SPRING COUNCIL Romania's President Klaus Iohannis is attending today and tomorrow the Spring Council in Brussels. Iohannis has stated that the main topics on the meeting's agenda are employment, economic growth and competitiveness, migration, institutional matters, as well as the EU's foreign relations. The Council will convene on Friday in the 27 formula, without Great Britain. One important issue on the agenda is the election of the European Council President for a term that will last from June 1st 2017 till November 30th 2019. President Iohannis has reiterated the fact that Romania believes in a strong, united Union, and opposes the idea of a multi-speed Europe. According to the Romanian head of state, it would be completely counter-productive for the EU to accept only those projects that can be accessed by certain members of the Union. The Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu is in Brussels too, where he is attending the meeting of the Party of European Socialists. The socialists leaders are debating, among other things, topics relating to the future of the EU, after Brexit.
UNITARY PAY LAW Salaries in Romanian education will grow, on average, by 57%, said the president of the Spiru Haret Trade Union Federation Marius Nistor after today’s negotiations with the Labour Ministry on the unitary pay law. Tomorrow, the talks will continue with trade unions from culture. So far, ministry officials have discussed with representatives of the defence, public order and health-care sectors. The document is supposed to be adopted by July 1st in order to show effects as of January 1st, next year. According to the Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu, state employees’ salaries will be increased gradually by 2021, and the only ones who will benefit from a full rise in 2018 are the employees of the health-care sector.
GENEVA MOTOR SHOW The 87th Geneva International Motor Show has opened its doors today. For ten days, visitors will have the opportunity to admire 900 automobiles, of which 148 are European and even world firsts. There are some 180 exhibitors attending the show in Geneva this year, an event supported by the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. At the Romanian stand, visitors can see the Stepway version of the Dacia Logan MCV model, the fourth most successful of the range. Also, Renault has come up with a new concept, Zoe e-Sport, a super sport version of the electric model, and Peugeot-Citroen is displaying in Geneva the Peugeot 3008, declared the car of the year in Europe.
40 HOLY MARTYRS Christian Orthodox and Catholic believers are today celebrating the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. This is the most popular spring celebration, before Easter. The 40 martyrs were soldiers in the Roman army and were sentenced to death in the year 320 for their faith. They were killed in Sebaste, Armenia, during the anti-Christian persecution inflicted by Emperor Licinius. On this day, those who do not have a saint name, celebrate their name day. Also today is the day of the Anti-communist political detainees. Masses will be held in churches to honour those who suffered during the communist regime for their determination to defend their faith in God and the dignity of the Romanian people.
ROMANIAN ART Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie's work "Self Portrait as Charles Darwin" was sold by Sotheby's in London for 3.2 million pounds. On Tuesday, another two of his paintings were sold by Christie's for 2.2 million: "The Hunter" and "Pie Fight Study". Adrian Ghenie, aged 39, has had an incredible ascent to fame in the past years. In October 2016, his painting titled "Nickelodeon" was sold at an auction for 9 million dollars. The young painter is on the short list of all big auction houses in the world, and his works have been purchased and exhibited by famous museums across the world.
INDIAN WELLS The Romanian tennis player Marius Copil, ranking 111th in the ATP classification, has for the first time reached the main board of the ATP Masters tournament in Indian Wells, the US, with 6.9 million dollars in prize money. In Thursday's qualifiers, he defeated the American Denis Kudla, no. 130 in the rankings, and will play in the first round against the Argentinean Horacio Zebalos (73 ATP). In the same tournament, the Romanian Monica Niculescu, no.45 in the WTA rankings, has qualified for the second round, after defeating another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea, no. 66 in the classification. In the next round, Monica will play against the Swiss Timea Bacsinzky, no. 16. The best ranked Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, no. 4 in the WTA classifications, will go straight to the second round to play against the winner of the match between the Croat Dona Vekic and the American Alison Riske. Irina Begu (31 WTA), also of Romania, will meet in the second round the US player Louise Chirico (65 WTA) and Patricia Tig (99 WTA) will play in the first round against the Colombian Mariana Duque Marino (112 WTA).