A roundup of domestic and international news...
GOVERNMNENT - The Bucharest Government is today holding its second meeting this week. The meeting’s agenda includes measures in the economic and social sectors, such as granting of 1 billion euros for the restart of the economic activity, for investment and for the SMEs without employees. Also, the Government wants to adopt an emergency order to double child benefits. Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru on Thursday presented a bill providing for the gradual doubling of child benefits, to roughly 60 euros per month for children aged 2 to 18, and to 120 euros per month for children up to 2 years of age and for children with disabilities. The minister explained the increase will be gradual, up until 2022. In a first stage, in September, child benefits will be raised by 20%.
CORONAVIRUS – 1,295 new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus have been announced today by the Romanian authorities. Almost 51 thousand people got infected since the start of the pandemic in Romania five months ago and 2,343 people have died. Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday had a new meeting with Interior Minister Marcel Vela and the head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, to discuss the evolution of the pandemic and the constant increase in the number of infections.
UNTOLD – The 6th edition of the largest electronic music festival in Romania, Untold, that began on Thursday is being held online for 4 days, amid restrictions and social distancing rules triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers have announced exceptional guests and surprises. In February, Untold announced its first participants this year, including David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Pussycat Dolls, Iggy Azalea and The Script also confirmed their participation, while Paul Kalkbrenner, Charlotte de Witte and Richie Hawtin make up the techno section of the festival. Over 80,000 fans have enrolled to take part in this online edition of the festival.
TIFF - The 19th edition of Transylvania International Film Festival that starts today in the north western Romanian city of Cluj Napoca is held exclusively outdoor, in over 10 locations. The film La Belle Epoque, a French comedy featuring Fanny Ardant will open the event that ends on August 9. Over 130 films will be screened during the ten days of the festival. This year’s edition is dedicated to the great Italian director Federico Fellini. Romanian actress Maria Ploae will be granted an award of excellence.
RESTRICTIONS – Starting August 1, Romanians travelling to Ukraine will have to provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19, no older than 48 hours at the time of entry. Ukrainian authorities introduced the measure after Romania was included on the red list of countries. People who fail to provide this medical document will be automatically placed in quarantine for 14 days. Ukrainian citizens entering Romania will be exempt from this rule. On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry announced that Romanians traveling to Bulgaria will no longer have to provide the signed statement whereby they pledge to observe anti-COVID regulations and are aware of the risks the pandemic poses.
ELECTION – Over 2,000 Romanian citizens living abroad have registered on an electronic platform, votstrainatate.ro, to vote in this year’s parliamentary elections. Over 1,390 of them chose to vote by mail, and nearly 620 registered to vote in polling stations. The Permanent Electoral Authority in Bucharest urges Romanian nationals living abroad to choose voting by mail as a safe and comfortable means to cast their ballots, without queuing, traveling, costs or risks, particularly in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Information on the registration procedure is available at votstrainatate.ro, and questions can be sent by email at email@example.com. The Permanent Electoral Authority says citizens may enroll as voters abroad no later than 15 days prior to the election date.
WEATHER – As many as 16 counties and the capital Bucharest are under a yellow code alert for extreme heat. Temperatures range from 35 to 37 degrees Celsius. Friday night will see tropical temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius. In the southwest and centre of the country thunderstorms and possibly are expected. The noon reading in Bucharest was 33 degrees. (Translated by E. Enache)