April 9, 2019 UPDATE

april 9, 2019 update A roundup of domestic and international news

EUROPEAN COUNCIL - Romania's President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday will attend the European Council meeting in Brussels devoted to Brexit. According to the presidency, heads of state and government will discuss in the EU27 format the latest developments in the Brexit file, as well as Theresa May's latest request for a new deadline. European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU might extend the deadline for Brexit, provided the British Parliament ratifies the agreement with the EU.


CAMPAIGN - The Government supports Romanians worldwide to help them understand their rights and obligations, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said Tuesday at the launch of the third edition of the national campaign "Information at home! Safety everywhere!". The campaign addresses Romanians who study, work and live abroad. The program is run in every city and will help present the most important elements of legislation of countries of destination, regarding work conditions and consular assistance services, the Prime Minister said. According to Viorica Dancila, the campaign also comprises information programmes the Government is currently running, such as "Diaspora start-up", "Start-up Nation", "Homecoming bonuses". Launched in 2017 in three counties and extended last year at national level, the campaign has proved very efficient, Prime Minister Dancila added. Official data points to a drop in the number of victims of human trafficking, as a result of the effort to inform citizens over the risks they expose themselves to when working as seasonal or illegal workers abroad.


ACCUSATIONS - Romania's Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar on Tuesday dismissed public accusations claiming he denied parole to several anti-communists dissidents during his time as a member on the Parole Committee of the prison in Aiud. Lazar said he did not handle cases investigating crimes against the communist regime. He added he is not an officer, agent or informer of intelligence services. The attacks were launched to coincide with my candidacy for a new mandate of prosecutor general, Augustin Lazar went on to say.


CITIZEN INITIATIVE - Romania's Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that the citizen initiative to revise the Constitution, under which people who receive final sentences should no longer be allowed to occupy public positions, is in line with the fundamental law. The initiative was signed by approximately 1 million people and will be submitted to Parliament for debate and vote. To modify the Constitution, a referendum must be staged and meet the required quorum, whereas the citizen initiative must pass in Parliament.


DIGITIZATION - Romania supports development and innovation in the field of agriculture and culture, and women's participation in digital economy, Romanian Minister of Communications, Alexandru Petrescu said on Tuesday at the third edition of the Digital Day. The event is organized in Brussels by the European Commission. Minister Petrescu has said that the signing, on Tuesday, of joint declarations on the digitization of agriculture and of the cultural heritage and also opportunities for women to make a career in the digital sector are important topics on the agenda of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.


DRILL - Sea Shield 2019, a military drill involving the participation of more than two thousand servicemen from six countries, is underway in Constanta, Romania's main Black Sea port. Participants will be training in order to be able to respond to various types of attacks, coming from submarines, battleships or warplanes in the Black Sea. According to Vice-admiral Alexandru Mîrşu, the Romanian Navy Chief of Staff, the structure coordinating the exercise, the drill's scenario is a fictional one being by no means provocative. NATO has beefed up its presence in the Black Sea from 80 to 120 days per year and the NATO Mine Countermeasures Group made up of ships from the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania is proof of the Alliance's commitment to protecting the eastern flank, preventing conflicts and keeping peace in the region.


EXERCISE - Vigorous Warrior 19, the most complex multinational medical exercise in the history of NATO, continues until Friday in three locations in Romania, namely, Bucharest, Cincu and Constanta. The purpose of the exercise is joint training to provide multinational medical support in NATO operations, thus practicing the necessary procedures to provide continuous medical care, strategic medical evacuation, increasing the level of training and response to a possible chemical, biological or improvised device incidents. The exercise, organized by Romanian Defense Ministry in collaboration with the Medical Department of the National Defense Ministry and the NATO Center of Excellence for Military Medicine, is attended by representatives from 38 countries, most of them NATO members.


IMF - The IMF has downgraded its economic growth forecast for Romania this year to 3.1% and to 3% for 2020, also estimating an increase in the inflation rate and the current account deficit.  As regards consumer prices, the IMF estimate has gone up for 2019, to an annual inflation rate of 3.3% as compared to the previous 2.7% estimate. The inflation rate is expected to stand at 3% in 2020. The IMF also downgraded its estimate regarding Romania's current account deficit to 5.2% as compared to the original estimate of 3.4%. The IMF has also downgraded its global economic forecast to 3.3% this year.


MEDALS - Romanian athletes Loredana Toma and Irina Lepsa on Tuesday won six medals, three gold, two silver and one bronze in the 64-kg category at the European Weightlifting Championships in Batumi, Gerogia. Romania has so far grabbed 12 medals in this year's edition, of which six gold, two silver and four bronze. 14 Romanian athletes are taking part in the championships, which counts as a preliminary qualifying stage for the Tokyo Olympics next year. 

(translated by V. Palcu)


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Publicat: 2019-04-09 19:48:00
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