ELECTION In Romania, the campaign for the second round of the presidential election continues. The vote is scheduled for Sunday, November 24th. Competing are the incumbent president, Klaus Iohannis, backed by the National Liberal Party in power, and the former Social Democrat PM Viorica Dancila. According to data made public by the Central Electoral Bureau and validated on Friday by the Constitutional Court, in the first round Klaus Iohanis got 37.82% of the votes and Viorica Dăncilă 22.26%. The turnout was 51.19%. Abroad, where Romanian citizens were able to vote Friday through Sunday, record-large numbers of voters showed up in polls (over 675,000). In the runoff as well, the Romanians living abroad will have 3 days to cast their ballots, between noon on Friday and Sunday at 9 PM, with a possible extension to midnight.
AUTOMOTIVE In October Romania was the most dynamic automobile market in Europe, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association announced. Last month, around 11,000 vehicles were registered in Romania, up 58.1% since the same month last year. In the first 10 months of 2019, around 135,000 automobiles were registered in Romania, accounting for an annual growth rate of 18.9%, whereas the European automobile market saw a 0.7% decline. Dacia reported a 7.8% rise in sales in Europe in October, to 40,687 units. The Romanian carmaker Dacia was taken over by Renault in 1999. Relaunched in 2004 with the new Logan model, Dacia turned into a major player in the European automobile market.
TRAGEDY The owner of the Romanian company that provided pest extermination services for 2 apartment buildings in Timişoara, western Romania, was arrested for 24 hours this morning, under charges of manslaughter, bodily harm and trafficking in controlled substances. The court will decide whether he will be kept in pre-trial arrest. Recently, 3 people died following a pest and rodent extermination operation—a 9-day baby, a 3-year old and his mother, while 20 other people, adults and children, are hospitalised. The 2 buildings have been evacuated. Preliminary investigations reveal that the intoxication was caused by neurotoxins. The tragedy caused panic among the locals, with scores of people requesting medical check-ups.
STATISTICS Over one-quarter (27.7%) of the population of Romania were living in 2018 in households without indoor toilets. The figure is down from the 29.7% reported in 2017, but still more than 10 times above the EU average of 2.1%, according to data made public today by Eurostat, on World Toilet Day. In as many as 19 member states, the percentage of people living in housing without indoor toilets in 2018 was below 1%, including Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden where the figure is very close to zero. At the opposite pole, Romania is preceded by Bulgaria with 15.3%, Lithuania (10.6%), Latvia (9.9%) and Estonia (5.3%). Still, the number of people living without proper sanitation services in the EU dropped from 3.3% in 2010 to 2.1% last year, and in Romania it fell from 40.9% to 27.7%.
THEATRE The Government of Japan awarded the Order of the Rising Sun to the actor Constantin Chiriac, director of the Radu Stanca National Theatre in Sibiu and president of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, in recognition of his contribution to promoting the Japanese culture in Romania and the cultural exchanges between the 2 countries. The Order of the Rising Sun was established in 1875, and is one of the most important decorations bestowed by the Japanese government, second to the Order of the Chrysanthemum, and is the highest awarded to foreign citizens, for distinguished achievements in international relations, for the promotion of the Japanese culture and of projects aimed at preserving the environment.
FOOTBALL Romania’s Under-21 football team are playing tonight away from home against Northern Ireland in the 2021 European Championship qualifying Group 8. With 3 wins and a loss in previous matches, the Romanians rank second in the group, after Denmark. The senior team Monday lost to Spain, 0-5 away from home, in Group F of next year’s European Championship qualifiers, and finished 4th in the group. After the defeat, manager Cosmin Contra announced his resignation. The only chance left for Romania to qualify into the final tournament is the Nations League playoff due in March. The draw for Euro 2020 will take place in Bucharest on November 30. The Romanian capital city will also host 3 group matches and an eighth-final.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)