Covid-19 RO – Another 450 cases of COVID-19 infection have been reported in Romania, the Strategic Communication Group- SCG announced on Thursday. The total number of contaminations thus reached 27,746. Also on Thursday 20 new deaths from Covid-19 were reported in Romania, taking the total death toll to 1,687. Of the people testing positive for COVID-19, 20,433 have been discharged from hospital. So far, 735,221 tests have been processed at national level, the SCG announced. In the Diaspora, no new case of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been reported in the past 24 hours. 4,795 Romanians from abroad are contaminated, with 115 Romanians having died from COVID-19 infection.
4th of July – The US Embassy in Bucharest on Thursday organized a reception party on the occasion of the 244th anniversary of Independence Day, first marked on July 4, 1776. US Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman has conveyed a message, especially for Radio Romania, in which he underlined the relationship between the two states that mark 140 years of diplomatic relations this year. He has said that Romania is one of the closest military and economic allies of the US in Europe. The US ambassador has also said it is a great privilege to celebrate Independence Day for the first time in his country of origin together with the Romanian friends and has reiterated that the Romanian people has no better friend than the American people. Ambassador Zuckerman was born and lived in Romania until the age of 10. In turn, the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has said that Romania will remain strongly committed to supporting a strong trans-Atlantic relation.
EC – The European Commission has warned Romania that, in a month time, it will be called to answer before the European Court of Justice due to illegal logging. The EC has called on the Romanian authorities to urgently intervene to stop illegal logging in the protected areas. The intervention of the EC is due to the many complaints filed over the past year by environment protection organizations which have drawn attention that the Romanian authorities have failed to protect Europe’s most valuables forests. Environment activists have called on the line minister to restructure the plans for managing the protected areas so as to limit as much as possible illegal logging. In another file, the EC has called on Romania to improve the implementation of EU regulations regarding certification of industrial installations.
Finance – The Romanian Ministry of Public Finances on Thursday borrowed the equivalent of more than 300 million Euros from banks, through two issuances of government bonds. An additional bid is scheduled for Friday, through which the Romanian state wants to attract another 75 million lei. The money is meant to refinance the public debt and to finance the state budget deficit.
Handball – Romania’s women’s handball champions SCM Ramnicu Valcea and the vice-champions CSM Bucharest have found out their adversaries in the future edition of the Champions League. Following the drawing of lots in Vienna, CSM Bucharest will play in Group A against the following teams: Metz, Rostov-Don, Vipers, Team Esbjerg, FTC Budapest, SG BBM Bietigheim and Krim Ljubljana. In Group B, SCM Ramnicu Valcea will play against Gyor ETO, Buducnost, Borussia Dortmund, CSKA Moscow, Brest Handball, Odense and Podravka. The competition will start in September. The two 1st ranked teams in the groups will qualify to the quarter finals. The Four Final Tournament is scheduled for May 29-30, 2021 in Budapest. SCM Ramnicu Valcea was accepted directly to the Champions League, and CSM Bucharest received a wild-card. We recall that both Romanians teams were qualified to the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League, but the competition did not take place due to the pandemic.
Washington – The US on Thursday expressed concern over the conditions in which the referendum on the Russian Constitution unfolded. The referendum was called to allow President Vladimir Putin to remain president until 2036. Washington quotes information according to which the voters were constrained, the power opponents were pressured and the independent observers were restricted. The spokeswoman for the US Department of State Morgan Ortagus underlined that the US was opposed to constitutional changes that favor acting presidents or extend their term in office. According to official results, 77.92% of the Russians validated the revision of the Constitution. Russian opponent Aleksei Navalnîi has labeled the vote ‘an enormous lie’. (tr. L. Simion)