Commemoration of 40 years since March 4, 1977 quake in Romania/ Eurobarometer issued on Friday/ Romanian energy ministry issues authorization for BRUA pipeline
Earthquake commemoration - Romania commemorates 40 years since the devastating earthquake on March 4th 1977, the strongest that hit Romania, a country situated at the collision area of two tectonic plates. The 7.2 magnitude quake caused the death of 1,570 people, mostly in Bucharest, and the damage estimated at that time stood at 2 billion dollars. 230 thousand households were destroyed or severely damaged, while 760 economic units were forced to cease their activity. According to historians, the earthquake created such an economic and social crisis the communist regime was unable to cope with until its demise in 1989. Experts believe that hundreds of buildings could be destroyed in Bucharest by a similar earthquake nowadays.
Vacancies - The governing coalition in Romania made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats on Friday decided that parliamentary procedures should start, next week, for occupying the vacancies in some of the state’s important institutions. Vice-premier Daniel Constantin pointed out that persons would be appointed for the positions of president of the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Permanent Electoral Authority, of vice- governor the national bank and vice-president of the Financial Supervisory Authority. He added that talks would also target the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation. Daniel Constantin said that all parties would make proposals and that a decision would be made based on the CV of each candidate, the main criterion being competence followed by political affiliation.
BRUA - The Romanian Energy Ministry officials announced they issued the authorization for the construction of the BRUA gas pipeline- a new European corridor for the conveyance of natural gas that will link Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The line minister Toma Petcu said the works would start in the last quarter of 2017 and would be completed in 2020. In Romania the gas pipeline will cross 11 counties, spanning 550 kms. The total value of the project stands at 600 million euros, one third of them coming from European funds.
Eurobarometer - Ten years on from their EU accession, the Romanians’ trust in the European Union continues to be over the European average (52% as compared to 36%) but significantly going down since the country’s EU-entry when it stood at 65%, according to a Eurobarometer published on Friday. Romanians are still more optimistic than the average as regards Europe’s future, although their optimism has gone down since 2007. The report also shows that supporting EU priorities remains high with the Romanians: 55% when it comes to economic and monetary union and 77% when it comes to the people’s free movement. Two thirds of the interviewees say they feel they are European citizens, being in favour of a common foreign policy. The values better representing the EU in the vision of Romanians are: human rights, democracy and peace.
EU - The Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Sigmar Gabriel have said in a joint statement they are backing the idea of a two-speed Europe, which should take into account ‘the ambition levels’ of the member countries. The two officials have come to support one of the five working scenarios on the EU’s future presented by the European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker. Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis has said in Bucharest that Romania doesn’t want a two-gear Europe as such reconfiguration projects might lead to the disintegration of the community project. The first directions concerning Europe’s common future are expected to be contoured at the mini-summit in Versailles next Monday, and during the one in Rome on March 25th. Pundits believe that due to the presidential election in France and the legislative ones in Germany, no major decision can be made by the end of the year.