A roundup of local and international news.
Elections. The foreign ministry in Bucharest has finished distributing
the materials needed for the voting process abroad in the second round of
Romania's presidential elections. 4,608,175 ballots were distributed among the
835 polling stations in the Romanian diaspora, 100,000 more than in the first
round. The foreign ministry recalls that abroad, the voting process is held
over the course of three days, on Friday between 12 am and 9 pm, and on
Saturday and Sunday between 7 am and 9 pm. In Romania, the voting
takes place on Sunday, on the 24th of November. The incumbent president
Klaus Iohannis, who is endorsed by the National Liberal Party, now in power, is
running against the leader of the Social Democratic Party and until recently
the prime minister of Romania, Viorica Dăncilă. In the first round held on the
10th of November, Iohannis won almost 38% of the votes, followed by Dăncilă
with a little over 22%.
EU Commission. The European Parliament's foreign affairs committee on Monday
approved Hungary's pick for enlargement commissioner Oliver Varhelyi. Currently
serving as Hungary's EU ambassador, he was the last of the 27 nominees yet to
the approved by MEPs. After a hearing on the 14th of November,
Varhelyi received additional written questions. Also at this date, Adina Vălean,
Romania's nominee for transport commissioner, and Thierry Breton, France's pick
for internal market commissioner, received the green light from the specialist
committees. The team proposed by the president elect of the European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen is to be put to a vote in the European Parliament on the
27th of November, so as to take office on the 1st of
December, one month later than initially scheduled.
Republic of Moldova. Ion Chicu, the prime minister of the Republic of Moldova,
an ex-Soviet state with a majority Romanian-speaking population, this week
travels to Russia on his first foreign visit since taking office last week.
Chicu, who was an adviser to Moldova's pro-Russian president Igor Dodon says
his trip to Moscow was agreed a long time ago but did not take place although
economic relations with Russia are very important for Moldova, he added. This
will be the first time in a long time that a Moldovan prime minister travels to
Moscow instead of Bucharest or Brussels on his or her first foreign trip. The
former government led by the pro-European Maia Sandu was dismissed following a
vote of no-confidence initiated by president Igor Dodon's Socialists, who were
themselves part of the ruling coalition.
Christmas fair. The Christmas fair opens
in Bucharest on the 28th of November, when the Christmas lights will
also be switched on. Now in its 13th year, the Christmas fair stays
open until the 26th of December. Visitors will be able to find there
traditional Romanian products, from home-made cakes and sweets to mulled wine
and cheese, as well as winter decorations, traditional clothes and toys.
Activities for children will also be held, as well as traditional music and
carol concerts given by music ensembles from across Romania. The Bucharest
Christmas fair attracts 1 million visitors annually, both Romanian and foreign.