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The Week in Review 10-16.06.2024

A look at the headline-making events of the past week

The Week
The Week

, 15.06.2024, 14:00

The outcome of the election for the local administration and the European Parliament in Romania

The Social Democratic Party won with a significant majority the elections for the local administration and for the European Parliament held in Romania on June 9th. The Social-Democrats, known in Romania as PSD, won the battle for mayor offices, local and county councils and together with their liberal partner in the incumbent ruling coalition in Romania, has mustered roughly half of the MEP seats.  The PSD-PNL electoral alliance is followed at some distance by AUR and the United Right movement. One MEP mandate, out of the 33 Romania has been allotted, has been won by an independent. According to the Central Election Office, 19,870 polling stations were set up both in Romania and abroad and the turnout was slightly above 52% and the total number of votes stood at 9 million.

915 polling stations were mounted abroad, where Romanians mainly voted for the PSD-PNL coalition, followed by the United Right, AUR and the SOS Romania Party.

PSD ranked first in the election race for the mayor offices across the country, with 38% of the votes, followed by PNL and AUR. Independent candidate Nicusor Dan has been reelected for the position of mayor of Bucharest with almost half the votes. PSD got 35% in the local councils being followed by PNL, AUR and UDMR. In the meantime, the political parties started contouring their political strategies for the presidential election in September. PSD and PNL have announced they will each have a candidate in the upcoming election.

 

Romania is backing the neighboring Ukraine

Romania is supporting Ukraine, Romania is with NATO, Ukraine, and together with the other NATO allies as long as needed – Romanian president Klaus Iohannis said while co-chairing the B9 summit in Latvia on Tuesday. Iohannis pointed out that for Romania it is important that the Alliance’s deterrence posture be a strong one with an all-out defence capability. The Romanians want to be defended and they are defended by NATO, Iohannis said. Furthermore, the Romanian side highlighted the need for supporting the neighbouring Republic of Moldova. Moldova is NATO’s partner mostly affected by the war in Ukraine, the president went on to say, emphasizing the Black Sea region as vital for the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic space. The efforts made by Romania and the allies for supporting Ukraine are staunch and will carry on as long as needed, Defence Minister Angel Tilvar said at the Ukraine Defence Contact Group in Brussels on Thursday. Tilvar had a bilateral meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov, with whom he talked about the latest developments of the security situation in Ukraine and the Black Sea area. During the working meeting on assistance to Ukraine, the minister said that Bucharest’s efforts in supporting Kyiv had been recognized at the highest level.

At the Conference on the Reconstruction of Ukraine in Berlin on Tuesday, the head of the Romanian diplomacy, Luminiţa Odobescu, reiterated Romania’s commitment to getting actively involved in this process. The Romanian official reiterated the need for maintaining the international solidarity through concrete support actions for Ukraine. Odobescu also hailed Kyiv’s reform efforts under extremely difficult circumstances against the aggression war started by the Russian Federation. The minister also highlighted  Romania’s support for the official opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

 

Statistical data about Romania’s economy

In the first four months of this year Romania had a trade deficit (imports minus exports) over 9.3 billion Euros, 440 million higher than in the similar period last year, data released by the National Institute for Statistics (INS) shows.

In the aforementioned period exports stood at 31.3 billion Euros while imports at over 40.6 According to the INS, in the first quarter of the year exports and imports mainly consisted of machinery and transport equipment as well as other manufactured goods. The intra-EU trade exchanges stood at roughly 73% of the total exports and imports. As for the inflation, the annual rate of the index plummeted last month to the lowest level of the past three years – a little over 5.1% from 5.9% in April. According to the INS, some food products, such as bakery items, vegetables, potatoes, oil and butter, as well as energy and gas have become cheaper. Other products such as footwear, furniture or detergents as well as services, especially air transportation, have become more expensive. We recall that Romania’s Central Bank has revised up the inflation forecast for the end of this year to 4.9% from 4.7% and estimates that it would reach 3.5% in late 2025.

 

Extreme weather in Romania

Torrential rain, hail and thunderstorms caused significant damage in several counties in southern and western Romania on Friday night, where code red and orange alerts had been issued. Extreme weather alerts were also issued for Bucharest and Ilfov county. Several roads and motorways have been blocked by the trees broken by the gale-force winds which have also damaged roofs, buildings and vehicles. The bad weather has also disrupted traffic on the Henri Coanda airport in Bucharest, where several flights had to be redirected. Alert messages were issued advising people to remain indoors in order to avoid the thunderstorms and the gale-force winds.

(bill)

 

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