A no-confidence motion against the government is read out in Parliament./ Romanian Senate approves the purchase of Patriot missiles.
Motion. A no-confidence motion initiated by the National
Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union, both in opposition, against the
government made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals
and Democrats was read out on Monday in Parliament before the two joint
chambers. Filed last Friday, the motion was endorsed by 148 MPs. The latter
criticise the government mainly for its changes to the tax code. No date has
yet been established for a vote on the motion. Protests have taken place in
recent weeks in Bucharest and other cities against the government's plans to
amend the tax code and overhaul the judiciary. The Social Democratic prime
minister Mihai Tudose says the new tax reform brings in more money to the
budget and the pension fund and simplifies procedures for companies.
Patriot missiles. The Senate in Bucharest approved the purchase of
Patriot missiles. The bill has received the approval of Parliament's defence
committee. On Tuesday, the bill reaches the Chamber of Deputies, the
decision-making body in this case. Romania is to purchase seven surface-to-air
missile systems for a total of around 4 billion dollars. The first of the seven
has been approved for delivery by the US administration for a value of 750
million dollars and is to be contracted by the end of the year. Right now, the
Romanian armed forces rely on obsolete Soviet missile systems.
EU. The Romanian
minister delegate for European affairs Victor Negrescu on Monday attended in
Brussels the first three-party meeting with his counterparts from France and
Germany, Nathalie Loiseau and
Michael Roth, respectively. The parties reiterated the need to relaunch the
European project, in the context in which Romania will hold the EU rotating
presidency in the first half of 2019. Negrescu said Romania's presidency is an
opportunity to consolidate the unity of the member states. The three officials also
discussed the Union's future multiannual financial framework and ways to
consolidate the bloc's internal security and external policy. The meeting was
held on the margins of the General Affairs Council.
Eu agency relocation. The EU European Affairs ministers met in
Brussels on Monday to decide the future location of the European Medicines
Agency. Now based in London, the agency will be relocated when the UK leaves
the European Union. Amsterdam, which was in the running together with 18 other
cities, including Romania's capital Bucharest, will be the new home of the
European Medicines Agency, a body that employs 900 people and monitors the
safety of medication sold on a market with 500 million consumers.
Child poverty. According to results posted on Monday by Eurostat,
the European statistics agency, in 2016, 49.2% of Romanian children were
exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion, the highest such figure
among European states and double the average in the Union. At the opposite end
are children in Denmark, Finland and Slovenia. Data for
2016 shows that around 24.8 million children below 17 years of age in the Union
were exposed to such danger, with the number of children in Romania standing at
around 1.8 million. Between 2010 and 2016, the percentage of at risk children
in the EU went down from 27.5 to 26.4%.
Winter fuel stocks. The energy minister Toma Petcu on Monday
gave assurances that Romania has enough energy resources for this winter, even
in the event of very cold weather and heavy snowfall. He told a specialist
conference that fuel stocks for the winter are higher than the estimated need.
Although gas consumption in Romania has decreased following the closing down of
the big consumers, 1.6% more natural gas than last year has been stocked this
year, the energy minister has explained.
fair. The 24th Gaudeamus International Education Book Fair organised by
Radio Romania begins on Wednesday. For the first time in the history of the
fair, the special guest will not be a country, but the European Union through
the European Commission Representation in Bucharest. Under the motto "Unity in
Diversity", the European Union encourages people to discover and explore
Europe's rich cultural heritage. The fair's 2017 edition will see a number of
anniversaries: the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Rome
Treaty, the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Erasmus programme
and the 10th anniversary of Romania's joining the European Union.
The fair brings together 300 exhibitors and features more than 800 different