EASTER – Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Christians in Romania on Monday celebrated the second day of Easter and a new day in Easter Week, which follows the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On this day people attend mass while priests’ vestments are white. The first day of this week is believed to be the day when the gates of heaven are open and all sins are forgiven. People who die on this day go straight to Heaven without undergoing the Last Judgment. Psalms are not recited on this day, while funeral services are replaced by Resurrection mass.
EURO – The National Commission for the switch to the euro will convene on Thursday in its first session. Talks will focus on convergence criteria for adopting the European single currency. Two weeks ago Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced the setup of the commission, whose role is to prepare the roadmap for Romania joining the Eurozone, as well as the necessary actions to prepare the Romanian economy and society for this move.
ELECTION – Viktor Orban has secured a new term as Prime Minister after his party Fidesz won the parliamentary elections in Hungary by a landslide. The right-wing nationalist politician says the result will ensure the security of Hungary. Orban’s party grabbed nearly half of the vote and will hold two thirds of the seats in Parliament. The nationalist Jobbik party won 26 seats, while Hungarian socialists won 20 seats. The Democratic Coalition led by former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsnay could win 9 seats, while the ecologist LMP party will get 8 seats. The Together party won one seat while an independent and a representative of the German minority will each get one seat. The final results will be made public at the end of the week. On Monday, the leader of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Kelemen Hunor, congratulated Viktor Orban on his win.
MARCH – The “Eudoxiu Hurmuzachi” Institute for Romanians Worldwide, an institution subordinated to the Ministry for Romanians Worldwide, in cooperation with the Lauder-Reut Educational Complex, is organizing “The March of Holocaust Survivors – Let’s Learn Together”, held over April 9-13 in Poland. Taking part in the event are young people from 52 countries. The march has an educational purpose, aimed at familiarizing participants with a tragic chapter in world history. Romania’s delegation is made up of students and teachers from the Lauder-Reut school in Bucharest, but also from the Republic of Moldova. The project is part of the IEH-led program “Caravan of Romanian Identity”, which involves a series of cultural actions, aimed at promoting Romanian culture and consolidating Romania national identity. The project is also part of the Romanian Cultural Space strategic programme devoted to the celebration of one hundred years since the Great Union of 1918.
AIRPORT – A few dozen Romanians were left stranded on Sunday on Ciampino Airport in Rome, after Ryanair canceled its flight to Bucharest. Some of the passengers were rescheduled for flights on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Those who accepted to change their flight schedule will receive accommodation for just one night. Others bought tickets with other flight operators at double or triple the price. Ryanair has cancelled flights in the past without providing too many explanations.
SYRIA – The UN Security Council is today convening at the request of Russia and the United States after Syria was the target of a chemical attack. 70 people were killed on Sunday in the Syrian city of Douma, Reuters reports. The Security Council must immediately demand access to the site of the attack in order to carry out an independent investigation to ascertain what happened and to hold accountable the people who perpetrated this terrible attack, the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said. The US official last month warned that unless the Security Council took concrete action against Syria, Washington is prepared to act and might launch a new attack on the region.
BOOK FAIR – The 47th edition of the International Book Fair in London will take place over April 10-12. Romania’s participation in the fair is under the aegis of the Romanian Cultural Institute. Under the heading “Writing and Making History: Remembering the Great War Generation”, events organized at Romania’s pavilion are first of all evoking Romania’s participation in the first world war and the Great Union by means of literary and artistic echoes of these two crucial moments in history.
(Translated by V. Palcu)