School – Almost 3 million Romanian pupils and preschoolers will start school on Monday. Many changes mark the new school year. It will be structured into 5 modules, separated by 5 holidays. Mandatory tests are eliminated and the average mark obtained at the end of the secondary school is eliminated from the calculation of the admission-to-high-school average mark. Starting this year, end-of-module assessments are no longer mandatory, there will be only one average mark for each subject, and at the end of the year students can no longer be expelled. The Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu admitted that one of the problems of Romanian schools is the lack of fire safety certificates for many of them. Moreover, more than half of the educational units in the country, about 57%, do not have security services at the beginning of the school year.
Berlin – The German government, currently faced with a cost-of-living crisis that many families cannot cope with, on Sunday announced a support package worth 65 billion Euros, DPA reports. The measures include a new, cheaper public transport ticket, a one-off sum of 300 and 200 Euros respectively for pensioners and students to pay the energy bill, an increase in allowances for the elderly or those unable to work, and an increase of 18 Euros in the child allowance. An amount of 300 Euros, also for the payment of energy bills, had already been agreed upon for working people. Moreover, the government will introduce lower tariffs for a certain basic ceiling of energy consumption, above which the price will increase. According to the head of the Bundesbank, the German central bank, the inflation rate, which reached 7.9% in August, is likely to reach 10% by the end of the year, a first since the 1950s. Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Scholz government has already unlocked two aid packages for families, totaling around 30 billion Euros.
Rowing – Romania won 9 medals, 5 gold and 4 silver, on Sunday, at the Under-23 European Rowing Championships in Belgium, in 11 finals. The Romanian athletes also obtained two fifth places. Romania participated with 12 crews and 38 athletes at the Under-23 European Championships in Belgium. Recently, at the European Rowing Championships, Romanian athletes won no less than 8 medals, 5 gold and 3 bronze, this being the biggest achievement obtained by Romanian rowers at an edition of the Continental Championships.
Competition – The "George Enescu" International Competition started on Sunday with the concert of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic, conducted by Ainars Rubikis and of soloists who won the 2020-2021 edition, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The event, which this year takes place under the motto 'Music of Hope', marks 64 years since the first edition, opened on September 4, 1958. This year, 34 young musicians from all over the world qualified for the semifinals of the competition, in the sections Cello, Violin and Piano. 22 orchestral and chamber works will enter the competition in the Composition Section, where an Originality Award will also be granted. The winning works will be announced on September 18.
Ukraine – The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that he had asked the EU to urgently allocate the next tranche of aid for his country and pressed for a new set of sanctions against Russia, during a telephone conversation with the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Reuters reports. Zelenski, who warned Europeans to expect a tough winter due to the cuts in Russian oil and gas exports, also said he and Von Der Leyen coordinated their measures to limit Russia's surplus profits from oil and gas sales. Earlier, the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal said that Kyiv expected to receive a five billion Euro installment from the EU next week, in the form of macro-financial aid. (LS)