A roundup of local and international news.
NATO – Ukraine made significant progress in the face of the Russian invasion but we must not underestimate Russia, whose missiles continue to attack cities, civilians and Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a press conference at the end of the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting, in Bucharest. He also said that the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden is almost complete. As far as China is concerned, Stoltenberg said NATO does not see China as an enemy and that he will hold talks with Beijing when it is in the Alliance’s best interest, but pointed out that dependence on China should be decreased and vulnerabilities diminished. The NATO official thanked Romania for being an excellent host to the Allies’ meeting in Bucharest, which shows the country’s strong commitment to NATO. In turn, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana voiced confidence the allied battlegroup in Romania will reach brigade-level and that, until the NATO summit in Vilnius next year, Romania and the countries on the eastern flank will have additional elements to reconfirm that not a single inch of allied territory is left unprotected. The Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, pointed out that the situation in the Black Sea needs closer monitoring given the unpredictability of Russia’s behaviour.
INFLATION - The eurozone's annual inflation rate has dropped to 10% in November, this being the first drop in inflation in 17 months, the Eurostat said on Wednesday. One of the main factors leading to a decrease in inflation is the slower speed at which energy prices are rising (34.4% in November as against 41.5% in October). The Baltic states have reported the highest inflation rate, of over 20%. Spain now has the lowest inflation rate in the Eurozone at 6.6%, followed by France with 7.3%.
GOVERNMENT – Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca held talks in Bucharest with his Moldovan counterpart Natalia Gavrilita, whom he promised further support for Chisinau on a number of levels. Ciuca said Moldova counts on Romania’s support as regards electricity, natural gas and firewood supplies, and also as regards the country’s path to EU accession. Natalia Gavrilita said Chisinau is facing numerous crises, triggered by the Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, which caused power outages of up to 24 hours in the neighbouring Moldova.
NATIONAL DAY – Romania’s National Day is celebrated on December 1st and marks 104 years since the Great Union. In Bucharest, over 1,500 troops and staff of the defence ministry, interior ministry, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Special Telecommunications Service and the Penitentiary Agency as well as vehicles and 40 aircraft will take part in a military parade on December 1. Around 150 troops from Belgium, France, North Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Portugal and the US, will also take part. Romanian military personnel on missions abroad will also organise special ceremonies. Events devoted to Romania's National Day have begun in Alba Iulia on Wednesday, with military and wreath laying ceremonies. On December 1, more than 850 troops will parade in Alba Iulia, including a French unit part of the NATO battlegroup deployed in Cincu, Braşov County. The Bucharest Parliament held a solemn meeting on Monday in Bucharest to mark 104 years since the Great Union.
AWARD – Romanian writer Mircea Cartarescu received the FIL Literary Award for Literature in Romance Languages, at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico. A special guest of the fair, Cartarescu talked about being a writer and the role of writers in a world defined by turmoil. Cartarescu was picked from among 80 applications in seven languages ”for his imaginative and dazzling prose,” the jury said in a communiqué. The first Romanian language writer rewarded with the FIL Literary Award for Literature in Romance Languages was Norman Manea in 2016.
ST. ANDREW – Orthodox Christians celebrated St. Andrew on Wednesday, the spiritual protector of Romania. St. Andrew is the Apostle who set up the first Christian communities on the country’s territory, in the south eastern region of Dobruja. In 1997, the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church declared St. Andrew protector of Romania, and November 30 became, in 2001, a national religious holiday. Also on Wednesday, more than 700,000 Romanians celebrated their name day. (EE)