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October 19, 2021

President Iohannis: Romania cannot afford having its healthcare system forced to manage a double epidemic: flu and COVID-19

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday that increased attention is needed on the part of all with the cold season approaching, emphasizing that Romania cannot afford having its healthcare system forced to manage a double epidemic: flu and COVID-19.

“We recorded, today, unfortunately, a new record number of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and a significant number, unfortunately, of deaths caused by COVID-19 at the national level. The pandemic is far from being over. The gradual elimination of many restrictions and the resumption of activities concomitantly with the approaching cold season, favorable especially for respiratory viruses and the flu, creates a sensitive context. All these generate concern and require increased attention on the part of all, especially citizens and authorities. Under no form can we afford having the healthcare system forced to manage a double epidemic: flu and COVID-19. Let’s maintain in the coming period a prudent and responsible attitude. Let’s not forget that the same measures – the mask, distancing, hand hygiene, which protect us from COVID-19, can also protect us from the flu virus, as well as other viruses,” said the head of state in a press conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

There is currently no need to discuss postponement of elections

However, he stated that there is currently no need to discuss about the postponement of the local elections, noting that things will be well organized in this election.

“There is currently no need to discuss the postponement of the elections. Things are organized, they will be well organized and different than in June. Now we know much better how to approach this epidemic, but everyone’s approach, individually, is essential. Physical hygiene and hand hygiene remain the only obstacles between the virus and us, and we must all be aware of this, and if we do everything we can, then we will restrict the spread of the virus. The polling stations will have everything they need at their disposal, from spare masks to disinfectants, separate circuits and everything else that has been prepared. I think we can go and express our vote if we follow all the rules,” the head of state told a conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

On the other hand, he pointed out that no new restrictions are in place at this time in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Relaxation measures were taken when experts, epidemiologists said that one measure or another could be taken. I believe that Romania has acted with sufficient caution and I believe that more and more citizens understand that this precaution mustn’t be expected only from the authorities, but from each one of them. This is why I practically ask Romanians every week to wear a mask, to keep their distance and to take special care of hand hygiene when they come from the city. In this way, we can live our lives close to normal, with minimal sacrifices and we can curb the spread of the virus, until, obviously, we hope to have a vaccine as well. (…) No new restrictions are currently expected,” explained President Iohannis.

Iohannis on budget revision: If what PSD voted were applied, it would cost 6pct of GDP

If the vote on the budget revision were applied, this would “cost” over 6 pct of the Gross Domestic Product of Romania, President Klaus Iohannis told a press conference on Wednesday.

He stated that he was “saddened” and “surprised” by the vote.

“Today, in the joint [budget] committees, the PSD [Social Democratic Party], with the support of party switchers, has voted with amendments the draft of the budget revision and if everything they voted for were applied (…) then these things would would cost 6 pct of the GDP for the rest of this year and next year,” said the head of state. In his opinion, “it’s obvious this money simply does not exist.”

In this sense, he spoke of “promises without any cover whatsoever.”

“We notice that the PSD simply has not learned anything and does not desire to make constructive politics, but wants to detonate the public finances of Romania. Such electioneering behaviors we saw at the PSD in the time of [Liviu] Dragnea, in 2016. It’s clear the PSD didn’t invent anything new and is returning to the same cycle of promises without any cover whatsoever in reality, in the hope it will catch a few votes, but I don’t think they will,” Iohannis said, according to Agerpres.

On Wednesday, the Budget Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate issued a report in favor of adoption, with amendments, of the budget revision, with 20 votes “in favour” and one “against”.

The most important amendment approved by the committees was the one which rejects the article according to which the pension point is increased by 14 pct, thus leaving in force the provisions of the Public Pension System Law which provides for a 40 pct increase.

The leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) deputies, Florin Roman, announced that the “PNL will attack at the CCR [Constitutional Court of Romania] all drafts with budgetary impact, without financing source, which jeopardize Romania’s economic stability.”

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