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DECENTRALIZATION – The Romanian Government on Wednesday adopted the strategy for decentralization. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said local authorities would be distributed additional tasks and objectives. The domains included in the decentralization process are: agriculture, culture, tourism, the environment, healthcare, education and extra-curricular activities, youth and sports. The general objective assumed in the strategy is the transfer of new competences, except for those of inspection and control, to the local authorities - town halls, local and county councils. At present a great part of these competences are being exerted by the ministries’ decentralized directorates.
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP – On Wednesday the Foreign Ministry in Bucharest played host to the interim meeting of the Romania-US Strategic Partnership, attended by representatives of the US Embassy in Bucharest and other public institutions. The meeting occasioned a review of bilateral relations and the identification of new projects for bilateral cooperation. The participants reiterated their commitment towards the principles underlying the Strategic Partnership, and hailed the marking of 20 years since the Bilateral Partnership was adopted. Representatives talked about bilateral cooperation in defense and security, regional issues, cyber security, energy security, trade and investment, law enforcement, scientific and cultural exchanges, and the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The meeting was held ahead of the annual Romania-US Strategic Partnership Meeting scheduled to take place in Bucharest in the fall, 2017.
US-RUSSIA RELATIONS – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said US-Russia relations had worsened since Donald Trump took office at the White House. The Russian official made the statement after the Foreign Ministers of the two countries met in Moscow. Russia wants to know the United States’ real intentions in terms of international policy in order to avoid a new US air raid in Syria and to work together against terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov said. In turn, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he wanted an open, straightforward and honest exchange of views in order to clarify common objectives and interests, as well as differences in the two countries’ approach to the main global topics. Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow follows an escalation of tensions between the two countries. Russia has condemned the latest US air strike on a Syrian government air base, in retaliation to the chemical attack which killed 89 people.
DORTMUND ATTACK – The German Police have arrested an Islamic terrorist in connection with Tuesday’s bomb attack on the bus carrying the Borrusia Dortmund football club, the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office has announced. The investigation is focusing on two suspects, the authorities also said. According to the press, the letter found on the site of the blast points to the German military involvement against the terrorist organization the Islamic State and it also refers to the attack on the Berlin Christmas market in December. We recall that the bus of the Borrusia Dortmund football team was hit, Tuesday, by three explosive devices at about 7.15 p.m. local time, ahead of the Champions League quarter final they were due to play on home ground against AS Monaco. The defender Marc Bartra was injured in the explosion as well as the police officer at the front of the motorcade. Former Romanian footballer Marcel Raducanu, who played for Borussia in the 80s and is running a youth football facility in Dortmund, expressed his shock at the news. “These things have nothing to do with football. I don’t understand why anyone would want to harm a football team”, Raducanu told the Romanian sports news agency, DigiSport.
INFLATION – In Romania, the annual inflation rate stagnated in March 2017 at 0,2%. This is the 3rd consecutive month when positive values are reported, after 19 months of negative values of the inflation rate, show data published by the National Statistics Institute quoted by the daily Ziarul Financiar. In February, the annual inflation rate was 0.2% after it had stood at 0.05% in January. At the end of 2016 the annual inflation rate was minus 0.5%, that being the 2nd consecutive year when the annual inflation rate reported negative values.
EGMO – The Romanian girl’s math team won three silver medals and one bronze at the 6th edition of the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) hosted by Zurich, Switzerland, between April 6 - 12. The medals were obtained by the students of several prestigious IT high schools in Bucharest and Slatina (in the south). The European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad is an international competition similar in structure to the International Mathematical Olympiad. According to regulations, a team is made up of 4 girls. More than 160 girls from 43 countries have participated in this year’s edition. (Translated by V. Palcu)