Analysis 02 Jan 18

Romania in 2018: More Turmoil Likely Despite Strong Growth

The failure of healthy growth rates to translate into wage rises – coupled with the passage of unpopular and controversial laws – are likely to mean a bumpy year. 

Ana Maria Luca
BIRN
Bucharest
Protest in Buchurest in February 2017.

Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party looks set to face more opposition from civil society and more protests in 2018, as the effects of the government’s unpopular, illiberal decisions are revealed, analysts predict.

The year-end was tense in Bucharest, as parliament pushed hard the week before Christmas to adopt unpopular and controversial justice laws and some other controversial pieces of legislation that many civil society activists, experts and foreign diplomats saw as a threat to the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

The government has also announced wage hikes in the public sector starting January 1. However, these pay rises will be largely cancelled by a new fiscal system under which social contributions are no longer paid by employers but by the employees.

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