A round-up of the main stories in Romania today.
Summit. Romania's president Klaus Iohannis is today
attending an informal meeting of the European Council and the EU-Western
Balkans summit held in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. According to a statement
from the president's office, the European Council is to discuss issues related
to the digital, research and innovation areas, as well as the US tariffs on
steel and aluminium imports. The EU-Western Balkans on Thursday will look at
topics such as connectivity, security and migration. President Iohannis is
expected to stress the importance of the projects carried out in the fields of
connectivity, infrastructure, energy and digital networks, which can improve
the convergence between the European Union and the Western Balkans, the
presidential statement also reads.
EU. The minister delegate for European affairs
Victor Negrescu is today presenting Parliament's specialist committees with a
first draft of Romania's priorities during its EU presidency. On Tuesday, Negrescu
travelled to Germany to present his German and French counterparts the state of
Bucharest's preparations for taking over the rotating presidency of the EU
Council in 2019. He also reiterated Romania's wish to contribute to the
relaunch of the European project and said his country was ready to form part of
what he called the Union's "hard core".
The government will soon adopt new measures to stimulate major investments in
the Romanian economy, prime minister Viorica Dancila said today. She explained
that her cabinet was seeking foreign investments of 1 billion euros this year.
On Tuesday, deputy prime minister Viorel Stefan said Romania's 4.2% economic
growth rate in the first quarter of the year was the 5th highest in
the European Union and double the community average. Stefan said the government
wished investments to represent the main engine for development. Direct foreign
investment has grown compared with the same period in 2016 by 1.38 billion
euros, while the pension fund deficit dropped to around a half. Also, more
money will go to the state budget, which will allow for the financing of
investments and better public services, Viorel Stefal also said.
Heroes. 13 foreign delegations and several hundred military
from six countries will today be arriving in Buzau, south-eastern Romania, to
honour the memory of the heroes in one of the biggest cemeteries in Europe.
Buried in the Buzau cemetery are people who fought in the War of Independence
of 1877, the Second Balkan War of 1913 and the two World Wars, people killed
during the anti-communist revolution of December 1989 and Romanian military who
died in theatres of operation in Afghanistan. The festivities held tomorrow
will be attended by military from Romania, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, the
Republic of Moldova and Italy, as well as politicians and ambassadors, as well
as ordinary people.
Meeting. The speaker of the Romanian
Senate Calin Popescu Tariceanu today attends a meeting of Parliament speakers
from the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member states in Istanbul. The event is
hosted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and is dedicated to the 25th
anniversary of the foundation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Parliamentary Assembly. The participants include the speakers of Parliaments
and the heads of national delegations from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian
Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Protest. Trade unions in the Romanian defence industry
today picketed the government's headquarters to protest against the problems
faced by companies and employees in this sector. On Tuesday, around 100
employees protested for two hours outside the government building, calling on
prime minister Viorica Dancila to take measures to relaunch the sector. The
Romanian defence industry faces closure due to the lack of expert staff and
money for investment, one of the organisers of the protest told Agerpress news
Auction. A bronze sculpture made by the Romanian artist
Constantin Brancusi in 1932 and representing a stylised portrait of Nancy
Cunard, a prominent figure of the Paris artistic avant-garde of the day, sold
for 71 million dollars at an auction held by Christie's in New York. This is
the highest amount paid for a work by Brancusi according to The New York Times.
In 2017, one of his bronzes from 1913, Sleeping Muse, sold for 57.4 million
dollars. Constantin Brancusi, who was born in Romania but who lived and worked
in Paris for most of his adult life, is considered one most innovative and
influential sculptors of the 20th century. In July, the Museum of
Modern Art in New York will open an exhibition dedicated to Brancusi featuring
11 works from its collection.
Rugby. Romania's rugby side has been disqualified
from the 2019 World Cup to be hosted by Japan, World Rugby has announced. The
international body has explained that Romania, Spain and Belgium fielded
ineligible players in qualifying. The Rugby Federation in Bucharest says it
will appeal the decision, claiming it had submitted to World Rugby all
documents required for a player from Tonga to be eligible for the national
and world no. 1 Simona Halep today defeated Japan's Naomi Osaka in two sets in
the second round of the Rome tennis tournament.