Coronavirus. Klaus Iohannis, top financial officials discuss how to reinvigorate Romania’s hard-hit economy


Romania’s president met with the central bank governor, the prime minister and the finance minister on Friday to discuss the country’s growing budget deficit and how to reinvigorate the economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

We had a very good discussion on what measures are feasible for reinvigorating the economy,” Klaus Iohannis said after the meeting without providing details. “We didn’t speak about restarting the economy, because it was never halted, except for some sectors,” he said.

The crisis has dented Romania’s economy with businesses forced to shut or suspend their activity. Restaurants, hotels, shops were closed in mid-March and sporting activities and concerts have been canceled.  Up to one million jobs may be affected by the crisis, industry groups say.

The European Commission said in its Spring report that GDP is projected to contract by 6% in 2020 and unemployment will increase to 6.5% in 2020. It forecast a budget deficit of 9.2% of GDP this year and 11.4% in 2021.

Iohannis said the government wanted “good financing for the budget deficit because we don’t want supplementary austerity measures,” he said without providing specifics.

“If we do things we way we should, we’ll have a good chance of recovery and to get out of this unpleasant crisis situation we’re in now, fairly quickly,” he said after the meeting with NationalBank governor, Mugur Isarescu, Finance Minister,Florin Citu and Premier Ludovic Orban.

“We need coherent measures which enable us to encourage the economy, which is currently in a state of crisis,” he said.

The shock to the global economy from COVID-19 has been both faster and more severe than the 2008 global financial crisis and even the Great Depression, economists say.


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