NATIONAL DAY - On December 1st, when Romania’s National Day is celebrated, the country marks 100 years since the creation of the Romanian nation state. On this occasion, around 450 public events are held at home and abroad, to be attended by over 550 thousand people. Around 4000 military and specialists with the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Romanian Intelligence Service and the Protection and Guard Service will march in Bucharest, together with 200 military vehicles while 50 aircraft will fly over the Triumphal Arch. As many as 500 foreign soldiers will also take part in the December 1st parade. “The moment of December 1st, 1918 would not have been possible without the sacrifice of soldiers on the battlefields, without the wise political elites that strove to turn into reality the national ideal of Romanians in the historical provinces, without the contribution of the royal family and of the national minorities,” Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, said on Friday. The centenary is not only about Romania of the past but also about Romania of the future, President Iohannis went on to say. Alba Iulia, the central Romanian city where on December 1st 1918 the Romanian nation state was proclaimed, is hosting as of Friday a new edition of the Congress of Romanian Spirituality, attended by representatives of Romanian communities from all over the world. A series of cultural events are also being held on the occasion of the National Day at the Romanian Cultural Institute offices abroad, in collaboration with Romania’s diplomatic missions.
CHRISTMAS FAIR – The Bucharest Christmas Fair opened on Friday marked the start of the winter season through a series of events and shows. The fair will be open for one month. Also as of Friday nine million Christmas light adorn the capital city, three times more than in previous years. Over 40 kilometers of boulevards and streets have been decorated.
G20 - G20 member nations are struggling to reach agreement on major issues including trade, migration and climate change as world leaders gathered in the Buenos Aires for a summit that started on Friday. This is the first G20 summit ever held in South America. The summit takes place amid new tension with Russia over Ukraine and a US trade row with China. US President Donald Trump has cancelled a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in protest at Russia's seizure of Ukrainian naval boats. Trump’s move may also be connected to the internal investigation regarding suspicions of Russian interference in the elections for the White House, commentators believe. The two-day summit in Buenos Aires will be a major test for the Group of 20 industrialized nations, whose leaders first met in 2008 to help rescue the global economy from the worst financial crisis in seven decades, but which now faces questions over its relevance to deal with the latest round of crises, Reuters reports. Before the start of the summit, the US, Canada and Mexico signed a new trade agreement. Saying that all three countries will benefit from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, President Trump said “it is probably the largest trade deal ever made.”
RELIGIOUS SERVICE – On December 1st Patriarch Theophilos II of Jerusalem and All Palestine will attend alongside Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church the ceremonies in Alba Iulia marking Romania’s National Day and the 1918 Great Union Centennial. The two patriarchs officiated a religious service on Friday, dedicated to St. Apostle Andrew, celebrated on Nov 30 and considered the protector of Romania. The religious service was held at the new national cathedral in Bucharest, inaugurated a week ago. His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos announced that the delegation of the Jerusalem Patriarchate brought with them a fragment of the holy relics of Saint John Jacob for the new cathedral. Patriarch Daniel said that the relics will be placed in one of the chapels at the basement of the National Cathedral which will be dedicated to Saint John Jacob. The Patriarch of Jerusalem arrived in Romania Thursday morning to lead the celebrations of the first patronal feast held in the National Cathedral.
INFLATION - The annual inflation rate in the eurozone dropped in November to 2% from 2.2% the previous month, according to preliminary data made public by Eurostat on Friday. Previously, Eurostat announced that the annual inflation rate went up in October to 2.2% in the eurozone and the EU while Estonia and Romania reported the highest inflation rates in the EU, of 4.5% and 4.2% respectively. Also in October, the unemployment rate stood at 4%,which is below the European average of 6.7%. On the other hand, in Bucharest the Finance Ministry announced that Romania’s general consolidated budget accounted for almost 21 billion lei, that is 4.5 billion euros, in the first 10 months of the year, which is 2.2% of the GDP. From January to October 2018, revenues to the state budget were by almost 12% higher than in the same period last year. Expenditure also grew, by 18% more than in the same period of 2017. The Government says that the budget deficit in 2019 will stay at maximum 3% of the GDP.
HANDBALL - The Romanian women's handball team is in France where it will play the Czech Republic in the European Championship's Group D on Saturday. Romania will next play Germany on December 3 and Norway on December 5. The first three teams in each group will advance to the next phase. Coached by Ambros Martin of Spain, Romania is taking part in the Championship for the 13th time. Two years ago it ranked 5th, while its best performance was in 2010, when it scooped bronze. (Translated by Elena Enache)