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March 6, 2024

A roundup of domestic and international news

Newsflash
Newsflash

, 06.03.2024, 14:00

Congress – The Congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) takes place, today and tomorrow, in Bucharest, being attended by over 2,000 delegates from 44 countries. The European People’s Party decides the strategy for the European parliamentary elections in June, establish the EPP manifesto and designate the candidate for the head of the European Commission. The incumbent president, Ursula von der Leyen, is the only one officially registered in this competition, her candidacy being validated, last night, by the EPP’s Political Assembly. At the end of the Congress, a document will be adopted that will include the request for Romania and Bulgaria to become full members of the Schengen area. The Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, who is still opposed to this accession, will also attend the meeting. On Wednesday, at a meeting with young people from Romania, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, who is also participating in the congress, said that the Schengen Area will not be complete until it includes Romania. She has given assurances that Bucharest is supported by “numerous friends”, who will help it enter Schengen. She urged the young people to vote in the European Parliament elections and not to ‘underestimate’ their power to send ‘ambassadors’ to the EP. In parallel with the Congress, hosted by the National Liberal party – PNL (in the governing coalition), President Klaus Iohannis, the former leader of the Liberals, and the Social-Democratic Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu have meetings with the leaders present in Bucharest. At the meeting with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, they discussed the European Parliament elections, Romania’s European priorities, its full accession to the Schengen area and the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan – PNRR.

 

Tennis – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has confirmed that Romanian Simona Halep can immediately return to the professional circuit, after her four-year suspension was reduced to nine months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. Halep has not played an official match since the defeat registered in the first round at the US Open in 2022. She was suspended for four years for doping in September 2023 by the International Tennis Integrity Agency. The reduction of the suspension was welcomed by big names in the history of tennis.

 

US elections – The former US president, Donald Trump, won, on Tuesday evening, the Republican primaries in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Maine, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Alabama, Minnesota, Colorado and Texas, which are at stake in the so-called ‘Super Tuesday’. 15 states are at stake in this electoral battle, and the world media write that Trump hopes to definitively exclude his last rival, Nikki Haley. In the Democratic camp, President Joe Biden, who wants to get a second term in office, does not face serious opposition. The candidacies of two Democrats, the elected representative of the state of Minnesota, Dean Phillips, and the successful author Marianne Williamson, did not really arouse enthusiasm, despite the recurring criticism of the octogenarian president. Biden already won, on Tuesday evening, in 12 states, including Vermont, North Carolina and Virginia.

 

 

Drugs – The Romanian Chamber of Deputies adopted, on Tuesday, as a decision-making body, the so-called “2 Mai” Law, which stipulates that high-risk drug traffickers can no longer receive suspended sentences. At the same time, the bill stipulates that trading products that have psychoactive effects represents a crime and is punishable by imprisonment. The Senate had adopted the bill in November 2023, as the first body notified. The bill is now being promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis.

 

Romanian elections – Romania’s Chamber of Deputies adopted the draft law that allows the organization of the presidential election in September. The Social Democratic Party – PSD and the National Liberal Party – PNL, in the government coalition, agreed that the first round of the election should take place on September 15th and the second on the 29th. The law has already been challenged by Save Romania Union – USR and the Force of the Right at the Constitutional Court, which will discuss the notification of the opposition on March 20. We remind you that the local elections in Romania will take place, for the first time, simultaneously with the European Parliament elections, on June 9, and the vote for the Romanian Parliament on December 8.

 

Swimming – The World Aquatics Masters Championships in Doha, Qatar, ended with a new success for the representative of the Universitatea Cluj Club (north-west Romania), Maier Orosz Judith, who competed in the 80-84-year category. The athlete won the gold medal in the 50m and 200m breaststroke and the 400m individual medley respectively, all with new national records, as well as in the 100m breaststroke. The other representative of Universitatea Cluj at the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Doha, Vlad Dobra, finished sixth in the 50m and 100m backstroke and 400m individual medley of the 30-34-year category. More than 2,500 athletes participated in the Doha competition.

 

Handball – Romania’s men’s handball champion, Dinamo Bucharest, was defeated by the Portuguese team Sporting Lisbon, score 31-27, on Tuesday evening, at home, in its last match in the Main Group IV of the EHF European League. Dinamo finished on third place in the group and will play in the play-off with the second ranked team in the Main Group III, the Danish team Bjerringbro-Silkeborg. The first match will take place in Bucharest on March 26, and the return leg away from home on April 2. Also in Main Group IV and also on Tuesday evening, CSM Constanţa (south-eastern Romania) was defeated, away from home, by the trophy holder, the German team Fuchse Berlin, and finished the matches on last position. (LS)

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