May 9th a day with threefold significance for Romania
May 9th has a threefold significance for the Romanians. On May 9th they celebrate the Independence Day, proclaimed in 1877, the victory of the United Nations coalition in World War Two and also Europe Day. At a reception offered by the Romanian Presidency on this occasion, the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis deplored the fact that there are politicians in Bucharest who question the Union’s role and relevance, at the same time neglecting the benefits of belonging in this project, arguing that Romania would be better off outside the European family.
The country’s Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said in a communiqué that Romania believes in the European project and that it is taking action for its support and development. The Romanians’ standard of living has constantly grown after the country’s EU accession 11 years ago, Angela Cristea, the head of European Commission Representation also said. According to Mrs. Cristea, Romania has to continue its efforts to have the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism lifted, which is an instrument through which Brussels is monitoring the situation in Romania’s legal system.
The government has reached an agreement with trade unions from Romania’s healthcare system
After spontaneous protests in hospitals around the country, several rounds of talks between the government and trade unions and a two-hour token strike, employees of Romania’s healthcare system decided to give up their all-out strike scheduled for May 11th. The agreement between the government and trade unions also provides that all employees who lost money as a result of the new salary law will be reimbursed. The healthcare minister Sorina Pintea now says the government will again amend the law on public sector salaries.
The changes will only cover the way in which benefits are granted, the labor minister Lia Olguţa Vasilescu has pointed out. She says on-duty time performed by physicians and nurses will no longer be subject to the provision that stipulated a 30% cap on benefits. Commentators say, however, that this does not heal the most acute problems in the system: old hospitals with precarious equipment and full of bacteria, shortages of sometimes essential medicine, insufficient and still unmotivated medical staff, or staff hostile to patients despite the generous pay rise.
Financial disputes between the President and the government
The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Monday again called for the resignation of the Social Democratic Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă. The president this time invoked a series of low economic performances by the present government. After the publication of the budget execution report for the first quarter of the year, the president argued the national budget is under a tremendous pressure against the backdrop of increasing total expenses and that the evolution of public finances is completely unsatisfactory. The president has lashed out at the PSD-ALDE government, which he accuses of having neglected major investments and of having failed to turn Romania’s economic growth rate of 7% into a rise in revenues.
Klaus Iohannis: “After almost one year and a half of Social Democratic governing, including this debatable situation of the so-called pay rises, we see no roads, no motorways, no schools, no hospitals. The Social Democratic Party is in fact mortgaging the future of the country. It raises salaries and pensions and neglects major investments in infrastructure or investments that are needed for the country’s development in general.”
The Government, on the other hand, says that Romania’s economic parameters for the first quarter of the year grew as compared to the same period of 2017. Deputy Prime Minister Viorel Stefan has stated that budget revenues grew by 12%, and investments doubled as compared to 2017.
Directors Mihai Măniuţiu and Yuri Kordonski and actors Mariana Mihuţ and Victor Rebengiuc are the big winners of this year’s UNITER Awards Gala. The Theater Union of Romania – UNITER – has this year celebrated the best actors and directors of the year 2017 in the Transylvanian city of Alba Iulia, in central Romania, the symbol of the Great Union of the Romanian historical provinces, which took place 100 years ago.
The award for best performance in 2017 went to ‘Rambuku’ by the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, adapted by Anca Măniuţiu and directed by Mihai Măniuţiu. Best director was designated the Russian Yuri Kordonsky, for the show ‘The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and her Heartless Grandmother’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Great actors Mariana Mihut and Victor Rebengiuc won the best actress and best actor awards respectively, for their parts in ‘Exit the King’ by Eugene Ionescu, directed by Andrei and Andreea Grosu.
The best TV drama performance was designated ‘Midwinter Night’s Dream’ by Tudor Muşatescu, and the best radio drama award was won by ‘Ovid, the Pontus Euxinus Exile’, based on a script by Emil Boroghină and produced by the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation. The award for the best Romanian play in 2017 went to Daniel Oltean, for the play ’50 seconds’. Also, UNITER handed the lifetime achievement award to actor Horaţiu Mălăiele.
The Romanian Foreign Minister heard in Parliament in relation to the relocation of the Romanian Embassy in Israel
The Memorandum on the relocation of the Romanian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was discussed in Government last week and was submitted to the President only after being approved by the Executive, the Foreign Minister Teodor Meleşcanu stated. On Wednesday, he was heard by the Foreign Policy Committee of the Chamber of Deputies in relation to the memorandum, which created a conflict between the President and the Government. According to the law, the head of state is the only one that can move an embassy from one city to another, and Klaus Iohannis has voiced discontentment with the fact that statements on the topic have been carried in the public space as if a decision had already been made. Meleşcanu also stated that the document was not classified as top secret, but that it includes information that is not public, and is therefore confidential.
Teodor Melescanu: “Our concern is to conduct a serious analysis of the legal, political and economic implications of the decision to relocate the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem and to provide the arguments that political decision-makers – Parliament, President and Prime-Minister- need in order to take a common stand on the matter.”
Minister Meleşcanu has also admitted that the talks on the relocation of the embassy might affect Romania’s candidacy for a position of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.