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November 5, 2023 UPDATE

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NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 05.11.2023, 19:27

Cash payments — Romania’s Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu on Monday is to have a working meeting with the representatives of the members of the Executive Council of the Romanian Association of Banks, according to the agenda announced by the Government. On Friday, the PM announced that he would convene a meeting at the Government headquarters with specialists from the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank of Romania, as well as with representatives of small entrepreneurs, banks and civil society, ‘to make a decision on the issue of cash’. Ciolacu stated that it is ‘intolerable’ to ‘artificially’ increase bank commissions and that ‘the banks greed cannot be fueled by the debate on cash’. As of this month, cash payments to companies and individuals are reduced in Romania, according to a measure included in the package of fiscal-budgetary measures assumed by the Government in Parliament. The decision would be intended to combat tax evasion. On the other hand, some banks have notified their customers that they want to increase the commissions for deposits and withdrawals at the counters.



PSD – The National Political Council of the Social Democratic Party – PSD (number one in the government coalition in Bucharest) meets on Monday to establish its electoral strategy, in the run up to the 2024 elections. On Friday, in a meeting of the extended leadership of the National Liberal Party – PNL (junior partner in the coalition), the liberals decided not to have joint lists with the current social-democratic governing partners, but to go on their own lists to next years polls, with the avowed target of winning them all. Next year, elections for the European and national Parliaments, local and presidential elections are scheduled in Romania.



Mini-football — The Romanian team won the Minifootball World Cup for the first time, on Saturday evening, in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), after a dramatic victory in the final against Kazakhstan, score 12-11, in the penalty shootout. Romania, which played its third consecutive world semifinal, had two World Cup bronze medals from three participations, in the USA (2015) and Australia (2019). The world champion trophy was the only major title missing from the national team’s showcase. The national team was, in the past, six times European champion (2010-2015) and runner-up in the last two editions of the EMF EURO (2018 and 2022).



Handball — Romania’s mens national handball team was defeated by the French team with the score 40-21, on Saturday evening, in Toulouse, in a friendly match played in the run up to their participation in next years European Championship in Germany. The final tournament is scheduled for January 10-28, 2024, and Romania is part of Group B, alongside Spain, Austria and Croatia. The two top-ranking teams in the group qualify for the next stage. Romania had not qualified for a European Championship since 1996.



Gaza – The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, discussed, on Sunday, in Ramallah, with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, at a time when the international community fears an expansion of the war between Israel and Hamas in the West Bank, AFP and Reuters report. It is the first visit of the US secretary of state to the West Bank since the beginning of the war on October 7, after the bloody attack on the Israeli territory by the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, followed by the harsh response of the Jewish state. Antony Blinkens unannounced visit to Ramallah comes in the context of his Middle East tour, which also included Israel and Jordan. The BBC reports that the Israeli Defense Ministry announced that its forces had entered populated areas of Gaza City, and eyewitnesses reported heavy gunfire and fierce ground fighting on the outskirts. At the same time, the Israeli army announced that it is reopening, on Sunday, a corridor for civilians in the north of Gaza, for their movement to the south. The United Nations warns that 1.5 million people have been displaced in the area since the beginning of the conflict, and half of them take shelter in its camps. (LS)

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