Romania is doing surprisingly well at the moment and has a healthier political system than Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, says US pundit Robert D. Kaplan/ The international community has condemned Pyongyang’s ballistic test
ROMANIA– Romania is doing surprisingly well at the moment and has a healthier political system than Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, and “the economic growth rate compares very favourably to that in the rest of Europe”, says US pundit and writer Robert D. Kaplan, in an interview with the AGERPRES news agency. He said he is aware that Romanians still complain about many things that are not going well and that there is still a certain amount of corruption in the country, but “the point is that Romanian people are concentrating on the right things.“ Kaplan also believes that Romania and the United States "are as close now as one could hope for," and this closeness is also owed to the fact that "Romania is one country in East-Central Europe that does not have a pro-Russian party, a pro-Russian faction."
COSAC – The Chair of the European Affairs Committee with the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Ana Birchall, is attending in the Hague, the Netherlands, the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC). The focal points of the talks are the priorities of the Dutch presidency of the EU Council, which include migration, tightening EU border security, EU and Euro zone finances, strengthening the European domestic market and the relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom. The Netherlands is currently holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council, in the first half of 2016.
SECURITY – The UN Security Council convened in an emergency meeting in New York on Sunday, after North Korea launched a long-range missile overnight, apparently to place a satellite on orbit. The meeting had been requested by the US and Japan, members of the Council, alongside South Korea, which claim that it was actually a ballistic test carried out by Pyongyang. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has called on North Korea to halt provocative actions. The international community has condemned Pyongyang’s ballistic test, which comes just a month since the latest nuclear test carried out by North Korea. Heavy international sanctions have already been imposed on Pyongyang, following its ballistic firing and carrying out three nuclear tests in October 2006, May 2009 and February 2013, respectively.
TENNIS- The Czech Republic defeated Romania 3-2 in the first round of the Fed Cup World Group. In the last match Andreea Mitu and Raluca Olaru lost to Karolina Pliskova-Barbora Strycova in two sets. Simona Halep (WTA’s no.3) battled past Petra Kvitova, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the western Romanian city of Cluj Napoca on Sunday, in a first round match of the Fed Cup World Group. In another match, Monica Niculescu (WTA’s no.37) lost to Karolina Pliskova (WTA’s no.13), in three sets. The Czech Republic boasts four Fed Cup titles, in the past five years.
RUGBY- Romania’s national rugby team on Saturday scored a clear victory, 39-14, on home turf, in the city of Cluj Napoca, north-western Romania, against Portugal, in a new edition of Rugby Europe Championship, the second ranking continental competition, after the famous RBS 6 Nations Tournament. In the next leg, due next Saturday, Romania will meet Spain, in Madrid. In March, Romanian rugby players are pitched against Russia, Germany and Georgia. In autumn, under the guidance of Welsh coach Lynn Howells, Romania participated in the World Cup final tournament in England, where it defeated Canada, in the group stage, and lost to France, Ireland and Italy.
(Translated and edited by Diana Vijeu)