December 21, 2021 UPDATE

december 21, 2021 update Click here for a roundup of domestic and international news

TALKS Romania's Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca met NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday. Ciuca gave assurances that Romania's commitment to earmarking 2% of its GDP to defence would continue. Bucharest will also get actively and significantly involved in the debates over NATO's strategic concept and its future missions. The present Russian military buildup is significant, unprovoked and unjustified and we cannot understand how NATO's and Ukraine's actions can be considered provocations, the Romanian official went on to say. He reiterated Romania's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Also in Brussels on Tuesday, Ciuca met the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen with whom he discussed ways of handling the pandemic. The Romanian Prime Minister presented the efforts of economic recovery included in the National Plan of Recovery and Resilience, highlighting the concern for ensuring fiscal-budgetary stability. Ciuca also reiterated the appeal that a quicker decision be made over Romania's joining the border-free zone, Schengen.


PROTEST The protesters who forced their way into the Parliament's building courtyard in Bucharest on Tuesday resorted to cars that had unlimited access to the institution, says a communiqué issued by the Interior Ministry. About two thousand people, supporters of the ultranationalist political party AUR protested in front of Parliament on Tuesday the authorities' intention to prevent access to the workplace without the green certificate. The unauthorized protest was promoted on AUR social networks and the authorities are presently trying to identify and sanction the protesters. Part of them became violent and attempted to storm the premises. According to the Interior Ministry sources, the police made an appeal to calm and the observation of legal rules without resorting to violence. About 100 protesters later gathered in front of the government. Romania has the second lowest vaccination rate in the EU, almost 40% of the total population, data released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows.


COMMEMORATION The heroes of the anti-communist uprising of December 1989 were commemorated in Bucharest on Tuesday. Religious services and military ceremonies were held at the Revolution Heroes Cemetery and at the dedicated monuments downtown. Similar events are scheduled on Wednesday at the Romanian Revolution Heroes Monument, at the Radio Hall and the Romanian Television Corporation. Originating in Timișoara (west), on 16th December, the uprising spread across the country, culminating with dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu fleeing the capital city on 22nd December amid the protests of hundreds of thousands of Romanians. Captured by the Army, Ceauşescu and his wife Elena were subject to a summary trial and executed in the southern town of Târgovişte. Romania was the only country behind the Iron Curtain where the change of regime was accompanied by bloodshed. Over 1,000 people were killed and some 3,000 wounded.


BUDGET The draft 2022 state budget and social security budget laws will be discussed and voted on in Parliament on Thursday. The budgets of the main public institutions were being discussed in Parliament's specialised committees on Tuesday. The government passed the bills on Monday and promised they are based on predictability and stability. The budget is based on an estimated economic growth rate of 4.6% and a GDP of some 260 billion euro, a predicted inflation rate of 6.5% and gross average salaries of 1,200 euros per month, with the budget deficit expected to stay within the limits agreed on with the European Commission under the excessive deficit procedure, namely 5.84% of GDP. The public pension fund will receive 7.32% of GDP. The Liberal president Florin Cîţu criticised the fact that only 6.7% of GDP was earmarked for investments, instead of 7% as agreed within the ruling coalition. The Social Democratic leader Marcel Ciolacu argued however that the budget execution is more important than the exact breakdown of expenditure. The leader of USR party in opposition, Dacian Cioloş, says the draft budget relies on over-estimated revenues and said although public education is a priority for President Iohannis, not enough funding has been earmarked for the sector.

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Publicat: 2021-12-21 20:10:00
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