NOMINATION - Romania's President Klaus Iohannis on
Thursday designated Liberal Ludovic Orban as Prime Minister following
consultations with parliamentary parties. The previous Orban Cabinet was
removed from office on Wednesday after it did not survive a censure motion
filed by the Social-Democratic Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic
Hungarians. The motion was triggered by the Government's choice to take
responsibility over the return to the two-round local election system.
President Iohannis says his main option is to let voters decide by organizing
early legislative elections. After consultations with the President, the
National Liberal Party and Save Romania Union also shared the president's
option. The Social-Democratic Party and Pro Romania Party nominated Remus
Pricopie, a former minister. The Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians did not
nominate a candidate and said they would not support the Social-Democrats'
candidate. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats didn't nominate a candidate
either, although they agreed to holding early elections. The People's Movement
Party on Sunday will decide whether it supports early legislative elections.
European Chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi on Thursday addressed the
European Parliament, calling for an increase in the budget of the European
Public Prosecutor's Office. It is estimated some 2,000 new cases will be
investigated in the first year of activity. Kovesi said the main two parameters
to be defined are the number of European delegate prosecutors in each Member
State and the number of employees at the EPPO central in Luxembourg. The
decision on the budget is not just for financial experts, but equally important
to policians. Kovesi refered to a recent report estimating VAT fraud at EU
level at around 60 billion euros every year. I think it is worth investing in
the EPPO, Kovesi concluded.
FED CUP -
Romania will take on Russia in the Fed Cup on Friday and Saturday in Cluj.
Elena Gabriela Ruse (166 WTA) will play Ekaterina Alexandrova (28 WTA) in the
first singles match. In the second match on Friday, Ana Bogdan (90 WTA) will
play Veronika Kudermetova (38 WTA). On Saturday, Ana Bogdan will play Ekaterina
Alexandrova, while in the last singles match Elena Gabriela Ruse will take on
Veronika Kudermetova. The doubles match will pit the pair made up of Irina Bara
(98 WTA) and Raluca Olaru (47 WTA) against Ana Blinkova (63 WTA) and Ana Kalinskaya
(95 WTA). The match will decide which team qualifies to the final tournament in
Budapest, to be held over Aril 14-19. Simona Halep, world no. 2, will not
represent Romania in the Fed Cup this year, as she has begun preparing for the
Olympic Games in Tokyo this year. Romania has never played Russia in the Fed
Cup before, although it played the USSR twice, losing both games.
FLU VIRUS -
Romania has reported a 99% increase in the number of flu virus infections in
the past week, and the authorities have declared a flu epidemic, for the second
year in a row. The number of flu infections has exceeded 7,000, and a total of
18 people have been killed by the virus, the National Center for Surveillance
and Control of Communicable Diseases reports. The latest victims are a 1 and a
half year-old child and a 49-year-old woman. Both had a medical history and had
not taken the anti-flu shot.
- A ship with 17 Romanians on board has been quarantined in the Japanese port
of Yokohama, after several cases of cornoavirus infections were reported, the
Foreign Ministry in Bucharest has announced. According to the same sources, the
Romanian embassy in Tokyo has been notified by the Foreign Ministry in Japan.
Out of the Romanians on board, two are tourists and 15 crew members. Romania's
consulate in Hong Kong has asked for information from the local authorities on
the situation of the Romanians on board of a ship moored in that port. No case
of coronoavirus infection has been reported in Romania so far.
WEATHER - A
code yellow alert is in place until Saturday morning against heavy snowfalls
and blizzards targeting the north, center and east, with strong wind expected
in the mountains. The recent snowfalls and blizzards affected most of Romania's
territory, disrupting road, rail and air traffic and causing blackouts, with
several school having been shut down.
(Translated by V.