Covid-19. The interim government in Bucharest is to decide today new restrictions to be enforced in Romania, which is facing an unprecedented epidemiological crisis since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of them have already been mentioned by President Klaus Iohannis, after the meeting he’s had this week with the decision-makers. Thus, starting Monday, pupils in Romania will have a two-week break, access to most activities will be conditioned by the green covid certificate, wearing a mask will be mandatory everywhere indoors or outdoors, and night traffic will be forbidden to the unvaccinated. The head of state has reiterated that the only solution is vaccination, but restrictions are needed until an appropriate vaccination rate is reached. Today, the Strategic Communication Group reported that in the last 24 hours, 15,410 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were registered, as well as 357 related deaths.
European Council. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, participates today in the European Council meeting in Brussels. He has stated that the agenda of talks includes topics such as energy, climate and the green deal, which aims at environmentally friendly and zero-emission economies by 2050. If energy prices continue to rise, they will automatically be reflected in other prices, the head of the Romanian state also said. The EU leaders will also discuss migration, the European trade policy and foreign relations. In preparation for the meeting, Klaus Iohannis attended a videoconference meeting on Monday with the European Council President Charles Michel, his Lithuanian counterpart and the prime ministers of Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The head of state highlighted the crisis in Romania in terms of the incidence of COVID-19 cases, showing that the low vaccination rate has significantly contributed to this situation. He mentioned that Romania has activated the European Civil Protection Mechanism and thanked the member states that have already offered support. On energy prices, Klaus Iohannis stressed the need to quickly identify efficient short-term solutions, as the current energy crisis will have serious effects in all EU countries, with a profound socio-economic impact.
Government. In Romania, the interim minister of defense, Nicolae Ciuca, designated on Thursday by President Klaus Iohannis to form a new government, begins talks with the leaders of the parliamentary parties. A first meeting, with the UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor, is scheduled for today. UDMR has expressed its readiness for dialogue, stressing the need for a government with full powers. USR is waiting to be invited to talks and will try to persuade the Liberals to go for the solution of a coalition government with majority support in parliament. PSD says it will talk with Nicolae Ciuca about shaping a parliamentary majority to support a minority government, and AUR has stated it will not support such a government. The Prime Minister Designate has called on all political actors to support the formation of the new executive, so that Romania can quickly overcome the medical and economic crisis it is going through.
Liberals. The former president of the National Liberal Party (PNL), number two in the Parliament of Bucharest, the deputy Ludovic Orban, has announced that he will not vote for the Ciuca Government and will resign from the liberal parliamentary group. He accused President Klaus Iohannis and the current leadership, represented by the interim Prime Minister Florin Citu, of seriously betraying the interests of Romanians. Orban claims that the Ciuca Government, without a parliamentary majority, will be appointed at the mercy of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and will not be able to implement the so much needed modernization and development reforms. We recall that at last month’s party congress, Ludovic Orban lost the PNL leadership to Florin Citu.
Tennis. The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, the eighth seed, takes on, today, the Greek Maria Sakkari, in the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 tournament in Moscow, with about 560,000 dollars in prize money. On Thursday, Halep defeated the Russian Veronika Kudermetova, in two sets, and Sakkari benefited Russian Ana Kalinskaia’s dropping the game. Another Romanian, Irina Begu, also plays today, in the quarterfinals of the WTA 250 tournament in Tenerife (Spain), aganinst the American Ann Li. Begu defeated the Croatian Donna Vekici in the eighth round.
Football. Romanian football champion, CFR Cluj (northwest), was defeated, on Thursday evening, on home turf, by the Dutch team AZ Alkmaar, 1-0, in a Group D match of the Europa Conference League. In the other match of the group, FK Jablonec, from the Czech Republic, ended in a draw the match with the Danish team Randers FC, 2-2. AZ is the leader, with 7 points, followed by Jablonec, 4 points, Randers, 3 points, CFR Cluj, 1 point. On November 4, CFR will play away from home with AZ Alkmaar. In another development, the Romanian men's handball champion, Dinamo Bucharest, was defeated by the Ukrainian team Motor Zaporoje, with the score of 28-27, on Thursday night, away from home, in a match part of Group B of the Champions League. Dinamo is the penultimate in a group of 8 teams and will play the next match on October 28, at home, with Veszprem of Hungary.