A roundup of the latest domestic and international news.
RALLY – In Bucharest, around 25 thousand people, including from the Diaspora, protested against the ruling coalition on Saturday evening, in front of the Government headquarters, asking for an answer to what happened at last year’s protest of the Diaspora, given that no one has been brought to justice yet. We remind you that at the large-scale protest of August 10, 2018, against the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the gendarmes intervened brutally and used tear gas and water cannons, that left people injured on both sides. Several criminal cases have been opened in relation to those events. Protests took place on Saturday in front of the Interior Ministry, in other Romanian cities and also abroad, in European capitals that are home to large Romanian communities.
DIASPORA - Over 9,000 Romanian citizens who intend to vote in this autumn’s presidential election, whether by post or in polling stations abroad, have enrolled on the dedicated online platform so far. Half of them have said they will cast their vote in a polling station. The Romanian citizens who wish to vote by mail must fill in an online form posted on www.votstrainatate.ro, enclosing a scan or photo of their ID and a copy of the document proving their right to stay in a foreign country. The registration forms will be active until September 11. Approximately 9.7 million Romanians live abroad, according to data communicated by 70 diplomatic missions and centralised by the Ministry for the Romanians Abroad.
TRADE - In the first half of this year, Romanian exports totaled nearly 35 billion euros, while imports stood at over 42.5 billion, taking the trade balance deficit to around 7.7 billion euros, the National Statistics Institute announced on Friday. The largest share in traded commodities was accounted for by vehicles and transport equipment and other manufactured products. According to the Statistics Institute, the trade deficit in the first half of this year is by over 1.3 billion Euro deeper than in the corresponding period of 2018.
NAVY - Events devoted to the Romanian Navy Day, traditionally celebrated on August 15, have started in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanţa. On Saturday, the Constanta Military Port organized an Open Door Day, with thousands of people visiting 14 Navy vessels, 2 Coast Guard ships, a Puma Naval helicopter, a submarine and mobile missile launchers. Participants took part in workshops, presentations and exhibitions and interacted with officials for navy education institutions, marines, military divers and hydrographic experts. Until August 15, other Danube and Black Sea ports in Romania will also host concerts, book launches and interactive workshops.
NATO - NATO announced on Friday that the upgrade of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system at the military base in Deveselu, in southern Romania, has been completed. The operation was carried out as part of a step-by-step approach to US missile defense in Europe, announced in September 2009. According to a NATO press release, the upgrade did not render the Aegis Ashore system offensive. The system targets only potential threats outside the Euro-Atlantic region and is exclusively defensive. In another move, the USS Porter destroyer was sent on a mission to the Black Sea on Friday, to help maintain maritime stability and prove the US's support for its NATO allies and regional partners. It's the sixth military vessel to enter the Black Sea this year. USS Porter was preceded by USS Carney, which last month took part in an American - Ukrainian exercise, alongside military ships from 19 countries, including Romania.
ANONIMUL - The 16th Anonimul International Independent Film Festival came to a close on Saturday in Sfântu Gheorghe, in the Danube Delta, south-eastern Romania. Six Romanian and foreign feature films took part in the official competition. The Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa, the winner of the 2018 Cannes "Un Certain Regard" award, was the guest of honor in this year's festival. He received the "ANONIMUL" Trophy for his contribution to world cinema.
UNIVERSITY - The 17th edition of the Izvoru Mureşului Summer University is taking place between August 12 and 17 in Harghita County, central Romania. This year's theme is Romania and the Romanians abroad, one year after the Great Union Centennial. The topics approached include preserving the identity of the Romanians in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova in the context of regional geopolitical development and the Romanian national interest, the policies of parliamentary parties and public institutions with respect to the Romanians abroad and the Romanians in the multi-ethnic regions in Romania. Attending the works will be participants from Romania and from the Diaspora, as well as from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria, media and civil society representatives, and members of the academic community in Romania and abroad.
(Translated by Elena Enache)