Romania condemns the so-called referendums in Ukraine
Romania joined the international community in condemning in the harshest terms the illegitimate referendums held by Russian troops in Ukraine, and announced it would not recognize their outcome. The Romanian Foreign Ministry announced that these simulacra of popular consultation are a grave violation of international law, and therefore have no legal standing. The ministry in Bucharest also said that Moscow proved once again that they were violating the fundamental principles of international law, and that they were acting contrary to the responsibilities incumbent upon them as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. At the same time, Bucharest reiterated its firm support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and national integrity. At the same time, given the recent events in Russia, the Foreign Ministry recommends Romanians avoid any non-essential travel on Russian controlled territory, and for people already in such areas to consider leaving as soon as possible.
Fuel and energy prices
The executive in Bucharest on Thursday passed an emergency ordinance to extend for three more months the half a leu subsidy per liter of fuel. The state provides half of that amount, 25 bani, if the seller applies the same. Since the introduction of this measure, in early July, the strain on the budget was evaluated at 120 million Euro, and for the next three months it is estimated that the same amount is needed. Also this week, the emergency executive order to set a ceiling on energy prices passed the Senate in Bucharest, and now goes to the Chamber of Deputies for final voting. Senators made a large number of amendments, expanding the list of beneficiaries.
Romanian delegation in Japan
Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca and the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, went this week to Japan, to attend the state funerals for former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe. On Monday, Nicolae Ciuca met his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, holding talks on security and defense. These areas make up one of the four pillars of cooperation in the future strategic partnership between Romania and Japan. They also discussed economic cooperation, considering that Japan is the biggest Asian investor in Romania. The Japanese PM assured his Romanian counterpart of his wholehearted support for signing the strategic partnership, and for bilateral cooperation consolidation, including in foreign policy, in the regional and international context that necessitates the protection of democracy and the rule of law.
Sorin Cimpeanu resigned as Minister of Education
Sorin Cimpeanu resigresigned as Minister of Education, having been embroiled all week in a plagiarism scandal. He is accused of having published an expert paper in which he copied dozens of pages from professors with the School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest. Cimpeanu denied the accusations, and claimed that these accusations were a maneuver to block changes in the laws of education. As a result of the plagiarism scandal, the USR and Force of the Right parties had announced they would file a censure motion against the minister. By resigning, Cimpeanu brings at an end his second term as minister of education, which he started in December 2020.
Estimations on the Romanian economy
The Romanian economy fared much better than anticipated in the first half of the year. This is reflected in the latest EBRD report and recent IMF estimates. The EBRD stated that, after 5.9% growth in 2021 of the GDP, sustained by private consumption, the first months of 2022 brought about a surprising growth of 5.8%. The institution posits a 5.4% economic growth in 2022 overall. The IMF estimated a growth for the Romanian economy worth 4.8%, up over two percent. This advance is expected by the EBRD to lower in 2023, down to a growth of 1.9%, which is an improvement from the forecast issued in May. At the same time, statisticians say that Romania's budget deficit in the first eight months of the year went down from the same period in 2021, from 3.3 to 2.4% of the GDP.
The global conference of the International Telecommunication Union
Over 3,000 world leaders and delegations from 193 countries are meeting in Bucharest until October 14 for the International Telecommunication Union gathering, in order to set the global direction of digital transformation. The union is a UN agency dedicated to information and communication technology. The delegations include representatives of all categories of members, such as private companies, academic institutions, as well as national, regional, and international institutions involved in telecommunications. They are also involved in setting the standards and promoting digital transformation, in line with the UN's objectives for sustainable development. Romania is the first EU country to host this very large scale event.
Gold medals for Romanian rowers
Romania's athletic rowers team reaped four gold medals at the world championships in the Czech Republic. The head of the Romanian Rowing Federation, the great athlete Elisabeta Lipa, said that history was written and records were set at these championships. The Romanian delegation participated with 11 boats and 35 athletes, managing to earn qualifications for nine of them in the race for medals.