A roundup of domestic and international news.
EC - The European Commission has made a series of economic recommendations to every EU member state, Romania included, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Commission, if the current policies are maintained, Romania’s budget deficit will be minus 9.2% of the GDP this year, and minus 11.4% next year and that the country will witness economic recession. The Commission has hailed the accord signed by the member states, within the Council, as regards the instatement of the new instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE), designed to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It will provide financial assistance, in the form of loans granted on favourable terms from the EU to Member States, of up to 100 billion euros in total. These loans will help Member States to cover the costs directly related to the creation or extension of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures they have put in place for the self-employed as a response to the current coronavirus pandemic.
FINE - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has been fined by the National Council for Combating Discrimination with the equivalent of 1 thousand euros for discrimination and violation of the right to dignity on grounds of ethnicity / nationality, during some recent statements. The leader of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Kelemen Hunor, has said that the Council’s decision is fair while the interim leader of the Social Democratic Party, Marcel Ciolacu, has said Iohannis should apologize publicly for his statements about the Hungarians. Marcel Ciolacu himself was targeted by the President’s message, according to which the Social Democrats were accused of “fighting in their secret offices at Parliament to give Transylvania to the Hungarians.” The Presidential Administration has announced Klaus Iohannis will appeal the Council’s decision in Court, as he sees it as a political one.
CORONAVIRUS – As many as 17,500 infections with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Romania, while the death toll stands at 1,151, the Strategic Communication Group has announced. Over 10,500 of the people infected have recovered. Experts and authorities have recommended the wearing of protective masks saying that otherwise we risk having an infection rate of up to 70%. According to the authorities, the number of infections could reach 20,000 in fall.
DECISION - Germany will no longer allow meat processing factories to hire foreign workers through intermediaries, after 100 workers, most of them Romanians, have been infected with the coronavirus. The workers complained about the improper working and accommodation conditions and organized a protest in this respect. According to recent measures taken by the German Government, the workplace and accommodation facilities will be inspected. The Romanian Labour Minister Violeta Alexandru and her German counterpart Hubertus Heil discussed in Berlin the situation of the Romanian seasonal workers in Germany and signed a joint declaration of intent on boosting cooperation with regard to the labour market and social policies.
CELEBRATION - Orthodox and Greek catholic believers celebrate today, May 21st, Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. Saint Helen was born in Bithynia in Asia Minor, in the mid-3rd century A.D. She was the mother of Constantine the Great. Constantine the Great was a Roman Emperor and the first Emperor of Byzantium, consolidated the freedom of religion and promoted the Christian faith, which until then had been persecuted. Constantine was the first Christian emperor declared a saint. Over 1.7 million Romanians celebrate their name day today. (Translated by Elena Enache)