COVID-19 The European Commission on Wednesday authorised
the sale of a second anti-COVI-19 vaccine, the one developed by the US company
Moderna, and previously greenlighted by the European Medicines Agency. The EC
president Ursula von der Leyen said EU citizens will have another 160 million
doses of vaccine available. Over 658 thousand people have been infected with
the novel coronavirus in Romania since the onset of the pandemic, the Strategic
Communication Group has announced. The death toll stands at 16,400. 76,400
people have been immunized so far and a third batch of 15 thousand doses of
vaccine arrived in Romania on Wednesday. The immunization campaign, which is
first addressing medical employees kicked off in late December and its second
stage is due to begin at the end of next week and is addressing the vulnerable
categories of people such as the elderly, those with chronic conditions as well
as the employees of Romania's key sectors. Authorities estimate the campaign's
third stage aimed at immunizing the entire population will kick off in April.
EDUCATION Romania's education minister Sorin Cîmpeanu on Thursday held
talks with trade unions and students and teachers associations, to look at the
measures required in order to reopen schools, and to mitigate losses incurred
by the education system during the health crisis. Cîmpeanu pledged to consider all the proposals made so that the
process of education may be carried out in good conditions starting the second
semester of the year. He added that national exams will be done face-to-face. Romanian students are to resume online classes on January
11th, and could return to face-to-face classes only on February 8th,
when the second half of the academic year begins, should the situation allow it. The Social Democrats and AUR party in opposition,
and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, in the ruling coalition
are favouring the reopening of schools.
US Congress in the USA on Thursday
affirmed Democrat Joe Biden's win in the presidential election of November 3rd.
This was the last step prior to Biden's inauguration scheduled for January 20th.
The validation came after a long and troublesome day, marred by an assault on
the Capitol by angry Trump supporters. Trump admitted the end of his term in
office and promised "an orderly transition." At least 4 people died and 52 were
arrested during the storming of the Capitol, police sources said. Leaders of
democratic countries around the world voiced perplexity and concern, condemning
the violence in Washington.
The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) on Thursday announced that
Romania's former Environment Minister Costel Alexe is being prosecuted for
bribery and inciting embezzlement. The prosecutors are accusing the former
minister, who is currently chairing the County Council in Iasi, north-eastern
Romania, of having received steel products worth over 20 thousand Euros in
exchange for granting CO2 certificates to the Galati Steel Plant in
south-eastern Romania. According to prosecutors the products had been taken out
of the plant by means of fictitious sponsoring contracts. In the same file, the
plant's representative has been placed under investigation also for bribery and
embezzlement. Last week Alexe said that he had never received undue benefits during
his entire term in office.