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October 17, 2022

A roundup of domestic and international news

Newsflash
Newsflash

, 17.10.2022, 13:55

MOTION – The Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest is today debating
a simple motion against Interior Minister Lucian Bode, filed by 55 opposition
MPs. A vote has been scheduled for Wednesday. The motion was originally due to
be debated last week, but has been rescheduled at the request of Minister Bode.
The document states Lucian Bode should step down from the Interior Ministry
which he failed to reform. The Minister’s efficiency became visible when he
helped his friend, president Klaus Iohannis, sell 600 BMWs to the Romanian
Police for only 32 thousand EUR gross of VAT as part of what the opposition
describes as a rigged auction, the document also reads.




DEFENSE – Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă held talks earlier
today with Defense Minister Vasile Dîncu. The meeting focused on the NATO
Defense Ministers meeting held in Brussels and communication policies at
Defense Ministry level. Last week, the Prime Minister was unhappy with Minister
Dîncu’s statement regarding the war in Ukraine, according to which peace in
Ukraine can only be achieved by negotiating with Russia. Subsequently, Klaus
Iohannis pointed out that only Kyiv can decide when, how and what is being
negotiated, and that this is the official position of Romania and the EU. Defense
Minister Vasile Dîncu will today appear before the Chamber of Deputies to
provide clarifications over his statements. His presence was requested by USR
in opposition, a party that believes Minister Dîncu is reiterating Kremlin
rhetoric and endangering Romania’s partnerships with EU and NATO states.




GAS – Romania’s gas storage capacity reached 90.9% on
Sunday, the equivalent of some 2.8 billion cub meters, the national company
Transgaz announced. Romania met the 80% minimum level of gas reserves imposed
by the European Union ahead of the cold season on September 17. Back then, the
European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the EU’s
total gas reserves stood at 84%.




FAC – Romania’s Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, is
today attending the Foreign Affairs Council meeting held in Luxembourg. EU
Foreign Ministers will exchange views over the effects of Russia’s aggression
in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, will also attend the
proceedings in videoconference. The agenda of the meeting also includes
EU-China relations and other hot topics on the international agenda, such as
the developments in Iran, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and the effects of
climate change.




SESSION – The European Parliament starts a new session in
Strasbourg today. One of the priorities of the new session is a vote on the
Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria. The proposal was debated on October
5, when most MEPs urged Member States to acknowledge both states have fulfilled
Schengen criteria and must be allowed to join the visa-free travel area as soon
as possible. Bucharest has repeatedly pointed out it has fulfilled technical
accession criteria and is de facto a
member of Schengen. Parliament is also expected to debate, alongside the
Commission and the Council, the issue of internal border controls at Schengen
level. In April, the European Court of Justice decided to introduce border
controls within EU borders over a period of six-months after reported breaches
of border security. The period may be extended only if a new threat is
confirmed. MEPs are expected to call on Member States to observe normal
travel-free regulations. The agenda of the new Parliament session also includes
the war in Ukraine, the EU budget for 2023 and climate change.




HANDBALL – The Romanian men’s handball team defeated Ukraine
34-26 on Sunday at home in the 2024 EHF European Championship preliminary Group
B. This is the first win for Romania in the current preliminaries, after
Romania lost the first match 32-26 to Austria away from home. Also on Sunday,
the Romanian women’s vice-champions, CSM Bucharest, won 40-25 against DHK Banik
of the Czech Republic in a match played in Bucharest, counting towards Champions
League Group A. CSM thus remains undefeated in Group A with 4 wins and a draw.
Bietigheim of Germany is also ranked first in the group tables along CSM. On
Saturday, the Romanian champions Rapid Bucharest drew 30-30 against Buducnost
Podgorica of Montenegro away from home in Group B. Rapid is also undefeated in
the last five fixtures, with three wins and two draws, and remains top of the
group tables. Bucharest is the only European capital with two teams performing
in the most important women’s European inter-club competition. (VP)

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