State of alert extended
The Government has extended the state of alert in Romania by another 30 days starting June 12. Several restrictions have been eased. The number of people now able to attend private events has increased to 200 people inside. The condition is that all participants provide proof of vaccination, a negative test for COVID-19 or that they had the disease. Additionally, the number of people attending cultural, artistic and entertainment events outdoors has increased from 500 to 1,000 people. In this case as well, attendants must provide proof of the abovementioned certificates. The capacity of gyms, indoor pools or fitness centers has also increased from 50% to 70%, and the number of people can increase, again, provided they are vaccinated. The wearing of face masks remains compulsory in shared areas.
Infection rates and vaccination
Romania is now in the green scenario, with the overall incidence rate dropping in addition to the number of COVID patients. In terms of vaccination, since the start of the campaign in 2020, over 8.4 million doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to over 4.5 million people, of whom most have taken both shots. Medical doctor Valeriu Gheorghiţă pointed out that Romania is one of the countries that provides the simplest access to vaccination, where people can opt for the type of vaccine and can go to vaccination centers without prior appointment. Romania also organizes vaccination marathons, and businesses can opt for mobile vaccination teams for their employees, the Romanian official pointed out.
New pension law
The center-right Government in Romania on Wednesday adopted the bill that eliminates the aggregation of pensions with state-paid salaries, a bill that is due to be debated by Parliament. The new law provides for a gradual increase in the retirement age. Employees can thus opt whether to remain employed until 70 years of age, but are forced to choose between receiving either pensions or salaries. There are, however, categories exempted from this rule: high-ranking officials, teaching staff earning hourly pay, home or maternal nurses or members of the Romanian Academy. Social-Democrat vice-president, Sorin Grindeanu, said PSD believes some provisions in the new law violate the constitution and his party will challenge it at the Constitutional Court.
Report under the CVM mechanism
The European Commission has announced it will continue to monitor Romania's reforms of the judiciary and the fight against corruption under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. The Commission notes that, right now, Romania is a on an upward trend, hailing the boost to reforms this year and the reparation of backward steps taken in the 2017-2019 period by the former Social-Democrat administration. The European Commission on Tuesday published its report on Romania's progress under CVM. The mechanism was introduced in 2007, when our country joined the European Union, with the purpose of signaling any irregularities in the field of the judiciary and bringing corrections. The European Commission is also critical of the appointment last year of the prosecutor general and the head of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) despite a negative opinion from the Superior Council of Magistracy. The Council is also reprimanded in the Commission's report, for its ambiguous position about eliminating the Special Section charged with investigating crime in justice, whose existence and functioning represent a concern for Brussels.
Israeli president visits Romania
The president of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin paid a three-day visit to Romania in the context of marking 73 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries on June 11. During the first two days of his visit, the Israeli president had meetings with president Klaus Iohannis, delivered a speech before Parliament and opened the works of the Romania-Israel Business Forum, alongside Prime Minister Florin Cîţu. President Klaus Iohannis pointed out Romania and Israel enjoy privileged, strategic relations. On the other hand, both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to peace and security, the president said. President Rivlin, in turn, recalled that Romania was the only country in the former communist bloc that never broke ties with Israel and that our country strongly supports the EU initiative to define a strategy against anti-Semitism across the community bloc. At the same time, economic cooperation between Romania and Israel has extraordinary potential of bringing benefits to both sides, president Rivlin went on to say. On Thursday, together with representatives of Israeli and Romanian Air Forces, Reuven Rivlin attended the ceremony commemorating the military, both Israeli and Romanian, who lost their lives in ta 2010 helicopter accidents in Bucegi Mountains.
EURO 2020 kicks off
Postponed a year due to the COVID pandemic, the 2020 European Football Championship kicks off this week, the first match being played in Rome, Italy. Matches are hosted by 11 cities in several UEFA members. Bucharest for the first time will be hosting 4 matches, 3 in the group phase and one in the round of 16. In Bucharest, Austria will play North Macedonia on Sunday, Ukraine will play North Macedonia on June 17 and then Austria will go up against Ukraine on June 21. (VP)