Covid-19 RO. The latest data published by the Strategic Communication Group show some 27,000 cases of Covid-19 in Romania. So far, most infections have been reported in the county of Suceava, in the north-east, and in the capital Bucharest. Of the people confirmed positive, more than 20,000 have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. So far, 1,651 people have died of Covid-19 in Romania. Outside Romania's borders, 4,795 Romanians have tested positive, and 115 have died. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Tuesday that, because of the latest developments with regard to the new cases of infection, a decision would be made to postpone other relaxation measures, and stated he would support the proposal formulated by the National Committee for Emergency Situations in this respect.
Pandemic. The World Health Organization warns that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and has urged people to mobilize without waiting for a vaccine. With more than half a million deaths and 10.4 million cases worldwide, the virus continues to wreak havoc in 30 of the 50 US states, seems to have reappeared in China, the country where the pandemic started, and remains present in Europe, with isolated outbreaks, which are however cause of concern. Brazil has exceeded the threshold of 1.3 million infections and 58,000 deaths. However, the worst situation remains in the US, where 2.7 million cases of infection have been reported and 128,000 people have died of Covid-19. In Europe, the most affected countries remain the UK, Italy, France and Spain. The British Government has established the first quarantine area in the English city of Leicester, after an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus infection there. On Tuesday, the Council of the EU adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel from third countries, drawing up a list of 14 states from which travel to the EU is allowed as of July 1st. The countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The list will be reviewed and, if necessary, updated every 15 days. In addition, China will be included in that list of Beijing applies a reciprocity regime for travelers from the European Union.
Economy. A comprehensive economic recovery plan will be announced in Romania on Wednesday. The Liberal PM Ludovic Orban has promised that all the laws ensuring the plan's implementation will be passed in a month's time. He has given assurances that, despite speculations, the National Liberal Party will not give up the 16% flat tax, given that it is a Liberal measure that has had good effects on the economy. In turn, the finance minister Florin Citu has explained that the plan will be based on investments and that record allocations will be made in this field. As of the next budget adjustment, funds will be increased by several billions of Euros, he said.. According to the finance minister, if the project is successful, the 4th quarter of the year is going to be much better. Even the tax collection for June is going to be higher than in 2019, the minister also said.
Parliament. The Romanian Parliament approved, on Tuesday, the National Defense Strategy of Romania for 2020-2024, a document submitted by president Klaus Iohannis. The strategy is based on several major elements, namely the EU and NATO membership, as well as the Strategic Partnership with the US. The threats mentioned in the document are the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the strengthening of the military potential in the vicinity of Romania, the volatility of the regional security situation, hostile stands in the public space, cyber attacks, distortions in energy markets, interference and hostile takeovers, Agerpres reports. The parliament in Bucharest ends its ordinary session on Tuesday, but as of Wednesday it will convene in a two-week extraordinary session.
Consultation. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis had a bilateral video-conference consultation with European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday in preparation for a European Council meeting in Brussels on July 17 and 18. The discussion focused on the future multiannual budget of the Union for the period 2021-2027 and the Economic Recovery Plan proposed by the European Commission. Regarding the budget, Iohannis stressed that Romania's major goal is to obtain the highest possible allocations for cohesion and agriculture policies. With regard to cohesion policy, he called for greater flexibility in absorbing the amounts allocated and supported increasing transfers between different funds to adapt available funding to specific development needs. The Romanian president also stood for a 30-year repayment period for the funds allocated for economic recovery.
Survey. Most Romanian managers are anticipating a drop in their business' turnover this year and a recovery of losses by mid 2021, shows a survey conducted among the managers of more than 500 companies operating in Romania. The most optimistic are the managers from the agricultural field while the most pessimistic are those in services, a sector that was hit hard by the crisis. Half of the Romanian managers interviewed say that overcoming the crisis is possible through a pro-active attitude, through increased investments and increased productivity, while one third of them say they would cut down on costs first. Another conclusion of the survey is that we are not facing a financial crisis yet. 44% of the managers interviewed say that, in their companies, the working capital has improved.
Gopo Awards. Corneliu Porumboiu's film 'La Gomera' was the big winner at the Gopo Awards Gala, which awarded the best Romanians films made in 2019. The film got 9 awards, including the one for best film, best director and best screenplay. 'La Gomera' tells the story of Cristi, a corrupt Romanian policeman, involved in a business with the mafia worth 30 million Euros, who reaches the island of La Gomera in Spain to learn El Silbo, a whistled language used by the locals. This language will help him free Zsolt, a trafficker arrested in Bucharest and the only one who knows where the money was hidden. The 14th edition of the gala, organized by the Association for the Promotion of Romanian Film, together with the Urban Film and Culture Association, is the first outdoor event in the history of the Gopo Awards Gala. (M.Ignatescu)