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The Week in Review 27-31.05.2024

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The Week
The Week

, 01.06.2024, 14:00

Waiting for the first election in 2024

 

This year, all four possible types of elections are held in Romania. And the first elections will be held on June 9, namely the combined local and European Parliament elections. 207,389 people aspire to the chance of occupying the seat of mayor, local or county councilor, County Council president or MEP. The youngest candidate is 23 years old, the oldest 100 years, Toni Greblă, the president of the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, announced in a press conference on Tuesday. Voters will receive five ballots each and will be able to cast their vote until 10:00 p.m. local time. Under special conditions, the vote can be extended even until midnight. There are 3,186 mayoral positions throughout the country. And for the European Parliament elections, there are 14 candidates per seat: Romania will have 33 MEPs, just like in the current mandate. All Romanians over the age of 18, or who turn 18 on the election day, have the right to vote. 18,025,324 people are registered in the electoral register, of which 942,730 are Romanians residing abroad. 18,968 polling stations will be opened in the country, and a record number of 915 abroad. Of the 915 sections, most will be in countries where there are more Romanian citizens. There will be 150 polling stations in Italy, 147 in Spain, 104 polling stations in Great Britain, 87 in Germany, 67 polling stations in France and the Principality of Monaco, 52 in the Republic of Moldova, and 45 polling stations in the USA. In the local elections, you can vote only in Romania and only in the locality where voters have their domicile or residence. On the other hand, for the European Parliament elections one can vote anywhere, in the country or abroad.

 

Budget deficit

 

Romania’s budget deficit rose to 3.24% of the Gross Domestic Product after the first four months of this year. According to the data published this week by the Finance Ministry, the State had revenues of almost 183 billion lei (almost 37 billion Euros), but the expenses were approximately 240 billion (about 48 billion Euros), by over 57 billion lei more. According to the Finance Ministry, the April deficit was also influenced by the advance payment of pensions before the May 1st and the Easter mini holidays. Expressed as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product, the expenses for this year registered a 2% increase compared to the same period of 2023, the ministry officials also stated. Romania’s budget this year is based on a deficit of 5% of the GDP, down from last year. On the other hand, in March, Romanians made 70% more new consumer loans compared to the same period of last year, and in the last 12 months lending to the population increased by more than 8%, according to the National Bank data. This trend of credit growth is normal as inflation and, implicitly, interest rates decrease.

 

Day of Romanians Everywhere

President Klaus Iohannis urged the preservation of Romanian identity, language and traditions, in a message on the occasion of Romanians Everywhere Day, celebrated since 2015, on the last Sunday of May. The head of state emphasized that it is necessary for the diaspora to remain a strong voice, heard both in Bucharest and in other capitals of the world. The government will continue to support Romanians abroad, declared Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, who announced, among other things, that in July the agreement will be signed so that Romanians in Spain can have dual citizenship, and by the end of the year Romania will fully join the Schengen area. For their part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminiţa Odobescu, recalled that the well-being and security of Romanian citizens abroad, as well as the permanent dialogue with the diaspora, must be priorities of Romanian diplomacy. The Day of Romanians Everywhere was marked by events hosted by important cultural institutions in Bucharest, within the “Here-There” Festival, in which more than 500 Romanians from the diaspora and historical communities, as well as from the country, were expected to participate. The Day of Romanians Everywhere is a form of recognition of the importance that the Romanian state gives to Romanian communities living outside the country’s borders.

The last game of the Golden Generation

On May 25, Romania’s Golden Generation in football played “For the last time together”. It was against the World Legends team coached by the famous José Mourinho, which it beat 3-2 after being beaten 2-0. The national team that brought so much joy to Romanians at the 1994 World Cup filled up a stadium, the National Arena being stormed by the more than 50 thousand ticket payers who came to pay tribute to those who, 30 years ago, established the highest national team performance – 5th place at the World Cup in the United States. The anniversary game was led by Ion Crăciunescu, the most highly awarded Romanian referee in history. Famous former Romanian internationals such as Gheorghe Hagi, Gheorghe Popescu, Miodrag Belodedici, Dan Petrescu, Ilie Dumitrescu, Florin Răducioiu, or Marius Lăcătuș were not absent from the field. In the world team that came to Bucharest for the match, other exceptional names – the Brazilian Rivaldo, the French Karembeu, the Bulgarian Stoichkov, or the Portuguese Nuno Gomes! The older Romanians revived memories, and for the generations coming after them was a memorable experience – noted the publication Gazeta Sporturilor about the farewell match of the footballers who wrote history for Romania.

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