BILATERAL RELATIONS – Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, who is on an official visit to Israel, will meet President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the country’s Foreign Minister. The agenda for talks includes the status of bilateral relations, the developments in Israel’s vicinity, the situation in Syria and Iraq, the prospects of Iran’s nuclear agreement and the peacemaking process. On Sunday, Minister Melescanu met with representatives of the Romanian-born Jewish community in Jerusalem. Several days ago, the Chairman of the Knesset Committee on Foreign Relations and Defense, Avi Dichter, met with Teodor Melescanu in Bucharest. The Romanian official hailed the visit of the Israeli Parliamentary delegation to Romania as an opportunity to reassert the excellent level of bilateral relations.
NEGOTIATIONS – Trade unions in the field of healthcare are today resuming talks with the Health Ministry. Union representatives are discontented with the new legislation that is to take effect on January 1 and which, they believe, would considerably curb the income of healthcare personnel. Trade unions want the Government to eliminate the 30% cap on specific bonuses and to renounce its plan to transfer the payment of social security contributions from employers to employees, which will arguably counterbalance the 25% salary increase stipulated by the new salary law. Unless they reach consensus with the authorities, healthcare trade unions threaten to resort to new protests. Last week some 10,000 employees from all over the country attended a large-scale protest action in Bucharest.
SPLIT VAT – The Romanian Parliament is today debating the Split VAT collection mechanism. Finance Minister Ionut Misa is today expected to explain before the Chamber of Deputies how the measure will be implemented. The measure has already taken effect by emergency Government decree and is currently optional. It will become mandatory for all businesses starting January 1, 2018. The Liberals have called on the Government to repeal the decree, saying it will upset the economy. Conversely, the left-wing ruling coalition plans on modifying the law so that it becomes mandatory only for businesses with a bad credit record or which are currently in default. Split VAT has stirred harsh criticism from businesses, who’ve warned the new mechanism will cause an economic deadlock.
REFERENDUM – The majority of voters in the regions of Veneto and Lombardy in northern Italy have voted for greater autonomy as part of the two referendum held on Sunday. Over 90% of the voters said “yes” to the consultation held by the North League, an extremist political party. According to our correspondent on the group, the result of the vote might lead to negotiations with Rome authorities, with a view to securing better financial agreements with the two regions.
HANDBALL – The Romanian women’s handball team CSM Bucharest lost 25-22 to Nykobing Falster Handboldklub of Denmark away from home, in the third match in the Champions League Group A. CSM previously defeated RK Krim Mercator Ljubljana of Slovenia on home turf and Vistal Gdynia of Poland away from home. CSM ranks first in the group tables with 4 points, the same as Nykobing, who is runner-up. The next fixture for the Romanian handballers will be the return leg against Nykobing Falster Handboldklub, scheduled on November 4 at home. CSM Bucharest won the Champions League last year on its first ever appearance in this competition. This year CSM is favourite to win.
TENNIS – Tennis player Simona Halep, WTA no. 1, is seeded first in the WTA finals hosted by Singapore. Halep is today playing Caroline Garcia of France, WTA no. 9 in the first match in the Red Group. In the second Group fixture, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, WTA no. 4, will take on Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, WTA no. 6. On Sunday on the first day of the competition, Garbine Muguruza of Spain defeated 6-3, 6-4 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, who has for the first time qualified to this event. In the other match in the White Group, Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic defeated Venus Williams of the United States, 6-2, 6-2. This is Simona Halep’s fourth participation in the WTA Finals. Four years ago she made it all the way to the final. (Translated by V. Palcu)