SPECIALISTS: "THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT HAS CHANGED THE RULES OVER NIGHT"
BURSA 09.02.2017

Emilia Olescu (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
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     * Some lawyers claim that there is no limit to the arguments that the CCR can bring when making a decision
       In the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Romania, (CCR) concerning the law of conversion, a grave mistake has been made, some specialists claim, who stress that the CCR has also invoked the principle of bicameralism when it has ruled that the law is unconstitutional, whereas the Cioloș government had not asked for the verification of the compliance with that in its notification.
     According to some lawyers, the Constitutional Court has changed the rules overnight, because its responsibilities are not to refer the matter to itself when it comes to the violation of constitutional principles, only to investigate the exceptions raised by other parties concerning draft laws.
     Other lawyers have told us, however, that the CCR can resort to any arguments to justify its decision, as long as the arguments in question concern the challenged articles.
     In his notification, the Cioloș government mentions a number of principles, including that of the relativity of effects, non-retroactivity, of equality and non-discrimination. The Government has also warned that banks may sue Romania through the ICSID (The Arbitration Court in Washington), and has mentioned the risk of legislative, financial and macroeconomic instability, as well as the potential losses in the banking system.
     * CHF borrowers are not letting the fact that the Law of Conversion is unconstitutional demoralize them
     After just one day from the decision of the CCR that the law of conversion at the original exchange rate was unconstitutional, CHF borrowers have started looking for new strategies to obtain the partial shift of the burden that they have had to share since the end of 2015, when the CHF/RON exchange unexpectedly skyrocketed.
     On the Facebook page of the group of CHF bank borrowers (GCCC), the borrowers are drawing up statistics, filling up submission forms, posting proposals, and are adamantly stating that they are not quitting the fight, but instead they are going forward.
     "We need to recover from yesterday's shock, (ed. note: Tuesday) and we need to start rethinking our strategy and our manner of organization", wrote Cristian Dan, one of the administrators of the GCCC.
     The first goal of the borrowers is to get a hearing with PM Sorin Grindeanu, to talk about the situation that they are going through. Debtors have recently sent the PM a letter in which they have requested a meeting on the subject.
     GCCC representatives have also told us that protests would be an option, but not one that they would currently use.
     One of the proposals made by the group is that, on February 24th, the day of the Romanian Dragobete feast, all those who want to negotiate with the banks should submit notifications requesting fairer contracts and the giving in payment.
     "I don't think it would be so hard for us to show up February 24th, notification in hand, at our respective lenders. This seems to be the last, or maybe the only chance we have left", Mr. Dan further wrote.
     Another CHF borrower made the following proposal: "I am asking for the solidarity of the group in bringing a criminal proposal against the former prime-minister (ed. note: Dacian Cioloș) and against those who have countersigned the Emergency Government Ordinances for the prorogation of the date of the coming into effect of the Law no. 151/2015 concerning the procedure of the insolvency of individuals, in order to commit the offense of abuse in office, for the culpable violation of the job duties. By failing to carry out or by inadequately carrying out the job duties, [the PM] has caused us losses and has harmed our rights and legitimate interests, namely the right of defending our assets against creditors and the right for a turnaround of the financial situation, as well as supporting us in escaping the state of insolvency that we are in".
     Cristian Dan reiterates the idea that it would be best for people to turn to the Center for the Alternative Resolution of Lawsuits in the Banking System (CSALB). He posted the following yesterday on the GCCC Facebook page: "My advice is not to take any action - especially if you want to keep your home after all - until you ask the bank to negotiate. And you should do that through the CSALB procedure, because it is free of charge and the conciliators of the CSALB are professionals. (...) In the current context we will try to talk to every institution out there, to "save" whoever we can still save out of all the people that do not have the financial means to bring a lawsuit, supported by good lawyers. (...) Please remember that the procedure is free of charge and it is now being used in developed countries as well. Such a conciliation procedure, in Germany costs about 500 Euros".
     The Center for the Alternative Resolution of Litigations in the Banking Sector was created last spring, in order to resolve the lawsuits between banks and customers. According to its management, the CSALB seeks to be "a viable alternative to restore the balance between consumers and the banking and financial institutions". The Center is funded by banks, but the conciliators will not be paid directly by banks, and will instead be paid by the Center, regardless of the resolution they issue, whether it's in favor of the customer or of the bank, Alexandru Păunescu, the president of the College for the Coordination of the CSALB explained last year.
     The SAL Center is led by a Coordination College led made up of five members, one from the NBR, the ANPC, the Romanian Banking Association and the consumer associations, and an independent member, selected by the other four. 
 

 
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Aceeasi sectiune (English Section)
THE COURT RULED THAT SOME CONTRACTS CONCLUDED BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES INCLUDE ABUSIVE CLAUSES
AFTER THE TRANSACTION BETWEEN BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND BANCPOST
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English Section
11.12.2017
THE COURT RULED THAT SOME CONTRACTS CONCLUDED BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES INCLUDE ABUSIVE CLAUSES
     * The Bucharest Court of Appeal Bucharest yesterday ruled that RCS&RDS has abusive clauses in its contracts
     * The ANPC has also won the initial lawsuit against Telekom România
     * Vodafone has lost the case in the court of last instance against the ANPC
       The Courts have decided that some contracts concluded by the telephony companies contain abusive clauses. The Court rulings were rendered last year, as well as in 2016, but the argumentations have been formulated relatively recently.  details
08.12.2017
     The hope of an accession as quick as possible by Romania to the Eurozone was dealt a heavy blow precisely on the National Day.  details
06.12.2017
AFTER THE DRAFT HAD BEEN PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER
     * Gheorghe Șimon: "The royalties law will be voted in the Parliament in February next year"
     * Ministry of the Economy: "We will establish royalties which are fair both for the state as well as for the business sector"
     * Daniel Cătălin Zamfir, PNL: "I found out that there are companies that have never, take note, never paid even one leu in royalties to the Romanian state, even though they have been exploiting resources for over 20 years"
     * Last year, the Court of Auditors announced that Romania lost 1.4 billion dollars, because the ANRM established the oil royalties in a flawed manner
       The entire legislative package concerning the regulation of the system for the regulation of the mineral, oil and hydromineral resources will be revised and will be voted in the Parliament in February next year, Economics minister, Gheorghe Șimon, announced yesterday, after the debates of the Economic, Industries and Services Commission of the Senate.  details
28.11.2017
AFTER THE TRANSACTION BETWEEN BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND BANCPOST
     * Customers with borrowers in CHF from Bancpost are waiting for a conversion program with a discount
       After moving to second spot last year in the domestic banking system, through the acquisition of Volksbank, Banca Transilvania (BT) ends up on equal footing with BCR, taking over Bancpost, from Greek group Eurobank.  details
27.11.2017
     * MAKE, BURSA: "I want the new CEO of the BSE to participate in the drafting of a new strategy for the development of capital market"
       On Thursday night, "BURSA" received the Award for the promoting of high standards of corporate governance on the capital market, as part of the 2017 Capital Market Awards Gala, organized by the Association of Brokers.  details
24.11.2017
     * Ciprian Păltineanu and Adrian Tănase, scheduled for meetings with the board
     * Both candidates seem to be closet o the group in the shareholder structure of the BSE
     * George Butunoiu is in charge of recruitment
     * The waiting list may include a few foreigners, including former BRD executive Jacek Panczyk
       According to some market sources, banker Ciprian Păltineanu and Adrian Tănase, Chief Investment Officer at NN Pensii România, will hold interviews in the beginning of next week with the Board of the BSE, after Ludwik Sobolewski's term expired in the summer.  details
23.11.2017
PATRICIA SUÁREZ RAMÍREZ, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FINANCIAL CONSUMERS OF SPAIN:
     * The head of the ASUFIN: "The ruling of the Supreme Court of Spain in which the Andriciuc case has been invoked will be part of the Spanish case law and the lower courts will be required to apply the principle that underlies this decision"
       The ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJUE) in the Andriciuc versus Banca Românească case represents a great advantage for Spanish debtors, said Patricia Suarez Ramírez, the president of the Association of Financial Consumers in Spain (ASUFIN), as part of a response recently sent to BURSA.  details
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     * Dragnea: "Those who are against me are hiding behind institutions"
       The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, leader of the PSD, thinks that his enemies are hiding behind some institutions, "they crucify people", and the real stake is "the blocking of the Laws concerning the Justice system".  details
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     The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have sent to the ECB, in the beginning of this year, a request concerning the sending of some proposals to revise the framework for managing crises.  details
20.11.2017
ANPC STRIKES AGAIN
     * BCR: "Ongoing contracts no longer contain the clauses that have been subjected to examination"
     * Sources: "ANPC has 6 lawsuits against BCR, which will lead to enormous losses for Erste Bank if BCR loses in court"
       After forcing Raiffeisen Bank to eliminate the unfair practices from the loan agreements, the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC) strikes again, this time the biggest bank in the system. BCR lost in the court of first instance, against the ANPC, in a class action lawsuit concerning abusive lending clauses.  details
16.11.2017
THE QUICK RISE OF THE INDEX WHICH SETS THE TREND FOR INTEREST RATES ON LOANS DENOMINATED IN LEI ISN'T STOPPING
     The 3-month ROBOR rate, which is used to calculate the interest rates, the majority of the loans denominated in lei, has jumped past the 2% psychological level, and yesterday reached 2.06%, up from Tuesday's 1.92%, according to data from the NBR.  details
16.11.2017
THE PARLIAMENT IS ASKING FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATIONS WHICH OMV PETROM HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO
     * Minister Toma Petcu, former ministers Răzvan Nicolescu and Victor Grigorescu, the representatives of the state in the executive structure of OMV Petrom and Mihai Busuioc, the president of the Court of Auditors were heard today in the Investigation Commission
       The executives of OMV Petrom mentioned, in a letter addressed to the parliament, the existence of four lawsuits brought by the National Energy Regulation Authority (ANRE) and of seven audits by the Authority, between 2012-2017, as the recent request for information by the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE targeted a period of 12 years, from 2015 to 2017.  details
14.11.2017
THE EURO AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH
     * Vasilescu: "We cannot say that the currency market has gone off the rails, the exchange rate has moved 4 bani in 4 days"
     * "Perhaps it is a simple coincidence the fact that on November 8th was approved the Emergency Ordinance of the Fiscal Code and it was also on that day that the Euro rose past 4.6 lei", said Mr. Vasilescu
       The leu yesterday reached a historic low against the Euro, 4.6495 lei/Euro, up 1.05 over the previous meeting, marking the fourth day where the exchange rate was above 4.6 lei.  details
13.11.2017
     In October, the Romanian Commercial Bank, through Schoenherr și Asociații, has submitted, with the County Court of Bihor, a request for the insolvency of the European Drinks group, owned by the Micula brothers. That group includes: European Drinks, Transilvania General Import-Export, European Food, Starmill SRL, Scandic Distilleries SA, Rieni Drinks.  details
10.11.2017
DUMITRU COSTIN (BNS):
     * The executives of OMV Petrom, summoned to appear in the Parliament for the third time
     * Sevil Shhaideh and Radu-Spiridon Cojocaru, the representatives of the state on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, also called in for hearings
     * Costin: "We have notified the Audit Body of the Prime-Minister"
       The management of OMV Petrom, namely Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, as well as the representatives of the Romanian state on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, Sevil Shhaideh and Radu-Spiridon Cojocaru will be invited to appear in the hearings on the Investigation Commission for the activity of the ANRE, the members of the Commission decided on Thursday.  details
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