A roundup of the main stories in Romania today.
Talks. Romania's president Klaus
Iohannis is having fresh talks with members of the government on measures to
manage the Covid-19 outbreak. Also today, prime minister Ludovic Orban attended
a meeting of the Three-party National Council for Social Dialogue and the Inter-institutional
Working Group to assess the economic, financial and budgetary impact of the
pandemic on Romania. Last night, the prime minister told a private TV station that
the government is working on a programme for economic recovery whose main
pillar will be public investment, in particular transport infrastructure,
energy, healthcare, communications and education. He said new programmes to
support businesses would be announced. Referring to the reopening of air
travel, he said a decision would be taken at European level.
Bill. The Senate is today debating a
bill proposed by the government on the conditions of the state of alert, which
comes into effect on 15th May, when the state of emergency ends.
Under the new bill, people will be obliged to wear face masks in shops, at work
and on public transport. Shopping centres will only be allowed to sell food and
drinks for takeout. The authorities will also be able to cap the price of
medicines, protection equipment and disinfectant. Additionally, the bill
provides that staff may be hired without competition for a period of six
months, depending on the needs to prevent and combat the pandemic. Members of
the Social Democratic Party in opposition have again criticised the government
and accused it poor management of the pandemic crisis. The Senate is the first
Parliament chamber to debate the bill.
Workers. The minister for labour and social
protection Violeta Alexandru says she will travel to Germany to look into the
working conditions of Romanian workers. She made this announcement hours after
being heard by Parliament on the subject of Romanian workers abroad in the
context of the pandemic. The minister said people should be respected the
freedom to choose the country where they wish to work. She also called on
Romanian workers abroad not to accept employment without a legal contract.
Covid-19 Romania. According to the latest
toll, infections pass 15,700 in Romania and 991 people have died. Almost 7,700
people have recovered. The highest number of cases was recorded in Suceava, in
the north-east and in the capital Bucharest. Among the Romanians living abroad,
more than 2,800 have been infected and 102 have died.
Covid-19 world. EU health ministers
are holding a video conference today to discuss the impact of the Covid-19
pandemic on the access to medicine. Talks will focus on ways to prevent
shortages and ensure availability of drugs. Infections worldwide pass 4.2
million, while the death toll rose to 287,000. In the United States, which is the
worst hit country in the world, the death toll hit 80,000 on Monday. In Europe,
the UK is the worst hit country, with over 32,000 deaths. Russia, where
infections pass 221,000, has the third largest number of cases after the US and
Spain. Despite this, Russia is beginning to ease restrictions today and a
programme of economic assistance is being implemented. France, where the
lockdown was partially lifted, has reported new infections in areas which so
far have seen few cases. (CM)