president of Romania Klaus Iohannis will be on an official visit to Estonia on
Wednesday and Thursday, the Presidency announced. Iohannis will have talks with
his Estonian counterpart, Kersti Kaljulaid, with PM Kaja Kallas, and with the
Parliament speaker, Jüri Ratas. The agenda focuses on strengthening the
bilateral relations, including economic and sectoral cooperation, with an
emphasis on the digital sector, on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and on
EU-related topics, such as the EU Recovery Plan, the green transition and the
digital transition, the EU enlargement process, and developments in the
Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The officials will also discuss the
Romanian-Estonian cooperation within NATO, including in terms of security at
the Black Sea and Baltic Sea, and cooperation as part of the Bucharest 9 and
the Three Seas initiatives.
COVID-19 Authorities reported on Tuesday 103 new coronavirus infection cases and
96 COVID-19 related deaths, most of which however date back to previous months.
Some 200 patients are in intensive care. Meanwhile, efforts to persuade people
to get the vaccine are stepped up. Over 4.5 million people have received the
COVID-19 vaccine since December, and more than 4.2 million have got both doses.
CORRUPTION The coronavirus pandemic has fuelled corruption among EU citizens, less than half of whom believe the crisis has been transparently managed by the authorities, says a survey made public on Tuesday by Transparency International and quoted by AFP. According to the organisation, healthcare services are particularly affected by corruption. Although only 6% of the interviewees said they offered bribe in exchange for access to healthcare, 29% of them said they used personal connections to gain privileged access. The frequency of bribe in the healthcare sector, as reported by interviewees, is higher in Romania (22%) and Bulgaria (19%), whereas the use of personal connections is higher in the Czech Republic (54%) and Portugal (46%). The authors of the report call on EU governments to step up efforts to guarantee that the on-going pandemic is overcome in a fair and equitable manner. Over 40,000 of the citizens of the 27 EU member states took part in this European corruption barometer conducted in October - December 2020.
MOTION In Bucharest, the Chamber of Deputies votes today on the simple motion against the minister for investments and EU-funded projects Cristian Ghinea, tabled by the Social Democrats in opposition. The motion signed by 82 Social Democratic Deputies was discussed in Parliament on Monday. The authors argue that minister Ghinea must be dismissed for his “managerial dilettantism,” and that the National Resilience and Recovery Plan is a “disaster” and “will destroy Romania for the next 5 years.” Cristian Ghinea dismissed the motion as a collection of lies, fakes and self-conflicting claims, and says Romania’s current EU fund absorption rate is 55%.
COLECTIV The Bucharest Court of Appeals is trying today and tomorrow the case against the owners of the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest and the technicians who organised the fireworks that caused the fire that killed 64 people on the night of October 30 2015. On Monday, the Court decided to split the Colectiv case into two, with the former mayor, city hall employees and fire-fighters to be tried this autumn, separately from the club owners. In December 2019, all the defendants received prison sentences and were ordered to pay damages of nearly 50 million euro to the victims of the fire.
FOOTBALL Romania’s football champions CFR Cluj are finding out today their opponents in the Champions League first preliminary round. The draw takes place in Nyon (Switzerland). CFR Cluj will be the only Romanian team in the competition, after in 2021 they won their 4th consecutive football championship and their 7th ever. (tr. A.M. Popescu)