Authorities prepare for anti-government protest; A new pension bill is in the works
PROTEST – An ample protest by members of the Romanian diaspora is scheduled to take place tomorrow in front of the government headquarters in Bucharest against the ruling coalition. City Hall announced that the protest is not organized by anyone in particular, as the law provides, as no entity has applied for a protest protocol. One man who was broadcast urging people towards violence against the authorities has been indicted by organized crime prosecutors. Communications director for the Romanian gendarmes Marius Militaru told potential protesters today to refrain from giving way to provocations towards violence. Bucharest gendarme spokesperson Georgian Enache called on protesters to aid public order enforcers to do their job in case violence ensues.
PENSIONS – The new pension bill in Romania will be published today. Labor Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu said today that the proposed changes to the legislation are aimed at eliminating inequities in the system, specifying that there will be no pension cuts. The bill will be submitted for public debate for 30 days, as well as to debates with retiree organizations. The bill then goes back to the government, which will officially submit it to Parliament to be voted in line committees and then in full session.
PIPELINE – Adrian Candu, the Speaker of Parliament in the Republic of Moldova, said that work starts early for the expansion to Chisinau of the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline. He said that construction starts later this month, instead of the first quarter of next year. He said the decision was made because the Moldovan authorities are worried by dependence on Russian gas. The pipeline will be built over the next two years by Transgaz Romania, a branch of the Eurotransgaz company, which has committed to investing 93 million Euro. The Iasi-Ungheni pipeline was finalized in 2014, but figures indicate that it has been used at a mere 7% of capacity. In 2017, natural gas transportation ceased through the pipeline. Moldova and Romania have started several joint strategic energy projects.
STRIKE – Airline Ryanair will cancel one in six flights tomorrow, after pilots in Germany and the Netherlands announced they would join the 24 hour strike planned to take place in Ireland, Sweden, and Belgium. The strike comes at the peak of the summer holiday season. 400 flights, 17% of the 2,400 scheduled all over Europe, will be canceled. The strikers demand better working conditions and better wages for pilots, but management ruled out any raises. Tensions started in September 2017, when issues with flight planning led to a serious social conflict and the canceling of 20,000 flights. Ryanair, the largest low cost airline in Europe by number of passengers, runs 21 regular flights in Romania.
TENNIS – Games in the second round of the WTA tournament in Montreal were canceled on Wednesday due to rainy conditions. The competition, with 2.8 million dollars in prize money, is attended by world top player Simona Halep, who won the competition in 2016. She will continue the game she started against Russian Anastasia Pavliuchenkova, 28th seeded. Before the game got interrupted, the latter was leading 4-3. One other interrupted game, that between Romanian Sorana Cirstea, 54th seeded, and American Venus Williams, 14th seeded, resumes as well. The two Romanian players will face off against each other in case they win. Also in the second round, 20th seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu withdrew from her game against Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina because of a serious ankle injury.
TRADE – Romania's trade deficit grew by almost half a billion Euro in the first half of the year, reaching 6.3 billion Euros, according to the National Institute of Statistics. Exports reached almost 34 billion Euro, 10% higher against the same period last year. Imports were worth 40 billion Euro, 9.7% higher against last year. Trade with EU countries accounted for 76% of exports.