News review of the day – November 14th

Romanians elect their President for the upcoming 5 years

The second round of presidential elections in Romania is drawing near with the campaign closing on Saturday, November 15th at 7 AM and the poll scheduled on Sunday November 16th, between 7 AM and 9 PM. More than 18 million Romanian citizens with a right to vote are expected to the polls to elect from the two remaining candidates: Social Democrat Victor Ponta and Liberal Klaus Iohannis.
Citizens who are travelling to another city can vote in any ballot station throughout the country on additional lists whereas the Romanian citizens living abroad can cast the vote at the special polling stations organized by the Foreign Ministry. According to the laws, the permanent electoral lists are drawn up and printed by mayors based of data and information in the Electoral Register. Deadline for printing copies of the electoral lists is November 14th.
In the meantime, Romania’s Constitutional Court has ruled that suspension of criminal proceedings against the President of the country for immunity reasons is constitutional. The court has thus declined a claim introduced by Social Democrat Senator Gabriela Firea, who contested the Prosecutor’s Office decision on a blackmail complaint made against the ruling President Traian Basescu. Therefore, as a general rule, the President cannot be prosecuted during terms of office and the only exception, according to the Constitution, is the ground of high treason.

National and European statistic offices say Romania not in technical recession

Official data released today by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) show that Romania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2014 has risen by 1.9 percent against the previous one. According to a press release by INS, the institute has upgraded its forecast regarding evolution of Romania’s economy in the first two quarters after auditing data in accordance with the European System of Accounts. Hence, the GDP dropped in the second quarter by 0.3 percent against the first one but went up in the first quarter of 2014 by 0.5 percent against the fourth quarter of 2013, which means Romania was not in technical recession (two consecutive quarters of decrease in the GDP)
The statistical office of the European Union EUROSTAT, which has centralized national data from all member states today, estimates Romania has the highest growth of GDP in the third quarter before Poland, UK and Greece, whereas Germany and France have avoided recession at a pinch, Radio Romania reports.

Chamber of Deputies could start amnesty-and-pardon debate next Tuesday

The Chamber of Deputies could start the debate of a draft bill concerning amnesty and pardon next Tuesday, according to Deputy Speaker Marian Neacşu. Several requests from the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) are also expected to get the nod for remand custody of several MPs: liberal Mircea Roşca, social democrat Ioan Adam and conservative Ion Diniţă. The opposition had requested a plenum session for today in order to debate these matters.
Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc considers amnesty and pardon could be solutions to the overcrowded penitentiary system, but he believes these clemencies should be included in a law only after thorough debate. The minister reminded on October 24th that a draft bill on this matter was in the Parliament after being rejected by the Justice Ministry and that its further debate and endorsement was up to the priorities set by the lawmakers. On the other hand, chief of the High Court of Cassation and Justice Livia Stanciu had argued that such a law is not necessary at the moment.

Central cities of Sibiu and Deva directly connected by highway

A new segment of Sibiu-Orăştie Highway in central Romania is  inaugurated today, according to Transport minister Ioan Rus after an inspection made alongside Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Hence, the larger cities of Sibiu and Deva are now directly connected by 130 kilometers of highway. The launch of the 22 km stretch between Sălişte in Sibiu County and Cunţa in Alba County has been delayed due to massive landslides.

Military hospital to manage possibile Ebola cases being set up near Otopeni airport

A military hospital in charge with possibile Ebola cases management is going to become operational in northern Bucharest by the end of this month. Health Ministry advisor and MD Alexandru Rafila says the hospital will have to act as a roadblock for any infected patient coming from abroad that could get into the general medical flow.
Alexandru Rafila: We are currently setting up this mobile hospital in northern Bucharest, very close to the international airport in order to ensure rapid access and transportation if needed. Fortunately, Romania does not operate direct flights in the affected areas which drastically reduces the risk of such cases to arise, however, we are not completely excluding the possibility.

National Health Insurance House (CNAS) starts testing new cards

On November 25th Romania’s National Health Insurance House (CNAS) will start testing the new health insurance cards which are going to become compulsory next year. The institution wants to anticipate and start preventing possible problems in the system. President of CNAS Vasile Ciurchea has announced that 85% – namely 11,5 million – of all national insurance cards have already been distributed by post to their beneficiaries.

New service to speed up money transfers between Romania and the Republic of Moldova

Money transfers between Romania and the Republic of Moldova are going to be facilitated starting early next year when a new financial service will be inaugurated – the international electronic postal order. This money order will allow transfers of maximum 1,000 euros. Romania will only allow euros being sent and received but the service in the neighbor country will also allow Moldovan leu transfers, in which case the conversion will be made by the Moldovan Post. The postal tax afferent to an order sent from Romania will be 3.7% of the dispatched amount and charged in Romanian lei, according to the Romanian National Post Office.

European Qualifiers 2016: Romania meets Northern Ireland in Bucharest tonight

National football teams of Romania and Northern Ireland are meeting tonight on Bucharest’s National Arena for a Euro 2016 qualifier game. The guests represent a surprise of Group F where they are currently leading with 9 points won in their three opening matches whilst Romania’s team is second with 7 points accumulated after two wins and one tie.
More than 4,500 policemen are going to be deployed tonight to secure public safety and Road Police recommends drivers to take alternative routes and abide by traffic pointsmen. The subway in Bucharest will run on an extended schedule tonight until 1 AM.

Public campaign „Take Control of Your Diabetes” in major cities all over Romania

Several big cities in Romania, like Bucharest, Cluj and Constantza, will host a series of actions within a public information campaign concerning diabetes over the next two days. Tonight, on World Diabetes Day, the fountain in University Square in central Bucharest will be illuminated in blue whilst Unirii Square will deploy a blue circle drawn in chalk which is the universal symbol for this disease. Tomorrow, free blood-sugar test tents will be set up in the same central area of downtown Bucharest. The cities of Piteşti, Galaţi, Satu Mare and Sibiu will host similar actions.
The number of people affected by this disease is expected to go up by 50% globally over the next 15-20 years and the experts are promoting more and more often a healthy lifestyle which can prevent or keep diabetes under control.

Bianca Ioniţă