COVID-19 IN ROMANIA - Another 698 new infections were reported in
Romania on Saturday by the Group for Strategic Communication, the highest
number since the start of the outbreak, taking the total number of infections
at 32.079. 23.613 people have recovered and 1.871 have died. Some 239 patients
are now in intensive care. Another 5.104 Romanians have tested negative for the
virus abroad. Of these, 122 have died. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban says the
state is virtually incapacitated in dealing with the pandemic, after the Senate
on Saturday postponed the debate and vote on a Government bill on isolation and
quarantine. On Thursday, the Chamber of Deputies passed the law in a heavily
modified form. The Social-Democrats in opposition claim the law infringes on citizens'
rights and liberties, calling on the Prime Minister, Justice Minister and
representatives of the Superior Council of Magistracy and human rights
associations to attend the debate in the Senate.
RESTRICTIONS - Several states have announced restrictions for
Romanians travelling abroad. People with holiday plans in Austria need
documents proving they tested negative for SARS CoV2, which must be no older
than 4 days at the time of entry. The document needs to be translated into
German and English and be accompanied by proof of accommodation in this
country. The Romanian Foreign Ministry says that anyone failing to provide the
said documentation will be placed in isolation for 14 days. The measure will be
lifted if the person in isolation tests negative during the interval. As of
Monday, Lithuania will deny access to Romanians, with the exception of people
on transit to Romania. As of Tuesday, all Romanians travelling to Greece,
entering trough the Promachonas crossing point, will have to provide proof of negative
testing against COVID-19, no older than 72 hours. Finally, Norway announced
that all arrivals will stay isolated for 10 days starting July 15. Prime
Minister Ludovic Orban said he would call on all centers doing corona testing
to take priority for Romanians with planned holidays abroad.
European Council President Charles Michel on Friday presented the proposals for
the 2021-2027 EU budget, expected to stand at €1.074 billion and an economic
recovery fund of €750 billion, aimed at helping countries cope with the
economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders of EU Member States next
week will decide whether to change the proposed figures, as well as how the
money and funds will be allotted and spent for various policies. The economic
recovery plan has been met with reluctance by Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden,
Denmark and Finland, which estimate they will have to fund southern European
economies that have been hit bad by the pandemic.
- In a resolution on Saturday the European Parliament laid out the principles
of the upcoming EU health strategy. MEPs have pointed out the current pandemic
is far from being over, insisting on the need for EU health systems to be
better equipped and coordinate with each other to deal with future threats to
public healthcare. The resolution presents minimum common standards for quality
medical assistance and the swift creation of the European health response
mechanism for all types of crises. According to the European Parliament, the
upcoming pharmaceutical strategy should provide measures that essential drugs
be made available straight away in Europe, while diversified supply chains
should guarantee access to drugs at affordable prices at any time.
The former head of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and
Terrorism (DIICOT), Alina Bica, wanted internationally, was arrested on
Saturday night in Italy, the Romanian Police General Inspectorate has
announced. Alina Bica was evading the execution of her prison sentence. Alina
Bica was sentenced in 2019 to 4 years in prison in a case where she was charged
for favoring a businessman. According to the Romanian Police, after a series of
judicial formalities, Alina Bica will be handed over to Romanian authorities.
- Romania is at the lower end of a ranking of EU Member States in terms of the
perceived independence of national justice systems, a Eurobarometer reveals.
According to the survey, 45% of Romanians have a fairly bad and very bad
impression on the independence of judges and courts of law, and only 37% have a
good and very good impression. 49% of Romanians say the magistrates' lack of
independence is the effect of a mix of Government and political pressure, while
27% believe this matters to a certain extent.
(Translated by V. Palcu)