ELECTIONS - The campaign for the second round of the presidential elections in Romania has started and it will end on November 23rd. The contenders are the current president of the country, Klaus Iohannis, who won the first round with 37.82% of the votes, and Viorica Dăncilă, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, now in opposition, who got 22.26% of the votes. Romanians abroad will have again three days to cast their votes, from Friday until Sunday.
USR - The members of the Save Romania Union (USR), the third largest party in Romania's parliament, have five days to decide whether they want Dan Barna to continue to be the party leader. Barna has announced he will step back if the party members ask him to. The consultations come after the first round of the presidential election, where Dan Barna, representing the USR-PLUS Alliance, failed to get enough votes to get into the second round.
CORRUPTION - The former Romanian Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu has been sent to court by the National Anticorruption Directorate for bribe-taking and influence peddling, in a case regarding the rehabilitation of railway sectors in Romania. The former MP Cristian Boureanu is also tried, in the same case, for influence peddling. According to a release issued by the Anticorruption Directorate, the case is about offences committed between 2005-2017, when a foreign company paid some 20 million Euro to several Romanian officials, to facilitate the conclusion and execution of railway rehabilitation contracts.
INFLATION - The highest inflation rates in the EU were reported in October in Romania (3.2%), Hungary (3%) and Slovakia (2.9%), according to data made public on Friday by Eurostat. At the opposite pole there stood Cyprus (-0.5%), Greece (-0.3%) and Portugal (-0.1%). As compared to the previous month, the annual inflation rate dropped in 15 members states, remained stable in 8 and went up in 5. In the Eurozone, the annual inflation rate in October stood at 0.7%.
BREXIT - More than half a million applications for EU settled status were received by the UK's Home Office in October, taking the total to 2.4 million, euractive.com reports. The spike in numbers is no surprise since the UK was due to exit the EU on 31 October, only for EU leaders to agree to another three month extension after politicians refused to pass the Withdrawal Agreement finalised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders in time to meet the deadline. Polish citizens lodged 456,600, the highest number, followed by 388,600 Romanian nationals and 259,300 applications from Italian citizens. However, 40% of these have been given pre-settled status, a figure which increased to 44% in October, according to euractive.com. Having pre-settled status allows applicants to stay in the UK for five more years, at the end of which they would have to apply again for settled status.
SIBIU - The Sibiu Christmas Fair in central Romania opened its gates on Friday. This fair is dubbed the most beautiful in the country and visitors have to opportunity to buy holiday presents and foodstuffs. A mini entertainment park was organized for children, as well as a skating rink and Santa's workshop. This is the 13th edition of the Sibiu Christmas Fair, which has become one of Romania's tourist brands, bringing to Sibiu some 100,000 Romanian and foreign visitors every year.
FAIR - Eight Romanian companies presented electronic, software and automation products and services at the world's leading trade fir for electronics development and production, Productronica, hosted by the city of Munich between the 12th and the 15th of November. According to a communique issued by the Romanian Ministry of the Economy, the Romanian business people attending the fair had working meetings with representatives of big companies from Germany and other EU and non-EU countries. The Romanian companies exhibited alongside some 2.500 companies from more than 50 countries.