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EUROPEAN COUNCIL MEETING - President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday and Friday attended the European Council meeting in Brussels, devoted to negotiations over the upcoming multiannual financial agreement. Talks failed amidst growing divergences between member states over the total value of duns and their distribution to specific areas. Talks will resume at a subsequent date with the goal of reaching political consensus as soon as possible. Klaus Iohannis said the upcoming budget should allow for the implementation of political objectives agreed upon at the Summit in Sibiu, calling for a balanced approach. The Romanian official underlined the importance of the cohesion and common agriculture policies, saying they are key to the development and modernization of Europe. On the sidelines of the summit Klaus Iohannis attended a series of meetings with member states supporting an ambitious Europe and with member states that are net contributors to the EU budget.
CORONAVIRUS - The six Romanian citizens who were quarantined onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan arrived on Saturday in Romania. They were brought over from Germany by a Ministry of Defense aircraft. They were previously transported from Tokyo to berlin with an Italian aircraft under the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism. They will be quarantined in Bucharest for 14 days. Prior to the disembarking they tested negative for the COVID-19 virus. The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest announced the two Romanians infected with the coronavirus onboard the cruise ship are receiving treatment in a hospital in Japan, their overall condition being stable. Another 9 Romanians, members of the crew, decided to stay on board. The clinical number of infections is on the wane in China, with 397 cases announced on Saturday by the National Health Board as compared to some 900 on Friday. The death toll in China has reached 2345, with the total number of infections standing at over 76,000 in continental China.
GREEN DEAL - Romania got 750 million Euro from the Just Transition Fund to deal with the implementation of the European Green Deal. The information was made public on Friday by the European Green Deal Rapporteur, the Romanian Siegfried Muresan. He stated that the money will be used for economic development in the mining regions and not on welfare measures. He has given assurances that the miners in Jiu Valley and in Oltenia will not lose their jobs when the deal is implemented, as they will be able to work in the field of renewable energies and in industry. Romanian ranks third among the EU countries in terms of green reforms in energy development, after Poland and Germany. The Green Deal is aimed at turning Europe into the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
TRAVEL FAIR - The spring edition of Romania's Travel Fair is underway in Bucharest until Sunday. The event has brought together over 300 travel agencies offering holiday packages in Romania and abroad including for the upcoming Easter holidays. Operators are pledging significant price cuts, even down to 50%. The most sought-after destinations are Turkey, Greece, Spain, Tunisia and Egypt but there are also exotic destinations like Bali or Thailand.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL - The 70th edition of the International Film Festival in Berlin is underway until March 1. Some 340 films will be screened, with 18 features competing for the Golden Bear. Cristi Puiu's latest feature, "Malmkrog", is competing in the newly-created Encounters section. The film is based on philosopher and writer Vladimir Solovyov's poem "Three Meetings". Another Romanian director, Radu Jude, is taking part in the Forum section with two films, "Uppercase Print" and "The Exit of the Trains". Radu Jude is also taking part with a project in the "Sleep Walkers" Film Fair, which he describes as a "pop comedy about sex, technology and society".
TENNIS - Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, world no. 2, is today playing Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the final of the WTA tournament in Dubai, totaling over 2.6 million dollars in prize money. Halep qualified to the final after defeating Jennifer Brady of the United States, 6-2, 6-nil. On the other hand, Elena Rybakina ousted Petra Martic of Croatia, 7-6, 7-6. Halep and Rybakina went head-to-head in the WTA circuit in Wuhan, when Halep had to withdraw. This is Simona Halep's first final after the win at Wimbledon last year and the 37th of her career.
(translated by V. Palcu)
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