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November 27, 2023 UPDATE

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Newsflash
Newsflash

, 27.11.2023, 20:00

WEATHER Severe weather caused
fresh problems in Romania, where heavy snowfalls and snowstorms affected 177 localities in 22 counties, according to the National Inspectorate for Emergencies. More than 660 vehicles were snowed under and over 540 trees were
brought down by the wind. The most affected region was the east of the country,
where roads were closed, railway traffic was disrupted and electricity and
water supply discontinued. The Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport
(south-east) was closed, and so were the Black Sea ports on the Romanian coast.
Schools were also closed down in 5 counties in the south-east.


BUDGET The government will continue this week to work
on the state budget for 2024. The main challenges are related to pension
increases and large-scale investments. PM Marcel Ciolacu says the new pension
law is sustainable and that next year’s budget will be able to increase
pensions twice, on January 1st by 13.8 percent and then until September 1st.
Carrying on large investment projects is the priority of the government for 2024
as well, the finance minister Marcel Boloş said. According to him, the budget
of the education ministry will be increased significantly next year, especially
in order to fund the investment projects included in the National Recovery and Resilience
Plan. This budget must also cover the salary increase that the government
promised in order to end an all-out strike in June.


RECYCLING The first regional sorting centre for packaging was opened
in Bonţida, north-western Romania, as part of the Packaging Guarantee and
Return System to become operational as of November 30. A total of 17 such
centres will be opened across the country in the forthcoming period. The
environment minister Mircea Fechet explained that around 7 bln glass and
plastic bottles as well as aluminium cans will reach recycling facilities, and
promised that Romania will switch from storing to recycling.


INVESTIGATION President Klaus Iohannis submitted prosecution
requests concerning 2 former health ministers, Vlad Voiculescu and Ioana
Mihăilă (USR party), to the justice ministry. The two are probed into for abuse
of office with respect to the procurement of vaccines during the COVID-19
pandemic, in a case in which the former PM Florin Cîţu is also facing charges
of complicity to abuse of office. The latter, accompanied by his lawyers, appeared
before the Senate’s judicial committee to review the case file against him. Cîţu,
currently a senator with the National Liberal Party, said he would request
Senate to suspend his parliamentary immunity. A decision in this respect will
be made on Wednesday.


GAUDEAMUS In Bucharest, almost 100,000 people visited the 30th
edition of the Gaudeamus Radio Romania Book Fair, which ended on Sunday evening
with the awarding of trophies. The most coveted book of the Gaudeamus Fair was
designated More than the past, by Ana Blandiana, from the Humanitas
Publishing House. Also by public vote, Humanitas, Litera and Polirom were
designated the best publishing houses of this year’s fair. The prize for
translation from Romanian into a foreign language was won by Şerban Foarţă for
the volume of bilingual Romanian-German poems Schlimmericks, and
the prize for translation from a foreign language into Romanian was awarded to
Alexandra Coliban for the translation from English of the novel
Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen. The Book Fair hosted over 500
publishing events over five days. The honorary president of the edition was the
writer and literary critic Ion Bogdan Lefter.

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