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European Commission Representation holds “European Half Year: Country Report for Romania 2018” conference. Angela Cristea: Paradox of social inequalities, poverty is maintained in Romania. FinMin Teodorovici: Consumption currently main economic growth driver, yet this will change

The paradox of social inequalities and poverty is maintained in Romania, given that the economic growth is above the European Union average, Angela Cristea, head of the European Commission Representation in Romania, said in a Wednesday’s press conference.

“The growth of the economy is above the EU average. This trend of economic growth is maintained. The paradox of social inequalities and poverty is also maintained, especially in disadvantaged groups, we speak of rural areas, of children. One in two children in Romania is at risk of poverty. This growth is based on consumption and less on investment. The budget deficit is approaching the 3 percent limit threshold, while the structural deficit continues its significant deviation from the 1 percent target. It runs the risk of exceeding 4 percent in 2018, hence the deviations from the average objective,” Cristea said.

She added that, on the other hand, unemployment is at the lowest level in the last 20 years.

“Romania sees a record, the lowest unemployment rate in the last 20 years, lower than the EU average. There are problems of workforce availability due to the aging of the population,” said the head of the European Commission Representation in Romania.

The European Commission Representation in Romania is holding the conference “European Half Year: Country Report for Romania 2018” on Wednesday.

The plenary session of the event will present the main conclusions of the Country Report for Romania, as well as the position of the Romanian authorities on the recent economic developments at national level.

Romania has made limited progress in addressing the three country-specific recommendations for the period 2017-2018, shows a country report published in March by the European Commission, which also stresses the fact that in issues such as the setting of the minimum wage according to a transparent mechanism, the equalization of the retirement age or the tax framework, the country has not recorded any progress.

According to the Community Executive, limited progress has been made in respecting tax obligations and tax collection, education, outpatient treatment, public administration and prioritization of public investment. There has been no progress in terms of minimum wage, retirement age and fiscal framework. Instead, some progress has been made in terms of public procurement, combating undeclared work and combating informal payments in the health system.

 

FinMin Teodorovici: Consumption currently main economic growth driver, yet this will change

 

Consumption is currently the main driver for economic growth, but this will change, Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici told a conference organized by the European Commission’s Representation in Romania.

“It’s true what they say, that consumption is currently the main element of growth. This must necessarily change within the shortest time possible. Things will change in this respect, at least as regards the government’s approach in defining the strategy, and particular measures in the Governing Program show this is the direction we are headed for,” said Teodorovici.

He explained public investment needs support by changing public procurement legislation.

“We plan to change the public procurement legislative framework, to simplify it according to the European concept, without any addition. An important element will be speeding up investment, both locally and for large-scale infrastructure projects. I want Romania to be a well-defined and convincing destination so as to attract foreign investments to this part of Europe,” the Finance Minister said.

He also argued that there is need for a more modern, logical and pragmatic budget design.

“The 2019 budget must be devised in a more modern, logical, and pragmatic manner. There are many areas with unjustified spending of substantial amounts instead of directing them where they are really needed,” Teodorovici said, insisting that budgeted expenses must be justified.

According to the latest data of the National Institute for Statistics, the estimated GDP for 2017 was up 6.9 percent in real terms from the year before.

In terms of GDP use, growth was mainly due to spending for households final consumption that advanced 10.3 percent, contributing 6.4 percent to GDP growth

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