Motion – The no confidence motion initiated by the Social Democrats against the Liberal government led by Ludovic Orban is being voted today in Parliament. The document, signed by MPs from the Social Democratic Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, accuses the government of infringing on the democratic principles by assuming responsibly for the election of mayors in two rounds of voting. On Tuesday the government approved several emergency decrees. One of them introduces new rules for the early parliamentary elections as follows: the deadline for calling the ballot is reduced from 90 to 50 days and regulations are introduced for the national vote on additional lists and the 3-day vote aboard. As regards education, the government approved the payment of pupils’ transportation to school, the extension of the ‘Hot Meal’ program and salary increases for teachers. In the healthcare system, patients will be able to choose either state-owned or private hospitals for treatment without paying more money.
Delegation – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that the International Charlemagne Prize he was awarded is an opportunity to present Romania as a solid and trustworthy partner within the EU. He added that this prize offered him the opportunity to get involved in the consolidation of the European project. Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday received in Bucharest a delegation of the Board of Directors of the ‘Society for the Conferring of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen’. Talks focused on the schedule of ceremonies to take place in Aachen on May 21, when the Romanian head of state will receive the Charlemagne Prize for European unity in 2020. The Society board of directors decided to grant the prize to the Romanian President who is considered a remarkable promoter of European values, of freedom and democracy, of protecting the minorities and the cultural diversity, a personality that essentially contributed to the consolidation of the rule of law and the defense of justice system’s independence, which is a prerequisite for the progress of European integration. The Prize is granted annually in Aachen to public personalities or organizations that gained recognition through their involvement in achieving European unity and cooperation among member states. The prize commemorates Charlemagne, ruler of the Frankish Empire, the first emperor recognized in Western Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, who ruled and was buried in Aachen.
WHO – The general director of the WHO said the world still has time to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading and causing a larger-scale global crisis. Dr. Tedros pointed out that the epidemic is first of all an emergency for China, and managing the situation at the virus epicenter is the best way to stop its spreading. So far over 24,000 people have been contaminated with the new coronavirus and almost 500 have died from the virus. In Europe, the people who came from China and are suspected of being infected are being monitored. During Tuesday’s meeting in Bucharest, the government approved the setting up of emergency care stocks for epidemic situations and the required quarantine measures through an emergency decree, which also provides for the purchase of thermal scanners to equip the country’s 16 airports.
Paris – The Romanians who need lung transplant will be received by the Foch University Hospital, one of the most important hospitals in France and Europe, the health minister Victor Costache announced. Minister Costache is paying a 3-day visit to France. The Romanian and French health ministries intend to sign a memorandum of understanding which provides for establishing partnerships and exchanges of experiences and good practices in several fields of medical care. Victor Costache’s visit to France started on February 4 and also includes a meeting with the Romanian physicians working in medical centers in France.
Washington – 9 months ahead of the presidential election in the US, Donald Trump spoke, in the annual State of the Union address, about his ‘kept promises and the growing economy, but avoided referring to his impeachment process, one day before the issuance of a verdict. The White House leader approached all the themes of his campaign for the upcoming November election: ‘the strong wall’ against immigrants from Mexico, the ban on ‘late-term’ abortions and his accusations against the Democrat candidates who are militating, in his opinion, for a Socialist control of the US healthcare system. In relation to foreign policy, Donald Trump reviewed the confrontation with Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan before reiterating his wish to bring back home the American soldiers from Afghanistan. (translation by L. Simion)