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September 2, 2023 UPDATE

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, 02.09.2023, 18:50

Budget — The European Commission might agree to a higher budget deficit than the one originally assumed by Romania for this year, says the Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, after the meeting, in Brussels, on Friday, with the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Romania assumed a deficit of 4.4%, but it wants to increase it to over 5%. He said that the fact that Romania was not accepted in the Schengen Area contributed to the increase of the countrys budget deficit by almost 2%. Ciolacu added that the plan to combat evasion, the reform of the administration and the measures to reduce the deficit will be included in a law for which the Romanian Government will take responsibility in Parliament in the autumn parliamentary session, which starts on Monday. He said that the value added tax for goods and services will not exceed 19%, and for foodstuffs and medicines it will be maintained at 9%.



Summit — The US President Joe Bidens special envoy on climate issues, John Kerry, is coming to Bucharest. The US State Department announces that, on Wednesday, he will participate in the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, a diplomatic format that includes 12 member states of the European Union located between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas. John Kerry will talk about how an accelerated transition to clean energy strengthens energy security and resilience in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as about new nuclear technologies, including Romanias role in the construction of small modular reactors. John Kerry was Secretary of State between 2013 and 2017, during the second term of President Barack Obama.



Tennis — The Romanian tennis player Sorana Cîrstea qualified, for the first time, in the round of 16 of the US Open tournament, the last Grand Slam competition of the year, on Friday, in New York, after her surprise victory over Kazakhstans Elena Rîbakina, with the score 6 -3, 6-7, 6-4. The Romanian (30 WTA) achieved her best performance at Flushing Meadows. In the round of 16, Sorana Cîrstea will face the Swiss Belinda Bencic. Also in New York, in the womens doubles, the Romanian-Ukrainian pair Gabriela Ruse/Marta Kostiuk qualified for the round of 16, after defeating the Russian-Australian pair Irina Hromaceva/Daria Saville 6-2, 6-2. Ruse and Kostiuk reached the semifinals of the doubles event at the Australian Open this year, stopped in the round of 16 at Roland Garros and in the second round at Wimbledon.



Statistics – Romania imported in the first half of this year over a third less than in the same period of last year, show data provided by the National Institute of Statistics. Domestic production increased in the first six months of this year by 6%. According to the estimates of the National Strategy and Forecast Commission, natural gas production is estimated to rise at an average annual rate of 3.6% in the period 2023-2026, after a decrease of approximately 1% in 2022. As regards imports of natural gas, for this year a sharp decrease of almost a quarter is forecast, a trend that will be maintained until 2026. According to the National Institute of Statistics the import of natural gas registered a decrease of 16.5% last year.



Air traffic – Air traffic for passengers in Romania increased in the first half of this year by over 26%, compared to the same period of last year. According to the National Institute of Statistics, from almost 9 million passengers in 2022, 2023 saw more than 11 million passengers. The largest flows were recorded at “Henri Coandă” Airport in Bucharest, “Avram Iancu” in Cluj-Napoca (north-west) and Iasi International Airport (north-east). In international passenger transport, most passengers disembarked in Romania took off from Luton airport in London, Bergamo in Milan and Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv. Most passengers from Romania boarded planes heading for London, Milan and Brussels. The passengers disembarked in Romania mainly came from such countries as Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Spain.



Covid – The number of people sick with COVID-19 has increased at a “quite alarming” rate, warned the manager of the “Sfânta Parascheva” Infectious Diseases Hospital in Iasi (northeast). He said that this is due to the people’s crowing during the holidays and to the small number of tests for Covid. Wearing a protective mask remains the most effective method of prevention, according to physicians. They also recommend testing at the first signs of illness, avoiding crowded spaces, avoiding contact with infected people, washing hands and vaccination to avoid severe forms of the disease.



Swimmer – The Romanian librarian Avram Iancu finished, on Friday, his swimming race on the Rhine, through which he wanted to support, in his own way, the importance of Romanias accession to the Schengen Area. A multi-sport athlete, he managed to cover the 1,032 kilometers of the river in 48 days, without a neoprene suit or other aids, making an effort that he described as titanic and unimaginable. In the summer of 2017, Avram Iancu became the first man in the world who managed to cross the Danube River using only the strength of his arms. (LS)

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