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March 11, 2024 UPDATE

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, 11.03.2024, 19:50

Elections – The Romanian government adopted on Monday, in an extraordinary meeting, a decision that establishes the calendar of the combined elections of June 9, 2024. According to the emergency ordinance on holding the two elections simultaneously, recently adopted by the executive, the local officials will be able to run on behalf of another political party if they announce that 45 days before the date of the elections. The document is criticized by the opposition. The United Right Alliance requested the Ombudsman to notify the Constitutional Court in relation to the emergency ordinance on merging the European Parliament elections with the local ones. The representatives of the Alliance state that they have identified provisions in the law adopted on Friday that violate both the Constitution and some previous decisions of the Court.

 

Protests – The employees of the Romanian healthcare system protested, on Monday, in front of the headquarters of the Government, the Labor Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Parliament, the main dissatisfaction being related to salary incomes. Several thousand trade unionists, members of the Sanitary Solidarity Federation, participated. People continue to be dissatisfied, although the Government approved, last week, an increase in the healthcare staff’s salaries by 20% in two equal installments, in March and June. The trade union representatives believe that the increase is insufficient and state that the extra amounts do not cover the inflation rate. Moreover, they claim that the government’s emergency ordinance does not include any provision regarding increases or the hourly rate of on-call services.

 

Tennis – After a year and a half break, the Romanian tennis player Simona Halep will return to the tennis courts, the former world leader leaving, this morning, for Miami. The athlete has not played an official match since August 2022 and will now make her debut at the WTA 1000 tournament in the USA (March 17-31). Outside the WTA ranking, Halep received a wildcard from the organizers, an invitation that allows her to be on the main draw of the tournament. We remind you that Simona Halep received the right to return to the tennis court after the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne has recently reduced her suspension for doping from 4 years to 9 months. The athlete managed to prove that the doping substance she unintentionally ingested came from a contaminated food supplement.

 

Partnership – The Romanian Foreign Minister, Luminiţa Odobescu, on Monday had a telephone conversation with her Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, in the context of the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and Japan. The economic, sectoral and cultural projects were reviewed and their development opportunities were highlighted. Starting from the interdependence of security situations, the two ministers addressed the latest developments regarding Europe and the Indo-Pacific area. Both sides highlighted Romania’s and Japan’s firm support for Ukraine and each country’s contribution to the effort to mitigate the multiple negative effects of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, including on its neighbors.

 

Moldova – The Constitutional Court in Chişinău decided on Monday that the phrase “Romanian language” should remain in all the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, including the Constitution, the magistrates rejecting a notification submitted by socialist and communist deputies, Radio Chişinău reports. At the end of March last year, the deputies of the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS) submitted a notification to the Constitutional Court requesting the verification of the constitutionality of the decision to change the name of the state language, from Moldovan to Romanian, in all the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, including in the Constitution. The main argument of the authors of the complaint was that the parliamentary group of the ruling Action and Solidarity party changed the Constitution with the votes of a simple majority of deputies, and not with two-thirds of the votes. The respective bill was voted by the Moldovan Parliament in the final reading last year, and the president Maia Sandu promulgated the law.

 

NATO – Romania firmly supports the Open Door Policy of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, and “Sweden’s accession proves that NATO’s door remains open and that together we are stronger”, said the Romanian Defense Minister, Angel Tîlvăr. On Monday, the ceremony of raising the flags of Sweden, Romania and NATO took place at the Romanian Defense Ministry headquarters, on the occasion of Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance, in the presence of the minister and the ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Romania, Therese Hyden. According to a press release, during the ceremony, Angel Tîlvăr declared that Sweden, as a NATO member, will equally contribute both to the development of the Alliance policies and decisions and to the consolidation of allied forces. In turn, Therese Hyden stated that with Sweden’s joining NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance will be stronger and Sweden will be safer.

 

EC – Romania received, on Monday, 642 million Euros from the European Commission for the Just Transition Platform – FTJ STEP, representing a single exceptional pre-financing within the ‘Strategic Technologies for Europe’ (STEP) platform – the Minister of Investments and European Projects, Adrian Hat announced. The platform will support the development of European industry and the stimulation of investments in critical technologies in Europe. According to the minister, at present, Romania has received sums worth 1.23 billion Euros within the Cohesion Policy 2021 – 2027, and by the end of this year, it will have in its accounts at least 5 billion Euros from the new Cohesion Policy. (LS)

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