October 19, 2021 UPDATE

october 19, 2021 update A roundup of domestic and international news

Covid-19Ro.The vaccination campaign was much too slow and urgent measures are needed, said on Tuesday Romania's president Klaus Iohannis. This is a time of suffering, a national drama and vaccination is the only solution that has worked in all countries, the head of state also said. He announced a meeting with representatives of all line institutions to establish new restrictions, which could curb the spread of infection. On Tuesday, Romania reported a record high with regard to new cases of Covid-19: 18,863 in some 81 thousand tests run. 576 related deaths were also reported. Authorities say that currently there is no free bed in intensive care for Covid-19 patients  anywhere in the country. The Romanian interim Interior Minister, Lucian Bode, has announced that 26 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have been transferred to Hungary and that the situation these days is rather critical. Meanwhile, 32 medical staff from the neighbouring Republic of Moldova came to Romania on Monday and will treat COVID-19 patients for 12 days, in a mobile hospital in the village of Leţcani, Iaşi County. Romania now has new vaccination targets, after missing the previous ones because of citizens' reluctance to get the jab. The number of people who've gone through the full immunization regimen stands at some 5.7 million.

 

Aid. Poland and Slovenia announced they are ready to help Romania fight the on-going healthcare crisis. The offers came after president Klaus Iohannis presented the situation in a videoconference ahead of a European Council meeting due in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. Attending the conference were the prime ministers of the 2 countries, who voiced their willingness to help Romania, as well as the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, who undertook to facilitate EU-level aid. Hit hard by the 4th wave of the pandemic, Romania has already received medical equipment from Poland, Italy and Denmark.  

 

Government. The candidates proposed by the Prime Minister Designate Dacian Cioloş for the positions of ministers in the USR one-party government, were heard, on Tuesday, by the specialized Committees of the Romanian Parliament. Almost all received a negative opinion, with one exception: Cătălin Drulă, nominated for Transports. Former ministers in the dismissed PNL-USR-UDMR government led by the Liberal Florin Cîţu, including Stelian Ion, proposed for Justice, or Ioana Mihăilă, for Health, were heard by senators and deputies. The former Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna is proposed for the Foreign Ministry's portfolio. Among the new names are the environmental activist Mihai Goţiu for the Environment Ministry, the ex-prefect of Bucharest Alin Stoica for the Interior or the former military pilot Nicu Fălcoi proposed to head Defense. The committees' opinion is advisory. The USR's decision to go to parliament with a minority government was taken after the negotiations with former governing partners to rebuild the coalition failed. PNL and UDMR do not want to resume the collaboration with USR, because the former governing partner voted a motion against the Executive it was part of. Even the PSD, in opposition, does not support a government led by Cioloş and accuses it of irresponsibility, because it prolongs the political crisis. The Social Democrats and the nationalist opposition party AUR are calling for early elections. In order to be appointed, the executive team proposed by Cioloş needs 234 votes, and USR has only 80 parliamentarians. The vote in the plenary session of Parliament is scheduled for Wednesday.

 

Automotive. The Ford manufacturer in Craiova (south-western Romania) is temporarily downsizing operations because of a semiconductor shortage. Until Thursday the plant will operate in one shift instead of three, both in the vehicle and the engine production divisions. The vehicles for which sale contracts have already been signed will be a priority, the management announced. Employees will be paid idle time up to 78% of their base salaries. In turn, the Dacia plant in Mioveni, Argeș County, controlled by the French group Renault, suspended its operations for lack of electronic components on October 8, sending home around 90% of its 14,000 employees at the time. 

 

Poll. The Army and the Church rank first in terms of public confidence in Romania, according to an opinion poll conducted by the Information Warfare Analysis and Strategic Communication Laboratory. Specifically, some 87% of the Romanians say they trust the Army, 70% the Church, 67% - the Romanian Intelligence Service and the Romanian Academy. Trust in politicians is low, at some 20%, with the President, Parliament and Government on the top 3 positions. The main threats against Romania, according to over 40% of the respondents, are the politicians' corruption and incompetence. The main threats facing the EU are an economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and disagreements between some member states. the poll was conducted by telephone between October 1 and 10, with a de +/- 3.1% margin of error.

 

Moldova. The leader of the Socialists Party in the neighbouring Republic of Moldova, the pro-Russian ex-president Igor Dodon, announced he stepped down as a Parliament member and party president. He said he will continue to work as part of the Moldovan-Russian Entrepreneur Union, to strengthen economic relations with Russia. Dodon explains his role as an opposition leader will be better served from outside Parliament. One year ago he lost the presidential election to pro-European Maia Sandu, whose party, Action and Solidarity, defeated the Socialists and their allies, the Communists, in July's early parliamentary election.

 

Tennis. On Tuesday, the Romanian tennis player Simona Halep qualified for the next round of the tournament in Moscow, with 560 thousand dollars in prize money, after defeating the Russian Anastasia Potapova. Also on Tuesday, another Romanian, Irina Bara, was defeated by the Czech Tereza Martincova, in the first round of the tournament. Simona Halep won the Moscow tournament back in 2013.

 


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Publicat: 2021-10-19 19:19:00
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