A roundup of local and international news.
GAS – The Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said Tuesday, when the Romanian state-owned company Romgaz purchased 50% of ExxonMobile’s stake in the Neptun Deep Black Sea gas project, that the deposits would be exploited no later than 2026. Ciuca also said that, according to estimates, there is enough gas to also supply countries in the region and in the EU. There is an area in the Black Sea from where around 100 billion cubic meters of gas could be extracted. The American company ExxonMobile held half of the exploitation rights in that area while the Austrian company OMV Petrom holds the other half. Romgaz paid over 1 billion dollars for the transaction. However, before gas exploitation in the Black Sea is initiated, investors are waiting for the offshore law to be modified. The law is currently under debate by the expert committees of the Romanian Senate.
APPOINTMENT – Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday signed the decrees for the appointment of Marcel Bolos as Minister of Investment and European Projects and of Sebastian Burduja as Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization. Bolos, who enjoys the support of the Liberals, has been a minister of digitalization since January, when the former minister, Florin Roman, resigned. He has also been an interim minister with the Ministry of European Funds since early April. Bolos also served as minister of European Funds between November 2019 and December 2020. In turn, Liberal Sebastian Burduja is a vice president of the budget, finance and banks committee with the Chamber of Deputies and head of the Bucharest’s Sector 1 branch of the National Liberal Party. In 2019 he was a state secretary with the Finance Ministry. He graduated from Stanford University and attended a joint MA programme in business administration and public policies at Harvard University. He also got a PhD in economy at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.
JUDGES – The Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest on Tuesday elected the current deputy prosecutor general Bogdan Licu, supported by the Social Democrats, as judge with the Romanian Constitutional Court. Also, Iulia Scantei, the head of the Senate’s legal committee, who enjoys the Liberals’ support, was endorsed by the MPs. The two will replace the current head of the Court, Valer Dorneanu and judge Mona Pivniceru, whose mandates expire in June. The Constitutional Court is made up of nine judges appointed for a 9-year mandate. Of them, three are appointed by the Chamber of Deputies, three buy the Senate and three by the country’s President.
FORECAST - The National Strategy and Forecast Commission revised downwards Romania’s economic growth forecast for this year from 4.3% to 2.9%. The Commission says that overlapping shocks such as the geopolitical context, successive energy price increases and disruptions in global supply chains are amplifying risks and economic uncertainty, also impacting short-term expectations and the behaviour of the business sector. The forecast is in line with the estimates made by international financial institutions, which also revised downwards their forecast for Romania's economic growth.
EUROBAROMETER - Three quarters of young Romanians feel optimistic about the future of the European Union, while half of them believe things are headed in the right direction for the EU, according to a Eurobarometer published on Monday. According to the survey, young Romanians have greater support for European policies compared to other age categories and are content with their lives. Their main concerns are related to the education system, the economy, unemployment, housing, the environment and climate change. (EE)