COVID-19 - 1,470
new cases of COVID infection were reported on Thursday in Romania, in addition
to 26 related fatalities. Some 2,600 patients are currently treated in hospital
for coronavirus, of whom 322 are in intensive care. The constant increase in
the number of infections has not determined Romanians to take the anti-COVID
vaccine. Less than 8,000 people got immunized on Wednesday.
-Romania's president, Klaus Iohannis, earlier today signed the decree to
dismiss Stelian Ion from the position of Justice Minister. At the same time,
the president designated Lucian Bode, the current Interior Minister, as interim
Justice Minister. Late last night, the USR-PLUS alliance in the ruling
coalition announced it withdraws all political support for Liberal Prime
Minister Florin Cîţu. Tensions escalated after the head of government announced
the dismissal of Justice Minister, Stelian Ion, who refused to greenlight a
comprehensive infrastructure project dubbed "Anghel Saligny". Stelian Ion said
today that he had identified "a number of constitutional and illegal issues" in
the project. USR-PLUS has called for negotiations to appoint a new Prime
Minister. Should they break down, the alliance will support the no-confidence
vote against the Prime Minister. UDMR Deputy Prime Minister Hunor Kelemen said
the "Anghel Saligny" project needs to be adopted before the budget adjustment,
expressing confidence that ruling coalition parties will break the political
stalemate in this matter. From the opposition, PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu told
USR-PLUS MPs they should either step down from the ruling coalition, or take
the vote of no-confidence against Florin Cîţu.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
Romania's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, is taking part in an
informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, held in Gymnich format, hosted by
Kranj in Slovenia today and tomorrow. High on the meeting's agenda are the
crisis in Afghanistan, the EU's approach to the Gulf region, EU-China relations
and the migration deadlock at Belarus's borders, which impacts border crossing
into Lithuania, Poland and Latvia. The Romanian official will express
solidarity with the aforementioned states, saying that using migration against
EU member states is unacceptable. European Ministers will also discuss in
detail the developments in Afghanistan and their impact on the EU's strategic
interests and will analyze political options as well as possible actions in
terms of humanitarian aid and security. Minister Aurescu is also expected to
express support for a new EU strategy on Afghanistan and to stress the
importance of a concerted EU effort. The Romanian official will also underline
the importance of European and Euro-Atlantic solidarity, as well as the need
for the EU to coordinate with the UN and NATO.
- Today, on the sixth day of the "George Enescu" International Music Festival,
the Radio Concert Hall will host its first concert. Under the patronage of the
Royal House of Romania, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Braşov Philharmonic will give a "Royal Concert" in the "Music of the 21st
century" series. Conducting will be Răzvan Apetrei. Also today, the Lausanne
Chamber Orchestra will give a new concert at the Romanian Athenaeum, whereas
the Bucharest Palace Hall will host a new concert in the "Great World Orchestras"
series. Performing tonight will be the Filarmonica della Scalla orchestra
conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Also today, the "Nation-wide Festival"
section is set to kick off. The artistic director of the Radio Symphonic
Orchestra of Prague, Alexander Liebreich, will be conducting the Transilvania
Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca. 32 orchestras from 14 countries are
taking part in the 2021 edition of the "George Enescu" Festival.
Romanian tennis player Sorana Cîrstea is today playing Shelby Rogers of the
United States in the second round at the US Open. On Wednesday, another
Romanian, Simona Halep, advanced to the third round after ousting Kristina
Kucova of Slovakia. The former world no. 1 will next play Elena Rybakina of
Kazakhstan. Sorana Cîrstea and Simona Halep are Romania's only representatives
in the women's singles.
Romania's national football team is today playing Iceland away from home in the
2022 World Cup preliminaries. On September 5, our team will play Lichtenstein
in Bucharest, while on September 8 it will take on North Macedonia in Skopje.
Romania ranks 4th in Group J, with 3 points, below Armenia with 9
points, and North Macedonia and Germany, each with 6 points. The first team
will advance to the World Cup, while teams in second position in each group
will go to the playoffs. (VP)