COVID-19 The number of COVID-19 cases in Romania is now over 21,100, with the death toll standing at 1,369. Over 15,200 patients have recovered. More than 3,300 Romanian nationals living abroad have so far tested positive for the virus, and 114 died. President Klaus Iohannis called on Parliament to approve an extension of the state of alert, due to end in mid-June, arguing that there is no significant drop in the number of new cases. Political groups in Parliament are negotiating on a possible extension, with several parliamentary parties unhappy with the proposal put forth by the Liberal Government. The Social Democratic Party, the main party in Opposition, disagrees with an extension of the restrictions in place over the past 30 days.
PANDEMIC The European Commission Thursday recommended the lifting of all travel restrictions within the EU and the Schengen area as of June 15, as well as the reopening on June 15 of the Union’s external borders to Western Balkan citizens, AFP reports. The final decision however rests with the individual Member States. The World Health Organisation warned that the coronavirus pandemic is not yet over and voiced deep concern as regards countries whose healthcare systems are struggling to cope with it. In the US, the total number of infection cases passes 2 million. Over 112,000 Americans have so far died because of the COVID-19, making the US the worst hit country in terms of total cases, followed by Brazil, Russia and the UK. In the EU, where 4 countries alone (the UK, Italy, France and Spain) have reported a combined 130,000 deaths, the number of new cases is decreasing and containment measures are gradually lifted.
EUROBAROMETER According to the latest Eurobarometer, six out of ten Romanians believe that their everyday lives are affected by corruption. The survey was carried out at EU level in December 2019 and was made public on Wednesday. As compared to 2017, the figure is by 4% smaller, but still twice the European average. Eight out of ten Romanians believe that corruption is a wide-spread phenomenon in Romania, and this perception is close to the EU one. According to the survey, corruption is unacceptable to a considerable European majority, 69%. The highest rate of rejection was reported in Portugal (88%) and the lowest in Hungary (36%). Some 48% of the Romanians say corruption is unacceptable.
QS WUR The University of Bucharest and the 'Babes Bolyai' University of Cluj-Napoca are the only higher education institutions in Romania included in the Quacuarelly Symonds World University Rankings 2020. The rankings are made following an analysis of the performance of more than 1000 universities across the globe, taking into consideration certain criteria: academic reputation, reputation as an employer, the number of students, the number of quotations for faculties, international faculties and international students. As regards the classification by fields of study, the University of Bucharest is included in ten fields and subfields of the 53 analyzed. It is the only university in Romania included in the series 201-250 in the linguistics sub-field.
REPATRIATION 77 Romanian nationals who were in Saudi Arabia and were affected by air transport restrictions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic were brought back to the country in a joint operation by the Foreign, Transport and Interior ministries. According to the Foreign Ministry, thanks to the efforts of the Romanian authorities, another 13 Serb citizens, 9 Bulgarians, 2 French and 2 Syrian citizens, and one citizen each from Hungary, Jordan, Croatia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Bosnia Herzegovina were able to return to their countries of residence. The Romanian Foreign Ministry emphasises the importance of carefully checking relevant travel information and alerts prior to leaving the country.
COMMEMORATION Investigations into the June
1990 miners' raids have been stalling for 30 years, and we still don't know who
is responsible for the over 1,000 victims, president Klaus Iohannis warned on
Thursday in a meeting with officials for the University of Bucharest,
commemorating 3 decades since the events. The so-called miners' raids of June
13-15, 1990 ended a large scale protest in Bucharest against the leftist party
that seized power after the communist dictatorship collapsed in December 1989. After
violent clashes between the police and the protesters in University Square on
June 13, coal miners from the Jiu Valley area in the centre-west reached the
capital city on June 14. They attacked the protesters, raided political party
offices and university buildings. Six people died and over 1,000 were wounded
or abusively arrested. Among others, the then president of Romania Ion Iliescu is
probed into in this investigation.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu, M. Ignatescu)