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February 1, 2024

A roundup of domestic and international news

NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 01.02.2024, 13:55

Meeting — The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denis Shmihal, welcomed the decision of the European Union to approve an additional financing package for his country worth 50 billion Euros. “The EU member states once again show their solidarity and unity in supporting the Ukrainian people to resist the war,” Shmihal wrote on the online social network platform X. Previously, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced on the same platform that all 27 EU member states had approved this package. According to some European diplomats, the EU agreement includes annual discussions on this package and the review of the plan in two years, if necessary. At the extraordinary meeting of the European Council, that focuses on obtaining an agreement at EU level regarding the main elements of the revision package of the multiannual financial framework for the period 2021-2027, Romania is represented by President Klaus Iohannis. The Presidential Administration in Bucharest shows in a press release that the president will firmly advocate for Ukraine, Romanias neighbor, to remain a top priority on the European Unions agenda and, in this sense, will emphasize the fact that support for this country in all forms must continue. On the eve, Iohannis participated in the memorial ceremony organized by the European Commission in memory of the French politician Jacques Delors, former president of the EC between 1985-1995, who died at the end of last year, when he was almost a hundred years old.



Agriculture – The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will have a meeting, today, in Brussels, with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, regarding the crisis in agriculture and the support measures that farmers are asking for at the level of the entire Union. The meeting takes place on the sidelines of the extraordinary European summit on the Union budget and after the European Commission announced measures that it claims will support farmers. According to the correspondent of Radio Romania in Brussels, two mechanisms have been established to block cheap imports of vegetable products, chicken meat, eggs and sugar from Ukraine, if they affect the markets. Also, the Commission is to eliminate the requirement that five percent of the surface of a farm be left uncultivated. It will be replaced by the possibility for farmers to cultivate plants that fix nitrogen in the soil, on seven percent of the surface, but without using pesticides. The decisions of the Commission must be approved by the Parliament and the Council of the European Union. From Greece to the Netherlands and from Germany to Spain, farmers protests have multiplied, they are dissatisfied with the restrictions imposed on them by environmental policies, the free market penetration of Ukrainian products and the increase in production costs, after the increase in excise duties on fuel or the elimination of subsidies.



Farmers – Thousands of Romanian farmers in the vegetable sector are expected at the offices of the Payments and Intervention Agency for Agriculture (APIA), to request the support offered by the state in the context of the losses reported due to the war in neighboring Ukraine. Requests for the compensatory payment must be submitted by March 8, at the APIA county centers. The direct grant represents a compensatory payment per surface and is the equivalent in lei of 100 Euros per hectare. The maximum value of the direct grant cannot exceed the equivalent in lei of 280,000 Euros. On the other hand, across the country, transporters and farmers continue their protests against the economic and social policies of the governors.



Cyber-attack – The Romanian government has amended the cyber security law, in an emergency procedure, so that state institutions should be informed within 48 hours at most if the IT infrastructure of any entity in the country is affected and to quickly prevent risks. The changes were made after the cyber-attack on the websites of the National Directorate for Cyber ​​Security and the Chamber of Deputies. The Minister of Research and Digitization, Bogdan Ivan, pointed out that, in the case of the Directorate, the attack was not successful, while at the Chamber of Deputies over 300 files with public documents were stolen, as well as data not intended for the public, such as copies of identity documents of parliamentarians, including a copy of the identity card of the Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu. Consequently he will have to change his ID card.



Parliament – Today, Romanian senators and deputies begin a new parliamentary session, the first of this year and the last but one of the legislature. Among the priorities of PSD and PNL, in the governing coalition, are the projects necessary to fulfill the milestones in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan – PNRR, as well as those related to gambling and combating drug use. In turn, the opposition wants to stop possible tax increases and to prevent the violation of the Constitution.



Trial – Today, the Ministry of Finance will be empowered by the Bucharest Government to hire a law firm to represent Romania in the trial with the famous pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The case is pending before the Francophone Court of First Instance in Brussels and has the first court date February 20. The Romanian authorities were notified last December by the New York-based firm regarding the opening of a lawsuit for the recovery of sums of money, after the failure to finalize the purchase of 28 million doses of the Covid vaccine. Poland and Hungary are affected by similar procedures, and the Health Minister, Alexandru Rafila, has recently said that Romania will collaborate with the Polish side in the defense effort. (LS)

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