Monday, January 28th


55 towns and villages in Romania, Capital included, affected by weather conditions

Romania’s southern county of Ialomiţa remains one of the regions most affected by sharp weather conditions in the last three days. Some 18,500 people were left without electricity after 50,000 were reported on Saturday. 16 high power generators were sent across the county, according to Interior Ministry sources. An ice storm downed hundreds of trees and power lines and caused a tram derailment in Romania’s capital on Saturday. Emergency officials in Bucharest said branches brought down by ice hit and injured two people. Around 40 people were treated for injuries caused by slipping on ice. Tram traffic was halted for more than three hours on one line after ice caused one tram to come off its tracks, the Bucharest Transport Society reported. A number of trolleys were also stopped because of frozen power lines. Fallen power lines caused outages over the span of several hours. Icy conditions at Bucharest’s Henry Coandă Airport caused delays and several flight cancelations. Tens of thousands of people in Romania are still without power as freezing conditions continue to grip the country. Freezing fog is still lingering over southern parts, including Bucharest, four days after freezing rain started to cause major problems in the region. However, weather conditions in Romania seem to improve over the next few days as the temperature rises. The maximum temperature in Bucharest on Tuesday is expected to hit some 6 degrees Celsius with temperatures climbing even higher on Wednesday.

New terms for corruption-related files

Tens of corruption-related trials were posponed until February 25, according to judicial sources on Monday. The decision refers to such cases including Senate speaker Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, former minister Cristian David, Toni Greblă, a former judge with the country’s constitutional court, and an appeal by Elena Udrea, a former minister convicted to six years’ jail for abuse of office and taking bribes in March 2017. The move comes after five judges signaled alleged jurisprudence changes. A verdict concerning the delays was ruled by Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ).

Budget gap

Romania’s consolidated budget deficit rose to 2.88% of the estimated 2018 GDP, the same as in the previous year, the finance ministry said on Monday. Romania’s consolidated budget was in deficit of 27.3 billion lei (5.7 billion euro) last year, the ministry added. Consolidated budget revenue rose 17.2% to 295.1 billion lei, while spending increased 16.8% to 322.4 billion lei, mainly due to salary hikes in public institutions. Romania targeted a consolidated budget gap equivalent to 2.97% of GDP on a cash basis in 2018, just below the 3% EU ceiling.

Data Privacy Day

Romania celebrates the Data Privacy Day on Monday. The day is currently observed in the United States, Canada, India, Israel and 27 EU Member States. Romania’s National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing (ANSPDCP) hosts a conference on the matter in Parliament on Monday at a time when Romania holds EU’s six month-presidency. Data Privacy Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, personal info is just as valuable as cash, so people should take steps to protect it.

Alexandru Danga