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INFECTIONS - The wave of respiratory infections and flu is intensifying on a weekly basis. Experts warn the upward trend will tone down starting February at the earliest. During this interval, doctors say a larger number of respiratory infections, particularly in children, is to be expected. On the other hand, the first cases of Flurona - which is a simultaneous infection with both flu and COVID-19, have been reported in Romania, whereas a 74-year-old woman has died. Doctors say that Flurona infections have a higher degree of severe evolution.
DEFENSE - Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr on Tuesday met with Romanian servicemen deployed to the military base in Bemowo Piskie in Poland, and had talks with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Blazczak, about the situation in the region due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Minister Tîlvăr pointed out Romania and Poland displayed solidarity with Ukrainian refugees. Minister Angel Tîlvăr was accompanied by the chief of general staff, General Daniel Petrescu. On Monday, the two officials met with Romanian servicemen deployed to the NATO base in Pristina, Kosovo, and discussed with the Kosovo Force commander, General Angelo Michele Ristuccia about the security developments in the region.
GOVERNMENT - Romania's Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciucă, said in today's government session that total investment stood at some 14.6 billion EUR at the end of 2022, a record high for Romania, which confirms an upward trend of the Romanian economy. Nicolae Ciucă quoted a recent study of the Economic Department of Harvard Academy which states that "Romania has become the 19th most complex and sophisticated economy in the world, with a potential for growth. Results by the end of 2030 should push Romania in the top 10 countries". As regards foreign direct investment, the Prime Minister said that in 2022 their volume exceeded the level of 2008, the year that marked the highest such level. Last but not least, Nicolae Ciucă highlighted the contribution of European funds.
NATIONAL BANK - The National Bank of Romania today increased the monetary policy interest rate to 7%, in an attempt to keep inflation in check. Central Bank experts expect the annual inflation rate to slightly go down this quarter and the downward trend to pick up speed in the following months. Starting this summer, the inflation rate should drop below 10%, bank experts also say. The new increase in the monetary policy interest rate is likely to trigger an increase in the interest rates of commercial banks, particularly in case of loans.
IRAN - Iran's ambassador in Romania was summoned at the Foreign Ministry headquarters on Tuesday, where he was notified regarding Romania's firm opposition to the enforcement of the capital sentence, irrespective of circumstances, and to the hanging of protesters by Teheran authorities. The decision follows the hanging of two Iranian protesters on January 7 in Teheran. The Romanian Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern with the continuous violation of human rights in Iran, including the sentencing of protesters for political reasons, in the absence of a fair trial, in the context of nationwide protests triggered in September 2022, caused by the death of Masha Amini. The Romanian Foreign Ministry reminded the Iranian ambassador regarding the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting of December 12, 2022, with a focus on all issues that did not receive a constructive response from Teheran authorities. The Romanian MFA also pointed out that the said aspects in the conclusions still need to be resolved, failure of which would negative impact Iran's relations with the EU.
GOLDEN GLOBES - Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans and Martin McDonagh's The Banshees of Inisherin have won the top awards in Tuesday's Golden Globes Awards Gala. Austin Butler, the male lead in Elvis (directed by Baz Luhrmann) was designated best actor in a drama, whereas Cate Blanchett scooped the award for best actress for her role in Tar (directed by Todd Field). The award for best scenario wnet to Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin. Santiago Mitre's Argentina, 1985 got the award for best foreign motion picture, while Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio got the award for best animation. House of the Dragon got the award for best series. Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a former actor himself, conveyed a recorded message on this occasion. (VP)
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