Gov't sends to Presidency the nomination of Ioan Denes as Water and Forestry Minister
CABINET – Romania’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Mihai Tudose this morning sent to President Klaus Iohannis the nomination of Senator Ioan Deneş for the Water and Forestry Minister post. In Monday’s meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party Deneş was chosen to replace Doina Pana, who last week resigned because of health reasons. The Social Democrats postponed for the end of this month discussions on a possible reshuffling, after the Prime Minister announced he would like his Cabinet downsized from 27 to 16 ministries.
DIPLOMACY – The Minister Delegate for European Affairs, Victor Negrescu, discussed in The Hague on Monday with the Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra about Romania’s Schengen accession and the relations between the two countries as EU members, particularly the good economic relations. The two officials also looked at the key elements currently on the European agenda, including the Multiannual Financial Framework, the future of the EU and the common defence policy, in the context of Romania holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2019. Known for the successive EU-wide campaigns for Romania’s Schengen accession, including a petition, #RomâniaCereSchengen, signed by tens of thousands of Romanians and submitted to the European Parliament, the Minister Delegate for European Affairs suggested a vote in the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The Netherlands has repeatedly opposed Romania’s joining the border-free area, on grounds of insufficient judicial reforms.
AIRPORTS – Bucharest’s 2 international airports, Henri Coandă and Băneasa, reported for 2017 record-large passenger numbers: nearly 13 million, which is 16.8% more than in 2016. According to the National Airport Corporation, in 2017 the number of takeoffs and landings was also 7.7% higher than in the previous year, reaching 130,000. In fact, Airports Council International-Europe has ranked Henri Coandă as one of Europe’s top 5 airports in terms of the increase in air traffic figures in the first 10 months of the year, in the category of airports with 10-25 million passengers a year. Henri Coandă airport came ahead of the international airports in Lisbon, Berlin, Brussels, Athens, Milan, Prague and Budapest.
TRADE - Romania continued to import more than it exported last year, and the trade deficit deepened by nearly 3%, according to the National Statistics Institute. Although exports grew by around 9%, they remain below imports, generating a trade deficit of 1.12 billion euro. The most important trade partners were EU member states.
ETHNIC AUTONOMY – Officials for 3 political entities representing the interests of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, including the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, a parliamentary party, Monday agreed to propose territorial, local and cultural autonomy for the so-called Szeckler County, a region in central Romania where ethnic Hungarians outnumber the other communities. The leaders of the other parliamentary parties in Power and in Opposition dismissed the idea as unconstitutional. They argued that Romania is one of the countries where the Hungarian minority enjoys the most extensive rights, and ruled out any autonomy negotiations. According to them, the initiative stands no chances because it comes against the requirements of a democratic system and fuels division within society.
TENNIS – The Romanian tennis player Mihaela Buzărnescu Tuesday qualified into the quarter-finals of the Hobart tournament in Australia, which has 226,750 US dollars in total prizes, while Monica Niculescu has reached the eighth-finals. Buzărnescu outplayed Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, and is to play next against the American Alison Riske. Monica Niculescu will take on Varvara Lepchenko, also of the USA. On Monday the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open, begins, with world no. 1 Simona Halep seeded first.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)