ALARM The Court of Appeal in Bucharest was evacuated on Tuesday morning
after a phone call about the existence of an explosive device on the premises. The
Romanian Intelligence Service has deployed a special squad to the premises who
proved that it was a false alarm. Among those who had to leave the premises there
was Elena Udrea, Romania's former Minister of Regional Development and Tourism,
who was being interviewed in a file on funding the campaign for the 2009
election. Directly involved in the campaign for the then president Traian
Basescu, who was to be reelected, Udrea has been brought to court for inciting
to bribery and money laundering. In the same file, the former president's
daughter Ioana Basescu, has been accused of inciting to embezzlement and money
laundering while the controversial journalist Dan Andronic has been charged
with false testimony and aiding and abetting the culprit.
COVID 2,877 of fresh Covid-19 infections have
been reported in Romania in the past 24 hours out of the 28 thousand tests
carried out nation-wide, the Strategic Communication Group has today announced.
97 fresh fatalities have also been reported and roughly 8 thousand people
infected are being treated in hospitals, out of whom 1,002 in intensive care
units. Over 700 thousand people have been infected on the Romanian soil since
the outbreak, and 90% of them have been cured. However, the number of those
infected with the novel strain, initially identified in Britain, is on the rise
and some experts believe the new form is to gain momentum in Romania in March.
The national immunization campaign is in full swing in Romania, which currently
seeing its second stage.
The European Union will send to Moscow the head of its diplomacy, Josep Borrell
in a bid to convey a clear message to Moscow after the fresh wave of reprisals against
anti-presidential opponents - diplomacy sources in Brussels have announced. The
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policies is to travel
to Moscow in early February. In the meantime, high EU officials are considering
the adoption of fresh sanctions against the country unless president Putin
gives up his reprisal campaign against his opponents. The EU has called for the
immediate release if Putin's main opponent, Alexei Navalny and his supporters,
apprehended during the street rallies on Saturday. The US has also called for
the release of the protesters and the US new president Joe Biden has voiced
concern about Navalny's fate, detained by the Russian authorities for more than
a week. He also referred to the massive cyber attack SolarWinds, allegedly
masterminded by Russian hackers, as well as the information on bounties Moscow
secretly offered to Afghan militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan.
BUDGET The Romanian government is still working on
the country's annual budget in a bid to come up with a balanced formula to stay
within the 7% budget deficit agreed upon with the European Commission.
According to the country's Prime Minister Florin Citu, healthcare and
investment remain key priorities in the talks over the new budget. Citu has
also added the government is working on several amendments to the salary law in
state-owned institutions and the unitary pay law. The opposition PSD has
criticized the government for the new budget, for having resorted to austerity
measures and for canceling pay and pension rises, stipulated by legislation.
The Social-Democrats have come up with an alternative budget, which they are to
discuss with representatives of the main trade unions and confederations.
The European Commission
highly recommends member states to apply measures aimed at restricting
circulation in order to urgently curb the number of travel-related infections
and thus ease pressure on the healthcare institutions dealing with the pandemic.
According to the Commission, tests can be done concurrently with implementing compulsory
quarantine up to two weeks. Travelers can also be required to fill in forms on
their journeys and contacts. The measures proposed by the EU executive are
aimed at limiting the COVID-19 infections and also the virus' mutations.