Visit. After the meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Katalin Novák, in Bucharest, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis has said that that it is fundamental that the projects of interest are carried out in Romania only following Bucharest's agreement, that they are not discriminatory on ethnic criteria and that they comply with Romanian, European and international law. Iohannis emphasized that Romania wants to have a high-quality education system, regardless of the mother tongue, and that all national minorities in our country have a representative in the Bucharest Parliament. In turn, Katalin Novák has stated that Romania can count on Hungary's support for its Schengen accession. The Hungarian official has stressed that she wants to reduce the tensions between the two states and that although Bucharest and Budapest cannot have the same stand in absolutely all matters, dialogue is important. While on an official visit to Romania, she also had a meeting with the acting Speaker of the Senate, Alina Gorghiu. Strengthening cooperation, Russia's aggression against Ukraine, as well as Hungary's support for Romania's accession to the Schengen area were among the topics addressed.
BlueAir. The Romanian Government has approved the allocation of 5 million lei (1 million euros) from the reserve fund to help bring back home the Romanians stuck at airports abroad as a result private company Blue Air cancelling all its flights. The Ministry of Transport and the Tarom state company are responsible for the use of these funds. About 2,100 Romanian citizens called on consular services asking to be brought to the country. Blue Air has suspended all domestic and international flights until Monday, September 12, after the Ministry of the Environment frozen all its accounts. The company has a debt of over 28 million lei (5.6 million euros) and is being foreclosed. The Environment Fund Administration decided, on Wednesday, to suspend the seizure of the Blue Air financial assets and establish a 12-month schedule for paying off the debt.
Motion. A simple motion tabled by Save Romania Union (USR) in opposition against the Liberal energy minister Virgil Popescu was dismissed by the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday with 85 votes in favour of the document, coming from USR, the nationalist party AUR and the Force of the Right, splintered from the Liberal Party and headed by the ex-PM Ludovic Orban. The opposition criticised the energy minister for the lack of investments in production facilities and for his management of the electricity and natural gas price caps. Minister Virgil Popescu dismissed the accusations and described the USR motion as a populist move. He also added that the new mechanism related to energy bills would discourage speculation in the market.
Diplomacy. The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Lipavsky, suggested on Wednesday to his Romanian counterpart, Bogdan Aurescu, the participation of Finland and Sweden, as guests, in the Bucharest 9 Format. The proposal was made on the occasion of the speech that Jan Lipavsky gave at the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy. He stated that the security in the Black Sea region 'has worsened dramatically', and Moldova and Georgia have become 'very vulnerable'. The Czech minister welcomed the granting of EU candidate country status to the Republic of Moldova, the European path for Georgia and the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, welcomed the idea of the participation of Sweden and Finland, as guests, in the B9 Format.
Economy. Romania's economy grew 5.3% in the second quarter of this year compared to the corresponding period of 2021, the National Institute of Statistics has announced. In the first half of the year, the GDP went up 5.8%, compared to the first 6 months of last year. Contributing to this growth were trade, automotive repairs, transport and storage services, the hospitality and the IT&C sectors.
Survey. A Eurobarometer survey released on Tuesday by the European Commission points to increased confidence of European citizens in the EU and continuing strong support for the Union's response to Russia's aggression against Ukraine. An overwhelming majority of EU citizens supports investments in renewable energy and steps to reduce the bloc's reliance on Russian energy sources. Europeans are increasingly concerned with the economic situation in the Union and in their respective countries.
Football. Romania's football champions, CFR Cluj, on Thursday play away from home against FC Ballkani, in Pristina, Kosovo, in their first match in Group G of the Europa Conference League. The other match in the group is pitting Sivasspor, of Turkey, against the Czech side Slavia Prague. Romanian vice-champions FCSB Bucharest also play away from home, in London, against West Ham United, in Group B of the same competition. The Belgian side Anderlecht takes on the Danish team Silkeborg IF, also in Group B. Two other Romanian teams, CS Universitatea Craiova and Sepsi OSK Sfântu Gheorghe, have lost the qualifying stage of the Europa Conference League.(MI)