Visit. Next week, the head of the Romanian state, Klaus Iohannis, will pay a formal visit to Japan and also a state visit to the Republic of Singapore, the Presidential Administration announced today. Romania's president will visit Japan between March 6 and 8 and will have meetings with Emperor Naruhito, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as well as other officials. The main goal and the main event of this visit is to raise the bilateral relationship to the level of Strategic Partnership, through the signing by the President of Romania and the Prime Minister of Japan of the Joint Declaration establishing the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. The Japanese state is the largest Asian investor in Romania. The state visit of the Romanian head of state to Singapore will take place between March 9 and 10, being the by a Romanian president in the last 20 years. Klaus Iohannis will hold official talks with his counterpart Halimah Yacob and with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The visit is aimed at boosting bilateral relations, especially in economic and investment-related terms.
Protest. On Thursday, in Iași, in the east of Romania, a series of protests by education trade unionists began, against the government's salary policies. Similar actions will take place, in the next period, throughout the country. The trade unionists are dissatisfied with low salaries, lack of bonuses and the problems related to the payment of overtime. The Minister of Education, Ligia Deca, says that the complaints concern the current legislation and promises that in the future law, which is currently being worked on, salaries will be progressive, starting from the average salary at national level.
Bystroye. Romanian and Ukrainian experts are discussing today, the works done by Ukraine on the Bystroye Canal in the Danube. The technical consultations take place in the context in which recently there's been unconfirmed information that the Ukrainian side carried out works to deepen this navigable canal. Bucharest has voiced its disagreement with the works, arguing that they could affect the balance of the ecosystem in the Danube Delta. However, Kyiv claims it only carried out the regular canal dredging works and that the Romania side had been informed beforehand.
Moldova. The bill on the replacement of the phrase "Moldovan language" with "Romanian language" in all laws of the Republic of Moldova (ex-Soviet, predominantly Romanian-speaking), including the Constitution, was voted on Thursday, in the first reading, in the Chisinau Parliament. The document was passed on the very day that 31 years had passed since the outbreak of the Dniester War, as a result of which the Russian-speaking Transnistrian region separated from the Republic of Moldova. According to Radio Chisinau, the communist and socialist deputies vehemently protested the bill. According to the text of the document, after its adoption in final reading, the Legal Information Resources Agency will ensure in the state register of legal documents the operation of changes in all the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, including the Constitution.
Anniversary. In Romania, the Special Operations Forces have celebrated their 20th anniversary. The event was marked in Târgu Mures (center) with an impressive ceremony, attended by over 400 soldiers and more than 30 pieces of equipment, including military planes and helicopters. The Prime Minister of Romania, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and the Ministers of the Interior and National Defense participated in the event. "The Special Forces are special not because the men who are in it are special, but because their selection, organization and equipment are special, their training and will to train and fight are special, their power to sacrifice for their comrade and together for the country is special and all this makes the members of the Special Forces normal people. This is the definition of normality for us'', the Commander of the Special Operations Forces, General Dacian Tiberiu Şerban said.
Cards. 350,000 Romanians will receive energy cards in the next few days, after the Ministry of Investments and European Projects clarified the situations of those who were not included on the lists from the beginning. For cases where it was not possible to determine how many people lived in the same house, people submitted affidavits stating that the conditions to receive the respective financial support were met. So far, 1.7 million people have already received the cards, but almost 600,000 notices have been issued regarding failure to meet the conditions to receive the aid, i.e. exceeding the threshold of 2,000 lei (about 400 euros). According to the ministry, since February 20, over 225,000 payments have been made in a total amount of over 71 million lei (over 14 million euros). The aid is granted in two installments, of 700 lei each (about 140 euros) and can be used for payments for electricity, gas, thermal energy in a centralized heating system, firewood, fuel oil, pellets and other types of materials used for heating.
Mission. A detachment of approximately 100 soldiers and four F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft belonging to the Romanian Air Force will participate in the enhanced air policing mission in the Baltic States, between April and July. According to the Romanian Defense Ministry, the main goal of the mission carried out in the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is to prevent the violation of allied airspace and to provide assistance to military and civilian aircraft in emergency situations arising during the flight. The Baltic Air Policing mission is carried out on the basis of a system of rotation of tasks carried out by the allied countries since 2004.
Accident. Strikes and demonstrations continue to affect Greece on the third day of national mourning decreed throughout the country after Tuesday's railway accident between a freight train and a high-speed train. About 2,000 people gathered in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Thursday night to protest the errors that led to the train disaster, as police announced a new toll of 57 dead and at least 56 missing, FP reports. About 700 other people, according to the police, gathered in front of the headquarters of the Greek railway company Hellenic Train in Athens on Thursday evening. The demonstrators held a minute of silence in memory of the victims, most of them students. In the meantime, the Minister of Transport resigned, and the head of the Larisa station (center), near which the accident occurred, was arrested. (MI)