A roundup of domestic and international news.
EXPENDITURE – The amounts spent on healtcare in Romania accounted for 4.99% of the GDP in 2016, the smallest level in the EU, where the average is 10% of the GDP, Eurostat reports. France stands best in the EU in this respect, with 11.5% of the GDP, followed by Germany, with 11.1% and Sweden with 11%. On the other hand, 12 EU states alloted less than 7.5% of the GDP in 2016.
MESSAGE - As a member of the EU and NATO, Romania pays special attention to the countries in this area and supports them in getting closer to the European and Euro-Atlantic family, President Klaus Iohannis has said in amessage conveyed to the participants in the conference of the Balkan countries’ defense ministers. In the context of Romania holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first six months of the year, the country has paid special attention to the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, President Iohannis has said. Attending the conference are delegations from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey, as well as Croatia and Slovenia as observers.
UN - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will participate in the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, between September 24 and 26. The session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) opens on 17 September. The first day of the high-level General Debate will be Tuesday, 24 September. During the week of the debate, several other high-level events will take place.
REPATRIATION – The entire diplomatic corps of the Romanian Embassy in Kabul is to be transported back home, after the terror attack on Tuesday evening. A member of the security staff was killed and a member of the diplomatic corps was injured. President Klaus Iohannis, Foreign Minister Ramona Manescu and Prime Minister Viorica Dancila have firmly condemned the attack and have reiterated Romania’s support to the fight against terrorism in all its forms. Almost 200 people have been killed and some 900 wounded in attacks taking place in Kabul since the beginning of the year. Romania is one of the first five contributor countries to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, deploying over 760 military to this theatre of operations. Romanian troops have taken part in missions in this country ever since January 2002. Dozens of them have been killed or wounded since then in attacks, but it is for the first time that the embassy headquarters have come under attack.
FORUM – The Ministry for the Romanians Abroad organizes between September 4 and 8 in Bucharest the Forum of the Romanians Abroad. The forum is aimed at creating a platform for debates on topics related to Romanians who live outside the country’s borders. Some 5.6 million Romanians are living abroad and another 4 million in the historical communities around the borders, according to data made public in July by 70 Romanian diplomatic missions.
BREXIT- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a new battle in the House of Commons after his first vote as PM saw him lose to Tories and opposition MPs who object to a no-deal Brexit, the BBC reports. The Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, allowing them to bring a bill requesting a Brexit delay. The PM is to call for a general election if he is forced to request an extension to the 31 October deadline. MPs will now vote on the Brexit delay bill. If it passes, the vote on whether to hold an election will follow.
ENESCU – The Berlin Radio Orchestra and Choir, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, is today presenting in Bucharest Richard Strauss's Shadowless Woman as part of the George Enescu International Festival. They will be accompanied by the Radio Romania Children’s Choir. The central theme of the current edition of the festival is World in Harmony, and its artistic director is Vladimir Jurowski. Until September 22, alongside Bucharest, another 10 cities in Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Moldova will host concerts this year under the festival’s umbrella. (Translated by Elena Enache)