A roundup of domestic and international news.
PRIZE - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was awarded in Magdeburg, Germany the Emperor Otto Prize, for “great merits in the European unification process”. Iohannis emphasized, at the ceremony, the need for unity, cohesion and solidarity, for the consolidation of the European project and said he accepted the prize on behalf of Romanians. “Their enthusiastic support for the European cause, for the values and principles that unite us in Europe, gives me the confidence to continue to do my best so that Romania should be be, alongside the other member states and the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, at the centre of the process of consolidation of the European project. I see this prize as a reconfirmation of my country’s constant belief in a Europe that is united in peace and democracy” Iohannis said. The Emperor Otto Prize is awarded every 2 years to personalities and organisations with outstanding merits in the European unification process and in promoting European values. It was first granted in 2005, when the city of Magdeburg celebrated 1,200 years. Former recipients include the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former president Richard von Weizsacker, former Latvian president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, as well as the former EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini. In 2015, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe was the first institution to receive this award.
CONFERENCE - There can be no peace, democracy and security in a world dominated by disinformation, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said in the opening of the online conference ”Safeguarding Democracy and Preventing Malign Foreign Influence” held on the sidelines of the Romanian presidency of the Community of Democracies. It is important to understand better the sources of disinformation, its purpose and targets and why people are attracted by fake news, in order to understand our own vulnerability, Aurescu explained. He pointed put, in the context of the health crisis, that quick action is needed as well as a strong commitment to fighting those who interfere with democratic norms.
VISIT - European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, will pay a visit to Bucharest on Thursday, according to a release by the European Commission. He will meet with Romanian PM Ludovic Orban, deputy PM Raluca Turcan, the finance minister and the minister of European funds. The future EU budget on the long-term, the recovery and resilience fund and the observance of the state of law principle will be among the topics to be discussed.
CORONAVIRUS - Romania’s Government on Wednesday extended the state of alert in the country by another 30 days, starting October 15. The National Committee for Emergencies decided that face masks will be compulsory outdoors as well, in areas with more than 3 cases per 1,000 capita, and private events will be banned until the number of infections drops.4,016 new cases of COVID-19 infection were reported in Romania on Wednesday, the biggest daily figure since the start of the pandemic. The number of patients with severe forms of the disease is up, with 686 people in ICU. Another 66 COVID-19 patients died, taking the death toll to 5,601. The number of Romanians living abroad, who tested positive to coronavirus remains 6,812 and the number of deaths 126.
AUTOMOTIVE - In Romania, the market for electric and Hybrid Plug-in cars rose significantly in the first 9 months of the year compared to 2019. Statistics point to a 40% increase in electric car sales and a 140% in Hybrid Plug-in sales since the beginning of the year. On Thursday, the largest Romanian carmaker, Dacia, taken over by the French group Renault in 1999, will unveil Spring, its electric model, 7 months after releasing the first photos of the concept. Dacia Spring will be the least expensive electric car in Europe, around 3-4,000 euro cheaper than its competitors.
MEASURES Italy has added further exceptions from the COVID-19 rules applicable to travellers from Romania. Individuals showing no symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the ones who have not travelled to countries like Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina or the Republic of Moldova are no longer required to self-isolate under medical supervision. Exceptions also include the travellers who transit Italy for up to 36 hours and short-term visitors who stay in the country up to 120 hours. The same exception applies to medical personnel coming into Italy to practice their profession. The new rules are in force until November 13. (Translated by E. Enache)