Tuesday, April 20

Romanian Cabinet talks expected to resume

Leaders of Romanian center-right governing coalition are expected to resume talks later on Tuesday in an attempt to save the Cabinet following recent crisis sparked by the removal of Vlad Voiculescu from his position as Health Minister. A previous meeting late on Monday ended in no result with leaders of USR PLUS, the junior party in the coalition, repeatedly calling for the departure of Prime Minister Florin Cîțu from office. However, leaders of the center-right National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) expressed their further support of Prime Minister Cîțu while pleading for a solution to be found as soon as possible.  After four hours of talks on Monday, USR PLUS leader Dan Barna told Radio Romania that his party hoped „a solution to be found one way or another”. „In our view, there is no other solution than this coalition and this government”, UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor said. „We must go on together, we must find those tools and internal means allowing us to avoid similar crises in the future”, Mr. Kelemen pointed out. „In my opinion, things are very clear. It is absolutely harmful for a functioning institution such as the Cabinet to allow public statements against the Prime Minister issued by Cabinet ministers. A minister publicly criticising the Prime Minister has no other solution but going home”, PNL leader Ludovic Orban told Radio Romania on Monday.

Bankwatch and ClientEarth warnings

Environmental watchdogs Bankwatch and ClientEarth have called on the European Commission to reject a € 1 billion aid the Romanian government was expected to grant to Oltenia Energy Complex (OEC) through a restructuring plan. The OEC is part of Romania’s power supply network, and, together with its affiliates, employs thousands of workers. At the same time, it needs to be modernised in order to meet the new environmental challeneges today. The European Commission opened an enquiry into the plan earlier this year while both NGOs claimed the plan breached both state aid rules and EC provisions. Theoretically, the OEC should not receive any assistance until the Commission reached a decision.

Romania coronavirus updates

Romania reported 2,941 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 237 deaths (145 men, 92 women), and 1,432 people under intensive care. In the capital Bucharest, the number of new cases hit 500, according to data issued by the country’s Strategic Communication Group (GCS). With its 192 cases reported, the north-western county of Cluj is leader among other counties accross the country. Cluj is followed by Bihor (north-western Romania) with 137 cases, Timiș (western Romania) with 101 cases, and Brașov (central Romania) with 99 cases.

Alexandru Danga – RADOR