Weekly overview in pictures: School year start | Blue Air cancels flights | Tour of Romania | Sibiu Guitar Meeting
Last week saw the start of the school year, with a revised structure, and the mayhem brought about by low-cost carrier BlueAir's announcement it was suspending flights departing from Romania. At the same time, the cycling event Tour of Romania and the festival Sibiu Guitar Meeting held this year's editions. More of the September 5 – September 11 week's highlights in pictures below.
The school year that kicked off on September 5 came with a host of changes. It will no longer be divided into two semesters but into five learning modules, alternating with five holidays. The end-of-semester exams (teze) will no longer be compulsory, and instead of semester GPAs, there will only be a yearly GPA.
Hundreds of passengers were left stranded after low-cost carrier Blue Air announced it was suspending all of its flights departing from local airports. The carrier said it was forced to take this decision after the Environment Ministry blocked its bank accounts, thus being left unable to pay its operating bills. In the meantime, the company rescheduled its debt and said it was planning to resume flights on October 10. To offer solutions to those stranded abroad, the authorities started using Tarom planes to bring them home.
Hungary's president Novak Katalin paid an official visit to Romania, the first of a Hungarian president in 12 years. It was an opportunity for the Hungarian president and Romania's president Klaus Iohannis to discuss topics such as the investments carried out by Hungary in Transylvania communities with a majority of Hungarian ethnics and the situation in Ukraine. In a statement following the meeting, the Hungarian president also expressed Hungary's support for Romania's Schengen accession.
President Iohannis and prime minister Nicolae Ciucă also met Portugal's foreign affairs minister João Gomes Cravinho, who was on an official visit to Bucharest. The topics of discussion included bilateral relations, cooperation in the areas of security and defense, and areas of interest for future collaboration, including renewable energy, healthcare, education, agriculture and the environment.
In Sibiu, the open-air Astra Museum hosted 503 guitar players performing at Sibiu Guitar Meeting in a manifesto concert. The musicians, from more than 30 cities in Romania, performed for more than two hours alongside Vița de Vie's Adrian Despot, Mircea Vintilă, Emeric Imre, Ștefan Boldijar of Semnal M, members of Antract and more. The three-day festival attracted a public of more than 7,000 people, who could attend concerts, activities for families, leisure time, and walks in the open-air museum.
Mark Stewart (Bolton Equities) won this year's edition of the Tour of Romania, the cycling race that kicked on September 6 in Satu Mare, in the northern part of the country, and ended in Bucharest on September 11. It was the 55th edition of the race which covered 850 km and gathered more than 20 international teams. The results are available here.
(Opening photo: Inquam Photos / Ovidiu Iordachi)