The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Europe on Monday.
VISAS – Starting May 1st, 2017, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who have held a Canadian visitor visa in the past 10 years or currently have a valid US non-immigrant visa are allowed to travel to Canada by only filling in a form for travel authorization. This has become possible, following the approval by the European Parliament in February in Strasbourg, of the EU-Canada Comprehensive and Free Trade Agreement. (CETA). The Government of Canada will entirely lift the visa requirements for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens starting December 1st, 2017.
TRAVEL ALERT – The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Europe on Monday, citing the continued threat of terror attacks. In the alert, the State Department mentioned recent incidents in France, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom and said Islamic State and al Qaeda "have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe." Malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, airports and other locations are all possible targets for attacks, the State Department's alert said. The alert is valid until September the 1st. Washington’s previous alert of this kind expired in February.
MOLDOVA – The IMF Executive Board has completed the first reviews under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility Arrangements for the Republic of Moldova, that allows for the disbursement of 21.5 million dollars for the latter. According to the report, the authorities continue to make significant progress in tackling long-standing vulnerabilities in the financial sector and advancing structural reforms. These efforts have helped to strengthen financial stability, and growth has returned. The report also says that the 2017 budget and the medium-term budget framework are consistent with program targets. In November 2016 the Republic of Moldova signed a new programme with the IMF, worth almost 179 million dollars for a three-year period.
EUROVISION - Over 200 competitors from 20 countries have arrived in Kiev these days to get ready for the Eurovision Song Contest, including Romania’s representatives, Ilinca and Alex Florea. In the second semi-final, due on May 11, the two will be performing the song “Yodel it!” composed by Mihai Alexandru. The head of the Romanian delegation, Iuliana Marciuc, told a press conference that the song has already caught public interest. Find out more about it, after the news.
BREXIT - Britain’s plan to leave the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) when it exits the European Union will severely hinder nuclear trade and research, and threaten power supplies, a UK parliamentary committee said in a report on Tuesday. The government says Britain must leave Euratom as part of its goal to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice when the country leaves the EU. Experts have said that if Britain leaves Euratom, there is a risk of new-build projects being delayed or put on hold while new stand-alone nuclear cooperation treaties are negotiated with countries in the EU and outside it.
UNEMPLOYMENT – In Romania, the unemployment rate reported in March this year stood at 5.3%, down by 0.1% as against February, while the number of unemployed people went down up to 486,000, according to the National Institute of Statistics. The figure is by 3,000 people smaller than in February, and also smaller than in March 2016, when it stood at 561,000. The unemployment rate among men is 5.7% while among women is 4.9%. In March 2017, of the total number of people without a job, over 74% were aged between 25 and 74.
(Translated by Elena Enache)