PATRIOT - The bill on the purchase of Patriot missile defense systems from the US has been fully endorsed today by the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, which is the decision making forum in this matter. Previously, the bill was endorsed by the Senate. Romania wants to purchase seven Patriot systems, whose total value stands at some 3.9 billion dollars. The first system, costing 765 million dollars is to be purchased by the end of the year.
MOTION - The Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania has decided to abstain from voting on the no-confidence motion filed by the right-wing opposition against the Government formed by the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Romania. The leader of the union Kelemen Hunor has stated that he agrees with some of the statements included in the motion, but has blamed the initiators for not providing alternatives to the current prime-minister and his governing programme. Signed by senators and deputies members of the National Liberal Party, the Save Romania Union and the People's Movement Party, the motion accuses the Executive that, through its policies, has deeply disturbed Romanian economy. In response, the Prime Minister Mihai Tudose has stated that, thanks to the latest fiscal reform, more money will get to the state budget and to the pension fund and companies will benefit from simplified procedures.
EMA/EBA - Gathered in Brussels on Monday, the EU foreign ministers decided that the European Banking Authority (EBA) would have its headquarters in Paris. Also, Amsterdam will host the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EU officials have chosen the Dutch capital through a competition in which Bucharest ran too. The two institutions, currently based in London, will be relocated after Brexit, in March 2019. EMA has 900 employees and supervises the safety of medicines sold on a market of more than 500 million consumers. As regards EBA, the French president Emmanuel Macron has stated that choosing Paris is a recognition of France's attractiveness and commitment. EBA regulates and supervises the banking system across the EU.
GERMANY - Consultations have started today in Germany on ways to exit the political crisis triggered by the Conservatists, the Liberals and the Greens failing to reach consensus on the formation of the new Government. The president of the country Frank Walter Steinmeier, who, according to the Constitution, must manage the crisis, has announced his intention to hold talks with all the political parties that could be part of the Government headed by Angela Merkel. We recall that her party won the legislative elections of September 24th. Steinmeier has excluded the participation of the far-right Alternative for Germany and the far-left Die Linke parties, as Angela Merkel refuses to engage in a dialogue with them. Also, the president has rejected the idea of early elections. According to the outcome of the September elections, Angela Merkel can only head a coalition government, as she excludes the alternative of a minority executive.
GAUDEAMUS - For the first time in its history, the GAUDEAMUS International Book Fair, organised this year by Radio Romania between the 22nd and the 26th of November, will have as the guest of honour not a country, but a Union, namely the European Union, through the Representation of the European Commission in Romania. This year's edition is special, as it marks 60 years since the signing of the Roma Treaty, 30 years since the launch of the Erasmus programme and also 10 years since Romania joined the European Union. Under the motto "unity in diversity", the European Union encourages people to discover and explore the rich cultural heritage of the old continent. This year's edition will enjoy the participation of 300 exhibitors and will host more than 800 events.
TOURISM - According to official data, Romanian tourism has grown by 10% in 2017 and the total number of tourists choosing Romania as one of their holiday destinations is likely to exceed 12 million this year, a value that has not been reached since 1990. The announcement was made by the first-vice president of the National Association of Travel Agencies Adrian Voican. He has stated that, in the first nine months of the year, the number of Romanians who chose Romania as a tourist destination increased by one million, reaching 9.5 million. Also, the number of foreign tourists is expected to exceed 2.6 million this year. Spa tourism has become a particular attraction, and the sales on this segment have doubled. (Translated by Mihaela Ignatescu)