Matthias's Feed
Jun 5, 2015

Prosecutors launch criminal investigation against Romanian PM

BUCHAREST, June 5 (Reuters) – Romanian anti-corruption
prosecutors said on Friday they had launched a criminal
investigation against Prime Minister Victor Ponta, naming him as
a suspect in crimes including forgery, money-laundering,
conflict of interest and tax evasion.

Prosecutors have made a series of high-profile arrests in
recent months in what remains one of the poorest and most
graft-addled countries in the European Union. The
anti-corruption agency is known locally as the DNA.

Apr 8, 2015

Romania’s corruption fight puts the brakes on investment

BUCHAREST, April 8 (Reuters) – Romania’s crackdown on
corruption is having an unintended consequence: investment is
slowing as many officials avoid approving projects lest they
become the next target of the investigators.

Civil servants and ministers who would otherwise sign off on
projects, sometimes but not always in return for bribes, have
become hesitant. Even honest officials fear the deals will
attract scrutiny by prosecutors and that they will join a long
line of public figures to be investigated or imprisoned.

Mar 29, 2015

As Bulgaria empties, government struggles to dole out pension pot

SOFIA (Reuters) – The poorest country in the European Union enables some public sector workers to retire in their forties. Elena Yaneva hopes she won’t be caught up in Bulgaria’s pending pensions overhaul.

“I do hope I can retire by the end of the year, otherwise I will have to race with the increase (in retirement age) for who knows how many years,” said Yaneva, an accountant who turned 60 this month. “And I do not want to die at my workplace.”

Mar 17, 2015

Romanian PM does not rule out tax cuts by end-2015

BUCHAREST, March 17 (Reuters) – Romania’s Prime Minister
Victor Ponta said on Tuesday that he did not rule out tax cuts
before the end of this year and pledged to meet a full year
fiscal deficit target of 1.8 percent agreed with the
International Monetary Fund.

Ponta told foreign media reporters in Bucharest that
Romania’s finances are in good shape and that he was expecting a
preliminary fiscal surplus of nearly 1 billion euros ($1.1
billion) in the first quarter.

Feb 27, 2015

Bulgaria to back new sanctions if Ukraine truce crumbles

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria will support a new round of sanctions against Moscow if pro-Russian separatists are found to have breached a peace deal agreed for eastern Ukraine, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov told Reuters on Friday.

Sofia plans to send a humanitarian convoy of food and medicine to help ethnic Bulgarians caught up in the conflict, but the timing of delivering such aid would depend on when it is safe enough to send it, Mitov said.

Dec 17, 2014

Romania may seek new arrangement with IMF after deal expires – PM

BUCHAREST, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Romania could negotiate a new
type of arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
once its standby aid deal expires next year, Prime Minister
Victor Ponta said on Wednesday.

The IMF came to Romania’s rescue in 2009 after a real estate
bubble burst and plunged the eastern European country into
economic turmoil. In a series of deals since then, Romania was
nudged into cutting its fiscal deficit and make reforms, and
some investors are jittery about Romania cutting itself loose
from the IMF.

Nov 26, 2014

Romania’s next president eyes power shift within weeks

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s new president-elect Klaus Iohannis predicted on Tuesday that enough lawmakers could start abandoning Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s ruling coalition in the coming weeks to bring down the government next year.

Iohannis, 55, an ethnic German from Transylvania who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, defeated 42-year-old Ponta in a shock victory in a presidential election earlier this month.

Nov 21, 2014

Exclusive: Romania’s Ponta could face leadership challenge

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta could face a leadership challenge next year from within his own ranks, as the ruling Social Democrat party looks to contain the fallout from an embarrassing presidential election defeat.

Senior party officials told Reuters that the Social Democrats (PSD) may hold a special congress in February or March to take stock, after Ponta surrendered a ten-point lead to lose last Sunday’s election to underdog Klaus Iohannis.

Nov 21, 2014

Romania’s Ponta could face leadership challenge

BUCHAREST, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Romanian Prime Minister Victor
Ponta could face a leadership challenge next year from within
his own ranks, as the ruling Social Democrat party looks to
contain the fallout from an embarrassing presidential election
defeat.

Senior party officials told Reuters that the Social
Democrats (PSD) may hold a special congress in February or March
to take stock, after Ponta surrendered a ten-point lead to lose
last Sunday’s election to underdog Klaus Iohannis.

Nov 17, 2014

Incoming Romanian president pushes crackdown on corruption

BUCHAREST, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Romania’s president-elect
Klaus Iohannis urged parliament on Monday to scrap a corruption
amnesty bill, moving swiftly to make good on a campaign promise
and allay EU fears over graft in the country.

Iohannis will be sworn in as president in December after he
inflicted a surprise defeat on Prime Minister Victor Ponta in
polls on Sunday, a result that will maintain a potentially
destabilising split between the country’s executive powers.