News review of the day – Wednesday, January 14th

President Obama’s emissary Victoria Nuland and British FM Philip Hammond visit Bucharest

President Barack Obama’s emissary, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, has visited Romania today and met with several high officials. She is the first high-rank American official visiting our country after the election of the new President Klaus Iohannis. Victoria Nuland was in Bucharest last year also when she had talks about the fight against corruption given Romania’s enhanced role in the region. The British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond is also on a visit to Bucharest today.
The US President’s emissary has met with President Klaus Iohannis at Cotroceni Palace this morning where the two officials had talks about Romania’s wish to strengthen the Strategic Partenership with the United States by extending co-operation to the economic level as well. According to the Presidency, the head of state has welcomed the interest manifested by American companies and encouraged a higher presence on the Romanian market pointing out at the same time the need for legislative stability, predictibility and transparency for the business sector.
The talks have also pointed out substantial progress registered by Romania in what justice reform is concerned and the fight against corruption. The two officials have looked over the political issues in the region as well.


The main message conveyed by both Victoria Nuland and Philip Hammond was the need for change in what political culture in Romania is concerned – according to Prime Minister Victor Ponta who made a statement after successive meetings with Romania’s main strategic parteners this morning.
Victor Ponta: Our parteners convey the same main message that we should work together for Romania’s interest and for our position in the region. Co-operation against war and scandal is the only way to raise Romania’s credibility among investors and this is our top priority: to show that Romania fights corruption, fights tax avoidance; stability and predictibility of our legislation is also needed.


Victoria Nuland has also met with Romania’s FM Bogdan Aurescu whom she addressed the invitation to visit Washington. The Foreign Minister pointed out the importance of appointing a new US ambassador to Bucharest as soon as possible.
In his talks with the British FM Philip Hammond, Bodgan Aurescu has insisted on relevant matters like the importance of maintaining free movement of labor force given the significant contributions of foreign workers to their host countries’ GDP. The two diplomats have agreed to establish a consultation mechanism on a regular basis in several domains.

Romania’s FM Bogdan Aurescu: We are pleading for the completion of the internal market of the European Union including by full guarantee of free movement of workers as we consider this mobility brings positive economic effects upon GDPs in the host countries and contributes to economic growth in those countries and in the EU.

World Bank: Romania to see 2.9 percent economic growth in 2015

Romania is going to see a 2.9 percent economic growth this year following the 2.6 percent advance registered in 2014, according to a World Bank report published today. The international body has now slightly amended, from 2.7 down to 2.6 percent, its initial forecast in October regarding Romania’s economic advance for last year.
For 2016, the forecast says our national economy is going to register a 3.2 percent advance and almost 4 percent in 2017. The average growth rate of Central and Eastern European economies is 0.5 percent lower than Romania’s over the same time stretch. Worldwide, the World Bank’s forecast economic growth rate is of 3 percent, higher than last year. The overall positive evolution is due to the US’, UK’s, China’s and India’s economies. Japan and the Eurozone are going to see modest rises whilst Russia’s economy is likely to go down by almost 3 percent in 2015.

200 guests expected at official dinner marking 25 years since homecoming of Crown Princess Margareta of Romania

This Sunday, January 18th, Crown Princess Margareta of Romania is celebrating 25 years since she returned to Romania. On the occasion, the House of Romania has scheduled a series of events on January 17th and 18th. Crown Princess Margareta alongside Prince Radu, Princess Sofia, Princess Maria, Prince Nicholas Michael will have a special guest: Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este. Personalities from Romania and abroad (the UK, the United States, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain) supporting the Royal Family and its ideals will join Their Royal Highnesses for this celebration. The events will end on January 18th with an official dinner hosted at CEC Palace. 200 guests are expected to attend.

Project of Comarnic–Braşov highway goes public

The lease-system project for building the Comarnic–Braşov highway has gone public on Transport Ministry’s webpage. The estimated 1.8 billion euro draft says the 53-kilometer highway is to be built in 4 years. Strong points include reducing the number of road-accident victims, improvement of air quality and the opportunity to create new jobs. According to the document, the highway will have a semi-automatic toll collecting system consisting in barriers installed at both ends of the road. The Comarnic-Brasov project alongside Pitesti-Sibiu higway is comprised in Romania’s new Transport General Master Plan that forecasts building of several highways and express roads by 2030 meant to facilitate connections between all historical provinces of the country.

Electoral Code commission holds its first meeting this year

A joint parliamentary body designated to draft Romania’s Electoral Code is having its first meeting this year to debate changes in Electoral laws. Introducing a mixed voting system for electing the MPs in the Senate and the lower chamber or a two-round system for electing mayors and county council presidents are just a few of the proposals to be analyzed by the commission.

Former President of Romanian television dies at 54

The former President and CEO of the Romanian public television between 2002 and 2005 Valentin Nicolau died last night at the age of 54 following a cardiorespiratory arrest. Known as writer and founder of Nemira Publishing House Valentin Nicolau was actually a professional geophysicist. He used to be also a member of the public television’s board of directors which was dismissed by the Parliament on December 10th 2013.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s „Phantom of the Opera” comes to Bucharest

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s „Phantom of the Opera” –  the worldwide celebrated musical production played in 14 languages so far – is coming to Bucharest. Australian director Stephen Barlow brings a new vision of the show at „Ion Dacian” National Operetta and Musical Theatre with the opening night scheduled on January 24th. Romanian and foreign artists, actors, pop stars and Romanian opera singers form the cast of the awaited musical. Its success over time is also reflected in Bucharest as the tickets for the first night are already sold out.
The premiere is also marking a special moment here in Romania: the inauguration of the new hall of the National Operetta Theatre which is the first theatre built after the 1989 Revolution.

Bianca Ioniţă