Emergency calls – Almost 3 thousand emergency calls have been made in Romania in the last 48 hours, the authorities announced on Thursday. Fire fighters had to intervene in more than 260 cases and the SMURD teams - the Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication – were called to intervene in 2,400 cases to provide qualified first aid or to extricate the victims of road accidents. Also rescuers intervened to help people out of hostile situations and were involved in as many as 200 missions for community protection. During the New Year celebrations 82 people were reported wounded by firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices and 28 fires occurred. For the New Year mini holiday over 5,300 firefighters are on duty to ensure the citizens’ protection and safety.
Prices – In Romania fuel prices dropped as of January 1 by an average of almost 7 eurocents. Also as of January 1 the minimum wage went up to 467 Euros per month and the value of one point in the fine system rose to 47 Euros. The fine point should have been kept at the level of 2019 but the law which freezes the price was challenged at the Constitutional Court.
Eurostat - Romanian households allotted in 2018 only 1.9% of their total consumption expenses to catering services provided by restaurants, cafes, pubs and teashops, the smallest percentage reported in the EU. This figure is three times smaller than the average 7% reported in the EU, show data published by Eurostat. All in all, households in the EU spent more than 600 billion Euros (the equivalent of 3.8% of the EU’s GDP) to eat out. The largest amount of expenses allotted to catering services out of the total consumption expenses was reported in Ireland, Spain, Malta and Greece and the smallest amount of such expenses was reported in Romania, Poland and Lithuania. Between 2008 and 2018 the amount of expenses allotted for catering services out of the total consumption expenses increased in most EU countries except for Romania, Spain, Slovakia and Great Britain. In Romania expenses for catering services dropped sharply from 2.9% in 2008 to 1.9% in 2018.
Unemployment – In Romania, the unemployment rate reported at national level in early December was 2.98%, the same as in the previous month and slightly smaller than in the same period of 2018. The total number of unemployed people reported in early December 2019 was almost 260,000. Most of them had ages between 40 and 49, came from the rural areas and lacked education or had attended only primary education classes.
Washington – The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo postponed his visit to Ukraine scheduled for Thursday to follow the developments in Iraq. The decision was made after the American embassy in Baghdad was attacked by pro-Iran protesters, angry with the American air raids against a pro-Iran faction from Iraq. On Wednesday the pro-Iran protesters left the location around the US Embassy in Baghdad upon the order of powerful paramilitary factions, although they had previously threatened to remain on location for an unlimited period of time. Following these developments, pro-Iran Iraqi representatives are trying to gather signatures in order to denounce the Iraqi-American agreement which authorizes the presence of more than 5 thousand American soldiers on the territory of Iraq. (translation by L. Simion)