MILITARY - On Tuesday, the US Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm voiced his deep regret over the wounding in Afghanistan on Monday of eight Romanian soldiers, during a patrol mission. The US ambassador conveyed his and the US's message of appreciation for the Romanian soldiers' participation in the NATO missions, aimed at restoring freedom and democracy in areas seriously affected by war. President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and Defense Minister Mihai Fifor also sent messages of encouragement and support to the families of the wounded soldiers. Seven of them have already been released from hospital, and the eighth has been sent to Germany, for further investigations and treatment. Romania is taking part in the NATO mission in Afghanistan with 625 military staff, while another 300 soldiers are deployed in operations carried out under the EU, UN and OSCE command in different regions of the world. So far, 29 Romanian soldiers have died and 185 have been wounded in operations abroad.
PROTEST - The Romanian Health Minister Sorina Pintea will hold a fresh meeting with trade union representatives on Wednesday, in order to find solutions for their discontent. Last week, thousands of employees in the sector attended a protest meeting in Bucharest. Several staff categories in the health-care sector say their incomes have dropped as a result of the implementation of the latest salary regulations. Among other things, they call for the elimination of the 30% cap on benefits. Trade unionists have announced that last week's meeting will be followed by a warning strike on May 7th, which could be followed by an all-out strike on the 11th of May.
FRONTEX - A Romanian Coast Guard vessel will patrol along the European borders in the Aegean Sea for three months. The ship has left the port of Mangalia, on the Romanian Black Sea Coast, to join the operation organized by FRONTEX (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency). The crew, made up of 26 border police officers, will carry out individual patrol, research, search and rescue missions. Also, the Border Police will post one officer at the operation's Coordination Center in Piraeus, to maintain the link between the Romanian ship and the bodies that are taking part in the mission. The European operation is aimed at managing illegal migration in the Aegean Sea.
1 MAY - While in other countries across the world the International Labour Day is used as an opportunity to ask for pay rises or better working conditions, in Romania people celebrate May 1st by traveling, hiking or just partying. As early as Friday afternoon, dozens of thousands of tourists, mostly Romanian, but also foreign, hurried to the mountain, sea and Delta resorts. On the Black Sea Coast, the main attraction were the fancy clubs in Mamaia, while in the Danube Delta, which is part of the UNESCO heritage, tourists took advantage of the beautiful weather to spend time in a unique natural place. Also crowded were the resorts in Prahova Valley, Sinaia in particular. Celebrating May 1st is tradition for most Romanians, and, as regards food, one particular must these days are the so called 'mititei', made of minced meat and herbs. According to specialists in the field, during this year's May 1st mini-holiday, Romanians grilled no less than 30 million 'mititei', which is 15% more than last year.
EUROVISION - "The Humans", the band representing Romania at the 2018 Eurovision contest, have arrived in Lisbon and are rehearsing for the big day. In the coming days, the Romanian artists will also take part in the concerts included in the programme and also in a special event hosted by the Romanian Embassy in Portugal. On May 10th, "The Humans" will perform, in the second semi-final, a song titled "Good Bye". If they manage to qualify, "The Humans" will take part in the final, on May 12th. The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will bring on the Lisbon stage representatives of 43 countries. (translated by Mihaela Ignatescu)