NATO - Romania will promote the strengthening of the transatlantic relationship and the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, says President Klaus Iohannis, in the context of the 74-year anniversary of the establishment of the North Atlantic Alliance and NATO Day in Romania marked on April 2. "We will remain involved in allied missions and commitments, and strengthening the national defense capacity will continue to be a priority for Romania, including by allocating, starting this year, 2.5% of the GDP for Defense", said the Romanian president, according to a communiqué issued by the Presidential Administration. "Europe is facing the worst security crisis since the Second World War, and in the face of these challenges, our country's membership to the Euro-Atlantic community of values is all the more relevant", the Romania foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu also said. He recalled that in the 19 years since Romania became a member of NATO, the Romanian diplomacy has demonstrated its ability to fulfill its obligations based on this fundamental role. "We are constantly and significantly contributing to the consolidation of Romania's position within NATO and to its reputation as a provider of security and stability. We are engaged in complying with our commitments to allies and partners and, equally, we support the strengthening of our military capabilities, in the transatlantic relationship and in the allied solidarity", said Bogdan Aurescu.
Visit - Two European commissioners are coming to Romania early next week for the launch of national programs financed under the EU cohesion policy. The European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, and Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira will meet on Monday, in Bucharest, with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, with the Minister of European Projects, Marcel Boloş, and with the Labour Minister, Marius Budai, after which they will go to Iaşi (northeast) and Vaslui (east). The two European officials will also visit a center for Ukrainian refugees.
Palm Sunday – The Roman Catholic Christians are celebrating today Palm Sunday or Jesus Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. This marks the entry into the Holy Week, the last until Easter. In the Roman Catholic Church, the day of Palm Sunday also marks Youth Day, when public processions with flowers and branches are organized in memory of the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, almost 2,000 years ago. Such a procession is also organized in Bucharest. This year, the Catholics and Protestants celebrate Easter a week earlier than the Orthodox and Greek Catholics.
Elections - Today, the Bulgarians elect their representatives in Parliament for the fifth time in two years. The massive anti-corruption protests of 2020 led to the fall of the Borisov Government, and since then no political party could obtain a parliamentary majority for the stability of the government. Opinion polls suggest that the GERB party of the former prime minister Boiko Borisov and the party of pro-Western reformers, led by Kiril Petkov, who was also prime minister until last year, when he was dismissed by a no-confidence motion, are competing in the elections. Also voters in Finland go to the polls today, to designate the new parliament makeup, with three party leaders having a chance to become prime minister. Opinion polls show that there will be a close race between the current prime minister, Sanna Marin representing the center-left social democrats, Petteri Orpo - from the center-right National Coalition, and Riikka Purra - from the Finns far-right party.
Protests - Hundreds of thousands of people protested, on Saturday evening, in Israel, for the 13th consecutive week, against the judicial reform promoted by the government. Protesters say it will limit the role of the Supreme Court. The largest demonstration took place in Tel Aviv, where, according to the organizers, 175,000 Israelis protested. Clashes took place between protesters and counter-demonstrators, and 19 people were arrested. (LS)