TALKS - On August 20th, Romania's President Klaus Iohannis will hold talks with the US President Donald Trump. The two officials will approach several topics, including the Strategic Partnership, energy security and the visa waver program for the Romanian citizens travelling to the US. President Iohannis will visit Washington, at the invitation of his American counterpart, on the 19th and 20th of August. In a meeting with the press on Tuesday, the Romanian President said he wanted to talk with the US President also about the American military staff deployed in Romania, saying that the country has the capacity to host more troops. Also, Iohannis said he would talk to President Trump about issues concerning energy security, given the worries over Europe's dependence on the Russian gas.
GOVERNMENT - After Monday's meeting of the executive committee of the Social Democratic Party, the senior partner in the ruling coalition in Romania, the Prime Minister and party leader Viorica Dancila announced a government reshuffle and an adjustment of the governing program. PM Dancila said the Social Democrats would not take ultimatums from their governing partners, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, which set August 20th as a deadline for the Social Democratic Party to prepare measures to reform the state institutions, to come up with a new governing program and a restructured government team, based on efficiency criteria. The junior partner in the ruling coalition has criticized the budget adjustment passed by the Government on Monday, claiming that this year's budget was built unrealistically.
SUMMER UNIVERSITY - The 17th edition of the Summer University hosted by Izvoru Mureşului, in Harghita county, in the center, continues. On Monday, at the official opening, Sandra Pralong, a state advisor with the presidential administration, said that the Romanian state should pay more attention to the needs of the Romanians living abroad. The State Secretary Alexandru Pugna, from the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, recalled that, starting this year, the government decided, by means of an emergency decree, to allot an annual 4 million Euros to the churches in the Diaspora to help the Romanian communities preserve their national identity outside Romania's borders. The topics approached at the Summer University 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 are participants from Romania and from the Diaspora, as well as from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria, mass media and civil society representatives, and members of the academic community in Romania and abroad.
INVESTMENT - In the first half of the year, foreign direct investments in Romania grew by almost 30% as against the same period last year, up to more than 2.3 billion Euros, according to data made public by Romania's Central Bank on Tuesday. At the end of June there were over 224 thousand companies with foreign capital in Romania, most of them with Italian capital, but the Dutch companies report the largest amount of share capital. On the other hand, also as reported by the National Bank on Tuesday, the current account deficit exceeded 5 billion Euros in the first six months of the year. The amount is 38% higher than the deficit reported over the same interval last year. The situation was created mainly by foreign trade. Over January-June, the balance of goods recorded a deficit of some 7.5 billion Euros, 1.5 billion more than last year.
NAVY DAY - The Romanian Naval Forces are preparing for the show devoted to Romania's Navy Day on August 15. The focus of the events will be the training ship 'Mircea', whose flag will be decorated on Thursday by President Klaus Iohannis to mark 80 years since the ship was first used by the Romanian Navy. The ships, along with combat divers, Puma Naval helicopters and MiG-21, F-16 and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft performed various sea-fight sequences, in a preview of the largest naval exercise of the year, which will be presented to the public on Navy Day. The naval and air forces of Ukraine, Italy and the US will contribute military detachments to the exercise on the Romanian Navy Day and to the festivity that will be held on the sea front of the Navy Command on the occasion.
GREECE - The Greek authorities have taken measures to support the more than one thousand tourists, Romanians included, who got stranded for a week on Samothraki Island, in northern Greece, because of the strong wind and rough seas, which do not allow ships and ferries to lower anchor. According to the Radio Romania correspondent in Athens, on Wednesday, a catamaran with a capacity of 600 passengers and 75 vehicles will operate several trips between the island and the continent.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, no.4 in the WTA rankings, will play against the Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round of the tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, with 3 million dollars in prize money. On Tuesday, Alexandrova won the match against the Spanish Carla Suarez Navaro 6-4, 6-1. We recall that the pair made up of the Romanian Raluca Olaru and the Chinese Zhaoxuan Yang was defeated by Annett Kontaveit of Estonia and Maria Sakkari of Greece in the first round of the doubles competition of the Cincinnati tournament.
(translated by M. Ignatescu)