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A NEW SCHOOL YEAR – Education and not corruption should pave the way to success in Romania, Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis said during the ceremonies occasioned by the start of a new school year. The president argued for a society upholding real values. This prompted him to launch the project “Educated Romania”, focusing on a different type of education, adapted to the needs of society. In turn, PM Dacian Ciolos says the Romanian education system should bring a change of perspective and let pupils room to express themselves and learn to be responsible. He urged pupils to take confidence in their own forces and not simply chase high grades and “empty titles, depleted of any content”, which do not bring them any progress at personal level. Over 3 million pupils started a new school year on Monday.
MIGRANTS – The Romanian border police on Monday arrested 30 migrants, 29 Afghani citizens and 1 Pakistani, while trying to illegally cross the southwestern border with Serbia. The migrants said they wanted to reach Western Europe. No papers were found on them. The Romanian authorities have strengthened security on the country’s Serbian border, after several small groups of migrants in August tried to illegally cross into Romania.
ROMANIAN-FRENCH TIES – French President, François Hollande, is paying a state visit to Romania. On Tuesday, he will be received in Bucharest by his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis. The two high officials will approach issues on the bilateral as well as the European agenda, following Great Britain’s decision to leave the community block. François Hollande and Klaus Iohannis will also visit the Research Centre in Magurele, near Bucharest. Agreements in the field of education and research will be signed with the two presidents in attendance. They will also participate in the “Future French-Romanian Partnerships” Economic Forum. Romania counts on a boost in the bilateral economic relations, France being Romania’s fourth largest trading partner and the fifth largest investor. According to the French Presidency, François Hollande will attend the inauguration of an Airbus helicopter factory in Brasov, central Romania. The Romanian authorities intend to boost the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, after in June, the French and Romanian prime ministers revised and signed the roadmap. We recall that Romania, a Francophone and Francophile country was the first southeast European state to strike a Strategic Partnership with France, in 2008. The Partnership was signed in Bucharest by the then presidents, Nicolas Sarkozy and Traian Basescu.
DIASPORA –Minister Delegate for the Relation with Romanians Worldwide Maria Ligor has met with members of the Romanian community in Canada, where she underlined the importance of postal voting. The Romanian official has presented the measures that have already been taken and are considered for implementation in the ensuing period of time, which are aimed at enhancing professionalism, transparency and efficiency of the Department of Policies for the Relation with the Romanian Diaspora. Talks also laid emphasis on the high interest for cooperation in such domains as tertiary education, business, promotion of Romanian artists, substantiating and evaluating the consequences of public policies on Romanian communities living outside the country’s borders. Maria Ligor has also met with the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees, John McCallum, together with whom she approached ways to boost bilateral cooperation, including a visa waiver for Romanian citizens and boosting cooperation between the EU and Canada.
REDUNDACIES – Some 850 employees of the Hunedoara Energy Compound in western Romania will be laid off, under a restructuring program which took effect on Monday. Trade unions have made public their decision to give up on the planned protests after reaching an agreement with the company management on Friday and signing a Collective Employment Agreement, which stipulates, among others, the rights of those to be made redundant. The management has announced the restructuring program will not impact labour productivity and will allow for continuing activity in the following years. Collective layoffs do not solve the problems that have long been outstanding at the Hunedoara Energy Compound, the more so as the company’s debts to the state budget and to its suppliers exceed some 330 million Euros. Furthermore, nothing has been done in the past three years to render the activity more efficient.
ROMANIAN CARRIERS – Romanian carriers on Monday ran at low speed on ring roads across the country, again, in protest against the high mandatory liability insurance premiums. They protested every Monday in recent times, and in the absence of a measure taken by the government, they will stage a big rally at national level on September 15. Meanwhile, the government has made public its decision to change the laws on mandatory liability insurances. According to a draft emergency ordinance that has been launched for public debate by the Finance Ministry, contracts can also be signed for a period ranging from one month to one year and the payment can also be made in installments. Furthermore, the beneficiary can request the termination of the contract. A ceiling will be introduced for the level of premiums, with the Financial Surveillance Authority being allowed to change them.
CEASEFIRE – A ceasefire agreement came into force on Monday in Syria, negotiated by the US and Russia, aimed at putting an end to hostilities. The Syrian army canceled all of its military operations for a week. Signed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the agreement also includes a national truce, improving the access of humanitarian missions and joint military operations against the Islamic State and al-Nusrah. Syrian rebels have declared their reluctance with the agreement, saying it will only strengthen the regime in Damascus.
TENNIS – Romanian tennis player, Simona Halep, continues to be ranked as world no.5 in the WTA rankings, whereas German Angelique Kerber becomes the new no.1 in tennis. Romanian Irina Begu ranks 23rd, Monica Niculescu 55th and Sorana Carstea 89th. At the US Open, Halep reached the quarterfinals, where she was knocked out by the former no. 1 player Serena Williams of the USA. At the WTA tournament in Tokyo, Halep is seeded 3rd in the competition, after Garbine Muguruza of Spain and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. Halep last took part in the competition in 2013, when she was knocked out by Venus Williams of the US.
(Translated by D. Vijeu and V. Palcu)