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May 7, 2024

A roundup of domestic and international news

NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 07.05.2024, 13:55

Visit – Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, will be received, this evening, at the White House by his American counterpart, Joe Biden. Starting today, the Romanian head of state is on a working visit to the United States. According to a statement from the White House, quoted by Radio Romania’s correspondent in Washington, the two leaders will celebrate 20 years since Romania became a NATO member, and President Biden will thank his counterpart for hosting the American military in Romania and will acknowledge the numerous contributions that Romania, a staunch NATO ally, has made to the security of the Alliance’s eastern flank. The White House also says they will emphasize continued support for Ukraine, which is defending itself against Russian aggression. The two presidents will also review the many areas in which Romania and the United States work together, including energy, economic cooperation and common democratic values. On Wednesday, President Iohannis will participate in the Atlantic Council’s 2024 “Distinguished International Leadership” awards ceremony. The President of Romania will receive the highest distinction of the Atlantic Council “for his remarkable career, the exemplary leadership of Romania and the role of European and transatlantic leader”.

 

Drill – The multinational NATO exercise “Swift Response” 24, which is also taking place on the territory of Romania, has begun. The drill will include one of the largest airborne operations in Europe since World War II, with approximately 2,000 paratroopers. All in all, 5,000 soldiers from seven allied and partner states are participating in the exercise. Romania provides air bases and ranges and participates with 2,300 soldiers and 220 technical means – the Defense Ministry announced.

 

Cars – New car registrations in Romania increased in March by 34% compared to April 2023, the number standing at 13,276 vehicles – data published today show. In the first four months of 2024, new car registrations reached the value of 46,500 units, a level similar to that of the same period of last year. Regarding the second-hand cars registered for the first time in Romania, their volume reached almost 29,900 units in April this year. In this case, there is an increase of almost 37% compared to April 2023. In the first four months of the year, 114,000 vehicles were registered, an increase of 15.8% compared to the same period of last year. Regarding new car brands, the first five places are occupied by Dacia, Toyota, Skoda, Volkswagen and Hyundai – mentions a press release from the Romanian Automobile Manufacturers Association.

 

Football – Today, Romanian sport is celebrating 38 years since Steaua Bucharest won the European Football Champions Cup. On May 7, 1986, in Spain, in Seville, the team, made up exclusively of Romanian players, defeated the famous FC Barcelona 2-0 in the final, after a penalty shootout. Steaua’s goalkeeper, Helmuth Duckadam, then entered the Book of Records, after he saved all four shots executed by the Catalans. In February 1987, in Monte Carlo, Steaua also won the European Supercup, with the score 1-0 with the Soviets from Dinamo Kiev. Two of the authors of those unique performances in the history of Romanian football, midfielder Lucian Bălan and defender Ilie Bărbulescu, have died in recent years.

 

Olympics – The presidents of France and China, Emmanuel Macron and Xi Jinping, pleaded on Monday for an Olympic truce in all conflicts in the world during the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, a truce that could also be an opportunity to find solutions to end those conflicts, the press agencies report. The two leaders expressed this position in a joint statement given to the press in Paris, after a meeting in which they addressed international and commercial issues of bilateral interest. The French president hailed what he described as a commitment by China not to sell arms to Russia and generally not to provide it with any military aid. In turn, the Chinese president called for peace negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, within an international conference recognized by Russia and Ukraine. We are opposed to using the Ukrainian crisis to shift the blame to others, to smear a third country and start a new Cold War, Xi Jinping underlined, referring to the recurring criticism of Western countries on the close relations between China and Russia.

 

Drills – NATO, the EU and the US labeled as irresponsible the military exercises for the use of tactical nuclear weapons announced by Moscow, which motivated this decision following the statements of some Western officials and the increasing involvement of the West on the part of Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible, and NATO remains vigilant, an Alliance spokeswoman told EFE news agency. The Russian nuclear exercises are a continuation of Russia’s irresponsible behavior, a spokesman for the European Commission said in turn. And the Pentagon denounced what it called Moscow’s irresponsible rhetoric. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian army to soon carry out military maneuvers in which, according to an announcement released on Monday by the Russian Ministry of Defense, a series of measures will be taken to train troops in the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

 

Table tennis – The Romanian pair made up of Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs qualified for the mixed doubles event of the Paris Olympic Games, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced on Tuesday, after the publication of the world ranking for this event. Ionescu and Szocs missed two chances of direct qualification last month, at the pre-Olympic tournament in Havirov (the Czech Republic), but they got the tickets for the Olympic Games thanks to the world ranking. If Bernadette Szocs had already secured participation in the Paris Games, with the Romanian women’s team, Ovidiu Ionescu thus becomes the 82nd Romanian athlete qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games.

 

Statistics – The unemployment rate decreased slightly, to 5.3%, in March of this year, compared to February, according to the data issued on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics. Among young people (15-24 years old), unemployment remains at a high level of 22.1%. The unemployment rate among men exceeded that among women by 0.8%. (LS)

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