GOVERNMENT - Prime Minister designate Ludovic Orban announced he would submit today the list of ministers and an updated governing program in Parliament with a view to starting procedures for swearing in the new government. Ludovic Orban said the Executive Bureau of the National Liberal Party has unanimously approved the structure of the new Cabinet. The announcement comes after President Klaus Iohannis designated the Liberal leader to form a new cabinet. The decision was made after the first Orban government was dismissed on Wednesday through a no confidence motion initiated by the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Party, following the government's decision to take responsibility for a bill on returning to the two-round voting system for local elections, only a few months ahead of the elections. The Liberals have already said they would not vote their own Cabinet, hoping this would trigger early elections. The Social-Democrats are opposing early elections, although they claim they are ready for any kind of election. Meanwhile the Social-Democratic Party is today notifying the Constitutional Court over Orban's second appointment, after the latter had just been removed from office, claiming there is an institutional conflict between Parliament and the presidency.
IAEA - Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Monday will co-preside the ministerial meeting of the International Conference for Nuclear Security, held under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Conference is held every three years. Co-presiding alongside Romania this year is Panama. Both states are managing the negotiation of the Ministerial Declaration to be adopted on this occasion. The Conference, venued in Vienna, will also include a scientific and technical section, where Romania will also be represented. On the sidelines of the conference, Minister Aurescu will hold bilateral meetings with the Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi and the OSCE Secretary General, Thomas Greminger.
STATISTICS - The trade balance deficit deepened in Romania in 2019, standing at 17.28 billion euros, by 2.16 billion more than in 2018. Exports increased by 1.9% and imports by 4.2%, according to data released on Monday by the National Statistics Institute. The highest shares in the structure of exports and imports are represented by automobiles and transport equipment and other manufactured goods. 6.9% of total exports was represented by foodstuffs and livestock, while the imports of the same category of goods stood at 7.8%. According to the Institute, Romania's exports of raw materials, non-food products, mineral fuels and lubricants dropped.
FLU VIURS - The number of people who died to the flu virus this season has reached 25, after another two people, two women, aged 64 and 66, respectively, have died. Both had previous medical conditions. On Thursday authorities officially declared a flu epidemic. Over 16,000 students nationwide are affected by the partial or full suspension of classes. Specialists warn the number of sick is likely to increase next week as well, given that few Romanians have taken the anti-flu shot.
CORONAVIRUS - Two Romanian citizens, transported from China to Germany via emergency medical evacuation flights, have been brought to Bucharest by a military aircraft. According to the Health Ministry, their condition is stable and neither is exhibiting any symptoms. The two will remain under medical observation for 14 days. The new coronavirus has killed over 900 people in continental China, where the number of the infected has exceeded 40,000, according to the latest figures released by the authorities today. The authorities have also confirmed a relative slowdown in the epidemic's progression. Most international airliners have cancelled all flights to continental China.
ACADEMY AWARDS - The South-Korean feature film "Parasite", directed by Bong Joon-ho, has made history at the 92nd edition of the Oscar Awards, after scooping 4 trophies, becoming the first foreign-language film to win the award for best film. "Parasite" is a satire about the gap between the rich and the poor in South Korea. The film also won the award for best directing, best foreign film and best original script. "1917", Sam Mendes's film about World War One, won three Oscars, for best image, best sound editing and best visual effects. Joaquin Phoenix grabbed the best lead actor award for his part in "Joker", the story of an aspiring artist turned serial killer. Renee Zellweger was awarded the award for best lead actress for her interpretation of the legendary Judy Garland. Bradd Pitt won the award for best supporting actor in "once Upon a Time in Hollywood", while Laura Dern was bestowed the award for best supporting actress for her part in "Marriage Story", where she's interpreting a divorce lawyer.
(Translated by V. Palcu)