January 14, 2022

january 14, 2022 A roundup of local and international news.

Energy. The Romanian government is planning an emergency order within the coalition formed by the National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania to support the citizens affected the rise in electricity and natural gas prices. This announcement was made by prime minister Nicolae Ciucă after a meeting of the three-party council for social dialogue. He said protection measures will expand beyond 1st April based on a special bill. Trade unions say electricity and natural gas prices should be capped at the level of December 2020, before the liberalisation of prices, both at the producers' end, and at the suppliers' end, for at least another six months, even a year. They say the cap should be uniform for the population and small businesses.

Defence. A European consolidated strategy in the field of defence is more than urgent in a conflictual international context, EU foreign ministers agreed in Brest as part of the first meeting organised by France as holder of the rotating presidency of the EU Council. EU foreign ministers are holding fresh talks today on the Strategic Compass, the Union's future instrument guiding its actions in the area of defence until 2030. During the talks, Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu highlighted the importance of the partnership with NATO and the US and called for a suitable reflection of the current security situation in the eastern neighbourhood, including the larger Black Sea area, and for an enhanced role from the EU in solving these situations, including by means of the strategic document discussed.

Covid-19 update. Romania reported today almost 9,900 new Covid cases, 60% more than a week ago, as well as 30 deaths, including three recorded earlier. Some 450 Covid patients are in intensive care. 230 outpatient centres are now available across the country for the persons infected with Covid to check their health condition and receive free antiviral medicine based on daytime hospitalisation, irrespective of whether they have health insurance. Health minister Alexandru Rafila says it is very important for patients to use these centres, unless they are in critical situation, thus lowering pressure on hospitals.

Inflation. The annual inflation rate went up in Romania to 8.19% in December from 7.8% in November, while the price of non-food products grew by 10.73%, that of food products by 6.69% and that of services by 4.49%, according to data published on Friday by the National Institute for Statistics. The National Bank's latest report on inflation published in November projected a 7.5% inflation rate for November  2021, saying it might see a drop to 5.9% by the end of this year. The National Bank spokesman Dan Suciu recently told Radio Romania that the central bank is trying keep the inflation in check by increasing the monetary policy interest rate and discourage further price increases in the other components, given that 70% of the inflation increase was driven by the cost of energy prices.

Culture Day. Romania's National Culture Day is again celebrated this year through numerous concerts, performances, exhibitions, guided tours and workshops. "We have a sacred duty. To honour our personalities, our works of art and our national heritage", said culture minister Lucian Romaşcanu, adding: "I'm encouraging all Romanians, of all ages, to continue to respect their history, national identity and traditions, for they are the only visiting card that never loses its currency." National Culture Day has been celebrated for the last 12 years on 15th January, on the anniversary of the birth of national poet Mihai Eminescu. As part of the programme of events held this year, the Romanian Academy is today hosting a special event attended by leading local cultural figures. (CM)

Publicat: 2022-01-14 13:55:00
Vizualizari: 428