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Romanian authorities react to COVID surge
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis said that the following few months will not be easy for Romania, emphasizing the fact that the epidemic would not allow returning to the state of normalcy from before the coronavirus emerged. The head of state said that the country is at a critical juncture once again. Now in its eighth month of fighting the virus, Romania displays alarming figures. After a few days of reports running around the figure of 2,000 infections within 24 hours, suddenly that number went up to 3,000. Figures also spiked in terms of COVID deaths, and people in intensive care. PM Ludovic Orban called on Health Minister Nelu Tataru to increase the capacity for testing, as well as the number of IC beds. In this context, the minister once again called on the population to comply with prevention measures. He said that the medical system is holding its own, but that it should not be overrun, since even some medical staff are infected. The authorities have issued new measures to limit the spread of the virus. In Bucharest it is compulsory to wear a face mask close to public venues such as schools and concert halls. In places where the rate of infection surpassed 1.5 per thousand, restaurants, clubs, and cafes are closed for two weeks. Employees in hospitality businesses have protested in front of the main government building in the capital. According to Calin Ilie, head of the main trade union for hospitality workers, the industry stands to lose up to 3 billion lei as a result of these measures. The government, on the other hand, debated a draft executive order for relief for these businesses, in the form of a tax break extended to the end of the year. At the same time, mask wearing is being enforced by widespread checks in public, including by plainclothes police.
Supreme Defense Council issues new guidelines for national security 2020-2024
The Supreme Defense Council issued on Tuesday a number of documents for Romania's national defense over the next four years, among them a strategic analysis and the so-called Defense White Charter. The strategic analysis lays the foundation for a new concept for organizing, staffing, and provision of the armed forces with a view up to the year 2032, a step up to the Army Program 2040 program. The Defense White Charter is a document that implements the defense objectives set by the governing platform to safeguard the citizenry and the national territory, as well as national values and interests, according to the quoted source. It is part of a strategic paradigm with a view to prop up the defense and deterrence posture of the country, based on five essential elements: high technology, well trained and educated personnel, a strong domestic defense industry, an institutional culture centered on knowledge and innovation, as well as resilience. Romania and the United States sign a new road map for defense cooperation in the next decade
Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca, on an official visit to Washington, held talks with his American counterpart Mark Esper on the new Romanian national defense strategy. In order to ensure American strategic flexibility of the US in the Black Sea region, Romania will maintain and enhance its status of stable security pylon, as a credible and predictable symbol of democracy in the region. The two defense ministers signed a cooperation road map for the 2020-2030 decade, and American Defense Secretary Esper said that the 10 year agreement covered all the common aims and interests, such as modernizing security and defense in the Black Sea region, bolstering cybersecurity and resilience in US support for achieving enhanced allied capabilities. Mark Esper expressed gratitude for Romania's commitment towards NATO, especially with regard to its hosting of the element of the nuclear shield at the base in Deveselu, an essential component in anti-ballistic defense for NATO.
Romania missed qualification in the European football championship
Romania's national football team missed its chance to qualify for the continental championship, losing on Thursday 1-2 against Iceland. Romania, however, leads in the 1B Group of the League of nations, after tying against Northern Ireland 1-all in September in a home game, and defeating Austria 3-2. Norway is also playing in this group, and Romania will face off against them on Sunday in Oslo.
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