GOVERNMENT - The minority
Liberal government in Bucharest on Thursday asked Parliament for a vote of
confidence on three bills referring to the amendment of the justice laws, free
local road transport for pupils, pensioners and people with disabilities, and
to the budget caps on next year's spending. Given that the Senate already
approved on Wednesday some of the justice amendments proposed by the
government, namely postponing by two years the early retirement of magistrates
and by one year the transition to three-panel judges, the government says it
will only ask for a vote of confidence on the postponement of the increase in
the length of service required to enter the magistracy. Unless a no-confidence
motion is filed within the next three days, the bills proposed by the
government will come into force as soon they are signed into law by the
president. The Social-Democratic Party in opposition announced it would notify
the Constitutional Court over the first bill for which the Orban Cabinet has
asked Parliament's vote of confidence, the one modifying the justice laws
regarding the seniority requirements for being admitted to the National
Magistracy Institute, saying this was unnecessary.
EU COUNCIL - The EU
multi-annual budget, its efforts to combat climate change and Brexit are the
main subjects discussed by the European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday
in Brussels. Romania is represented by president Klaus Iohannis, who upon his
arrival said he disagrees with the Finnish presidency's proposal regarding the
upcoming multiannual financial framework, saying that too little money is being
allotted to the cohesion policy. President Iohannis said the agenda includes
other complicated topics as well, such as climate change. In that respect the
EU wants to introduce an ambitious goal, climate neutrality, to be implemented
by 2050, which would be very complicated for East-European economies. Such
expenses should be covered by the EU budget as well, so talks won't be simple,
Klaus Iohannis said.
AIR FORCE -
Romania is to purchase another five F-16 fighter jets from Portugal, with the
same configuration as the 12 that are already in the possession of the Romanian
Air Forces. MPs have adopted a bill on the continuation of the multiroll
aircraft programme. The bill also provides for the modernization of all of the
Romanian Army's F-16 jets. The bill has been backed by all parliamentary groups
and the defence minister has hailed the passing of the law.
MIGRATION - Over 4%
of Romania's population has left the country in the last four years, the
vice-president of the Romanian Center for Integration, Ioan Puhace, said on
Thursday on the sidelines of the conference titled "Legal Migration in 2020 -
Challenges and Opportunities on the Labor Market ahead of a new Migration Boom".
The Romanian official said solutions need to be found regarding the development
of the labor market. One such solution is legal migration. Ioan Puhace explained
Romanian employers are constantly looking for workforce, and as such there
needs to be flexibility in terms of migration. In turn, the vice-president of
the European Union of SMEs, Florin Jianu, pointed out that right now, Romania
has a labor force shortage of approximately one million people. It is his
opinion that Romania can attract workers from areas with Romanian-speaking
populations, such as Serbia, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.
STRIKES IN FRANCE
- Public transport in France was again disrupted on Thursday by strikes in
response to the government's intention to reform the pensions system. Most
trade unionists are categorically opposed to the replacement of the current
system. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Wednesday made public the pensions
reform bill, which is to apply fully beginning in 2022. He said the new system
maintains the retirement age at 62, but that the government will encourage employees
not to retire by means of a system of reductions and bonuses.
ISRAEL - In Israel,
Benjamin Netanyahu remains the prime minister of an interim government after
the Knesset has voted for its own dissolution and the holding of new early
elections in March next year. The leaders of the major parties, Likud and Blue
and White, Benjamin Netanyahu and Beny Gantz, respectively, have failed to form
a government. The two have made no fundamental compromise allowing the
formation of a ruling coalition and have accused each other for this failure.
(Translated by C.
Mateescu & V. Palcu)