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TALKS - The presidents of Romania and the Republic of Moldova, Klaus Iohannis and Maia Sandu, respectively, on Tuesday held talks in Bucharest about Romania's support for Moldova with a view to helping this country overcome the energy crisis. Talks also focused on consolidating the excellent and substantial bilateral relation at political, economic and sectorial levels and furthering projects of joint strategic interest in the fields of energy, transport, healthcare, education or information society. President Sandu thanked Romania for its swift action in order to provide electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and firewood to Moldovan citizens. In turn, president Iohannis hailed the 41% increase in bilateral trade in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the similar period of 2021. The Moldovan president also met with Romania's Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciucă. Talks focused on regional security and energy developments caused by Russia destroying electricity infrastructure objectives in Ukraine. The two officials underlined the need to boost border traffic by expanding existing bridges and transport routes and by building new bridges over the Prut River that would improve interconnection between the two states and further develop economic and business ties. Also on Tuesday, Maia Sandu attended the international conference entitled "Women MPs in Romania and promoting gender equality as a national top priority" held in Bucharest.
REFUGEES - The National Border Police announced that some 76 thousand people entered Romania on Monday, of whom some 7,500 were Ukrainian nationals, a 15% drop compared to the previous day. According to a press release, some 2.7 million Ukrainians have entered Romania since February 10, most of whom were in route to Western countries. 86,500 Ukrainian citizens have chosen to stay.
ENERGY - Romania has one of the five highest increases in the price of electricity and natural gas in the European Union in the first half of the year - 55%. According to Eurostat, some EU states even saw prices drop, like The Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland and Hungary, where the price is regulated by the state. In the first half of the year, Europeans paid on average over 25 euros per 100 KWh from 22 euros in the first half of 2021. Natural gas was also more expensive across the EU, from 6.5 to 8.6 euros for 100 KWh. The increasingly high energy bills have pushed the inflation upwards in the eurozone to a record level of 10.7%, according to provisional estimates published by Eurostat. This is the first time that the increase in prices reaches double-digits in the eurozone. The previous record of 9.9% was reached last month. In its attempts to keep the inflation rate in check, the European Central Bank last week decided to raise its monetary policy interest rates by a further 0.75%, with yet more increases expected in the coming months.
NATURAL GAS - Romania's gas storage level nears 97%, said energy minister Virgil Popescu. He again promised there won't be problems with the gas supply this winter. The minimum mandatory storage filling level in the European Union is 80%, and was reached as early as mid September. Gas storage facilities across the Union are almost full.
INVESTMENT - The Finnish company Nokian Tyres will invest 650 million EUR in a tire factory in Oradea, northwestern Romania, with zero-carbon emissions. Construction will start next year while production is expected to start in two years. Some 500 workers will be employed to ensure an annual production capacity of 600 million tires per year. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă has hailed the announcement, stating that foreign investment in Romania has increased by over 46% in the first months of 2022, standing at over 6.4 billion EUR.
PUBLIC RADIO DAY - Radio Romania turned 94 on Tuesday. November 1, 1928 saw the first broadcast of the Society of Radiotelephonic Broadcasting, as the public radio service was named in official documents when it was first established. Later becoming a public autonomous service of national interest and with regional independence, the station hosted, from as early as the 1920s, the first radio play, the first children's programme, the first live broadcast from the Romanian Opera House and the first sports broadcast. In recognition of its role in the history of Romania, Parliament in 2019 established 1st of November as National Radio Day in Romania. (CM & VP)
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