September 28, 2020 UPDATE

september 28, 2020 update A roundup of domestic and international news

ELECTION - President Klaus Iohannis on Monday said Sunday's results in the local election mark a victory for Romanian democracy, but also an unprecedented victory reported by right-wing parties. The President said the voter turnout was good, considering the health crisis the country is facing, and this proves society is acting responsibly. Romanians have voted for a new direction, for common sense and respect towards citizens, as well as for democracy, President Iohannis said. The President congratulated the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union - PLUS alliance for their good results in Sunday's ballot, and asked them to continue cooperating with a view to shaping up a new majority in Parliament after the legislative election slated for December. According to partial results, the independent candidate Nicuşor Dan, backed by the National Liberal Party in power and the Save Romania Union - PLUS alliance won 42.78% of the vote, to the detriment of his opponent, Social-Democrat Gabriela Firea, the current Mayor General of Bucharest, who won 37.95% of the vote. Candidates supported by the National Liberal Party and Save Romania Union-PLUS have reported victories in 3 of the 6 districts in the capital city, while left-wing candidates have won the mayor seats in the other three. Over 46% of Romanians voted in Sunday's ballot to elect 41 presidents of county councils, over 1,300 county councilmen, 40,000 local councilmen and over 3,200 mayors. Nationwide, the Social-Democratic Party has reportedly won 20 county councils, the Liberals 17 and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians 4.



COVID-19 - 1,271 new coronavirus infections were reported on Monday in Romania, taking the total number of cases to almost 124,000. 99,344 people have recovered. 30 new deaths were also reported on Monday, with the death toll now standing at 4,748. Globally, the pandemic has caused more than 1 million deaths and over 33.3 million infections, according to worldometers.info. Some 25 million people have recovered. The worst hit regions in terms of number of deaths are Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the United States and Canada. In the US alone, infections have passed 7.3 million and the death toll is nearing 210,000. India also topped 6 million cases on Monday. According to World Health Organization officials, coronavirus fatalities could double to 2 million before a successful vaccine is widely used, and this figure could be even higher without coordinated measures to contain the pandemic.



FUNDING - The European Commission has approved modifying the Competitiveness Operational Programme for Romania, by redirecting funding worth €550 million from the Cohesion Fund in order to offset the economic fallout of the coronacrisis. According to a Commission release, some 120,000 SMEs and other digitization and e-education initiatives will be able to access the funds. The Commission recalls Romania has already attracted some €350 million worth of EU funds in the healthcare sector to help doctors in the first line of defense against COVID-19. Thanks to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, a total of €900 million from the Cohesion Fund is being earmarked to efforts at combating the coroanvirus and its effects in Romania.



EPPO - Romanian Laura Codruța Kovesi was sworn in on Monday as the head of the European Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court of Justice of the European Union. Joining her in the swearing-in ceremony were another 22 prosecutors representing the 22 EPPO member states. In a joint agreement signed on October 16, 2019, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union designated Laura Codruța Kovesi as the first head of the EPPO. Under a resolution passed on July 27, 2020, the Council of the European Union appointed the first European prosecutors. EPPO is an independent body of the European Union charged with investigating, prosecuting and taking to court crimes that infringe on the EU's financial interests, such as corruption, or cross-border VAT fraud that result in a prejudice exceeding €10 million. To this end, the EPPO is conducting investigations and prosecutions working with the relevant courts of law in member states. The EPPO will be headquartered in Luxembourg.



DEFICIT - Romania's budget deficit went up to 5.18% of the GDP after the first eight months of the year, from 2.1% in the similar period of last year, the Ministry of Finance reports. Over half of the deficit reflects the costs of measures introduced to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. According to official estimates, the budget deficit will reach 8.6% this year, 5% of which directly accounting for the economic fallout of COVID-19.



TENNIS - 4 Romanian tennis players will be competing in Tuesday's first round at Roland Garros. Ana Bogdan will take on Timea Babos of Hungary, Monica Niculescu will play Danielle Collins of the United States, Sorana Cîrstea will go up against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, while Irina Bara will play Donna Vekic of Croatia. On Wednesday, Simona Halep, the top seed at Roland Garros, will play another Romanian player, Irina Begu. In the last encounter at the semi-finals in Prague, Halep defeated Begu. Eight Romanian players will compete in the women's doubles: Raluca Olaru, Monica Niculescu, Irina Begu, Andreea Mitu, Irina Bara, Ana Bogdan, Patricia Ţig and Sorana Cîrstea. In the men's doubles, Romanian Horia Tecău and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands, last year's quarterfinalists, are seeded 12 and will play Cristian Garin of Chile and Pedro Martinez of Spain.

(Translated by C. Mateescu & V. Palcu) 



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Publicat: 2020-09-28 19:50:00
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