Mayoral winner promises changes

first_imgAs Democrat Pete Buttigieg celebrated an easy victory in South Bend’s mayoral election Tuesday, he called students to take ownership of the city and work with the local government to solve its problems. Buttigieg was a favorite since the spring primary and defeated Republican Wayne Curry and Libertarian Patrick Farrell. “When I entered this race in January, not many people believed that a young man with a funny name who had never held office before could earn the confidence of a community at a turning point,” Buttigieg said in his victory speech. “But together we have shown that South Bend can transcend old barriers, move beyond old habits and take a chance on a new way forward.” As he addressed the crowd at South Bend’s West Side Democratic Club, Buttigieg said his victory begins “a different kind of campaign.” “Now we have to turn our attention to a new kind of campaign, not a campaign for a candidate, but a campaign for our city, a campaign to make our city stronger and better and safer and cleaner,” he said. Buttigieg said an immediate focus would be economic development. “We are going to gather the leadership of this community to deliver a new economic direction, building on our greatest strengths true to our tradition but looking for new sources of wealth and income and prosperity,” he said. “We must take new risks and create new opportunities. We must, we can, we will, and it all starts tonight.” Notre Dame and its students can play a critical role in the city’s development, Buttigieg told The Observer. “I really need students to get involved,” he said. “In order for our city to move forward, we need to harness the brain power and the energy and the labor of Notre Dame students who should really feel ownership of this city, whether they grew up here or not.” Buttigieg said the University’s recent efforts to engage with the local community are a step in the right direction. “It starts one-on-one,” Buttigieg said. “I’m going to be on campus frequently talking about some of the ways we can work together, and I’m going to be as receptive as I can be to student perspectives and University perspectives. We really need each other to succeed. One of the things I love about my timing is that the University has this newfound interest in engaging with the city, and I can’t wait to take them up on that.” While the College Republicans Club said it did not contribute to Curry’s campaign, many Notre Dame students worked with Buttigieg leading up to his election.   Senior Matt LaFortune worked on Buttigieg’s staff as the field director for his campaign. He worked with Congressman Joe Donnelly’s campaign efforts last year and joined the Buttigieg campaign in August. “I helped organize the volunteer activities because we had a lot of volunteers interested in helping with Pete’s campaign,” LaFortune said. LaFortune, a South Bend native, said his responsibilities included organizing volunteers as they placed calls and canvased throughout the city. “The best part was being able to get to know a guy like Pete,” LaFortune said. “He is really going to bring a lot of change to South Bend … Being an ND student and also being from South Bend, I wanted to see a fresh start for this city, and I think Pete is going to do that.” A group of students from College Democrats were also active in the campaign efforts. Club members helped with phone calls and door-to-door campaign visits. College Democrats president Mike O’Brien said Buttigieg visited club meetings on several occasions, including one of the club’s first meetings of the year, to talk about the November election. “Being the mayor is a tough job, but his demeanor is one that, as it showed tonight, attracted a lot of people,” O’Brien said. “He has a lot of energy.” O’Brien said Buttigieg’s character throughout the campaign was an example for his own goals in politics. “Sometimes people talk about connections or money being the key to getting into politics,” O’Brien said. “Pete shows that being really passionate and having a lot of energy is actually what matters … if you are passionate and willing to make a difference, that shows through in your demeanor.” Sophomore Maria Wilson, a College Democrats member, said she helped with canvasing efforts for the Buttigieg campaign. “I think it is important to foster a great relationship with the community, and I think Pete will be a great mayor,” Wilson said. Even though Wilson is a not a native of South Bend, she said local politics should still matter to students on campus. “I don’t think you can look at national politics or international politics if you don’t look at local politics too,” she said. “The local government affects us in our day-to-day lives.”last_img read more

Romania faces ‘last call’ to save second pillar

first_imgWere the proposals to be enacted, pension providers fear the government would nationalise pension assets in a move similar to other countries in central and eastern Europe, including Hungary and Poland. One senior figure said the sector needed to act, referring to a “last call to save the sector”.Pension managers have been reluctant to criticise the Social Democrat government directly, however, and it is hoped that the increase will be removed from draft legislation or watered down to a more palatable level. Romania’s finance and pensions sector is continuing to fight a government proposal that it fears could kill off the funded second pillar.The proposal, included in general fiscal measures published at the end of last year, would introduce a minimum capital requirement of up to 10% of annual pension contributions. No provider would be able to comply, IPE understands, which would effectively force second pillar providers out of business.Although the requirement would apply from end-June 2019, an effective deadline of April is looming. This is the date by which pension companies must state their intention to comply with the measures in their audited annual reports.Romania’s funded pension system manages assets of over RON25bn (€5.3bn) for 7 million citizens. It follows the so-called World Bank model of pension savings, channelling contributions from the first-pillar system to funded accounts. Lucian Anghel, Bucharest Stock Exchange“Romanian private pension funds are the most important domestic institutional investors”Lucian Anghel, Bucharest Stock ExchangeAt a conference organised by the Bucharest Stock Exchange this week, 60% of attendees in an electronic poll thought a workaround would be possible.Representatives of the finance sector were keen to emphasise the importance of the second-pillar funds to the domestic economy.Radu Hanga, president of the Romanian Fund Management Association (AAF), said: “The economic growth of Romania is, and will be, strongly linked to the development of the capital market and on the availability of long-term funding for local companies.“This is why we consider that the growth of the local fund management industry and of the private pension system are the key elements for our future and should be part of our country’s long-term strategy.”Lucian Anghel, chairman of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, noted that the pension system had achieved annualised returns of over 8% in the last decade, which he said were among the highest in Europe.“This can be considered exceptional at global level, being high above the inflation rate and government bond yields,” he said. “Private pensions have brought exceptional added-value to participants, increasing their accumulated amounts. “Romanian private pension funds are the most important domestic institutional investors. They hold above 10% of the domestic market capitalisation of the Bucharest exchange and have contributed essentially to all IPOs that ran on the stock exchange.“In this way, they contributed to the business development of Romanian entrepreneurs and created added-value, supporting economic growth and the increase of the population’s welfare in the last 10 years.”last_img read more