Profile picture for user andreich
Andrei Chirileasa
Editor-in-Chief

Andrei studied finance at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and started his journalism career in 2004 with Ziarul Financiar, the leading financial newspaper in Romania, where he worked for ten years, the last six of which as editor of the capital markets section. He joined the Romania-Insider.com team in 2014 as editor and became Editor-in-Chief in 2016. He currently oversees the daily content published on Romania-Insider.com and likes to stay up to date with everything relevant in business, politics, and life in Romania. Andrei lives with his family in the countryside in Northern Romania, where he built their own house. In his free time, he studies horticulture and tends to his family’s garden. He enjoys foraging in the woods and long walks on the hills and valleys around his village. Email him for story ideas and interviews at andrei@romania-insider.com. 

 

Monthly Wrap-up March 2021: Restrictions return as third wave hits Romania

This is our monthly overview for Romania Insider members for March. We curate the main topics of the month, to make sure you don't miss the bigger picture, no matter how often you choose to read the news. If you choose to stay away from much of the media frenzy, this monthly bulletin brings the essentials without wasting a lot of time, in a basic visual version, so you can focus on the text alone. 

Romania kicked off the third phase of its vaccination strategy in March, opening the vaccination platform to the general population. The available spots quickly filled up, especially in bigger cities. "Vaccination tourism" started, as some people decided to drive even several hundred kilometers to smaller cities that still had available doses. By the end of March, some 2 million Romanians have been vaccinated with at least one dose. The authorities are confident that the pace will accelerate in April when Romania will get more vaccines and will increase the capacity of its vaccination centers while also opening new channels - such as vaccination at the family doctors.

___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases rose again in March, and the number of people treated in intensive care units (ATI) reached new highs. The infection rates went up mostly in bigger cities such as Timisoara and Bucharest. While Timisoara was placed under quarantine, the authorities tried to avoid a similar scenario for Bucharest, although the incidence rate went over 6 per 1,000 inhabitants. Instead, the authorities tried to come up with some hybrid restrictions, including an earlier curfew and shorter opening hours for shops. However, the overall impression was that the decisions lacked coherence, which also determined a negative response from the population. While hundreds went to the streets in bigger cities to protest against the restrictions, others were calling for tougher measures.

On the political stage, the main themes in March were the bill for dismantling the special section for investigating magistrates and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). Besides constant criticism from the opposition Social Democrats (PSD), the center-right ruling coalition also faces some internal tensions as the Liberals prepare for an important congress where they will elect their leader while the cooperation between the Liberals and their reformist partners from USR-PLUS is not always smooth. The biggest disputes so far revolved around reformist health minister Vlad Voiculescu and his relationship with the Liberals.

The recovery measures also continued to advance slowly. The grants program for helping local SMEs made little progress in March and the Economy Ministry decided to halt and start over the procedure for distributing the investment grants. EU funds should drive Romania's economic recovery in the following years. Still, while the funds received from the EU were higher in the first two months of this year compared to the same period of 2020, the programs for attracting new funds are advancing slowly. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which should be the most important reconstruction program Romania has undertaken since joining the EU, is struggling to balance the country's need for basic infrastructure with the EU's digitization and decarbonization goals.

The macroeconomic indicators support the scenario of economic recovery this year, although managers and entrepreneurs are still cautious. Energy, industry, and real estate continue to draw new investments, but the growth in these sectors is uneven. In the energy sector, renewables and gas are under the spotlight, in industry, the pharmaceutical segment is one of the most active, while the growth in real estate is driven by the industrial and residential segments. With plenty of money still available in the economy, the capital markets are also doing well. Financing through the Bucharest Stock Exchange and equity crowdfunding platforms such as Seeblink has increased significantly in the last year. Airlines are also trying to recover after a disastrous year with new flights and new routes from more Romanian cities.

Meanwhile, with most cinemas still closed in Romania, a Romanian movie has won the big prize at the Berlin Film Festival while another one is nominated for two Oscars.
 
Below, you can browse through the most important topics in March, grouped by relevance. By clicking on a title, you can read the whole article on the Romania-Insider.com website.

COVID-19: Vaccination for everyone, but more restrictions as well

Covid-19 vaccination in Romania: General public can register starting mid-March
Covid-19 vaccination in Romania: Authorities detail logistics of the third stage
PM: Romania to receive 2.6 mln Covid-19 vaccine doses this month
Covid-19: Romania lifts upper age restriction for AstraZeneca vaccine
Alleged preferential vaccination sparks political scandal in Romania
Romanian authorities try to restore confidence in vaccination process after controversies related to AstraZeneca batch
COVID-19: General public can register for vaccination as third stage starts in Romania
Covid-19: Romania goes ahead with administering the AstraZeneca vaccine
RO authorities plan changes to the vaccination registration platform
COVID-19: 10% of Romania’s population vaccinated with at least one dose by the end of March, PM says
Vaccination to proceed at full speed in Romania in April
 
Timisoara enters quarantine while Bucharest closes restaurants as COVID-19 infection rates rise
Bucharest close to quarantine due to rise in COVID-19 cases
Romanian PM, Bucharest mayor try to avoid quarantine
RO PM: Full quarantine in Bucharest not an option, Covid-19 incidence rate among several criteria taken into account
RO President, head of emergency services ask for tougher restrictions in Bucharest
RO President rules out Easter lockdown, calls for observing existing restrictions
State of alert prolonged in RO, but no restrictions added
Romania’s daily Covid-19 case count rises above 5,200, highest tally in two months
Intensive care units in Romania under pressure again
Romania’s daily Covid-19 case count rises to three-month high
Covid-19: RO health authorities work to increase the number of ICU beds, point to staff shortages
Update: Romania introduces new restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19
Covid-19: RO authorities intensify checks as new restrictions come into force
Covid-19: Protests against restrictions held in several cities in Romania
Romanian president warns against political capitalization of the street protests
 Romanian pupils’ spring holiday doubles to four weeks in April
RO education minister: National exams to go ahead as planned
Covid-19: US no longer on Romania's list of countries with high epidemiological risk
Covid-19: Romania removes Spain from list of countries with high epidemiological risk
Romania may ask foreign tourists to show a negative COVID test on entry
Romanian president says no to COVID passport for tourism

 


POLITICS: Justice back under the spotlight

Romania's president joins choir of politicians demanding explanations after court decision in high-profile case
RO Deputies vote to abolish controversial prosecution office
Romanian NGOs warn of “super- immunity” provided to prosecutors by draft law
Romania's Justice Ministry completes amendments to justice laws
RO Liberal party leader prepares to defend his seat
Romanian Liberal leader secures support from several local organizations
RO Liberal leader: “I may even run for President”
Reformist PLUS party appoints lawyer for Bucharest prefect
Rising tensions between Romania’s Liberal PM and reformist health minister
RO Ombudsman: all special pensions but those of magistrates can be abolished
Pan-European Volt registers political party in Romania
Survey shows Romanians’ preferences regarding political, military alliances
Survey presents countries, world leaders Romanians trust

 

 


POLITICS: Spending public funds

RO Parliament votes 2020 budget law in the form drafted by Govt.
RO Govt. to hit “union barons” in budgetary sector
PM Citu says Romania has no functioning market economy
RO Govt. prepares to ban Chinese companies from big infrastructure projects
Govt. will give Romanians the right to work until 70
RO Social Democrats oppose draft law for liberalizing farmland acquisitions
Romania includes EUR 41 bln investments in its Relaunch and Resilience Plan
Bucharest lists EUR 7 bln projects for financing under Recovery Plan
Bucharest mayor cuts non-essential expenditures from the city’s 2021 budget
Bucharest City Council suspends Zonal Urban Development Plans for one year
Court clears transfer of 46 hectares in Bucharest CBD to Chamber of Commerce
Romania’s 5G draft law returns to legislative process
RO Govt. prepares guarantees under Agri Invest to help farmers
Young Romanian farmers will get EUR 100 mln business start-up grants
RO Govt. makes little progress in paying COVID grants to SMEs
Romania's Economy Ministry will start over its investment grants scheme for SMEs
Romania borrows EUR 4.1 bln from EU for employment support
EU contributes EUR 726 mln to Craiova-Pitesti highway
Romania's Govt. says it drafted new Energy Strategy
Romanian Govt. moves to help coal and power group CE Oltenia before EC’s approval
Investigation shows Romania misused EUR 1 bln EU money for Danube Delta
EC finances EUR 77 mln waste management project in Galati
Romania to borrow EUR 250 mln from EIB for Iasi regional hospital
RO Army seeks contractor for EUR 400 mln project to modernize Kogalniceanu military base
Bucharest’s District 4 launches procurement procedures for EUR 1 bln urban regeneration projects
Romania increases scrappage bonuses and budget for electric car subsidies

 


MACRO: Mixed feelings

Romania’s public deficit leaps to over 1.1% of GDP in Jan-Feb
Romania’s public debt rises by another EUR 1 bln in January
Romania’s financing needs are EUR 24-25 bln this year
Romania boasts robust recovery in Q4 amid milder second COVI-19 wave
Investments rise marginally in Romania, but not in productive capacities
Romanian constructors start year slowly after robust growth in 2020
Romania’s manufacturing sector reaches new post-crisis high in Jan
Romania’s trade gap narrows amid smaller foreign trade in Jan
Romania’s CA gap narrows in Jan on fewer holidays abroad
Romania’s external debt, slightly down in January
Retail growth eases to 1.6% in January
Romania’s headline inflation accelerates to 3.2% in February
Wages in Romania edged down in Jan ahead of difficult year
Unemployment rate in RO rises in January particularly among youngsters
Some 7,000 Romanian companies owe EUR 15 bln to the state budget
 
RO central bank maintains monetary policy ahead of “transitory” rise in inflation
Romania’s central bank revises upward its 2021 inflation forecast
Erste Group projects 4.2% GDP growth for Romania’s economy this year
CFA Romania analysts expect 4% or stronger GDP growth in 2021
Deloitte study: CFOs in Romania are more optimistic but still unwilling to take risks
Survey: RO entrepreneurs anticipate adverse conditions in 2021

 


BUSINESS: Market trends

Romanians register 40% fewer new cars in Jan-Feb
Romania loses EUR 1.17 bln in 2020 as fewer foreign tourists visit the country amid COVID-19 pandemic
Romania’s factoring market steady at EUR 5 bln in 2020
PwC estimates Romania’s M&A market at EUR 4.9 bln in 2020
Stock of bank loans in Romania up 5.3% at end-Feb, deposits - 16.4% higher
PayU: Romania’s e-commerce market hit EUR 7 bln in 2020
Major RO e-payment platform Netopia reports 60% rise in 2020

 


BUSINESS: Energy and industry

Monsson group announces 2,000 MW of wind and solar projects in RO
Investors plan to develop 1.4 GWh new wind power capacities in RO within five years
Bankwatch: Romania’s green power capacity unchanged since 2015
Hidroelectrica ponders producing “green hydrogen” with Verbund
Hidroelectrica eyes 131MW PV park in southern Romania
RO Govt. wants to hike water royalties paid by power producer Hidroelectrica
RO Nuclearelectrica hopes to keep costs for two new reactors within EUR 7 bln budget
Nuclearelectrica conditions nuke plant expansion on state support mechanism
Romania’s nuclear company Nuclearelectrica to buy uranium processing plant
EC doubts recovery plan at RO coal & power complex CEO could be declared compatible
RO minister meets EC in an attempt to save coal and power producer CE Oltenia
E.ON’s Romanian electricity distribution subsidiary to invest EUR 223 mln in 2020-2023
Expert: Romania’s natural gas consumption to rise by 50% within ten years
Romgaz bids for Exxon’s 50% stake in Neptun Deep today
OMV Petrom signs Production Sharing Contract for Georgian offshore perimeter
Gypsum boards maker Etex wants to invest EUR 5 mln at RO coal-fired power plant
Clariant to begin biofuel production in southern Romania by year end
British Laropharm to build its second drug factory near Bucharest
British company Novator builds EUR 13.7 mln drug factory in Bucharest
Pfizer on reported relocation of supply division in Romania: “we are exploring options”
Moldovan businessman builds medicines plant in eastern Romania
RO investor takes over German car parts producer’s operations in two countries
Polish sanitary fittings producer Ferro ponders plant in Romania
Romanian truck producer ATP to launch first local electric bus
Production of Romanian car plants Ford and Dacia disrupted by semiconductor crisis
Renault’s Romanian car plant Dacia to operate intermittently in April
First Romanian electric vehicle can be pre-ordered starting March 20
Strong demand in RO for Dacia’s first electric model
Indian Sandhar confirms EUR 25 mln car parts plant in Brasov
German group Rehau builds EUR 10 mln regional hub in Sibiu
Holmbergs to increase capacity of its child car seat plants in Romania
RO snack producer Gusto pours EUR 10 mln in new plant and plans expansion abroad
Airbus Helicopters signs new industrial cooperation agreement with RO producer IAR
Owner of Romania’s biggest steel mill faces financing problems
RO steel mill Liberty Galati not touched yet by owner’s financial problems

 


BUSINESS: Real estate

Colliers: Romania’s real estate market may see a dip in 2021
Colliers on RO office market: “it’s now a tenant’s market”
Big office tenants in Bucharest seek to sublet their spaces
Renault seeks to sublet quarter of its Bucharest headquarters
Immofinanz buys iconic office building in downtown Bucharest from lender BCR
CBRE: Romania’s industrial space market to face “formidable” year
Regional warehouse investor CTP earmarks EUR 250 mln for Romania
Belgian developer buys 25ha for EUR 60 mln logistics park north of Bucharest
South African real estate investor pays EUR 30 mln for warehouses near Bucharest
Toy and home decoration retailer Jumbo builds EUR 35 mln warehouses in Romania
Major residential and mixed-use projects in the pipeline in Brasov
Another 20,000 housing units to be delivered in Bucharest this year
Developer Alesonor gets PUZ for EUR 110 mln green residential project in northern Bucharest
One United Properties gets permits for tallest residential towers in Bucharest
South Africa’s wealthiest family buys stake in RO-focused property investor
First shopping mall in Covasna county opens in Sfantu Gheorghe
Romanian developer takes EUR 9 mln loan from OTP for retail park in Sibiu
Swiss investor takes over 111-room hotel in downtown Bucharest
New ibis hotel opens in Timisoara after EUR 10 mln investment
Hotel management firm Zeus takes over three Romanian hotels from Alpha Bank group
NEPI Rockcastle tries to block large land transfer in Bucharest to local rival

 


BUSINESS: Start-ups, financing, capital markets, new projects

Six RO companies in the FT 1,000 ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing
Romanian preventive medicine platform SanoPass raises EUR 0.8 mln on Seedblink
Romanian FinTech Prime Dash aims to raise EUR 600,000 on SeedBlink
RO health-tech startup Medic Chat seeks EUR 250,000 from SeedBlink listing
Romanian investment fund Neogen pours EUR 0.45 mln in RacketPal app
Study: Romanian angel investors, more active since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
Black Sea Fund plans EUR 15-20 mln investments in Romanian SMEs this year
Czech grocery start-up Rohlik.cz eyes expansion to RO after financing round
Brazilian IT group Stefanini opens EMEA operational security centre in Bucharest
Amazon to open three more offices in Romania and increase local team to 3,000
Major Romanian e-payment platform integrates local crypto coin eGold
Romanian IT group Bittnet expands abroad with acquisition in Czechia
Revolut launches banking operations in Romania
Romanian lender BCR posts 37% higher profit in 2020 on low base
Sale of Credit Agricole’s Romanian branch reaches competition body
Romanian-born software robot developer UiPath files for IPO on the New York Stock Exchange
Bucharest Stock Exchange’s blue-chip index beats 13-year-old record
Romanian farm supplies retailer’s listing on Bucharest Stock Exchange makes new millionaire
TeraPlast completes sale of Steel division and will pay special dividend
RO investment company SIF Moldova changes name to Evergent Investments
Top Romanian lender Banca Transilvania returns to free shares instead of cash dividends
Smaller companies listed on BVB lure investors with stock dividends
Shares of Romanian organic fertilizer producer Norofert tumble after negative audit report
RO telecom group DIGI signs non-binding agreement to sell its Hungarian operations
Romanian smart device producer Allview prepares listing after record sales in 2020
RO online retailer eMAG names new CEO, plans EUR 655 mln investments over the next three years
Private medical services provider Regina Maria claims top position based on 2020 revenues
RO medical services provider MedLife consolidates leading place with new takeover
Romania’s MedLife to borrow another EUR 40 mln for expansion
Dent Estet and Dr. Leahu compete for first place in RO dentistry services market

 


BUSINESS: Airlines back in the air

Romanian construction project management firm Optim opens office in Serbia
Flydubai to launch flights to Romania's Cluj-Napoca
Lufthansa launches Iasi-Frankfurt flights
Private RO airline Blue Air launches more flights from Cluj-Napoca
Wizz Air adds new flights from Romania’s Cluj-Napoca, Iasi to Greece
Ryanair adds flights from Suceava and Sibiu to its Summer 2021 schedule
Brasov International Airport may be ready for opening this year
Romanian airline Blue Air inaugurates its first 737 MAX aircraft
Romania’s flag carrier Tarom renews fleet this year

 


SOCIAL & CULTURE

Bucharest University expels 45 law students for organized cheating in online exams
Eight Bucharest police agents detained for restraining, torturing two people who called them out for not wearing masks
Iasi Opera director placed under judicial control in embezzlement case
Former Romanian tourism minister Elena Udrea and former president Basescu's daughter get jail sentences in corruption case
A quarter of Romanians have chronic diseases
Romania ranks 46th in World Happiness Report 2021
Romanians can request electronic ID cards starting August
Greenpeace: Report ranks Romania as the 15th most polluted country in Europe
Romania's Environmental Guard to use drones to monitor air quality, pollution levels
Spike in Bucharest air pollution levels linked to illegal burning of tires in surrounding localities
INRIX 2020 traffic scorecard shows Bucharest is most congested city in the world by hours lost in traffic
Bucharest public transport company introduces one-hour ticket
Green Friday: RO authorities launch campaign promoting use of alternative transportation
Romania photo of the day: PM Florin Citu walks to work to promote new “Green Fridays” campaign
Green Friday: Cluj-Napoca ponders making public transport free once a week
Romanian entrepreneur announces 'burial' of one-meter highway built to protest poor infrastructure
Union protest blocks Bucharest subway on Friday
 
---- 
 
Berlinale 2021: Romanian director Radu Jude's "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" wins Golden Bear
RO documentary Collective gets BAFTA nomination
RO documentary Collective lands two Oscar nominations
Central Romania: Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation kicks off inclusive civic engagement project
Romania’s George Enescu Festival announces program of 2021 edition
Sibiu International Theater Festival moves 2021 edition to August
Romanian scientist recognized for contribution to schizophrenia research
Draft law aims to establish National Reading Day in Romania
New expedition in the Himalayas: Romanian climber wants to open new route to Dhaulagiri peak
Romanian sets world record for most letters received
Photobook put together by expat women in Romania raises over EUR 10,000 for local charities

 


RI+

UN professor chooses Romania’s Transylvania as the historical setting for a three-book fictional series

 


The Medical Doctors’ Caravan: A treatment plan for Romania’s underserved areas

 


A family for the most vulnerable: FARA founder Jane Nicholson on 30 years in Romania and what matters in the foundation’s work

 


Private placements and new listings, an easy way to earn top profits on the Bucharest Stock Exchange

 


Georgi Bonev, Lenovo: I could say that in Bucharest I lived some of the best feelings in this world

 

(Photo source: Inquam Photos)

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Profile picture for user andreich
Andrei Chirileasa
Editor-in-Chief

Andrei studied finance at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and started his journalism career in 2004 with Ziarul Financiar, the leading financial newspaper in Romania, where he worked for ten years, the last six of which as editor of the capital markets section. He joined the Romania-Insider.com team in 2014 as editor and became Editor-in-Chief in 2016. He currently oversees the daily content published on Romania-Insider.com and likes to stay up to date with everything relevant in business, politics, and life in Romania. Andrei lives with his family in the countryside in Northern Romania, where he built their own house. In his free time, he studies horticulture and tends to his family’s garden. He enjoys foraging in the woods and long walks on the hills and valleys around his village. Email him for story ideas and interviews at andrei@romania-insider.com. 

 

Monthly Wrap-up March 2021: Restrictions return as third wave hits Romania

This is our monthly overview for Romania Insider members for March. We curate the main topics of the month, to make sure you don't miss the bigger picture, no matter how often you choose to read the news. If you choose to stay away from much of the media frenzy, this monthly bulletin brings the essentials without wasting a lot of time, in a basic visual version, so you can focus on the text alone. 

Romania kicked off the third phase of its vaccination strategy in March, opening the vaccination platform to the general population. The available spots quickly filled up, especially in bigger cities. "Vaccination tourism" started, as some people decided to drive even several hundred kilometers to smaller cities that still had available doses. By the end of March, some 2 million Romanians have been vaccinated with at least one dose. The authorities are confident that the pace will accelerate in April when Romania will get more vaccines and will increase the capacity of its vaccination centers while also opening new channels - such as vaccination at the family doctors.

___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases rose again in March, and the number of people treated in intensive care units (ATI) reached new highs. The infection rates went up mostly in bigger cities such as Timisoara and Bucharest. While Timisoara was placed under quarantine, the authorities tried to avoid a similar scenario for Bucharest, although the incidence rate went over 6 per 1,000 inhabitants. Instead, the authorities tried to come up with some hybrid restrictions, including an earlier curfew and shorter opening hours for shops. However, the overall impression was that the decisions lacked coherence, which also determined a negative response from the population. While hundreds went to the streets in bigger cities to protest against the restrictions, others were calling for tougher measures.

On the political stage, the main themes in March were the bill for dismantling the special section for investigating magistrates and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). Besides constant criticism from the opposition Social Democrats (PSD), the center-right ruling coalition also faces some internal tensions as the Liberals prepare for an important congress where they will elect their leader while the cooperation between the Liberals and their reformist partners from USR-PLUS is not always smooth. The biggest disputes so far revolved around reformist health minister Vlad Voiculescu and his relationship with the Liberals.

The recovery measures also continued to advance slowly. The grants program for helping local SMEs made little progress in March and the Economy Ministry decided to halt and start over the procedure for distributing the investment grants. EU funds should drive Romania's economic recovery in the following years. Still, while the funds received from the EU were higher in the first two months of this year compared to the same period of 2020, the programs for attracting new funds are advancing slowly. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which should be the most important reconstruction program Romania has undertaken since joining the EU, is struggling to balance the country's need for basic infrastructure with the EU's digitization and decarbonization goals.

The macroeconomic indicators support the scenario of economic recovery this year, although managers and entrepreneurs are still cautious. Energy, industry, and real estate continue to draw new investments, but the growth in these sectors is uneven. In the energy sector, renewables and gas are under the spotlight, in industry, the pharmaceutical segment is one of the most active, while the growth in real estate is driven by the industrial and residential segments. With plenty of money still available in the economy, the capital markets are also doing well. Financing through the Bucharest Stock Exchange and equity crowdfunding platforms such as Seeblink has increased significantly in the last year. Airlines are also trying to recover after a disastrous year with new flights and new routes from more Romanian cities.

Meanwhile, with most cinemas still closed in Romania, a Romanian movie has won the big prize at the Berlin Film Festival while another one is nominated for two Oscars.
 
Below, you can browse through the most important topics in March, grouped by relevance. By clicking on a title, you can read the whole article on the Romania-Insider.com website.

COVID-19: Vaccination for everyone, but more restrictions as well

Covid-19 vaccination in Romania: General public can register starting mid-March
Covid-19 vaccination in Romania: Authorities detail logistics of the third stage
PM: Romania to receive 2.6 mln Covid-19 vaccine doses this month
Covid-19: Romania lifts upper age restriction for AstraZeneca vaccine
Alleged preferential vaccination sparks political scandal in Romania
Romanian authorities try to restore confidence in vaccination process after controversies related to AstraZeneca batch
COVID-19: General public can register for vaccination as third stage starts in Romania
Covid-19: Romania goes ahead with administering the AstraZeneca vaccine
RO authorities plan changes to the vaccination registration platform
COVID-19: 10% of Romania’s population vaccinated with at least one dose by the end of March, PM says
Vaccination to proceed at full speed in Romania in April
 
Timisoara enters quarantine while Bucharest closes restaurants as COVID-19 infection rates rise
Bucharest close to quarantine due to rise in COVID-19 cases
Romanian PM, Bucharest mayor try to avoid quarantine
RO PM: Full quarantine in Bucharest not an option, Covid-19 incidence rate among several criteria taken into account
RO President, head of emergency services ask for tougher restrictions in Bucharest
RO President rules out Easter lockdown, calls for observing existing restrictions
State of alert prolonged in RO, but no restrictions added
Romania’s daily Covid-19 case count rises above 5,200, highest tally in two months
Intensive care units in Romania under pressure again
Romania’s daily Covid-19 case count rises to three-month high
Covid-19: RO health authorities work to increase the number of ICU beds, point to staff shortages
Update: Romania introduces new restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19
Covid-19: RO authorities intensify checks as new restrictions come into force
Covid-19: Protests against restrictions held in several cities in Romania
Romanian president warns against political capitalization of the street protests
 Romanian pupils’ spring holiday doubles to four weeks in April
RO education minister: National exams to go ahead as planned
Covid-19: US no longer on Romania's list of countries with high epidemiological risk
Covid-19: Romania removes Spain from list of countries with high epidemiological risk
Romania may ask foreign tourists to show a negative COVID test on entry
Romanian president says no to COVID passport for tourism

 


POLITICS: Justice back under the spotlight

Romania's president joins choir of politicians demanding explanations after court decision in high-profile case
RO Deputies vote to abolish controversial prosecution office
Romanian NGOs warn of “super- immunity” provided to prosecutors by draft law
Romania's Justice Ministry completes amendments to justice laws
RO Liberal party leader prepares to defend his seat
Romanian Liberal leader secures support from several local organizations
RO Liberal leader: “I may even run for President”
Reformist PLUS party appoints lawyer for Bucharest prefect
Rising tensions between Romania’s Liberal PM and reformist health minister
RO Ombudsman: all special pensions but those of magistrates can be abolished
Pan-European Volt registers political party in Romania
Survey shows Romanians’ preferences regarding political, military alliances
Survey presents countries, world leaders Romanians trust

 

 


POLITICS: Spending public funds

RO Parliament votes 2020 budget law in the form drafted by Govt.
RO Govt. to hit “union barons” in budgetary sector
PM Citu says Romania has no functioning market economy
RO Govt. prepares to ban Chinese companies from big infrastructure projects
Govt. will give Romanians the right to work until 70
RO Social Democrats oppose draft law for liberalizing farmland acquisitions
Romania includes EUR 41 bln investments in its Relaunch and Resilience Plan
Bucharest lists EUR 7 bln projects for financing under Recovery Plan
Bucharest mayor cuts non-essential expenditures from the city’s 2021 budget
Bucharest City Council suspends Zonal Urban Development Plans for one year
Court clears transfer of 46 hectares in Bucharest CBD to Chamber of Commerce
Romania’s 5G draft law returns to legislative process
RO Govt. prepares guarantees under Agri Invest to help farmers
Young Romanian farmers will get EUR 100 mln business start-up grants
RO Govt. makes little progress in paying COVID grants to SMEs
Romania's Economy Ministry will start over its investment grants scheme for SMEs
Romania borrows EUR 4.1 bln from EU for employment support
EU contributes EUR 726 mln to Craiova-Pitesti highway
Romania's Govt. says it drafted new Energy Strategy
Romanian Govt. moves to help coal and power group CE Oltenia before EC’s approval
Investigation shows Romania misused EUR 1 bln EU money for Danube Delta
EC finances EUR 77 mln waste management project in Galati
Romania to borrow EUR 250 mln from EIB for Iasi regional hospital
RO Army seeks contractor for EUR 400 mln project to modernize Kogalniceanu military base
Bucharest’s District 4 launches procurement procedures for EUR 1 bln urban regeneration projects
Romania increases scrappage bonuses and budget for electric car subsidies

 


MACRO: Mixed feelings

Romania’s public deficit leaps to over 1.1% of GDP in Jan-Feb
Romania’s public debt rises by another EUR 1 bln in January
Romania’s financing needs are EUR 24-25 bln this year
Romania boasts robust recovery in Q4 amid milder second COVI-19 wave
Investments rise marginally in Romania, but not in productive capacities
Romanian constructors start year slowly after robust growth in 2020
Romania’s manufacturing sector reaches new post-crisis high in Jan
Romania’s trade gap narrows amid smaller foreign trade in Jan
Romania’s CA gap narrows in Jan on fewer holidays abroad
Romania’s external debt, slightly down in January
Retail growth eases to 1.6% in January
Romania’s headline inflation accelerates to 3.2% in February
Wages in Romania edged down in Jan ahead of difficult year
Unemployment rate in RO rises in January particularly among youngsters
Some 7,000 Romanian companies owe EUR 15 bln to the state budget
 
RO central bank maintains monetary policy ahead of “transitory” rise in inflation
Romania’s central bank revises upward its 2021 inflation forecast
Erste Group projects 4.2% GDP growth for Romania’s economy this year
CFA Romania analysts expect 4% or stronger GDP growth in 2021
Deloitte study: CFOs in Romania are more optimistic but still unwilling to take risks
Survey: RO entrepreneurs anticipate adverse conditions in 2021

 


BUSINESS: Market trends

Romanians register 40% fewer new cars in Jan-Feb
Romania loses EUR 1.17 bln in 2020 as fewer foreign tourists visit the country amid COVID-19 pandemic
Romania’s factoring market steady at EUR 5 bln in 2020
PwC estimates Romania’s M&A market at EUR 4.9 bln in 2020
Stock of bank loans in Romania up 5.3% at end-Feb, deposits - 16.4% higher
PayU: Romania’s e-commerce market hit EUR 7 bln in 2020
Major RO e-payment platform Netopia reports 60% rise in 2020

 


BUSINESS: Energy and industry

Monsson group announces 2,000 MW of wind and solar projects in RO
Investors plan to develop 1.4 GWh new wind power capacities in RO within five years
Bankwatch: Romania’s green power capacity unchanged since 2015
Hidroelectrica ponders producing “green hydrogen” with Verbund
Hidroelectrica eyes 131MW PV park in southern Romania
RO Govt. wants to hike water royalties paid by power producer Hidroelectrica
RO Nuclearelectrica hopes to keep costs for two new reactors within EUR 7 bln budget
Nuclearelectrica conditions nuke plant expansion on state support mechanism
Romania’s nuclear company Nuclearelectrica to buy uranium processing plant
EC doubts recovery plan at RO coal & power complex CEO could be declared compatible
RO minister meets EC in an attempt to save coal and power producer CE Oltenia
E.ON’s Romanian electricity distribution subsidiary to invest EUR 223 mln in 2020-2023
Expert: Romania’s natural gas consumption to rise by 50% within ten years
Romgaz bids for Exxon’s 50% stake in Neptun Deep today
OMV Petrom signs Production Sharing Contract for Georgian offshore perimeter
Gypsum boards maker Etex wants to invest EUR 5 mln at RO coal-fired power plant
Clariant to begin biofuel production in southern Romania by year end
British Laropharm to build its second drug factory near Bucharest
British company Novator builds EUR 13.7 mln drug factory in Bucharest
Pfizer on reported relocation of supply division in Romania: “we are exploring options”
Moldovan businessman builds medicines plant in eastern Romania
RO investor takes over German car parts producer’s operations in two countries
Polish sanitary fittings producer Ferro ponders plant in Romania
Romanian truck producer ATP to launch first local electric bus
Production of Romanian car plants Ford and Dacia disrupted by semiconductor crisis
Renault’s Romanian car plant Dacia to operate intermittently in April
First Romanian electric vehicle can be pre-ordered starting March 20
Strong demand in RO for Dacia’s first electric model
Indian Sandhar confirms EUR 25 mln car parts plant in Brasov
German group Rehau builds EUR 10 mln regional hub in Sibiu
Holmbergs to increase capacity of its child car seat plants in Romania
RO snack producer Gusto pours EUR 10 mln in new plant and plans expansion abroad
Airbus Helicopters signs new industrial cooperation agreement with RO producer IAR
Owner of Romania’s biggest steel mill faces financing problems
RO steel mill Liberty Galati not touched yet by owner’s financial problems

 


BUSINESS: Real estate

Colliers: Romania’s real estate market may see a dip in 2021
Colliers on RO office market: “it’s now a tenant’s market”
Big office tenants in Bucharest seek to sublet their spaces
Renault seeks to sublet quarter of its Bucharest headquarters
Immofinanz buys iconic office building in downtown Bucharest from lender BCR
CBRE: Romania’s industrial space market to face “formidable” year
Regional warehouse investor CTP earmarks EUR 250 mln for Romania
Belgian developer buys 25ha for EUR 60 mln logistics park north of Bucharest
South African real estate investor pays EUR 30 mln for warehouses near Bucharest
Toy and home decoration retailer Jumbo builds EUR 35 mln warehouses in Romania
Major residential and mixed-use projects in the pipeline in Brasov
Another 20,000 housing units to be delivered in Bucharest this year
Developer Alesonor gets PUZ for EUR 110 mln green residential project in northern Bucharest
One United Properties gets permits for tallest residential towers in Bucharest
South Africa’s wealthiest family buys stake in RO-focused property investor
First shopping mall in Covasna county opens in Sfantu Gheorghe
Romanian developer takes EUR 9 mln loan from OTP for retail park in Sibiu
Swiss investor takes over 111-room hotel in downtown Bucharest
New ibis hotel opens in Timisoara after EUR 10 mln investment
Hotel management firm Zeus takes over three Romanian hotels from Alpha Bank group
NEPI Rockcastle tries to block large land transfer in Bucharest to local rival

 


BUSINESS: Start-ups, financing, capital markets, new projects

Six RO companies in the FT 1,000 ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing
Romanian preventive medicine platform SanoPass raises EUR 0.8 mln on Seedblink
Romanian FinTech Prime Dash aims to raise EUR 600,000 on SeedBlink
RO health-tech startup Medic Chat seeks EUR 250,000 from SeedBlink listing
Romanian investment fund Neogen pours EUR 0.45 mln in RacketPal app
Study: Romanian angel investors, more active since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
Black Sea Fund plans EUR 15-20 mln investments in Romanian SMEs this year
Czech grocery start-up Rohlik.cz eyes expansion to RO after financing round
Brazilian IT group Stefanini opens EMEA operational security centre in Bucharest
Amazon to open three more offices in Romania and increase local team to 3,000
Major Romanian e-payment platform integrates local crypto coin eGold
Romanian IT group Bittnet expands abroad with acquisition in Czechia
Revolut launches banking operations in Romania
Romanian lender BCR posts 37% higher profit in 2020 on low base
Sale of Credit Agricole’s Romanian branch reaches competition body
Romanian-born software robot developer UiPath files for IPO on the New York Stock Exchange
Bucharest Stock Exchange’s blue-chip index beats 13-year-old record
Romanian farm supplies retailer’s listing on Bucharest Stock Exchange makes new millionaire
TeraPlast completes sale of Steel division and will pay special dividend
RO investment company SIF Moldova changes name to Evergent Investments
Top Romanian lender Banca Transilvania returns to free shares instead of cash dividends
Smaller companies listed on BVB lure investors with stock dividends
Shares of Romanian organic fertilizer producer Norofert tumble after negative audit report
RO telecom group DIGI signs non-binding agreement to sell its Hungarian operations
Romanian smart device producer Allview prepares listing after record sales in 2020
RO online retailer eMAG names new CEO, plans EUR 655 mln investments over the next three years
Private medical services provider Regina Maria claims top position based on 2020 revenues
RO medical services provider MedLife consolidates leading place with new takeover
Romania’s MedLife to borrow another EUR 40 mln for expansion
Dent Estet and Dr. Leahu compete for first place in RO dentistry services market

 


BUSINESS: Airlines back in the air

Romanian construction project management firm Optim opens office in Serbia
Flydubai to launch flights to Romania's Cluj-Napoca
Lufthansa launches Iasi-Frankfurt flights
Private RO airline Blue Air launches more flights from Cluj-Napoca
Wizz Air adds new flights from Romania’s Cluj-Napoca, Iasi to Greece
Ryanair adds flights from Suceava and Sibiu to its Summer 2021 schedule
Brasov International Airport may be ready for opening this year
Romanian airline Blue Air inaugurates its first 737 MAX aircraft
Romania’s flag carrier Tarom renews fleet this year

 


SOCIAL & CULTURE

Bucharest University expels 45 law students for organized cheating in online exams
Eight Bucharest police agents detained for restraining, torturing two people who called them out for not wearing masks
Iasi Opera director placed under judicial control in embezzlement case
Former Romanian tourism minister Elena Udrea and former president Basescu's daughter get jail sentences in corruption case
A quarter of Romanians have chronic diseases
Romania ranks 46th in World Happiness Report 2021
Romanians can request electronic ID cards starting August
Greenpeace: Report ranks Romania as the 15th most polluted country in Europe
Romania's Environmental Guard to use drones to monitor air quality, pollution levels
Spike in Bucharest air pollution levels linked to illegal burning of tires in surrounding localities
INRIX 2020 traffic scorecard shows Bucharest is most congested city in the world by hours lost in traffic
Bucharest public transport company introduces one-hour ticket
Green Friday: RO authorities launch campaign promoting use of alternative transportation
Romania photo of the day: PM Florin Citu walks to work to promote new “Green Fridays” campaign
Green Friday: Cluj-Napoca ponders making public transport free once a week
Romanian entrepreneur announces 'burial' of one-meter highway built to protest poor infrastructure
Union protest blocks Bucharest subway on Friday
 
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Berlinale 2021: Romanian director Radu Jude's "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" wins Golden Bear
RO documentary Collective gets BAFTA nomination
RO documentary Collective lands two Oscar nominations
Central Romania: Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation kicks off inclusive civic engagement project
Romania’s George Enescu Festival announces program of 2021 edition
Sibiu International Theater Festival moves 2021 edition to August
Romanian scientist recognized for contribution to schizophrenia research
Draft law aims to establish National Reading Day in Romania
New expedition in the Himalayas: Romanian climber wants to open new route to Dhaulagiri peak
Romanian sets world record for most letters received
Photobook put together by expat women in Romania raises over EUR 10,000 for local charities

 


RI+

UN professor chooses Romania’s Transylvania as the historical setting for a three-book fictional series

 


The Medical Doctors’ Caravan: A treatment plan for Romania’s underserved areas

 


A family for the most vulnerable: FARA founder Jane Nicholson on 30 years in Romania and what matters in the foundation’s work

 


Private placements and new listings, an easy way to earn top profits on the Bucharest Stock Exchange

 


Georgi Bonev, Lenovo: I could say that in Bucharest I lived some of the best feelings in this world

 

(Photo source: Inquam Photos)

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