Romania prepares for the new year, authorities on stand by to ensure citizen safety
MESSAGE “2019 brought the victory of democracy and civil participation, when we proved that we are a nation that stands by shared values and ideals,” the president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, says in his New Year’s message. The head of state voices confidence that in 2020 Romanians will stay motivated by their dream of a better country. He called for the building of a normal Romania, a country that is truly the home of Romanians, wherever they may be. “We are entering a new year and a new decade, which I would also like to be the beginning of a period of normality and true democracy for Romania,” PM Ludovic Orban said in his own New Year’s message. He urges Romanians to view what they have left behind as a lesson about what needs to be done in order to make true the dream of freedom, democracy and prosperity that mobilised people 30 years ago to fight against totalitarianism.
INVESTIGATION Romanian authorities carry on inquiries and checks regarding the incident at the Floreasca Hospital in Bucharest, the largest emergency unit in the country. The National Healthcare Quality Management Authority Monday suspended the accreditation of the hospital, which failed to report within 24 hours an incident in which a 66-year old patient was burnt on the operating room table. The woman died, and the Bucharest Police is currently investigating suspicions of manslaughter. The Board of Physicians and the Healthcare Ministry are running separate investigations, with the conclusions due to be presented early next week. Meanwhile, the hospital has to address the deficiencies that have led to the unfortunate event. Although the accreditation has been suspended, Floreasca Emergency Hospital in Bucharest operates as usual.
NEW YEAR’S EVE In Romania, New Year traditions are still preserved in many regions. Children go carolling in the first part of the day, with songs and dances that usually describe the successive stages of farm work. The custom also includes folk performances by groups of youth or adults, where each member has a part, a role and various stage props. On the other hand, the hits of the 1980s and 1990s will be played live at the biggest outdoor New Year’s party in Bucharest, 'Disco Night’. This year’s concert has been inspired by the energy and exuberance of the disco movement. During the 6-hour party, songs that have defined entire generations will be played by international and Romanian musicians, including O-Zone, Haddaway, and the American rapper Turbo B., and Milli Vanilli Experience. The night will end with a spectacular fireworks show.
SAFETY Over 21,000 Interior Ministry employees are on duty every day in Romania to ensure citizen safety during the winter holidays. Special attention is paid to preventing serious accidents and to streamlining road traffic to the most popular tourist resorts. Up to 1,400 road police are on duty on the most circulated thoroughfares, with around 300 radar speed guns, to safeguard the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Nearly 9,600 police and gendarmes are also patrolling the busiest areas, especially fairs and shopping centres, and the sites of large outdoor public events.
TOURISM Over 1.7 million tourist arrivals were reported in Bucharest in the first 10 months of the year, according to the National Statistics Institute. The largest number, 196,410, was reported in September. Most tourists (94.7% of the total, accounting for 1.63 million people), checked in in hotels. The number of overnight stays in Bucharest was 2.99 million, with the biggest number reported for October. According to the National Statistics Institute, arrivals in accommodation facilities at national level totalled 11.531 million in the first 10 months of this year, up 4.1% compared to the corresponding period of last year.
AVALANCHE A record 200 mountain accidents have been reported over the past 10 days in Romania, with avalanche risks still high in many parts of the country, particularly in the southern massifs of Făgăraş and Bucegi. Last month 2 people were caught under an avalanche in Făgăraş. Mountain rescue teams urge tourists not to attempt routes that have been closed for safety, and to be very careful in planning their hikes so as to be indoors by nightfall.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)