News review of the day – October 5th

Senate Defence Committee requests new parliamentary investigation on CIA detention centers

The Senate Defence Committee has requested the Permanent Bureau to set up a new parliamentary commission regarding the alleged presence of CIA detention centers on Romanian territory. The ruling body was also asked to officially declassify documents regarding Romania comprised in the report on CIA’s interrogation methods drafted by the US Senate. The request follows a meeting of Romanian senators with members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament   – body that investigates new information placing Romania under suspicion alongside other countries which purportedly hosted CIA detention centers. A similar commission, created in the Romanian Senate in 2006, functioned until 2008 but did not find any proof of such detention centers having been hosted by our country, RADIO ROMANIA reported.

President Iohannis: An education system offering job opportunities is a matter of national security

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new academic year at the University of Bucharest, President Klaus Iohannis stated today that an education system offering job opportunities is a matter of national security. In his opinion, the demographic crisis urges Romania to take better advantage of its overall potential. Therefore, the head of state called on the academic environment to join in public debates and consultations on education recently launched by the Presidency.

Romania has more than 10.000 citizens on Syrian territory

Romania has more than 10.000 citizens on Syrian territory at this time and our country is among the small number of states which have a functional embassy in Damascus, according to a statement today by FM official Bogdan Stănescu. He pointed out that 14.000 Romanians were in Syria in 2011, when the conflict started, but their exact number at this time is not known, as most of them fail to inform diplomatic missions of the countries they might enter.
Bogdan Stănescu: Since our citizens do not make a habit of registering with embassies, we can only estimate that we have somewhere over 10.000 Romanians left in Syria at the moment. Since 2011, the Foreign Ministry has repatriated on its own expense nearly 700 citizens. We have information that a much larger number has succeeded to repatriate themselves.
Bogdan Stănescu added that Romanians situated in risk zones or those who need assistance abroad can use the SMS system that provides contact data of diplomatic missions in the area, but also the app called „Călătoreşte în siguranţă”(Travel safely).

New regulations for licensed natural-gas suppliers

By the end of October, nearly 70 licensed natural-gas suppliers on the Romanian market will have to store minimum stocks for all consumer types. Regulatory Authority for Energy in Romania (ANRE) has issued an order establishing quotas for each producer. Almost half of stored quantities will ensure minimum stock for household consumers and the largest stockpiles are to be constituted by GDF Suez Energy Romania and E.ON Romania. In what thermal power suppliers are concerned, Romgaz is going to ensure the largest stockpiles for combined heat and power plants and thermal power stations for household consumers.

Number of debt-collection businesses has doubled

Number of debt-collection businesses has doubled over the last few years in Romania and flourished at the same time, according to a report by KeysFin. Almost 200 companies specialized in debt management, which is debt recovery and collection, operate in Romania. The total turnover in this domain was 194 million RON in 2014, an ascending trend starting 2010. However, the analysis also reveals many irregularities hidden in this mechanism, saying that banks never obtain their debtors’ accord when deciding to issue promissory notes to debt-collecting firms.

US-Romanian security exercise at Deveselu Military Base

Romanian and US troops have engaged in a common exercise meant to test security and protection capabilities of Deveselu 99th Military Base in Olt County. The training focused on teamwork and aimed to integrate mixed subunits in order to project a type of response given an armed attack on military instalations. The exercise coordinated by US and Romanian officers trained several troops from Romania’s Military Police  which are going to ensure security and protection of Deveselu Military Base.

Sibiu International Festival of Documentary Film starts off tonight

The oldest international film festival in Romania, Astra Film Festival (AFF), is starting tonight in the central city of Sibiu. More than 100 documentaries will be screened next week, accompanied by theatre shows, concerts and workshops. A record number of entries into the competition was established this year, more than 1.500 documentaries. 130 of them were selected for the final round. The section dedicated to youngsters, Astra Film Junior, is also very crowded this year, with no less than 10.000 pre-college students enlisted in the competition. The 22nd edition of AFF will try to present reality through film, theatre and even drawings. For the first time in 22 years, the festival will not begin with a film screening but with a theatrical documnetary  show.

Bianca Ioniţă