The Government is not ready to face an unemployment wave, Romania negotiates its participation in the South Stream natural gas pipeline project, the state wants to spend more money without special approval and the price for real estate in Romania is falling fast.
The Labor Minister, Mariana Campeanu, declared on Wednesday that the Government didn't take into account the pessimistic predictions on the labor market and that there are no supplementary funds for unemployment included in the 2009 Budget Law. The Labor Ministry estimates 5-6 thousand new unemployed, while an Evenimentul Zilei analysis estimated up to one million.
The official delegation of the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom met a group of Romanian managers in the natural gas area, in order to negotiate the involvement of Romania in the future South Stream gas pipeline project. The next round of negotiations was scheduled for December, the parties involved failing to offer any details about the meeting on Wednesday, Evenimentul Zilei reads.
The Government approved some modifications brought to the Public Procurement Law, allowing works under 5 million Euros to be attributed without a public bid. The previous threshold was 2 million Euros. While the media accuses the measure of helping the corrupt companies, the Government officials declared for Gandul that "It is time to chose between building infrastructure and hampering in corruption accusations". According to the new law, the bids for works over 5 million Euros can be annulled only twice, regardless any legal contest that may arise.
Meanwhile, the price for terrain dropped up to 40%, Cotidianul reads, in an article quoting several real estate company managers. The price for land is now 60-70%, compared to price in 2007.
In politics, Wednesday may have been the first day when a censor motion is submitted in the Parliament and doesn't quite make it in the news. Although the far right Greater Romania Party and the Democrat Liberals joined the initiative, the motion has such a low chance to bring down the government that no one really noticed it.
Back to the crisis: Romania Libera publishes a piece on what Romania may expect in 2009. Economy experts and politicians agree that a slowdown of the economic growth may be expected, but that crisis is out of the question. The Government estimates a 6.1% economic growth in 2009, after the 9% in 2008, but less optimistic scenarios indicate that the growth may be only 3.8%. Businessmen are the least eager to make any prognosis.