A roundup of domestic and international news.
ECOFIN - The shift from unanimity voting to qualified majority voting in the field of taxation within the EU is not supported by Romania, Finance Minister Florin Citu said at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council. In the context of EU finance ministers having debated the fiscal system’s need for reform, for a fair and efficient taxation, Florin Citu reminded that tax policy is an element of sovereignty and an essential tool in drawing up national policies. The Romanian official voiced support at the improvement of EU rules for administrative cooperation among the member states.
GEORGE ENESCU - The George Enescu international music contest continues in Bucharest until September 15, with 55 mini-recitals given by pianists from all over the world and broadcast on www.festivalenescu.ro. Results will be announced on September 15. Only 12 competitors from the total 55 will qualify to the next stage. The youngest participant is 15 and the oldest is 33. Some 205 young musicians from 39 countries have enrolled in the competition, 184 in the violin, cello and piano sections and 21 in the composition sections.
BREXIT - German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Saturday said Britain would face the brunt of the fallout if post-Brexit trade talks collapsed without a deal. He voiced hope, however, that talks will lead to a positive result. In his turn, European commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said it was London’s responsibility to reinstate trust in its relation with the EU. Britain left the EU on January 31 and is now negotiating with the EU to agree future trading relations when a transition period ends at the end of the year.
CORONAVIRUS – 1,311 new infections with SARS CoV-2 were reported in Romania on Saturday by the Group for Strategic Communication, bringing the total to over 102 thousand cases at national level. Another 27 people died on Saturday, taking the total death toll to 4,127. 467 patients are in intensive care. 10,836 people are in home isolation, 5,733 in institutional isolation. 36,970 people are quarantined at home while 12 are in institutional quarantine. Of the Romanians living abroad, 6,599 have tested positive so far, and 126 died.
SCHOOL YEAR – A new school year, adjusted to the coronavirus crisis, begins in Romania on Monday. Children will attend classes physically, in over 70% of schools, while in the case of 28% of the schools, a hybrid scenario will be applied, that mixes the children’s physical presence with online classes. In one of ten schools classes will only be held online. The Government has earmarked an additional €20 million to the budget of the Education Ministry to fund the "Safe Education" National Programme. The money will be used for the purchase of laptops, medical equipment and electronic devices, such as webcams and tablets, so that teachers can hold their lessons online where required.
MESSAGE – The Romanian Writers’ Union on Saturday conveyed a message of solidarity with the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015, Svetlana Aleksievich, an opponent of the Belarusian regime. ”The great prestige of this writer, doubled by the force of her civic message, as member of the opposition coordination council, make Svetlana Aleksievich, now, when she is harassed every day and threatened with detention, into an emblem of the free spirit,” the Writers’ Union message says. On Wednesday, Romanian Ambassador in Minsk, Viorel Mosanu, alongside colleagues from other EU states, paid a visit to the writer to make sure that human rights are respected. (EE)