Boc announced yesterday, according to Agerpres. The deadline for bidding was last night, but the final data will be published today. According to the PM, the banks’ bids are within the requirements of the Government as to the interest cap.


The Government has allocated EUR 1 bn to guarantee mortgage loans in the ‘First Home’ programme. Applicants will need to make a down payment of five per cent of the property price, if it is no bigger than EUR 60,000.


The banks offering mortgage loans in the government programme may charge a maximum of four per cent per year above the three-month EURIBOR interest rate – for loans in EUR – , and above the three-month ROBOR interest rate – for loans in RON.


Dacia – among top brands in German customers’ satisfaction


Dacia has ranked 13th in a study conducted by the JD Power company on the German customers’ satisfaction, surpassing Renault, Citroen, Ford and Opel, Mediafax informs. The study was conducted on the internet on a sample of 16,200 persons that have owned one of the brands’ vehicles for at least two years. The study included 27 brands and 113 car models. Daihatsu tops the table (843 points out of 1,000), followed by Alfa Romeo (835 points) and Mercedes-Benz (835 points). BMW ranked 4th with 834 points, with Audi ranking 5th. Toyota, Mazda, Mini, Skoda and Honda close the table’s top 10 positions. Volvo ranks 11th and Mitsubishi ranks 12th.


Dacia ranks 13th with 810 out of 1,000 points, in a tie with Volkswagen. Dacia has managed to outrank brands such as Suzuki, Nissan, Seat, Renault, Citroen, Hyundai, Ford, Kia and Opel.


The JD Power study notes that there is a very tight connection between the customers’ degree of satisfaction and their loyalty for a certain brand, because 74 per cent of the respondents stated that they ‘certainly consider’ buying a car from the same producer. The 16,200 respondents took into account 67 criteria, including design and comfort, quality, viability and maintenance costs.


E.ON takes ANRE to court


E.ON Gaz Distributie has decided to sue the National Regulatory Authority in the Sector of Energy (ANRE) over its decision to cut natural gas distribution tariffs beginning with May 1, 2009, a company press release informs, according to Agerpres.


E.ON Gaz Distributie thinks it has every right to take legal action against the authority the decision of which seriously jeopardises the financial circumstances of the company, endangering job security and the investment programmes the direct finality of which is the improvement of the security of the natural gas distribution system.


‘In this context, we need to review this year’s investment budget and step up company optimization processes’, said E.ON Gaz Distributie Board Chairman Marc-Daniel Buck. The distribution tariff cut operated on May 1, 2009 is bringing upon .EON Gaz Distributie an additional cost of RON 172 M, which keeps growing at a constant rate.


Porsche Leasing Romania doubles its market share


Porsche Leasing Romania has reached a market share of 18 per cent in early April 2009, a level almost twice as high as the one registered in the same period last year, a press communiqué informs. Porsche Leasing Romania continues to top the auto leasing market in Romania and it ranks second on the total leasing market judging by value of financed goods.


The company has signed new auto leasing contracts worth EUR 40.5 M in Q1 of 2009. Despite the difficult economic conditions registered on the market, the Porsche Finance Group officials see opportunities for the Group’s businesses: ‘The auto market has reached certain stability – although it is based on volumes smaller than the ones we were used to see until now. It is a period of reinventing the business – the products are readapted and the goals are revised because financial operations form the basis of the auto market’ Kurt Leitner, CEO of Porsche Finance Group, stated.


‘As proof of the support we offer to our business partners, we have reached a share of 48 per cent of their sales, which means that half of the cars sold are financed through us’ he concluded.

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