RESHUFFLE - Romanian PM Viorica Dancila announced that the Romanian
government notified the Constitutional Court on its latest reshuffle. President
Klaus Iohannis informed the PM on Thursday by telephone that next week he would
not make any decision on the nomination of the new ministers, the ones for
transportation and regional development. Previously, the head of state had said
that he had not finished analyzing proposals for the Development Ministry, Lia-Olguta
Vasilescu, and the Transportation Ministry, Mihai Draghici. Late last month,
Klaus Iohannis had accepted six proposals for reshuffling made by Dancila for
the ministries of defense, labor, economy, culture, communications, and youth
and sports. The president showed his discontent with the fact that, in two
years of governing, the ruling coalition replaced around 70 ministers.
Constitutional Court Judges expect the opinions in this matter until December
HEALTHCARE - Romanian Health Minister Sorina Pintea took over the rotating
Presidency of the European Union Council from her Austrian counterpart, Beate
Hartinger-Klein. Romania seeks to ensure access to healthcare to all EU
citizens. Romania's term in office includes five priorities in the healthcare
field: anti-bacterial resistance, vaccination, equal access to medication,
patient mobility and eHealth. On Thursday, LAbour Minister Marius Budaialso took
over the Presidency of the Employment, Social Policy, Healthcare and Consumer
SALARY RAISE - The Romanian Government on Friday passed a law to increase the
gross minimum wage and the salary for workers with higher education. Starting
January 1, 2019, the gross minimum wage will go up to some 450 euros, while
workers with higher education will have their salaries increased to 500 euros.
Also on Friday, the Government decided to give holiday vouchers worth 310 euros
for public sector employees in 2019 and 2020. This year some 1.2 million
Romanians in the public system benefited from these vouchers. In September
alone this year, the number of tourists seeking accommodation went up 14%
compared to last year in the same period.
TRANSPORTATION - The Transportation Ministry in Bucharest applied with the EC
for financing for 15 infrastructure projects, a total of 4.8 billion Euro, as
announced by Transportation Minister Lucian Sova. Two of the projects, the
metro line to the main airport in Bucharest, and the Bucharest Beltway, are
defined as major projects, worth around 1.5 billion Euro. From the beginning of
the year to the present, three portions of highway have been inaugurated, for a
total length of 40 km, and 14 more km are expected to be inaugurated as part of
Transylvania Highway, and six km of the Bucharest- Ploiesti highway.
MILITARY - Romanian Chief of Staff of the armed forces, General Nicolae
Ciuca, met with some of the enlisted men part of the Anti-air Defense Squadron
'Black Bats', deployed to Poland as part of the US led NATO Combat Group. The
squadron is made up of 120 soldiers providing forward consolidated presence, by
rotation, in the northeast of NATO, in line with measures taken at the Warsaw
Summit. During his visit to Poland, General Ciuca spoke to his Polish
counterpart, Lieutenant General Rajmund Andrzejczak, on identifying new
areas of cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries, and
diversifying means of training in common.
VISIT - Senate Speaker
Calin Popescu-Tariceanu is on an official visit to Poland over December 6-8.
The Romanian official met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and other
high-ranking officials. The Senate Speaker praised the dialogue between the two
countries' Parliaments and highlighted the projects run jointly. Tariceanu
referred to the Romania-Poland-Turkey Trilateral and the B9 Bucharest Format.
At the same time Tariceanu expressed an interest to boost bilateral economic
relations. Tariceanu will also go to Gdansk for meetings with Polish officials
SCHENGEN - EuroMPs will be debating on Monday, and voting Tuesday, a
resolution calling on the EU Council to make a quick and positive decision on
including Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen Space as full members. The
European Parliament approved making the two countries part of Schengen in June
2011, and confirmed this stance several times afterward. The final decision has
to be made unanimously in the EU Council. The two countries joining the free
movement space was repeatedly postponed because of opposition from some member
countries, for reason of delays in judicial reform.
OSCE - State Secretary
with the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Dan Neculaescu, attended over December 6-7
the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council hosted by Milan, Italy. The
Romanian official expressed concern with the deterioration of the security
context at European level, marked by the conflict in Ukraine, the frozen
conflicts in the Black Sea region and the erosion of the conventional arms
control. Dan Neculaescu reiterated Romania's firm support to solving the crisis
in Ukraine, including through active participation as part of the OSCE's
Special Monitoring Mission. Dan Neculaescu expressed readiness to cooperate
closely with the Slovakian presidency of the OSCE during Romania's term at the
helm of the European Union Council in 2019.
TENNIS - The first Grand Slam of 2019, the Australian Open, will take
place in Melbourne between January 14 and 27. In the women's competition,
Romania has six players going there: Simona Halep, number 1 in the world and
top player of 2018, Mihaela Buzarnescu, 24, Irina Begu (67 WTA), Ana Bogdan (76
WTA), Sorana Cîrstea (85 WTA) and Monica Niculescu (100 WTA). In the men's
competition, Romania will be represented by 60th seeded Marius Copil. Also
present in the competition are current cup holder, Danish Caroline Wozniacki, 3
WTA, Serena Williams, 16 WTA, and Maria Sharapova, 29 WTA.
by C. Cotoiu & V. Palcu)