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Romanian report
by Euro Reporter
2012-04-27 08:43:44
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Romania’s labour costs are just one fifth EU average

Latest figures released for hourly labour costs in the EU are estimated at EUR 23.1 per hour on average in the EU27 and EUR 26.7 per hour in the eurozone. But the hourly cost to employers varies massively across the member states: from EUR 3.5 and EUR 4.2 per hour in Bulgaria and Romania, up to 10 times as much in Belgium – EUR 39.3 per hour. The latest Eurostat figures are for total costs to employers and, as well as wages, include tax, pension contributions and other charges.

Hourly labour costs were up slightly across both the EU27 and the eurozone, from EUR 22.5 and EUR 26.9 per hour in 2010 respectively. This increase of EUR 1 per hour or less was almost uniform across the EU, with only Ireland recording a slight decrease in hourly labour costs from 2010. Figures were unavailable for Greece, but may also have decreased if the trend from 2009/2010 was continued.

Only Belgium, France, Austria and Sweden showed increases in labour costs for 2011 of greater than EUR 1 per hour – Belgium and France both up EUR 1.1 per hour, Austria by EUR 1.2 and biggest climber Sweden up by EUR 3.1 per hour. Results for 2011 were unavailable for Romania, with the hourly labour cost of EUR 4.2 recorded in 2010. If the country followed the regional trend, a figure of EUR 4.5 – 4.8 per hour could perhaps be expected.


Romania’s three-month old cabinet faces first no-confidence vote

Romanian lawmakers will hold the first no-confidence vote since Premier Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu’s Cabinet took office less than three months ago. The opposition Social Democrats and Liberals, who formed an alliance before this year’s elections, filed the motion for today’s vote, accusing Ungureanu’s government of a lack of transparency in the sale of state-owned assets and in approving money transfers to local authorities. Coalition lawmakers said they will boycott the vote.

The vote takes place as the International Monetary Fund reviews progress under a precautionary accord. Ungureanu, who is backed by the same parties that helped former Prime Minister Emil Boc survive 10 motions, is counting on the backing of 231 lawmakers in the 460-member Parliament after defections from the coalition during the past week narrowed the majority to just one vote.

“The recent defections have boosted the ranks of the opposition alliance to 224 lawmakers, according to one of its high officials,” Vlad Muscalu, an economist at the ING Bank Romania SA, wrote in a note to clients yesterday. “This leaves the alliance seven votes short of ousting the executive, suggesting the chances of this initiative look much brighter than about a week ago, when it was filed.”


Romania declassifies Chevron Black Sea block deals

Romanian mineral resources agency ANRM Thursday declassified a series of gas exploration contracts signed with U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. after the latter agreed to make them public. The contracts, published on ANRM's website, refer to the exploration and exploitation of three Black Sea blocks, in Vama Veche, Adamclisi and Costinesti. Chevron has leased a fourth block in Romania, in the eastern city of Barlad.

Under the deals published Thursday, Chevron was granted exploration rights over the blocks for a period of 30 years, with a 15-year extension period.  Should the U.S. Company find natural gas or oil, it must pay royalties to Romania of 3.5%-13% of the production value.

Chevron has pledged to drill eight exploration wells in the three blocks at the Black Sea within four years since the agreements were signed at the end of March.

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