Politeía Digest

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Daily News – April, 12

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Romania voices solidarity with Poland

Romanians voiced solidarity with Poland and voiced regret and condolences over the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of President Lech Kaczynski and many other Polish officials and top military officers.

A special service in memory of the crash victims was held at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Bucharest yesterday, and was attended by President Traian Basescu and the First Lady, Polish Ambassador Wojciech Zajaczkowski, Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi, US Ambassador Mark Gitenstein, Swiss Ambassador Livio Hurzeler and over 300 people.

Democrat-Liberals to choose new leaders mid-July

During a meeting on Friday, the PDL National Coordination Council decided to hold the National Convention on July 16 and okayed the new party statute, which comprises an enlarged leading structure, formed of party president, 4 first vice-presidents, a secretary general, 3 deputy secretaries general in charge with historic regions, 15 vice-presidents, 6 executive secretaries reporting to the National Permanent Bureau, and 8 executive secretaries in charge with specialised sectors. Thus, the new statute of PDL provides that the first four party members who signed the motion that will win the party elections will implicitly become first vice-presidents, while the fifth is appointed as secretary general. The winning motion system is also kept in effect for electing the party president. Acting PDL President Emil Boc, who is favorite for a new term atop the party, believes the new statute will bring fresh vitality to the party.

At the National Coordination Council, Boc made a retrospective of the victories scored by the party since 2004. In the Democrat-Liberal leader’s opinion, a key to success was the “healthy” partnership with Traian Basescu, beneficial to the public interest. “We believe we had, and still maintain a healthy public partnership, to Romania’s interest, which has been another key to our success, the fact that, despite attempts to turn us against each other, we kept the public partnership,” Boc said.

Besides enlarging the party’s leading team, the PDL Statute also provides for a change that could hint to the party’s intentions for the next presidential elections. Thus, the new statute drops the presidential candidate’s obligation to have been a PDL member for five years, as stipulated by the acting Statute. It also brings another novelty – a Party Holiday that will be celebrated the last Sunday of May, each year.

IMF: Romania’s economy is undergoing intense recovery, positive growth in H2

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will return for an upturn in the second half of this year, when it will go up 1 per cent, according to the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) evaluation mission, which compares Romania’s economy with a patient admitted to hospital with high fever, which has meanwhile receded, leaving the patient weak nonetheless. ‘Romania’s economy is undergoing intense recovery,’ Franks told a television channel, adding economy will see positive growth in the second half of the ongoing year, yet drawing attention the pre-crisis level not going to be reached, in a first phase at least.

The head of the IMF mission praised government’s measures cutting the budget deficit, which otherwise would have stood at a minimum of 10 per cent GDP, instead of the current 7 per cent. The aim however is for the deficit to fall to 6 per cent, and to under 3 per cent by 2012, with various means possible to fulfill that goal, Franks believes, who sees a mixture of spending cuts and higher taxes able to do the job. Franks however made the point it is up to government to raise taxes.

Franks read RON’s appreciation lately as a confidence vote to Romania by international markets, and explained the risk margin shrank from 700 units to 200 units, which is far better when compared to other countries. For 2010, Franks forecasts more lenient loan requirements, though not as laidback as they used to be before crisis hit. He is also of the view 2010 will still be a difficult year, as unemployment rate will reach a high point, followed by a gradual decline. Franks also spoke of ‘preliminary successes’, with some fields beginning to report positive growth. Last year, Romania’s economy dived 7.1 per cent, after a similar rise in 2008. For this year, Romanian authorities and IMF experts predict an economic growth of 1.3 per cent, a prognosis which might change upon the next late April-early May revision of the bilateral agreement.

Elections in Hungary

Fidesz wins as voters wait while Jobbik and LMP enter parliament: Fidesz cruised to easy victory, winning a majority of seats in parliament in the first round with 52.8% of the vote, outright winning 119 constituencies in an election day marred by long waits at polling places and a too-late announcement by the National Elections Committee to extend the “campaign silence” observance after the media already reported exit polls. The Socialist Party (MSZP) came in second with 19.3% with Jobbik receiving 16.7%. While it was largely expected that the Democratic Forum (MDF) would not reach the 5% threshold, eventually only reaching 2.7%, the big surprise was new left-liberal party LMP (Politics Can be Different), which won 7.4%, several percentage points above what was expected.

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Written by Theophyle

April 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

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