Parliament marks the Centennial of the Great Union
The Romanian Parliament on Wednesday held a special session dedicated to the celebration, on December 1, of the Great Union that created the Romanian state. President Klaus Iohannis said that, 100 years from the event, politicians irrespective of party or doctrine should say whether they want to continue to promise a lot and deliver little, or if they have the daring and sense of responsibility to build a foundation for Romania in its second century. Klaus Iohannis said that Romanians have high hopes for the future of their country, and rightful expectations from its leaders. PM Viorica Dancila made a call to unity among the political class. Among the guests of honor at the solemn session in Romania's Parliament were invited former presidents Emil Constantinescu and Traian Basescu, as well as members of the government and diplomats accredited to Romania. Also present were the president of the Romanian Academy, the National Bank Governor, the president of the National Association of War Veterans, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as representatives of the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic churches.
Romanians around the world celebrate national day
Many ceremonies are being held these days in the country and abroad to celebrate the national day of Romania, December 1st, which this year marks 100 years since the creation of the Romanian nation state. Bucharest was host to the biggest parade since 1990. Parading under the Triumphal Arch were 4,000 soldiers, with over 200 vehicles. 500 enlisted men from 22 allied and partner countries marched alongside Romanian troops. A military parade was held in Alba Iulia, the city considered to be the place where the Great Union was put into being. At that event, 1,600 soldiers marched, with 150 vehicles and 23 aircraft. Iasi was declared by Parliament a historical capital of Romania, and Alba Iulia was declared Capital of the Great Union in recognition of its contribution. The national day was also celebrated in theater of operations where Romanian soldiers are deployed, and in countries all over the world, with cultural events that highlight Romania's role in history, organized by Romanian Cultural Institute offices, in collaboration with Romania's diplomatic missions. The European Parliament held an exhibition on the Romanians who have changed the world. December 1 became National Day after the anti-communist revolution of 1989. It commemorates the day in 1918, at the end of WWI, when the Romanian nation state united, gathering together all the provinces with a majority Romanian population formerly within multinational empires.
The France-Romania Season starts in Paris
The France - Romania Cultural Season started in Paris with an event attended by presidents Klaus Iohannis and Emmanuel Macron. The event is included in the roadmap of the strategic bilateral agreement, including hundreds of projects to run until July 14, 2019. This covers cultural events, as well as events in the areas of education, innovation, economy, business, gastronomy, tourism, sports, as well as local cooperation, with the purpose of strengthening the ties between the two countries. Klaus Iohannis emphasized the fact that Romania is scheduled to take over the EU Council presidency on January 1st 2019. He said that Romania and France would celebrate European Union values in an ample common cultural project. French President Emmanuel Macron said that the cultural season has a symbolic nature, and is the first one organized by France alongside an EU member country, considering that culture cements Europe. The two presidents have signed a political statement to renew the strategic partnership. Iohannis also met in Paris representatives of the Romanian diaspora in France, urging them to stay united and stay involved in Romania's development.
Senate passes pension bill in Bucharest
The Romanian Senate has passed a pension bill tabled by the majority party. It provides for a gradual increase in pensions for the next three years, reducing the retirement age for the so-called first and second labor groups, and taking into consideration higher education years when calculating seniority. The minimum employment period in order to qualify for collecting retirement benefits is still 15 years. The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania proposed an amendment, accepted by the majority, to provide the possibility for mothers of three or more children to retire early. The opposition has criticized the bill. The National Liberal Party voted against it, while Save Romania Union abstained. Senators in the majority said that the bill answers demands from associations representing retirees, and corrects inequities in the system. The newly appointed minister of labor, Marius Budai, said that the additional costs the bill incurs can be covered. The bill now goes to the Chamber of Deputies, which will provide the decisive vote in December.
Cold wave hits Romania
A yellow-code alert has been issued for snow and strong wind in Bucharest and almost half of the counties, mostly in the south and southeast. In places, winds blew as hard as 75 km/h, with visibility in places as low as 100 meters. Road traffic has been disrupted in the affected area, with delays for railway traffic and airlines. Ports on the Romanian side of the Black Sea are inoperable. Even after the warning expires, very cold weather is expected to continue all over the country.