A roundup of domestic and international news.
VACCINE - Romanian PM Florin Citu has announced that Romania has available 2.4 million doses of anti-Covid vaccine until the end of March. The government has included in the second stage of the immunization campaign, which started on January 15, new groups of people, such as the homeless, people with disabilities and the persons assisting them, sailors and workers on maritime platforms, diplomats and athletes taking part in international competitions. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 700,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed across the country and 635,000 patients have recovered. The total death toll has reached 17,485. About 1,000 patients are in intensive care units.
INVESTIGATION – The Bucharest police has today searched the homes of a number of people living in the capital city and Calarasi, in the south, suspected of having obtained subsidies in an illegal manner, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. According to investigators, for an entire year, 11 people who used false documents, demanded and received from the Agency for Payments and Social Inspection, over 900 euros every month, representing financial support in the context of the pandemic. According to the Bucharest Police, the total damages are yet to be established.
PROTESTS - Romanian trade unions continue the series of protests in Bucharest and other cities. Their main demands are a decent minimum wage, fair pensions, quality public services, unblocking collective bargaining, correct taxation and the fair application of laws. Bogdan Hossu, the leader of Cartel Alfa, one of the largest trade unions in Romania, discussed on Wednesday with representatives of the centre-right Government, about the unionists’ demands. The Social Democrats, in the opposition, say all demands presented by the trade unions can be met even in the context of the pandemic. The Social Democrats say they will make public an alternative budget next week, in an attempt to prove there are enough funds for a raise in pensions and salaries.
US – The Democrat Joe Biden is, as of Wednesday, the new US president. He took the oath of office during an atypical inauguration ceremony. Against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of US flags were installed in Washington DC, where visitors from around the country would have normally stood to watch the presidential inauguration. Romanian political leaders have conveyed their congratulations to Joe Biden. President Klaus Iohannis voiced confidence that Bucharest and Washington will continue to develop their Strategic Partnership, to the benefit of the two nations, and work together in the spirit of genuine trans-Atlantic ties. "We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again,” President Biden said in his speech.
COMMEMORATION - The victims of the legionnaire progrom in Bucharest, that took place between January 21 and 23, 1941, are commemorated today through laying of wreaths and online events on the Facebook page of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania. The moment is also marked in a debate dubbed ”The Jewish district under the terror of the legionnaire progrom of January 1941.” At least 120 Jewish people were killed in Bucharest during the progrom. (Translated by EE)