A quarter of Romania’s territory has been placed under code red alert for extreme heat until Saturday night
HEAT A quarter of Romania’s territory has been placed under code red alert for extreme heat until Saturday night; in 12 counties in western Romania temperatures are expected to soar to 42 degrees Celsius. The rest of the country remains under a code orange alert with temperatures of 39 degrees Celsius. The thermal discomfort index went over 80 and could reach 82-84 units. Weather experts say that the heat wave will last until mid-next week, but only in the south, while atmospheric instability will increase. First-aid tents have been set up in all major cities to provide fresh cold water to people. Mobile ambulance and medical services have been placed on high alert and speed restrictions have been imposed on the national railway network as well as on the country’s main roads with a view to avoiding accidents. The drought Romania is currently facing has wreaked havoc on the corn and sunflower crops. Numerous countries in Europe like Italy, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, France and the Republic of Moldova have also been affected by this heat wave.
HEROES Romania is commemorating its WWI heroes through a series of ceremonies held all over the country these days. At the Soveja Mausoleum, in the east of the country, which hosts an ossuary of over 2,000 Romanian and Russian soldiers, a religious service was held on Friday. The peak of these events will be on Sunday, when the country marks 100 years since the Battle of Marasesti, a watershed moment for Romania in the Great War. In the summer of 1917 the Romanian soldiers stood their ground against a technically superior and better-trained German army, losing 480 officers and over 21,000 troops.
TALKS Romania’s government Friday passed an emergency order under which pensions will no longer be adjusted to salary increases, but only to the inflation rate, to the effect that the net pension benefits can no longer be higher than the net salaries an individual has received prior to retirement. The age and length in service required for an employee to be able to retire remain unchanged. The bill only concerns the pensions of Interior and Defence Ministry personnel, of intelligence service employees, of civil aviation pilots, diplomats, of court staff, MPs and other Parliament employees. Another bill concerns the increase of police staff salaries by 10% and of Interior Ministry civilian staff by 15%. Also on Friday, the Government approved a ceiling on child allowances of roughly 1,850 euros per month as of September.
MEASLES Over the past week more than 100 new measles cases have been confirmed, taking the total number up to 8,455, according to the data centralised by Friday by the National Centre for Infectious Disease Monitoring and Control. Thirty-two people, most of them babies and small children, have died since the onset of the measles epidemic in September 2016. Health Minister Florian Bodog said on Friday that the measles vaccination rate grew nearly 4 times in the last 2 weeks.
FOOTBALL Romania’s vice champions FCSB formerly known as Steaua Bucharest will be playing in the qualifying play-offs for the Champions League Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon. The first game will be played in Portugal on August 15th and the return match in Bucharest a week later. Also on Friday the champions Viitorul found out their opponent in the Europa League play-off: the Austrian champions FC Red Bull Salzburg. Viitorul will play the first leg at home on August 17 and the return match in Salzburg on August 24. Romania has only these two sides in the European competitions. Another three Romanian sides, Dinamo Bucharest, Astra Giurgiu and CSU Craiova were eliminated from the Europa League, after the defeats they conceded on Thursday, away from home. Contender teams for the Romanians were Athletic Bilbao from Spain, the famous Italian squad AC Milan and Ukraine’s Oleksandria.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)