Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu on a visit to Romania

The President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu is in Romania for an official visit on Tuesday. President Sandu is accompanied by ministers of the government of Kishinev, including Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, and she is expected to meet her Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace in the capital Bucharest. It is the fourth such meeting between Ms Sandu and President Iohannis and it comes at a time when Romania and the Republic of Moldova celebrate the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Shortly after her inauguration, Ms Sandu visited Brussels and Paris to meet EU leaders and convey her country’s aspirations for European integration while also prioritising Moldova’s relations with its two closest neighbours, Romania and Ukraine. Along with challenges at home, Sandu also faces Russian opposition to her pro-EU stance as Russia tends to punish post-Soviet countries striving to integrate with the West.

Romania’s lower house expected to elect its new speaker

The House of Deputies, Romanian parliament’s lower house, is expected to elect its new speaker on Tuesday after its former leader Ludovic Orban left the position while also leaving its right-wing National Liberal Party (PNL) early in November. A PNL ex-leader, former Prime Minister Orban said he would quit to protest the government coalition reached between his right-wing party and the left-wing Social Democrat Party (PSD) because, as he claimed, “for me, the PNL died in bed with the PSD”. For more than a month the rotating position was held by vicepresidents of the Permanent Bureau. House rules stipulate that the speaker should be elected through secret ballot by a MP majority. Candidates include PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu, and Raluca Prună, a deputy of the center-right party of Save Romania Union (USR).

Romania coronavirus updates

Romania reported 2,736 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday with 273 deaths (121 men, 152 women), and another 1,490 people under intensive care. In the capital Bucharest, the number of cases hit 328, according to data issued by the country’s Strategic Communication Group (GSC). With the cases reported, the Romanian capital still leads among other regions across the country, followed by the western county of Hunedoara, with 179 cases, the north-western county of Cluj with 163 cases, and northern county of Bihor with 139 cases.

Alexandru Danga, RADOR