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Ordinance - The Romanian government on Thursday approved a new emergency ordinance that regulates prices in the energy field. The compensation cap for electricity for natural persons drops slightly and the over-taxation of large profits of companies in the field is introduced - the so-called solidarity contribution. Compensations and caps are also provided for SMEs, public institutions, schools and hospitals. Natural gas prices are also compensated. The new rules apply for one year. The government also focuses on a bill called "Winter Plan", which will be adopted next week. It includes several elements, including the amount of natural gas in deposits. At the moment, there are more than 2.2 billion cubic meters in deposits, which means about 73% of the total storage amount of natural gas.
Strategy – President Klaus Iohannis states that the implementation of the National Strategy to prevent and combat anti-Semitism, xenophobia, radicalization and hate speech demonstrates, once again, Romania's determination to promote tolerance and good understanding in society. The Romanian President adds in his message that, in the current context marked by multiple crises, intolerance and acts of violence against whole categories of people are increasing, and such manifestations "must not be tolerated".
Session – The Romanian senators and deputies started a new parliamentary session on Thursday, during which they will debate mainly the Justice and Education Laws, documents that the MPs of the governing coalition consider a priority. The bill on public interest disclosure was adopted on Thursday by the Senate, as the first body referred to, and re-examined as a result of the request made by President Klaus Iohannis. The bill initiated by the Government is to transpose into the Romanian legislation a European directive on the protection of whistleblowers - persons who report violations of the law. From the opposition, USR submitted a simple motion against the Energy Minister, entitled 'Romania without energy. Romanians pay the bill for Virgil Popescu's incompetence’.
Drones – The Romanian Defense Ministry requested the prior approval of the Parliament for the purchase of three Bayraktar drone systems, and the Parliament leaders approved the request. The purchase is to be initiated this year, depending on the money available from the budget, the document mentions. The value of the contract is estimated at 300 million dollars, and the exact value will be established following the acquisition procedure. The analysis of the Defense Ministry shows that only these drones manufactured in Turkey can meet the needs of the Romanian Army.
COVID – 2,630 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been registered in Romania in the last 24 hours, 467 less than the previous day - the Health Ministry announced on Thursday. Since the start of the pandemic, almost three years ago, 3,221,984 cases of infection with the novel coronavirus have been registered in Romania. Also in the last 24 hours, 19 deaths have reported in Covid patients. As of the beginning of the pandemic until now, 66,728 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in Romania.
IAEA - A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived on Thursday at the nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, after a delay of several hours caused by bombings carried out near the objective, Reuters reports. The IAEA director Rafael Grossi previously declared that the visit was a "technical mission" aimed at preventing a nuclear accident. The mission is a step towards the "de-occupation and demilitarization" of this nuclear power complex, the Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Haluschenko said in an interview. The Nuclear Power Plant in Zaporozhe, Europe's largest, was seized by the Russians in March, but it is still managed by Ukrainian personnel. The perimeter of the plant has been repeatedly bombed in the last month, with Kiev and Moscow accusing each other of the attacks.
Discrimination – Hearings were held on Thursday at the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) in Romania in the case of the statements made by the prime minister of neighboring Hungary, Viktor Orbán, at Băile Tuşnad (center). The notification was made by the Liberal deputy Alexandru Muraru, after the Hungarian PM pleaded for racial purity during a private visit to Romania. Orbán appreciated that a mixed race appeared, due to the large number of emigrants from Europe, and that the countries that accepted this fact are no longer nations. The National Council for Combating Discrimination summoned Viktor Orbán through the Hungarian Embassy, but he did not comply with the summons. The notification in the case of Viktor Orbán was a first for the CNCD, because it targets a foreign dignitary. (LS)
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