Weekly overview in pictures: Anti-war protest in Bucharest | Leadership change in the ruling Liberal Party | EU Commissioner Gentiloni visits RO
This weekly overview brings you the main topics from Romania, in pictures. As the war in Ukraine continues, so do the protests for peace. To remember the children killed in the military conflict, dozens of pairs of kids’ shoes were placed in a Bucharest square this past weekend. The March 28-April 3 week collection also includes photos from a PNL Council held after the Liberal leader resigned, the visit of EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni to Romania, and a micro forest project in Timisoara.
Protesters in Bucharest lined up kids’ shoes in Universitatii Square in Bucharest to honour the memory of children killed in the war in Ukraine. Demonstrators also carried flags of Ukraine and sang the country’s anthem, according to local Libertatea. The protest, organized by the Association of Young Ukrainians in Romania on April 2, ended with a march to the Embassy of Ukraine to Bucharest. Another anti-war protest was also staged on April 3.
Romanian Liberals held a National Council on Sunday, April 3, to discuss the party’s next steps after their president resigned. PNL leader Florin Citu announced his resignation on April 2, and the Liberals decided to appoint Gheorghe Flutur as acting president. Prime minister Nicolae Ciuca is reportedly expected to be elected as the new leader of PNL at the upcoming Congress scheduled for April 10. PNL - the National Liberal Party is part of Romania’s ruling coalition, alongside the Social Democrats (PSD) and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians (UDMR).
President Klaus Iohannis welcomed European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni at the Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest on Monday, March 28. The talks focused on the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its economic and humanitarian impact. The two officials also discussed the energy prices, the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, and the budgetary situation in Romania.
During his visit to Romania, Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni also met with the country’s finance minister Adrian Caciu on March 28. The war in Ukraine and the PNRR were again the main topics of discussion. During the joint press conference with the Romanian minister, Gentiloni said that the European and Romanian economies are recovering strongly after the pandemic, and the economic growth, both in Romania and in the EU, will be around 4% in 2022.
In addition to meetings with top Romanian officials, European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni also visited the humanitarian assistance site for refugees at Gara de Nord, Bucharest’s main train station. He was accompanied by Raed Arafat, Secretary of State and Head of the Emergency Situation Directorate.
A team of the Romanian Navy destroyed a mine detected by a fishing vessel some 70 km off the coast of the Black Sea on March 28. The minesweeper Viceamiral Constantin Bălescu was sent to identify the mine and destroy it. More photos are available here.
The Romanian Gendarmerie Day was celebrated across the country on Sunday, April 3. A highlight of the celebration in Bucharest was the gendarmes’ traditional torchlight retreat.
The Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest (the official residence of the President of Romania) lit up in blue on Saturday, April 2, to mark World Autism Awareness Day. The Government also joined the “Light it Up Blue” campaign.
Bucharest mayor Nicusor Dan visited local tram manufacturer Astra Vagoane Calatori Arad on Monday, March 28, to see what the future trams of Bucharest will look like. The capital’s City Hall has a contract for 100 trams with Astra Arad, and the first six trams are to be delivered in June this year.
Timisoara, a major city in western Romania, started planting an urban micro forest last week in a bid to lower pollution and improve air quality. The new green area is being set up on a 1,300 sqm plot of land in the area of the city’s Petru Maior Square. Volunteers and locals, and even city mayor Dominic Fritz, have been taking part in the project.
(Opening photo: Anti-war protest in Bucharest; photo source: Facebook/Asociatia Tinerilor Ucraineni din Romania)