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SCHENGEN Romania's and Bulgaria's bid to join the Schengen free-movement area may be included on the agenda of the European Council meeting next week, at the request of the president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, political sources in Bucharest said. "I am convinced we will reach the accession of Romania and Bulgaria during this mandate and this will be my priority," Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, said in her turn. The statement comes after on Thursday at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, Austria opposed Romania's entry.
AMBASSADOR The Romanian foreign ministry announced that following Austria's veto regarding Romania's Schengen accession, the country's ambassador to Vienna, Emil Hurezeanu, was recalled for consultations by minister Bogdan Aurescu. The embassy will be headed by an interim charge d'affairs. According to diplomatic procedure, the decision is an indication of Romania's firm disagreement with Austria's position and also of the deterioration of current relations with that country.
BUDGET The draft state budget and social security budget of Romania were passed by the government and have been forwarded to Parliament for discussion. The ministries set to receive more funding include the defence, agriculture, transport, development and education. Less money than this year will be earmarked for energy, judiciary and public healthcare. The two bills also stipulate a 10% increase in public sector salaries, a 12.5% increase in pension point value and an increase of the national minimum wage to approx. EUR 610 per month. AUR party in opposition already announced it would table amendments because it disagreed with the draft budget.
WORKERS Another 100,000 non-EU citizens will be given access to the Romanian labour market next year. The figure decided by the government is similar to the one approved for 2022, and it is intended to cover the labour deficit in sectors like constructions, hospitality, protection and guard services, road transport and trade.
INVESTMENTS Net investments in the Romanian economy in the 3rd quarter of the year reached EUR 8 bln, up 13.3% compared to the corresponding quarter of last year, according to unaudited data made public by the National Statistics Institute today. For the first 9 months of the year, the figure is around EUR 19 bln, up 4.5% since 2021. Major increases were reported in constructions and heavy industry. According to the National Statistics Institute, net investments are expenditure incurred with creating new fixed assets or with developing, upgrading and rebuilding existing ones, and with the transfer of ownership on existing fixed assets.
GAUDEAMUS The 29th edition of the Gaudeamus Book Fair organised by Radio Romania is under way in Bucharest until Sunday. The event brings together 200 participants and a variety of editorial products on different formats, for all ages and areas of interest, including music and educational games. The line-up features 600 different events and related projects. As a first, the fair also has special areas dedicated to interactive activities for young visitors. All stands are also available online on the gaudeamus.ro website. The fair's honorary president this year is poet Ana Blandiana.
FOOTBALL The FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar has reached the quarter-final stage. Two matches are scheduled for today, pitting Croatia against Brazil and the Netherlands against Argentina. On Saturday, Morocco takes on Portugal and England is facing France. (AMP)
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