Covid-19 RO. According to the latest data made public by the Strategic Communication Group, some 20,700 people have been infected with the new coronavirus in Romania, and 1345 people have died of Covid-19. Out of those who tested positive, 14,900 have been declared cured and discharged from hospital. 152 are still in intensive care. As for the Romanians living abroad, some 3,300 have tested positive, mostly in Italy, Germany and Spain. Of them, 114 have died. The head of the Emergency Situations Directorate, Raed Arafat, has stated that a total relaxation of restriction is not possible yet.
Pandemic. 7.2 million people have been infected with the new coronavirus around the world. Of them, approx. 3.5 million have been cured and 408 thousand have died, according to data made public by worldometers.info. In Europe, the most affected countries remain Great Britain, with more than 40 thousand dead, Italy with some 34 thousand, France with 29 thousand and Spain with 27 thousand. The number of infections is on the rise in Latin America, where Brazil has reported 700 thousand cases and 37 thousand dead. It's the second most affected in the world after the US, with 2 million cases and 113 thousand dead. According to a recent report, Switzerland is the first safe country in relation to Covid-19, followed by Germany, Singapore, Japan, Austria, China and Australia. The situation in Europe seems to be improving, but it's getting worse around the world, said the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In his opinion, the main threat is 'self-relaxation'. Despite the large number of deaths reported around the world, restrictions are being lifted and economies are starting to function in many countries.
Economy. Ireland and Romania have reported the most significant economic growth out of the 27 EU member countries in the first quarter of 2020, as compared to the similar period in 2019, data published by Eurostat on Tuesday show. Ireland had a growth of 4.5%, and Romania 2.7%. According to provisional data made public by the National Institute of Statistics, the annual growth rate of the Romanian economy in the first quarter of the year was 2.4%, owed mainly to consumption, the volume of which increased by 3.8%. As regards the GDP, investments had a share of 0.9% and exports had the same negative contribution of minus 3.2%. Against the fourth quarter of 2019, Romania's GDP in the first quarter was by 0.3% higher, in real terms.
Motions. The parliamentary week in Romania starts today with two new simple motions filed by the opposition Social Democratic Party against the Liberal ministers of Labour and Development, which are to be debated and voted today. The Social Democrats have criticized the way in which the two dignitaries, Violeta Alexandru and Ion Stefan respectively, have managed certain situations. Also, the Minister of European Funds, Marcel Bolos, is attending today a debate on European funding, held by the specialized committee of the Chamber of Deputies. The Finance Minister Florin Citu has been invited to attend on Wednesday the Senate's Economy and Budget-Finance Committees to present explanations regarding the Standard&Poor's agency's decision to maintain Romania's rating in the category recommended for investment.
NATO. The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has launched a reflection process on strengthening the Alliance in the post-pandemic world. The recommendations will be presented to leaders of the member countries at next year's NATO summit. He has urged all allies not to forget that security is the basis of prosperity, and the alliance must continue its military and capability consolidation, but also use military and non-military instruments, such as economic and political ones. Jens Stoltenberg has explained that the COVID pandemic has exacerbated existing security risks. On the other hand, the alliance's secretary general mentioned Russia's new missile, which can hit any city in Europe, and warned that in the face of China's growth, the United States and Europe can only cope together. At the same time, Jens Stoltenberg has pointed out that the entire transatlantic community must make sure it does not import instability to critical infrastructure and supply chains. Although the pandemic has also left its mark on the scale of military maneuvers, naval forces from 19 NATO states and Alliance partners are currently continuing training in the Baltic Sea region as part of the Baltic Operations exercise (BALTOPS 2020). By June 16, the maneuvers, which include about 3,000 participants from the Baltic, Scandinavian, Mediterranean nations, Canada, Britain and the Netherlands, give NATO and its partners the opportunity to work together, demonstrating the US's ongoing commitment to regional security, Defense News reports. (M.Ignatescu)