News review of the day – December 16

Klaus Iohannis: 2016 needs to bring back public trust in the political system

2016 needs to bring back public trust in the political system after the tough lesson this last October when the tragedy of Colectiv club fire brought to light overlong-tolerated and very serious problems in many institutions. This was the main message sent today by President Klaus Iohannis during his address in a plenary session of the Parliament marking the first year of his presidential mandate. The head of state told the MPs that „debate and rigour” are the two fundamentals yet to be achieved by the political class. The President addressed matters of foreign policy, vote by correspondence law and the event at Colectiv club – which he called „the most tragic lesson of 2015” – Radio Romania reported.

State budget bill for 2016 endorsed by the Parliament

The state budget bill for 2016 has been adopted today by the Parliament with a large majority. Only 22 amendments from a total of 300 have been approved. Immediately after the vote, the Liberals explained why they chose to endorse the budget despite differences it contained regarding their vision:

Liberal MP Eugen Nicolăescu: 2016 is set to be a very difficult year for everyone, but all the more for you, it is filled with temptations being an election year. May you prove  public expenses are not going to support electoral purposes, may this money be spent exactly as provisioned in this budget.

In his turn, Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea appreciated the fact that the new Cabinet has taken into account decisions regarding fiscal relaxation made by the previous government.

Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea: We want to suggest the new Cioloş Cabinet to firmly pursue the fight against tax evasion and to improve tax collection, to maintain a special focus on European fund absorption and to use public funds as efficiently as possible within the budget execution process, to make a priority from setting up a date to raise the minimum wage.

The state budget bill has been criticised by the co-chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu who asked the Prime Minister to raise the minimun wage to 1.200 Ron. Speaking on behalf of his party, Mr Tariceanu said the current 2016 budget condemns Romania to stagnation. Pm Dacian Ciolos replied that the state budget was drafted in a matter of weeks after the new Cabinet took over and that all Parliament’d decisions have been kept in view./ibianca

Common recovery program for patients injured in Colectiv Club fire

Two patients injured in the Colectiv Club fire are going to be shortly transferred abroad, according to Gabriel Diaconu, medical coordinator of a special crisis intervention group in the Health Ministry. The decision was made following assessement of 15 patients in hospitals across Bucharest and 15 others who had already been released. Doctor Gabriel Diaconu also announced a common recovery program for the injured which is going to provide them with the necessary medical kits for further treatment at home. Currently, only one patient hospitalized in Romania is still in critical condition from a total of 18 and 63 patients have been released, Radio Romania reported.

The city of Timişoara begins series of commemorations for heroes of the Romanian Revolution

The city of Timişoara commemorates the heroes of the Romanian Revolution in 1989 starting today. The spark of the anti-Communist revolution occured 26 years ago on the streets of the first „martyr city”, which is now honoring the memory of the fallen, most of them young people, by a series of exhibitions, documentary film projections, book launches and a solemn meeting of the city hall council. This evening, the Victory Square in Timisoara will host a concert of traditional Christmas songs and people will light candles. December 17th is a day of mourning for the city of Timisoara.

Radio Hall hosts Christmas concert with Bach’s famous Oratorio

Two famous ensembles of the public radio, the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Romanian Radio Academic Choir will perform tonight starting 7 PM in a special Christmas concert held at the Radio Hall. The show aims to recreate the atmosphere of German Ghotic cathedrals filled with sacred music by presenting Bach’s famous Christmas Oratorio. The composition dating from 1734 evokes the main scenes from the Scriptures: the Nativity, the Annunciation to the Shepherds, the Baptism of Christ, the Journey of the Magi – Radio Romania informs.

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