ADDRESS – Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, on Monday addressed a plenary session of Parliament, saying that the 2016 election year should not be populist, nor lost for the major themes of public interest. He called on the MPs to assume some major projects, among which regaining people’s confidence in politics and the functioning of the big public systems. In this context, the president said the authorities have a delayed response to issues on the citizens’ agenda, such as the sustainability of the pension system, the demographic issue and the integration of young people on the labour market. In another move, President Iohannis expressed discontent about the fact that in some cases, parliamentary immunity is further used to block requirements made by the judiciary, in files in which MPs are investigated for corruption. As regards the country’s foreign policy, the president said the wave of migrants, the increased terrorist threat, security risks coming from the East and the very questioning of the community project make of 2016 a crucial year for stability in the region and for Europe’s future. Attending the plenary session of Parliament during the president’s speech were also the members of the technocratic cabinet in Bucharest and the foreign ambassadors accredited to Bucharest.
FINANCIAL – Romania’s technocratic Prime Minister, Dacian Ciolos, on Monday called on the mayors of communes in Romania to spend public money more efficiently. Ciolos said that although 2016 is an election year, the budget is the same, so it is impossible to earmark more funds for local projects. The prime minister says attracting direct investments and a better collection of taxes, by eliminating tax evasion, are the main solutions to increase the local authorities’ incomes. The statements were made at the 19th session of the General Assembly of the Association of Communes in Romania.
ENERGY- Romanian energy minister, Victor Grigorescu, on Monday announced that the national strategy in the field will be finalised in autumn. In his opinion, the Romanian state should choose some projects to develop properly, to show clarity and commitment in a key domain, which should be regulated. The coal sector, the line minister says, will be included in this strategy, because it is part of Romania’s energy security. In another move, the relevant minister gave assurances that all actors in the field will be asked their opinions during the consultations.
HOSPITAL CARE - The medical condition of the seven children receiving treatment at the “Marie Curie” hospital in Bucharest has slightly improved. One child remains in intensive care, while two children will be released this week. According to the chief of the nephrology department, Mihaela Balgradean, the children right now are eating normally, which signals a positive step in their recovery. An epidemiological investigation is underway. Health Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu has paid a new visit to the hospital, calling on the medical team to treat this case with responsibility and respect for regulations and to better communicate with the local authorities. We recall that 3 children died this month to serious digestive disorders.
GREAT BRITAIN – British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday presented to Parliament the new agreement he negotiated with his EU partners, four months ahead of the referendum on the United Kingdom’s EU membership. Great Britain got major concessions from EU leaders in terms of social benefits for European workers settled in the country and advantages for the City. Cameron, who has to face mounting Euro-skepticism even in the ranks of his own party, underlined that he will advocate for the UK’s EU membership. According to a first poll conducted for “Mail on Sunday”, after the agreement was negotiated, 48% of the Britons don’t want their country to leave the EU, 33% are in favour of an exit, while 19% didn’t express a point of view. Also on Monday, the European Commission announced it will not get involved in the debate on this issue, held in Great Britain.
EUROPOL – The Europol on Monday opened a new special centre for combating trafficking in human beings. The centre will seek to assist member states in the identification and eradication of criminal networks trafficking refugees and will employ experts in counter-terrorism.
TENNIS –Romanian tennis player, Monica Niculescu, WTA’s no. 37, on Monday qualified for the second round of the Doha tournament, with 2.5 million dollars in prize money up for grabs. She defeated German Sabine Lisicki, 6-2 / 6-2. Also in the singles, another Romanian, Simona Halep, the competition’s second seed, will play Elena Vesnina of Russia on Tuesday, in the second round. In the doubles, Simona Halep alongside Raluca Olaru of Romania lost in the first round, to Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, in two sets.
(Translated by Vlad Palcu and Diana Vijeu)