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March 17, 2024 UPDATE

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, 17.03.2024, 19:30

Elections – In Bucharest, the Central Electoral Bureau was legally established for the European Parliament and local elections on June 9. Besides the seven judges from the High Court of Cassation and Justice, chosen by drawing of lots, the Central Electoral Bureau also includes the president and the two vice-presidents of the Permanent Electoral Authority. The following political groups and organizations of national minorities are also represented: Social Democratic Party – PSD, National Liberal Party – PNL, Save Romania Union – USR, Alliance for the Union of Romanians – AUR, Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania – UDMR, PRO Romania and the Parliamentary Group of National Minorities in the Chamber of Deputies. The opposition parties Force of the Right, People’s Movement Party – PMP and REPER are dissatisfied because, although they requested this, they did not manage to have representatives in the Central Electoral Bureau, as they do not meet certain criteria. The leaders of the Force of the Right consider it an abuse and announce that they will address the High Court of Cassation and Justice. In another move, the Central Electoral Bureau on Sunday rejected the registration of the United Right Alliance made up of USR, PMP and the Force of the Right, following which the three parties will not be able to have candidates under the same electoral sign in the summer elections. The parties say they will challenge the decision at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

 

Ambassador – The Russian ambassador to Bucharest, Valeri Kuzmin, was summoned, on Sunday, to the headquarters of the Romanian Foreign Ministry in relation to a series of recent statements made by the Russian side. On the occasion of this summoning called by Minister Luminiţa Odobescu, the ambassador was notified about the deep dissatisfaction of the Romanian side with regard to the distorted, truncated and inconsistent manner in which important topics of bilateral relevance are addressed, including in the public communication of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, topics which originate in the historical past. On Friday, the former Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, currently vice-president of the Security Council, declared that the recent resolution of the European Parliament regarding the return of the Romanian gold treasure sent for safekeeping in Russia in 1916-1917 is ‘impertinent’ and the European Union ‘can only be sent to hell’, reported the official Russian press agency TASS. Also according to TASS, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zaharova, said that Moscow not only returned to Bucharest all the gold that Romania sent to Russia in the 1916-1917 period, but also forgave it a huge debt, far exceeding the value of that gold treasure. We remind you that the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking Russia to fully return Romania’s national treasure that it illegally appropriated. MEPs point out that, despite several attempts at diplomatic negotiations after the First World War, Romania’s national treasure, sent to Russia between 1916 and 1917 for safekeeping was never fully returned.

 

Gaza – The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip on a wider scale. The statement was made on Saturday, the day the German air force parachuted pallets with four tons of essential goods into the enclave and before a two-day trip to the Middle East by Scholz. He traveled on Saturday to the Jordanian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea, to meet with King Abdullah of Jordan and then to fly to Israel. On the other hand, Olaf Scholz expressed his concern about the offensive planned by Israel in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than half of the 2.3 million inhabitants of the Palestinian enclave have taken refuge.

 

Madrigal – The “Madrigal Marin Constantin” choir filmed, in a world premiere, a video at the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. Being on tour in South America for the first time, the National Chamber Choir organized the filming of the second episode of the series “Romanian contemporary music in contemporary ancient spaces”, at an altitude of 2,400 meters, in the “Lost City of the Incas”, one of the most beautiful and mysterious ancient spaces of the world. The first episode of the series was filmed in Sarmizegetusa, in Romania, and was released on January 15, on the National Culture Day.

 

Protests – Trade unionists of the Sanitary Solidarity Federation decide, these days, whether to start an all-out strike. They are consulted through an online referendum, as the federation considers the 20% salary increase approved by the Romanian government as insufficient. The increase would be granted in two equal installments, until the summer. On Monday, the union leadership is scheduled to have a meeting where a decision could be made regarding the protest. Last week, several thousand members of the Sanitary Solidarity Federation protested in Bucharest asking for the index-linking of salary incomes according to the inflation rate and the updating of the amounts related to increments and on-call services. (LS)

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