COVID-19 IN ROMANIA - Romania saw 7,304 new
infections and 177 new deaths on Tuesday, so a total of 314,295 people have
been infected since the start of the pandemic. A record 1,093 people are
receiving hospital treatment in intensive care. President Klaus Iohannis on
Tuesday evening said Romania is facing a very complicated situation, and until
a viable vaccine emerges, restrictions are the only way to protect the
population and to ease pressure on the healthcare system.
NATO - NATO cannot remain without nuclear
weapons, as long as Russia and China won't renounce this type of weaponry,
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday on the sidelines of NATO's
annual Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Arms Control, Disarmament and
Non-Proliferation, hosted by the Romanian Foreign Ministry. Secretary
Stoltenberg said the world's nuclear arsenal has been reduced by 90% in the
last 40 years, and only three NATO allies dispose of such weapons, albeit with
security guarantees in place. Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu in turn
called for a global non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, adding that China
should join Russia and the United States by taking part in the START nuclear
disarmament programme. The meeting marks the anniversary of 50 years since the
treatment on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons took effect and is a preview
of the assessment conference scheduled for August 2021. The event was
originally scheduled to take place in March in Bucharest as a sign of
recognition of Romania's high profile within the Alliance, but was rescheduled
in videoconference format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MOLDOVA - Romania wants to
remain a solid partner for Moldova's civil society, and Sunday's second round
of the presidential election will be closely monitored, President Klaus
Iohannis said on Tuesday. The president said the results of the first vote,
favoring pro-Western candidate Maia Sandu, is very pleasing, saying it is a
vote in favor of an irreversible democratic evolution of the Republic of
Moldova, something which Romania has been supporting unequivocally. Former
Prime minister Maia Sandu will face off the current president of the Republic,
Socialist Igor Dodon, in the second round next Sunday. In the first round on
November 1, Sandu grabbed 36% of the vote, while Dodon a little under 33%.
Pro-European candidates who've been ousted in the first round have expressed
their unconditional support for Maia Sandu in the presidential standoff. Renato Usatyi, who grabbed 17% of the vote in
the first round, the third-largest number, has also urged his electorate to
vote for Sandu in the second round.
FRIGATE - The Romanian frigate Queen Maria has
interrupted its participation to the Standing NATO Maritime Group on Tuesday,
leaving the port of Aksaz in Turkey to head home a month earlier than
scheduled, due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported amongst crew
members. According to the Romanian Naval Forces General Staff, the frigate had
been taking part in a mission monitoring naval traffic in the Eastern
Mediterranean starting October 27, a mission due to complete on December 7.
However, as a significantly high number of people onboard got sick with the
SARS Cov-2 virus, the commander decided to return home earlier.
PROTEST - Trade unions of the Emergency
Ambulance services have cancelled their protest scheduled for Tuesday in
Bucharest following talks with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and the minister of
Health and Public finance. The work-in strike scheduled for Wednesday has also
been called off, the president of the National Ambulance Trade Federations,
Gheorghe Chiş has said. During the talks the officials agreed to take on an
additional 1,000 staff for the ambulance services, which will be taken up
following vacancy-filling contests over an indefinite period of time. The
amount of ambulance workers are to be evenly divided across the country.
Gheorghe Chiş also said the authorities are considering the payment of bonuses
or medical nurse salaries to ambulance service personnel throughout the
pandemic. As regards survivors' benefits to be paid to the families of ambulance
personnel who die to the COVID-19 virus, Chiş said the topic has been tackled,
although Parliament is already debating a draft law on the status of ambulance
personnel that regulates such situations. In another development, members of
Sanitas federation of trade unions in the field of healthcare picketed the
government building in Bucharest to protest against the authorities' lack of
reaction to the requests for financial, staff and logistical assistance. A week
ago, dozens of trade union members in the healthcare and social assistance
areas held a first protest against what they described as the authorities'
"incoherent crisis strategies" for handling the pandemic. Sanitas
decided to hold such protests outside the government building every Tuesday until
the right measures are taken.
FILM - The
Romanian documentaries "My Home" directed by Radu Ciorniciuc and "colectiv"
directed by Alexander Nanau have been nominated in the 33rd edition
of the European Film Academy Awards, to be announced during a series of online
events scheduled for December 8 -12. According to the official website of the
event, "in order to widen the platform to more European films in what is such a
difficult time for European cinema and artists, the EFA Board has decided to
exceptionally increase the nominations in the full length feature film
categories and in the documentary category from five to six". "My Home" tells
the story of a family who's lived 18 years in the Văcăreşti Delta in Bucharest,
striving for acceptance and a self-shaped freedom. "colectiv" tells the story
of the first year ensuing the devastating fire of October 30, 2015 at Colectiv
nightclub in Bucharest, which killed 64 people. The film is Romania's proposal
for the 2021 Academy Awards in the "best international feature" section.
FOOTBALL - Romania's national team on Wednesday
is playing Belarus on home turf in a friendly match, in the run-up to Romania's
last two games scheduled for this year as part of Group 1B in the European
Nations' League. Romania will play Norway at home on November 15 and Northern
Ireland on November 18 away from home. Romania is ranked 3rd in the
group tables with 4 points, behind Norway and Austria, each with 9 points. In
October Romania lost its final chance of qualifying to the 2021 European
Championship after losing 1-2 to Iceland in the playoff semi-finals.
(Translated by C. Mateescu
& V. Palcu)