Covid-19. In Romania, some 4.4 million people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, most of them with both doses. The number of new cases of COVID-19 remains low. On Friday, 225 new cases were reported in nearly 33,000 tests performed. 341 patients are hospitalized in intensive care units. Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has stated that now the vaccination campaign must be carried out in rural areas and the involvement of local authorities is needed, but also of people with influence in the community - such as priests, doctors and even police officers. The green vaccination certificate will be launched on July 1 at European level, and Romania is on schedule as regards the procedures needed for the document to be available starting with this date, Andrei Baciu, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health has announced. The certificate will show if a person was vaccinated against COVID, if they had the disease, confirmed by a recent PCR test, or the absence of infection, proven by a negative PCR test.
NRRP. Romania's National Recovery and Resilience Plan, submitted to Brussels this week, provides for an increase in low pensions and the recalculation of all pensions, the Minister for Investments and European Projects, Cristian Ghinea has said. The Romanian official told the public radio that pensions will not be slashed, whereas the retirement age and taxes will not go up. According to Minister Ghinea, the EU will disburse funds to member states provided national governments undertake reforms to correct imbalances. Education, healthcare, transport and infrastructure, digitization and the reform of public administration are the main fields in which Romania has pledged to invest the nearly €30 billion earmarked by the European Commission. Under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, Romania plans to implement reforms of its fiscal and pension systems. Romania's plan provides measures in the fields of sustainable transport, education, medical assistance, the renovation of buildings and the digitization of public administration. All projects must be finalized by 2026.
Belarus. The European Union has decided to ban Belarusian airlines from entering its airspace as of Saturday and to finalize new economic sanctions against the Minsk regime led by Alexander Lukashenko, diplomatic sources in Brussels told AFP. The measure, requested at the end of May by European leaders, was legally formalized on Friday by the 27 member states. The ban is aimed primarily at the national company Belavia and is a response to the May 23 decision by the Belarusian authorities to force a Ryanair plane to land in Minsk, claiming there was a bomb threat. Two passengers, Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protasevici, and his girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, were arrested. European airlines have already decided to bypass Belarus' airspace. The same sources explained that two series of individual sanctions are being finalized and would be approved next week.
Film. Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu will preside the jury of the section Semaine de la Critique at the International Film Festival in Cannes, to be held over July 6-17. In 2002, Cristian Mungiu presented his debut feature in Cannes, "Occident", in the Quinzaine de Realisateurs section. In 2007 he won the Palme d'Or with "4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days" and grabbed the award for best scenario with the fillm "Beyond the Hills" in 2012. In 2016 he won the award for best director for "Graduation". A screen writer and producer, he was also jury president of the Cinefondation and Short Films section in 2017. The feature film, "La Civil", is a Romanian-Belgian-Mexican co-production directed by Teodora Ana Mihai and co-produced by Cristian Mungiu, and has been selected in the Un Certain Regard section. The film tells the story of a mother whose daughter is kidnapped and who decides to take action in order to save her, after the Mexican authorities refuse to help.
Exhibition. India's Ambassador in Romania, Rahul Shrivastava, attended the opening of the Indian photo art exhibition, organized by the "Euro Foto Art" International Association (AIEFA). Titled "LensVision", the exhibition comprises 72 black-and-white and color photos "of high artistic value", taken by the president of the "Bengal" Photography Institute in Calcutta, Sanjoy Bhattacharya and 36 of his students. The event is held under the patronage of the International Photo Art Federation and the Indian Embassy in Romania. The official opening was hosted by the Euro Foto Art Gallery in Oradea on Friday, June 4, and can be visited until July 6.
Chess. The chess grandmaster and multiple world champion Garry Kasparov and the president of the Romanian Senate, Anca Dragu, opened, on Friday, the Superbet Chess Classic Romania 2021 tournament, part of the Grand Chess Tour. They made the first symbolic move of the competition in Bucharest, which will be attended by some of the best chess players of the moment. Kasparov said in a press conference that the Chess Classic Romania tournament, which could take place annually, will put Bucharest on the map of world chess. It is an extraordinary event, which sets new standards for professional chess, the great champion said. The Superbet Chess Classic Romania 2021 competition, with 325,000 dollars in prize money, will take place between June 5 and 14 without public access. The ten players who will compete are: Fabiano Caruana (USA), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Aleksandr Grişciuk (Russia), Wesley So (USA), Shakhiar Mamediarov (Azerbaijan), Teimur Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Constantin Lupulescu (Romania), Bogdan Deac (Romania).
EURO 2020. Romanian Minister for Youth and Sports, Eduard Novak, said matches Bucharest will host as part of EURO 2020 will be played with the physical attendance of fans up to 25% of the capacity of National Arena Stadium in Bucharest. For the match counting towards the round of 16, the capacity will be increased to 50%. The decision falls in line with UEFA recommendations regarding security plans. Bucharest will be hosting three matches in Group C: Austria vs. North Macedonia, Ukraine vs. North Macedonia and Ukraine vs. Austria, as well as one match in the round of 16. Originally scheduled for 2020, the competition was postponed for 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. EURO 2020 celebrates 60 years since the organization of the first European Championship and will take place over June 11 - July 11 in 11 European cities.
Tennis. At Roland Garros, in the third round of the Parisian tennis tournament, the Romanian Sorana Cirstea won, on Friday, in two sets, the match with the Russian Daria Kasatkina. In the men's doubles, the Romanian-German pair Horia Tecau / Kevin Krawietz, defeated, also in two sets, the pair Yen-Hsun Lu (Taiwan) / Yoshihito Nishioka (Japan). On Thursday, in the women's doubles, the Romanian-Argentine pair Irina Begu / Nadia Podoroska qualified for the second round, as did the Romanian-Latvian couple Monica Niculescu / Jelena Ostapenko. (MI)