Romanian minority rights should be protected, President says; Road freight operators threaten strikes
HUMAN RIGHTS – Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, in a message sent to participants in the Summer University in a central Romanian town, said: 'A consolidated democracy is based on mutual respect, tolerance, and inter-cultural and inter-ethnic dialog, as cultural diversity is a source of creativity. From this point of view, Romania is a model recognized as such in Europe, and beyond, as the rights of minorities are fully protected.' The Summer University in Izvorul Muresului is attended by students from Romanian communities from countries neighboring Romania, as well as from mixed ethnic and religious communities from across the country, members of civil society who debated the issues of Romanians living abroad, and those of Romanians living in the majority ethnic Hungarian regions of Harghita and Covasna. The theme this year is 'The Romanian State and Romanians on the Border of the EU and NATO'.
TRANSPORTERS – Romanian road transporters have resumed today protests against the raising of mandatory insurance rates. They announced that would initiate a month long campaign of sounding horns daily in front of the government headquarters and the Financial Supervision Authority. At the same time, they said that each beginning of the week, for two hours early in the morning, freight vehicles would run at slow speed on beltways across the country, but without blocking traffic completely. Protesters are also angry at the fact that the executive did not intervene to slow down the rise in prices. They warned that a failure to meet their demands would trigger a national protest on September 14 and 15.
FOOTBALL – Romania's soccer vice-champions, Steaua Bucharest, play at home against English team Manchester City, in the first leg of the Champions League play-offs. Even if eliminated, Steaua is still going to the Europa League groups. Romania's champions, Astra, play on Thursday, also at home, against another famous English team, West Ham United, in the play-offs to qualify in the groups of the second continental competition. Three other Romanian teams, CSMS Iasi, Viitorul Constanta, and Pandurii Targu Jiu, have been eliminated in the preliminaries of the European cups.
OLYMPICS – Romanian athletes compete in Greco-Roman wrestling, gymnastics and athletics on the 11th day of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In wrestling, Ion Panait is pitted against Russian Islambek Albiev in the 66 kg category in the qualifiers, while Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu fights to qualify to the quarter finals against Egyptian Hamdy Abdelwadah, in the 98 kg category. Athlete Alina Rotaru will attempt to qualify in the long jump event. In gymnastics, Andrei Muntean will try for a medal in the parallel bars event, after yesterday Marian Dragulescu narrowly missed getting the bronze in the vault event. He came in fourth, matched evenly against the bronze medalist, Japanese Kenzo Shirai. Romanian gymnast Catalina Ponor came in seventh in the beam finals. In terms of medals, Romania right now ranks 35th. Romanian athletes have so far secured four medals. The women's epee team won a gold medal, the tennis pair Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau got the silver in the men's doubles, while Gabriel Sincraian won a bronze medal in weightlifting. The other bronze was won by the women's coxed eight team in rowing.
BIDEN – US Vice-president Joe Biden meets today in Belgrade Serb President Tomislav Nikolich and PM Aleksandar Vuchich. The visit shows the willingness of the administration in Washington to maintain their influence in the Balkans, in the contexts in which Russia is trying to draw Serbia into its sphere of influence, according to press agencies. The visit shows Washington's wish for a reconciliation between Belgrade and Pristina, 17 years after the NATO military intervention that allowed the former Serb province of Kosovo to gain independence. Joe Biden is next going to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, where he will recommend the implementation of the 2015 agreement, mediated by the European Union, aimed at normalizing relations with Belgrade.