Major trade union federations threatens with strike in Romania; Women's conference in Bucharest emphasizes equal opportunity
STRIKE – One of the strongest trade union confederations in Romania, CNSRL Fratia, announced it has initiated procedures for a general strike. Trade unionist demands are mainly related to falling wages and loss of jobs. They claim that this is the effect of transferring the burden for social insurance contributions from employers to employees, starting on 1 January 2018, but also because there is no possibility of negotiation. The confederation represents over half a million employees. They are joined in protest by two other trade union associations, Cartel Alfa and the National Union Block. At the same time, the US Chamber of Commerce in Romania believes that the IT sector, which is a major source of revenue, would be most gravely affected by this measure. They point out that fiscal measures announced by the government would hinder business in Romania and would cause lower investments, an opinion shared by the Council of Foreign Investors and the Coalition for the Development of Romania.
CONFERENCE – Over 600 people attend today in Bucharest the francophone women's conference on women's role in creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth. Officials from 48 francophone states are discussing the rights of women and their access to the labor market as well. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said in the opening that the role of women in the economy is relevant, and saluted the initiative of creating a entrepreneurial network for francophone women. Participants convened that equal opportunity begins with access to education. Rennie Yotova, head of the Regional Office for Francophony in Central and Eastern Europe, said that legislation relevant to equal opportunity is lacking in many countries. The conference will produce a Francophone Strategy for equal opportunity.
FOOTBALL - And Romania's vice-champions in football, FCSB, formerly Steaua Bucharest, plays at home on November 2 against Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel in Europa League group G. Two weeks ago, the Romanians won against Israel 2-1. FCSB leads the standings, with the maximum of 9 points, followed by FC Lugano of Switzerland, Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic, and Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel, with 3 points each. A tie in today's game secures FCSB's qualification for the European spring season.
HOSPITALS – Five regional hospitals will be built in Romania over two years, according to a memorandum signed by the government, seeking sources of financing for the project. The five hospitals will be in five major urban centers throughout the country. Consultations will begin with local authorities in order to find the best emplacements for the health centers.
NAVY – Two Romanian military ships will join a NATO task force against naval mines. Until November 14, the ships assist the group in monitoring Black Sea traffic, in line with Romania's commitments to NATO. Romanian frigate the King Ferdinand will take command of the group, which includes a Romanian minesweeper, as well as Bulgarian and Turkish ships. The Romanian Navy emphasized the fact that the number of exercises and missions run by NATO in the Black Sea has grown significantly after 2014, along with the deteriorating security situation east of Romania.
TERRORISM – US President Donald Trump said that the perpetrator of the recent attacks in New York, 29 year-old Sayfullo Saipov, should get the death penalty. The latter rammed a truck into a group of cyclists and pedestrians in New York, killing 8 and injuring 12. Saipov told investigators that he had been planning the attacks for months, on behalf of the Islamic State terror organization. On November 1st, the president said that he plans to put an end to the visa lottery program, which Saipov used to get to the US. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis firmly condemned the attacks in New York, and expressed Romania's solidarity with the US in these difficult times. The head of state added that Bucharest will act by any means necessary in the fight against terrorism.