Today in Romania: 11/01/17

Bucharest and much of eastern Romania was paralysed by the heaviest snowfall of the past few years. Around half a metre of snow fell in just a few hours on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, blocking roads and closing Otopeni airport (nothing took off until 08:00). More than 130 trains were cancelled. Bucharest’s mayor, Gabriela Firea said on Wednesday morning that ‘anyone who can stay at home should stay at home, at least until lunchtime.’ She later appeared on television and all but admitted to being completely out of her depth when she appealed to God to assist with clearing the snow.

The forecast for the next few days is better: temperatures will be slightly warmer (although staying below freezing) and no new snow is due. You can keep up to date with road closures using this rather good map from the Ministry of the Interior.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu had his first official meeting with President Klaus Iohannis. At a brief press conference held afterwards, Iohannis said that it would be ‘difficult’ to come up with a budget that could finance the PSD’s electoral promises and keep the budget deficit under three per cent. ‘Doing so however,’ the president said, ‘is obligatory.’ The World Bank estimates that Romania’s economy will grow 3.7 per cent in 2017, 3.4 per cent in 2018 and 3.2 per cent in 2019. The new government’s budget is being prepared using a growth figure of 5.5 per cent.

Hans Klemm – the US Ambassador in Romania – today issued his strongest message of support for the fight against corruption since December’s parliamentary election. In a statement directed squarely at the new government Klemm said that: ‘We firmly support the efforts of President Klaus Iohannis and the judiciary to uphold the rule of law. We call on all members of the executive, political and justice sectors to collaborate and continue the fight against corruption in order to ensure the credibility of leadership of Romania’s institutions.’

This is the picture of the day. A snapshot from the inside of a CFR train from Iasi to Timisoara:

In trenul Iasi – Timisoara se fac oameni de zapada πŸ™‚ Asta-i Romania!

Posted by Catalin Radu on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Top photo credit: Stoica Ionel

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