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May 28, 2024 UPDATE

A roundup of domestic and international news

Newsflash
Newsflash

, 28.05.2024, 20:00

SALARIES. The Romanian Government is to adopt, this week, a decision to increase the minimum wage to 3,700 lei (approx. 740 euros), starting July 1, the leadership of the PSD-PNL ruling coalition has decided, according to political sources. The coalition also discussed means of reducing budget spending by limiting it to what is strictly necessary, but also maintaining the cap on trade mark-up and extending it to all Romanian food products. Traders do not reject this idea, PM Marcel Ciolacu said, explaining that in France the measure has already proven its effectiveness in protecting domestic producers.

ELECTIONS. In Romania, over 200,000 candidates have registered for the local elections and 494 for the European Parliament elections, both due on June 9. The youngest candidate is just over 23 years old, and the oldest is 100 years old. Over 18,900,000 voters can vote in the elections, in over 19,800 polling stations in the country and abroad. 30 associations and foundations were accredited by the Permanent Electoral Authority to have observers at the European parliamentary and local elections on June 9. They can assist in all the operations of the electoral offices of the polling stations.

PENALTIES. The Romanian MPs have increased the severity of penalties for several crimes and introduced other acts into the scope of criminal penalties. For example, those who terrorize their neighbors, or exert pressure of any kind to force them to sell their homes, risk four years in prison. It is one of the provisions included in the two draft laws that bring changes to the Criminal Code and which received a favorable vote in the plenary on Tuesday. On the other hand, the town hall employees who issue false authorizations certifying that there are more than 15,000 inhabitants in the administered localities, risk imprisonment from six months to three years. The offense is also provided for the owners of gambling halls, which operate on the basis of false certificates. In Romania, gambling halls are prohibited in localities with less than 15,000 people. Deputies also adopted the increase in penalties for the crimes of trafficking in persons and minors, slavery or child pornography. They can reach up to 12 years in prison, without the possibility of suspending execution under supervision, and up to 20 years, if minors are involved.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS. The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminiţa Odobescu, emphasized, at a meeting of her EU counterparts, the importance of rapid military assistance to Ukraine and the adoption of a new package of sanctions against Russia. The Romanian official also signaled Russia’s hybrid attacks on the Republic of Moldova. The meeting in Brussels also addressed developments in the Middle East. Minister Odobescu stressed the need to resolve the crisis in Gaza by continuing efforts to release all hostages, cease fire, provide comprehensive humanitarian assistance and resume the political process leading to a lasting peace, based on the two-state solution.

VISIT. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is on a visit to Chisinau for talks on the United States’ support for the Republic of Moldova’s EU accession, as well as energy security. Antony Blinken was in the Republic of Moldova two years ago, at the beginning of March, just a few days after Russia invaded the neighboring country, Ukraine. After the visit to Chisinau, the American official will go to Prague, in the Czech Republic, to participate in an informal meeting of the NATO foreign ministers, where the priorities of the Alliance’s next summit in July, in Washington, will be analyzed. The Republic of Moldova applied for EU accession in March 2022 and three months later it was granted the status of candidate country. In December 2023, EU leaders decided to open accession negotiations.

THEATRE. “Anthology of Disappearance”, directed by Radu Afrim, staged at the National Theatre in Iaşi (north-east), was designated best show at the 2024 UNITER Awards Gala, an event that rewards excellence in Romanian theatre. The awards for leading parts went to Cerasela Iosifescu and Tudor Cucu-Dumitrescu, the award for debut went to the actress Ramona Nicolae, and the “Ion Caramitru” award of excellence was received by actor Valer Dellakeza. Oana Pellea and Dan Condurache were honored with awards for their entire activity. The winner of Best Radio Drama show was “The summer in which my mother had green eyes”, directed by Diana Mihailopol, which was broadcast last year on the Radio Romania Culture Channel. (MI)

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