News review of the day – November 26th

US Vice-President congratulates Romania’s President-elect Klaus Iohannis

The US Vice-President Joe Biden has congratulated Romania’s President-elect Klaus Iohannis for his victory in the elections and appreciated the high voter turnout as a sign of a strong and healthy democracy. The two officials have also discussed on the phone about the importance of justice reform as engine of economic growth and national security. Joe Biden praised Romania’s contribution to NATO and its fight against the Islamic State and the support given to Ukraine as well, according to a press release by the White House.

President-elect Klaus Iohannis on his first visit abroad after the elections

Romania’s President-elect Klaus Iohannis is going to Chisinau this Friday, on his first visit abroad, two days before legislative elections in the Republic of Moldova. According to a press release by the Liberal Party, Iohannis will have official talks with Vlad Filat, President of Liberal Democratic Party but also an informal meeting with Moldova’s head of state Nicolae Timofti. Liberals in Romania and Liberal Democrats in Moldova are part of the same European political family, the European People’s Party – EPP and analysts in Chisinau consider this visit a sign of support for pro-European parties in the Republic of Moldova. Surveys however show that the opposition Communist Party is still enjoying popular support but it will not hold the majority in the upcoming structure of the Parliament, Radio Romania reports.

Prime Minister says taxes are not going to change next year

Prime Minister Victor Ponta has assured that taxes are not going to change next year and broadly explained earlier today the main principles of drafting the state budget for 2015.

Victor Ponta: No tax rate is going to rise, they will all remain exactly as they were in 2014, not a penny more. All enforced documents regarding pension indexation, reduction of social insurance contributions (CAS) and financial obligations for healthcare and education systems are included in the draft budget.
PM Ponta has acknowledged today that the Cabinet will face difficult negotiations with Romania’s international creditors next week when a delegation of the European Commission, IMF and World Bank is expected to Bucharest.

Acting President Requests Exploitation of Black Sea deposits for national gas demand

Romania’s Acting President Traian Băsescu has asked the Cabinet to draft and enact a new strategy meant to secure Romania’ s and Republic of Moldova’s natural gas demand by exploitation of Black Sea deposits. The head of state formulated this request during the last meeting of the Supreme Council for National Defence.

DNA Chief Prosecutor attends conference regarding fight against corruption

Chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruţa Kövesi has stated today that more than 80 percent of anticorruption files opened in the first ten months of 2014 were based on claims and denunciations introduced by citizens or public institutions other than the intelligence corps. The chief prosecutor considers the increasing number of denunciations a reflection of the public trust towards the institution. Kövesi added that despite perception that SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) is now more involved in DNA’s activity, only 17 percent of all investigations started following information received from the services or investigative journalists.

Romania’s new Foreign Minister receives Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson, a.i. at US Embassy in Bucharest

Romania’s new FM Bogdan Aurescu has received Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson (a.i. at US Embassy in Bucharest) today on which occasion he reiterated the will of Romanian authorities to further develop and strenghten the Strategic Partnership with the United States. Mr Aurescu has also pointed out the need of appointing a new US ambassador to Romania and including our country in Visa Waiver Program.According to a press release issued by Romania’s Foreign Ministry, Bogdan Aurescu has communicated the US diplomat the decisions made by the Supreme Council for National Defence in its last meeting regarding Romania’s contribution in Afghanistan with 450 additional military to join the NATO mission.

Relevant Parliament committee to amend electoral legislation

A relevant Parliament committee in charge with amendment of electoral legislation has starting working today. Its members are going to hold weekly sessions led by the Chamber’s Speaker Valeriu Zgonea in order to draft the amendments and establish principles and priorities for each category of elections: local, legislative, europarliamentary and presidential elections. Activation of this committee was decided last week, after the plenum session had postponed a debate regading correspondence vote initiated by the independent MP Eugen Tomac following problems during the voting process organized for Romanians abroad.

National Day Parade to include  guest troops from Poland, United States, Turkey, France, Republic of Moldova

Preparations for the National Day military parade on December 1st are coming to an end with a first rehearsal this morning in a military base in Bucharest. This year, the military parade will take place on Liberty Boulevard crossing the Constitution Square and will include five guest troops from Poland, United States, Turkey, France and Republic of Moldova. The flypast will feature 40 military aircraft accompaning the ground parade.

Romanian universities to set up career-counseling and guidance centres

Romanian universities are going to create career-counseling and career-guidance centres for students, graduates and high schoolers. Ministry of Education has published the organizational methodology for these centres in the Official Gazette and according to the document, their purpose will be to reduce university dropouts and to help raise students’ chances to find a job in their domain of expertise. The centres will offer counseling, psychological assessment and vocational guidance. Financing will be provided by academic budgets and other non-budgetary resources.

Free HIV testing in three cities until November 28th

ARAS (Romanian Anti-AIDS Association) will offer free HIV testing in Bucharest and two other cities in Romania, Constantza and Târgu Jiu, during the European HIV Testing Week which ends on November 28th.
HIV testing is highly recommended for people who undergo unprotected intercourse or have multiple sex partners or for those who use needles and syringes in common with other persons. The HIV test in Romania is free of charge for pregnant women, drug consumers and prison inmates. According to the World Health Organization, 2,3 million HIV-positive persons live in Europe and one out of three is unaware of this, despite the fact that most countries have carried on efficient testing programs.

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