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ttip
Photo: www.euintheus.org

HotNews.ro round table: TTIP effects on economy and Romania's priorities during negotiations

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 4 Dec 2014 English | Top News
The effects of the future free trade deal between the EU and the US, TTIP, on European economy and Romania's priorities during negotiations are the subject of a round table HotNews.ro organises on Thursday, with support from the US Embassy. The round table will be attended by representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission Delegation to Romania, the US and UK Embassies, AmCham, trade unions and NGOs.

Romanian Foreign minister Melescanu resigns over presidential vote abroad

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 18 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Romania Foreign minister Teodor Melescanu announced his resignation on Tuesday, taking responsibility for the impossibility that not all Romanians were able to vote at polling stations abroad in the presidential elections on Sunday. He said he would submit his resignation in a government meting today - eight days after he was named Foreign minister, replacing Titus Corlatean, who resigned over similar issues.
Iohannis' victory claim on Facebook
Photo: Facebook

UPDATE PM Victor Ponta admits defeat in Romania presidential elections: The people is always right / Iohannis claims victory as governmental abuse of voting abroad prompts huge turnout

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 16 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Two hours after polls closed and exit polls announced results in Romania presidential elections on Sunday were too close to call, candidate Victor Ponta - who is also prime minister - admitted defeat against opposition candidate Klaus Iohannis. For his part, shortly after Ponta's statement Iohannis first claimed victory with messages on Facebook addressing the huge numbers of people turning out to vote: "We took our country back!"

Exit polls - Romania presidential elections: Vote is too close to call as Romanians abroad show up in impressive numbers despite humiliating conditions. Claims of major irregularities by candidate Ponta's camp in rural Romania

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Duminică, 16 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Exit polls in Romania presidential elections announced at 9.00 p.m. on Sunday showed PM Victor Ponta and opposition candidate Klaus Iohannis neck in neck with votes counted by 7.00 p.m. local time, as thousands of people were still waiting to vote at polling stations across Europe and the US. Exit polls run by TV channels close to Ponta showed a slight advantage to Ponta (50,3 to 49.7%), while one for public TV channel TVR showed a 3 percentage points advantage for Iohannis. Online media report major irregularities by Victor Ponta's camp especially in rural Romania.
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Brent Civic Centre 2
Photo: Andrei Stefan Zahariade

Thousands of Romanians form queues of hundreds of meters at polling stations abroad in defiant vote in key presidential elections

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Duminică, 16 Nov 2014 English | Top News
A rare view in cities across Europe on Sunday: thousands of Romanians living abroad formed queues hundreds of meters long to cast their ballots in presidential elections today, as the government led by PM Victor Ponta, who runs in the poll, failed to properly organise voting abroad properly despite calls to do so after major problems in the first round of elections. At some polling stations in European capitals, turnout was up to twice as big as the one reported in the November 2 round of elections.
Klaus Iohannis and Victor Ponta during a televised debate
Photo: Screen capture - Realitatea TV

Romania elects new President in tense poll as sinister campaign ends

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 15 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Romania heads to the polls on Sunday for a second round of presidential elections seen as key for democracy and state of law in the SE European country. After one of the dirtiest electoral campaign in Romania's 25 year post-communist history, some 18 million people have to choose between current Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, who has run a populist, nationalistic campaign appealing to the poorer segments of the population, and Klaus Iohannis, the ethnic German, popular mayor of Sibiu city, who has little to no experience in national or international politics.
Titus Corlatean
Photo: Agerpres

UPDATE Romanian Foreign minister Titus Corlatean resigns in wake of street protests over Romanians' right to vote. PM Ponta designates ex foreign intelligence chief, ex presidential candidate to replace Corlatean

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Romanian Foreign minister Titus Corlatean announced his resignation on Monday, one week before the second and final round of presidential elections pitching Corlatean's boss, Victor Ponta, and opposition candidate Klaus Iohannis against each other. Corlatean's resignation comes a week after thousands of Romanians abroad could not cast their vote in the first round of elections and two days after street protests at home and calling for guarantees that in the second round everybody would be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
UPDATE PM Victor Ponta designated Teodor Melescanu, who earlier this autumn resigned as head of Romania's Foreign Intelligence Service to run in the presidential elections, to replace Corlatean as Foreign minister.

Official results in first round of Romania presidential elections: Victor Ponta - 40.33%, Klaus Iohannis - 30.44%

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 3 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Romanian Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta won the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday with 40.33% of the votes, followed by the leading opposition candidate, Klaus Iohannis, with 30.44%, according to official partial results with 98.3% of votes counted by Monday at noon.

Romanian voters abroad humiliated: government organisers forced them to wait for hours in long queues in European cities in presidential poll

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 3 Nov 2014 English | Top News
​Hundreds of Romanians abroad faced humiliation on Sunday as they had to wait in long queues at voting stations in many cities across Europe in an attempt to cast their ballots in the presidential elections. Unprecedentedly bad organisation saw many of them incapable of voting after waiting for hours. The responsibility for the organisation of voting abroad belonged to Romania's Foreign Ministry according to the law regulating presidential elections. So question marks appeared about a supposed intention to undermine voting abroad, as the Romanian diaspora is known for voting against the Social Democrats, who are now led by prime minister Victor Ponta, the leading candidate in these elections.

UPDATE Exit polls in first round of Romania presidential elections: Ponta 40%, Iohannis second, Macovei dominates close fight for third place

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 2 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Romanian PM Victor Ponta won 40% of votes in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, followed at a distance of about 6-10% by main rival Klaus Iohannis, according to exit polls announced at 9 p.m. A very close fight is taking place for the third place, with Monica Macovei appearing to be shoulder to shoulder with Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Elena Udrea in lead of the pack. The exit polls are partial and reflect the situation at 7 p.m., while not including a very important vote of the large Romanian diaspora.
UPDATE Ponta and his supporters ireceived the results cautiously, suggesting they expected worse results once the official counting starts delivering real numbers. Klaus Iohannis came forward to say that of all candidates he alone remains to defend the state of law.
Candidati la alegeri
Photo: Agerpres (colaj HotNews)

Romania heads to first round of presidential elections in key moment for democracy and state of law

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Duminică, 2 Nov 2014 English | Top News
Romanian democracy and state of law are facing a new challenge 25 years after the fall of communism as the country heads to the polls to elect a new president on Sunday. Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, the ethnic German mayor of the city of Sibiu Klaus Iohannis spearheading the opposition and 12 other candidates are vying for the seat which incumbent President Traian Basescu has held for ten struggling years. The first round of elections today ends a campaign like no other in Romania's recent past, with no real political debate but marred by a sweeping wave of corruption-related arrests, suspicions of intelligence services interfering with the political process, and a heavy use of biased media to smear rivals and shove sensitive issues under the carpet.

Romania President Basescu claims PM, presidential candidate Ponta served as foreign intelligence office in 1997-2001. Ponta doesn't confirm or dismiss, but speaks of "lies". Possible effects of scandal

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 14 Oct 2014 English | Top News
Romania President Traian Basescu claimed on Monday evening that PM Victor Ponta, who is a leading candidate for the November 2 presidential elections, served as an officer for the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service in 1997-2001. PM Ponta on Tuesday morning avoided confirming or dismissing the allegation, but spoke of "lies" and "trash" pushed by the President. The accusations possibly has major political and security implications and sparks a huge scandal just weeks before the first round of the presidential poll.
Noua fosti ministri anchetati de DNA
Photo: Colaj foto

Romanian anti-graft prosecutors call for criminal inquiries against no less than nine former ministers in Microsoft-related case

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 26 Sept 2014 English | Top News
Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) plans to start criminal inquiries against nine former ministers for alleged acts of corruption in a case related to the acquisition of Microsoft licenses. The head of DNA on Friday demanded the Prosecutor General to notify the President of Romania, the speakers of the Senate and House of Deputies and the European Parliament so that it start criminal inquiries against the nine, who served as ministers in Social Democrat Adrian Nastase's government in the early 2000's and in more recent years, when Emil Boc, a Democratic Liberal, served as PM.
Cristian Pantazi
Photo: Hotnews
Opinion

Russia's silent threat. The pillars of Kremlin influence in Romanian domestic life

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
Joi, 4 Sept 2014 English | Top News
"There is no rational threat to Romania [from Russia], but we have to prepare for the irrational", Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a speech in late August, as Russia's campaign to split Eastern Ukraine was in full swing. Irrational or not, Russia is already playing in Romania several of its aces, some built hastily, some built carefully in time. The purpose of the Kremlin is to influence the domestic and foreign play of a troubled country, as it does along its Western borders: in the three Baltic states, in Poland, not to mention the Republic and Moldova and Ukraine. The stake for Moscow is to keep NATO and EU as far away from its borders as possible in order to keep away the democratic values of the Western bloc and prevent a deterioration of its sphere of influence.

Cardinal Leonardo SANDRI asks other countries in the region to respect the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic clergy and their work “for the freedom of a sovereign country in Europe”

de GT HotNews.ro
Luni, 1 Sept 2014 English | Regional Europe
In an interview with the Romanian public TV station, Cardinal Sandri, the Vatican’s Prefect for Oriental Churches, has praised he Ukrainian Greek-Catholic clergy for “working for progress and freedom of a sovereign country in Europe”.

Romania President Traian Basescu calls on EU, NATO allies to provide weapons to Ukrainian army, says financial, military, energy sanctions on Russia are needed

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 29 Aug 2014 English | Top News
President Traian Basescu said at at a meeting with Romanian ambassadors on Friday that a major escalation of Russian acts in favor of separatists in East Ukraine was obvious and that there was a risk that the balance turned in favor of the Russian Federation. He said that at the European Council on Saturday he would call for the strengthening of the sanctions already decided on Russia, in the financial, energy and military sectors.

Romanian excises on fuel, energy or coffee based on a fictitious exchange rate

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 26 Aug 2014 English | Top News
While the Romanian currency, leu (RON), has been stable since the beginning of the year, with an average rate of 4.45 RON/euro, the Romanian Government has invented a RON/euro rate above the real one in order to draw more money from excises. For the whole year of 2014, the currency rate set for the calculation of all excises has been set by an emergency ordinance at 4.738 RON/euro. Thus, prices for all excisable products (fuel, electricity, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, luxury products) are based on a rate which is 6.4% higher than the real one.
Dan Voiculescu
Photo: Mediafax

Romanian mogul Dan Voiculescu, influential businessman and politician, receives 10 year prison sentence in corruption case

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 8 Aug 2014 English | Top News
The Bucharest Appeals Court gave a 10-year prison sentence in the case of Romanian mogul Dan Voiculescu, one of the country's most powerful people, in a corruption case related to the privatisation of a food research institute. The historic verdict is final and comes after years of judicial procedures, delays, political maneuvering and media attacks on the judiciary. A previous court had given a five year sentence in the same case, but it was appealed.
Pascal Bruckner
Photo: Hotnews

Pascal Bruckner: Putin doesn't tell us how much he despises us, he sees us as degenerates / Not only France, but the whole Europe seems to want to drop from history

de Magda Marculescu, Lucian Popescu (adapt. C.I.) Contributors.ro
Sâmbătă, 5 Iul 2014 English | Top News
Pascal Bruckner's generation is the last generation of French thinkers who get involved in public debates. "Nothing can happen without debate", says Bruckner in a long discussion with Romanian website Contributors.ro about great French intellectuals, about the angst and low spirits of the French for the past several years, about politics and Putin, about the French law against prostitution and about his last book, autobiographic novel "Un bon fils", recently published in Romanian. Bruckner remains a moralist with a high interest in politics - he spares nothing to criticize the current French president - a dauntless supporter of Europe and a thinker always ready to polemicize.

Putin's ideologist Aleksandr Dugin has visited Romania

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 25 Iun 2014 English | Top News
Russian President Vladimir Putin's unofficial ideologist Aleksandr Dugin has been in Romania for the past several days, where he met representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church about his Eurasian project "The Third Rome", writer Mircea Popa, secretary general of the Romania-Russia Foundation, has told HotNews.ro.

Romania PM Victor Ponta's chief secretary summoned to National Anti-Corruption Department

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 25 Iun 2014 English | Top News
Romania prime minister Victor Ponta's Head of Chancellery Vlad Stoica was summoned to the National Anti-Corruption Department on Wednesday for his witness account in a major corruption case involving the local mogul of the governing Social Democrats (PSD).

Romania Parliament adopts statement calling for resignation of President Basescu

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 25 Iun 2014 English | Top News
Romania's Parliament adopted on Wednesday a non-binding political statement calling for the resignation of President Traian Basescu, in the wake of a public scandal in which Basescu's brother is accused of involvement in acts of corruption.
Dan Tapalaga, conferinta Knight Foundation, Boston
Photo: Hotnews

Romania is for the first time amongst Knight News Challenge winners with a consortium of EurActiv.ro & RISE Project - OCCRP

de HotNews.ro HotNews.ro
Marţi, 24 Iun 2014 English | Top News
The Romania-based project "Who are the gatekeepers of the Internet, cable and satellite infrastructures in Eastern Europe? Mapping and investigating media distribution providers" was among the nine projects selected for funding by the Knight News Challenge. The Knight Foundation organized on June 23 the MIT-Knight Civic Media conference "The Open Internet and Everything After", in order to present this year's granted projects of Knight News Challenge. 704 applications have been submitted, with nine projects selected for funding.
Mircea Basescu si Bercea Mondialu
Photo: YouTube

Romania President's brother placed in 30 day preventive arrest under traffic of influence charges

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 21 Iun 2014 English | Top News
​The Bucharest Tribunal decided on Friday evening that Mircea Basescu, Romania President Traian Basescu's brother, be placed in 30-day preventive arrest under traffic of influence charges. He is accused of receiving 250,000 euro from the son of anotorious underworld boss Sandu Anghel, locally known under the nickname of Bercea Mondial, in order to prevent a prison sentence for Bercea Mondial.

Romanian TV station broadcast video showing compromising images of President Traian Basescu's brother dealing with underworld boss' son

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 19 Iun 2014 English | Top News
Romanian TV news channel Antena 3 gave a heavy blow to President Traian Basescu on Wednesday night as it presented a short film in which the President's brother, Mircea Basescu, appears to admit receiving money from a member of an convicted underworld boss's family in order to intervene at judiciary level for a milder sentence of the latter. On Thursday, Mircea Basescu claimed he has not ask for nor received any money in this case, while PM Victor Ponta, the president's archrival, called for the resignation of the president.

  • UPDATE President Traian Basescu made a statement on Thursday that between the need to strengthen the Romanian judiciary and the natural reflex of defending his brother, he chooses strengthening the judiciary.
  • UPDATE 2 Mircea Basescu said on Thursday that he was summoned at the National Anti-corruption Department as a suspect and that he, like his brother the president, regretted his "entourage".

Romania's governing Social Democratic Party clear winner in European elections

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 25 Mai 2014 English | Top News
Social Democrats (PSD), the governing party in Romania, and their smaller political allies emerged as the clear winner of the European elections on Sunday, according to multiple exit polls announced by TV news stations. PSD claimed 41 to 43% of the votes, according to exit polls, followed by National Liberals (PNL) with 13.3-15% and the Democratic Liberals (PDL) with 10-12%.

Romanians expected to vote for 32 seats in the EP on Sunday after campaign seen as training ground for local presidential elections later this year

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 25 Mai 2014 English | Top News
Some 18 million Romanians are invited to vote for their 32 representatives in the European Parliament on Sunday. Running in the elections are 500 candidates, 13 parties, two alliances and 8 independents. A dull electoral campaign was dominated by confrontations between the governing Social Democrats, their former partners the National Liberals and an array of right-wing parties and was seen more as a testing ground for presidential elections due to take place in Romania later this year.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, interviu pentru HotNews.ro
Photo: Hotnews

VIDEO INTERVIEW NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: I expect NATO summit in September to take long term measures to enhance collective defense / I would be surprised if Russian intelligence isn't active in Romania as well

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
Joi, 15 Mai 2014 English | Top News
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview with HotNEws.ro on Thursday that Russia's "illegal" military actions in Ukraine have changed the security situation in Europe "dramatically". He said during a visit to Bucharest that he expected a NATO summit in September to discuss long term measures to enhance the collective defense of member countries. Rasmussen also spoke of how the Russian misinformation campaigns try to influence decision making in NATO member states and and of an increased intelligence activity by Russia.

EU, NATO member Romania faces troubles in Eastern neighbors as corruption inquiries fuel the fire on domestic front

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Joi, 17 Apr 2014 English | Top News
Romania struggles these days to figure out what is of utmost importance to the nation: the troubles in neighboring Ukraine and in the Republic of Moldova and its separatist, pro-Russia Transdniester region? Or the corruption scandals currently affecting the governing party and, as a reaction, attempts to redirect attention to PM Victor Ponta's archenemy, President Traian Basescu? As domestic and international expectations of NATO-, EU-member Romania intensify, Social Democrat Ponta becomes the first head of a Romanian government who while in office is mentioned in a corruption case - even though he is not personally part of the graft accusations.
Cumparatori trecand pe langa un magazin IKEA
Photo: AGERPRES

EXCLUSIVE. IKEA deals in communist-era Romania were interfered with by dictator Ceausescu's secret service Securitate - unclassified files

de Claudiu Zamfir, transl. V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 16 Apr 2014 English | Top News
Swedish company IKEA used to run business with communist Romania in the eighties, involving confidential overbilling operations which were joined by dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's secret service, the dreaded Securitate, according to documents consulted by HotNews.ro. Files available at the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives show that at one point in the eighties the head of Romania's espionage, General Aristotel Stamatoiu, ordered a transfer of money to an IKEA account at East Germany's Bank of Foreign Commerce. The operation codenamed Scandinavica was coordinated by a foreign Securitate officer who now heads Bucharest football club Dinamo.

Romania Senate speaker Crin Antonescu resigns

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 4 Mar 2014 English | Top News
National ​Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu announced his resignation as Senate speaker on Tuesday, at the peak of a political conflict with the Social Democrats (PSD), with whom the Liberals shared the government until last week. The announcement comes days after PNL announced it was withdrawing from the governing alliance with the PSD and the day when a new government - the third - led by Social Democratic leader Victor Ponta was expecting a vote of validation in Parliament.

Romania sees no immediate risks to national security related to Crimea crisis. President Basescu says any Russian military presence in Ukraine without Ukrainian consent would be an aggression

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 2 Mar 2014 English | Top News
​Romania did not raise the level of alert for its national security structures following the situation in Crimea but will monitor very closely the situation in Ukraine as well as separatist evolutions in the Republic of Moldova, the Romanian Presidency said in a statement on Saturday evening. The statement came after a working meeting of president Basescu with representatives of national security structures in relation to the situation in Ukraine. Prior to the meeting, Basescu said that any Russian Federation military presence in Ukraine, without Ukraine's approval and beyond the limits of bilateral accords, would be seen as an act of aggression.

Romania's governing alliance breaks as Liberals withdraw from union with Social Democrats at height of political struggles

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 26 Feb 2014 English | Politics
The leadership of the National Liberal Party (PNL), part of the coalition with Social Democrats (PSD) which ruled Romania for the past two years, adopted a resolution on Tuesday evening to withdraw from the government. The announcement comes as the alliance, known as the Social Liberal Union (USL), was marked by intense disputes over the past several months between PM Victor Ponta, head of the PSD, and Senate speaker Crin Antonescu, the PNL leader who hoped to run as USL candidate for presidency late this year.

Head of Romania's Financial Supervisory Authority, retained by anti-graft prosecutors. Criminal inquiry called against former Finance minister Daniel Chitoiu

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 25 Feb 2014 English | Top News
​The head of Romania's Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) was retained for 24 hours by National Anticorruption Department (DNA) prosecutors on Tuesday, who are calling for a 30-day preventive arrest in a case related to ASF officials accused of protecting the interests of an insurance company. DNA also called on Tuesday for a criminal inquiry against former Finance minister Daniel Chitoriu in the same case.

Romania President hails evolution in Ukraine: Overcoming extremist or nationalist actions would contribute to national consensus

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 24 Feb 2014 English | Top News
​Romania President Traian Basescu sent a message regarding the situation in Ucraine on Sunday, hailing the halt of violence and urging all political leaders in Ukraine to show calm, restraint, pragmatism and caution, maximum availability to dialog and flexibility.

Former Romanian diplomat involved in Singapore car crash receives six year sentence

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 13 Feb 2014 English | Top News
​Romania's former charge d'affaires to Singapore, Silviu Ionescu, who was involved in a lethal car crash in Singapore in 2009, has received a six year prison sentence in a final ruling of the Bucharest Appeals Court.
Relu Fenechiu
Photo: Agerpres

Former Romanian minister Relu Fenechiu receives final 5 year sentence in corruption case

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 30 Ian 2014 English | Top News
Romania's High Court maintained on Thursday a five year prison sentence under corruption charges against former Transport minister Relu Fenechiu, an influential Liberal politician. The High Court maintained a previous 5-year sentence issued last year, but which was challenged. Fenechiu was  charged with abuse in office against public interest and complicity to abuse in office, in a case dating in the early 2000's and related to public procurements in the region of Moldova, which benefited his companies.

Romanian ex-PM Adrian Nastase receives new prison sentence in corruption case as struggle over justice system intensifies

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 7 Ian 2014 English | Top News
Romania's top court gave a final ruling on Monday sentencing ex-PM Adrian Nastase to five years and giving his wife a suspended 3-year sentence for complicity to bribe-taking. It is the second corruption-related prison sentence applied to Nastase, who served as prime minister in the early 2000's and it comes as the EU monitors Romania's progress in the justice sector while domestic struggle over control of the judiciary intensifies.

Romanian Parliament sparks harsh international reactions with vote to provide immunity against corruption charges

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 11 Dec 2013 English | Top News
Romanian MPs voted on Tuesday a series of changes to the Penal Code that would boost their immunity in case of corruption charges. The vote, which prompted media to call it "The Black Tuesday" of Romanian democracy, sparked a series of harsh reactions from Western embassies and international institutions on Wednesday. "This move by the Parliament is a step away from transparency and rule-of-law and is a discouraging sign for investors", said the US Embassy to Bucharest in one of its harshest positions on Romanian events for years.

UPDATE Romanian deputies from Judicial Commission secretly vote amnesty law setting ground for amnesty to prison sentences of up to 6 years and full pardon for prison sentences of up to 7 years, Bill eventually withdrawn

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 10 Dec 2013 English | Top News
A draft legislation on amnesty proposed by two Romanian deputies received amendments in a secret session by members of the Judicial Commission of the House of Deputies on Monday night. While the Commission was discussing a bill on lobby activities, some of the Commission members met separately to amend the amnesty bill. According to HotNews.ro sources, the bill was changed as follows: amnesty for certain offenses sanctioned with prison sentences of up to 6 years and full pardon for prison sentences of up to seven years in certain cases. The change, supported by the Social Democrats according to sources, would benefit prominent politicians who have been accused or even sentenced for corruption crimes, including former PM Adrian Nastase.
UPDATE The bill was eventually withdrawn from the Tuesday plenary session agenda following protests from all parliamentary parties excluding PSD and the Conservative Party.

Major investigation in 50 million euro tax evasion case involving Romanian senator, Finance Ministry employees and a prosecutor

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 28 Oct 2013 English | Top News
​Romanian investigators launched over 160 searches at the headquarters of various companies and at homes in Bucharest and the counties of Prahova, Giurgiu, Arad, Calarasi and Ialomita on Monday. The investigation eyes the activity of over 100 Romanian and foreign companies suspect of dodging taxes worth about 50 million euro. Informed sources told HotNews.ro the investigation eyes employees of the National Tax Administration Agency and of the Public Finance Ministry as well as a High Court prosecutor and a senator.

Works at US missile shield base in Deveselu, South Romania launch officially on Monday

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 28 Oct 2013 English | Regional Europe
The official ceremony due to mark the start of works at the Deveselu installation, the Romanian leg of the US missile shield, takes place on Monday. It is due to be attended by President Traian Basescu, Defense minister Mircea Dusa, Foreign Ministry state secretary Bogdan Aurescu, NATO deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and US Deputy Secretary of Defense James Miller.

Hundreds of people protest in Romanian village where Chevron is due to place shale gas exploration drills

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 16 Oct 2013 English | Top News
Several hundreds of people were protesting in the village of Silistea-Pungesti in Eastern Romania on Wednesday against plans by US company Chevron to start operating the first shale gas exploration drill in the county of Vaslui, news agency Agerpres reports.

Sources: Romania PM Victor Ponta to leave for US on Sunday

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 16 Oct 2013 English | Top News
Romania's prime minister Victor Ponta is due to leave for an official visit to the US on Sunday, but it all depends on how the government shutdown in the States comes to an end - if no solution is found by Friday, the visit might be postponed, diplomatic sources have told HotNews.ro. They said PM Ponta's agenda includes talks with Vice-President Joe Biden and another top official and a series of meetings with representatives of US companies. Meanwhile, Romanian minister-delegate for Energy Constantin Nita attends an energy and investments conference in Washington DC.

U.S. Embassy reacts to Romania justice scandal: The appointments in the National Anti-Corruption Directorate must be the result of correct procedures and consultation

de V.M. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 4 Oct 2013 English | Top News
The Embassy of the United States to Bucharest made a statement on Friday related to the scandal now affecting the Romanian justice system.

Dutch Ambassador to Bucharest says "we should all refrain from comments" in case of Romania justice scandal

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 3 Oct 2013 English | Top News
​Dutch Ambassador to Romania Matthijs van Bonzel made a statement on Thursday related to a scandal now affecting the Romanian justice system. Speaking of a decision by Romania's prosecutor general to dismiss a prosecutor who led investigations into a high profile politician - a move described by President Traian Basescu and others as an interference with the justice system, Ambassador van Bonzel said "we should all refrain from comments, a fortiori from interference in the policy of the Public Prosecution".

Romanian President Traian Basescu turns against cohabitation pact with prime minister Victor Ponta, accuses him of "brutal intervention" on Justice

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 3 Oct 2013 English | Top News
Romania's President Traian Basescu announced on Thursday he would no longer support prime minister Victor Ponta because of the head of government's "brutal intervention" into Justice affairs. Basescu said in an interview with B1 TV news channel on Thursday morning that today he would review the cohabitation pact he had with the prime minister following the victory in the 2012 general elections of the coalition led by Victor Ponta.

The unpredictable event that may change Greece's destiny

de R.H. HotNews.ro
Luni, 30 Sept 2013 English | Regional Europe
Tuesday, 17.09.2013. Olympiakos vs Paris Saint Germain in football for Champions League. After the game, somewhere in the metropolitan area of Athens - Attica, at Amfiali, people start quarreling. Soon some tens of them start chasing 4. All of a sudden, a car arrives, driving opposite through a one way direction street. One of its passengers catches one of the 4 and after a fight he stabs him 3 times. The poor man died in few minutes' time, in the hands of his girlfriend, waiting for the ambulance to pick him up.
Dan Voiculescu
Photo: Agerpres

Influential Romanian businessman-politician Dan Voiculescu receives a first prison sentence in major corruption case. Appeal announced

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 26 Sept 2013 English | Top News
​The founding leader of the Conservative Party, a small but influential part of the governing coalition in Romania, received on Thursday a 5-year sentence in a major corruption case involving the privatisation of an agricultural institute. Dan Voiculescu and several other people received sentences of 5-6 years in the case, which can be appealed. The sentence comes over 1,700 days since Dan Voiculescu - a veteran politician, businessman connected to the former Communist trade structures and secret police and with his family the owner of a major media group - was officially indicted in the case.
Protest impotriva proiectului de la Rosia Montana, ziua 8
Photo: HotNews / Dan Popescu

Digging for gold in Rosia Montana, Romania: Announced "closure" of mining project corners government with continuing protests and threats of legal action

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 10 Sept 2013 English | Top News
​A Canadian company's plans to dig for gold in Rosia Montana, Romania, which has sparked disputes for a decade and a half, threatens to come to an abrupt end as a series of unprecedented protests have forced the Bucharest government to step back and announce the "closure" of the project. Still, the announced decision has yet to be made official by a vote in Parliament, which may come in the upcoming days or weeks. The protests, attended by many young people and in contrast with what Romanians are used to in terms of anti-government demonstrations over the past two decades, forced authorities to step back with their approval of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) project on Monday. The Victor Ponta-led executive is now caught between the promise to drop support for gold mining in Rosia Montana, threats of legal action by the company that runs the project and protests by mining supporters.

​Renewable energy: Romania and legislative instability

de Rubin Meyer Doru & Trandafir The Romanian Digest
Miercuri, 7 Aug 2013 English | Business
The Romanian business environment is currently in turmoil due to the recent series of legislative acts amending Romanian law in the field of energy, specifically renewable energy. This is keeping investors far from Romania and has driven already established investors away.
Relu Fenechiu
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian minister Relu Fenechiu receives 5 year sentence in corruption case. PM Ponta says he would take over ministerial job until new minister is named

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 12 Iul 2013 English | Top News
Romania's Transport minister Relu Fenechiu, a member of the National Liberal Party, received a 5-year sentence in a corruption case on Friday. The sentence can be appealed. Fenechiu's brother, Lucian Fenechiu, also received a 5-year sentence in the same case. Relu Fenechiu has ben indicted under charges of abuse in office against public interest and complicity to abuse in office in a case dating in the early 2000's and related to public procurements in the region of Moldova, which benefited Fenechiu's companies.
UPDATE PM Victor Ponta announced following the court verdict on Friday that minister Fenechiu informed him about his wish to withdraw as a member of the government. Ponta said he would take over as interim minister until a new one is named.
Gunther Oettinger
Photo: HotNews / DP

Gunther Oettinger, on the failure of Nabucco West: The decision was based on commercial deliberations, to put it bluntly: money talks / The European Commission remains neutral in this kind of situations and treats all investors the same

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
Luni, 1 Iul 2013 English | Business
European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger said in an interview for HotNews.ro that the failure of Nabucco West in the competition for the Azeri natural gas was "a commercial decision" of the Azerbaijani consortium. "To put it bluntly: money talks", declared Oettinger, explaining why Azerbaidjan was more attracted by the winning bid of the TAP project. Asked if the decision of the Azerbaijani consortium was a victory of Russia against the EU, the commissioner said "I would certainly not put it that way" and explained that the European Commission remains neutral regarding the competition which could reduce the dependence of Southeastern Europe on gas imports from Russia.
Jonathan Stillo
Photo: Arhiva personala

Jonathan Stillo, the TB expert quoted in The Sun: I feel terrible, the whole thing was completely taken out of context/ It's not OK that they turned a public health problem into this anti-Romanian message

de Iulia Rosca HotNews.ro
Vineri, 29 Mar 2013 English | Top News
On Wednesday, The Sun published an investigation saying that Romanians coming to the UK starting 2014, when the "doors will open" will infect the British with a deadly TB superbug. Jonathan Stillo, the TB expert quoted by the tabloid, explained in an interview for HotNews.ro that everything he said was taken out of context and that it is very "frustrating" and "not OK" that they turned a public health problem into an anti-Romanians thing, given that Romanians aren't the ones infecting everybody with TB.
  • An American citizen, Stillo is a doctoral candidate in medical Anthropology at City University of New York Graduate Center (not a British researcher) and has been researching TB in Romania for the past 7 years. He says Romania is his second home.  

Bucharest Tribunal decides sentenced ex-PM Adrian Nastase may leave on parole

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 18 Mar 2013 English | Top News
The Bucharest Tribunal decided on Monday that former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase, who had been sentenced to two years in a corruption case, may leave on parole. The decision was taken by two judge votes against one. The former prime minister will be freed from Jilava penitentiary.

Romania's veterinary and food control authority in alert as horse meat labelled as beef was found at local vendor

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 21 Feb 2013 English | Top News
​Romania's national veterinary and foot control authority ANSVSA initiated a quick response alert on Wednesday after it found horse meat labelled as beef at a company in Ilfov county near Bucharest, a press release says. ANSVSA says the meat was aimed at local market distribution and no connection could be made with the EU-level horse meat situation. The head of ANSVSA also announced he informed the police about what he called a form of intimidation, by which the horse meat was linked to an abattoir owned by his father.
Gigi Becali
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian businessman, politician receives 3 year sentence with conditional suspension of execution

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 11 Feb 2013 English | Top News
Romanian businessman and politician Gigi Becali received on Monday a 3-year sentence with conditional suspension of execution in a case in which he was charged with forcefully retaining several people involved in a car theft. Becali, best known as the man who controls Bucharest football club Steaua and as a former member of the European Parliament turned member of the Romanian Parliament - is not in Romania for the moment. He announced last weekend that he was in Dubai and would not return before the court sentence.
  • Shortly after the reading of the sentence, Becali told Romanian news TV channel RTV by phone that he was resigning from the National Liberal Party and that "I have nothing to do in that country [Romania] anymore".

OPINION Hezbollah, a security threat to Europe

de Dan Ben-Eliezer, Ambassador of the State of Israel in Romania Embassy of Israel to Romania
Luni, 11 Feb 2013 English | Top News
The conclusions of the official investigation of the Bulgarian Government into the 18 July 2012 Burgas bus bombing are clear: the terrorist organization Hezbollah was directly responsible. (...) Terrorism has no boundaries and the time has come for the European Union to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and place it on its official list of terrorist entities.

Top Romanian politician involved in corruption case Dan Voiculescu resigns from Senate again​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 28 Ian 2013 English | Top News
Dan Voiculescu, the founding leader of Romania's Conservative Party, a small but highly influential party of the governing coalition, announced his resignation from the Senate on Monday. The announcement comes several days before a new term in a corruption case involving Dan Voiculescu was due at the High Court of Justice. His resignation means the case is returned from the High Court, which deals with cases involving dignitaries, to a lower court - the Bucharest Tribunal. It is the second time in less than a year when Voiculescu resigns as Senator and thus avoid High Court hearings.

Romanian PM Ponta says government looks for solution to increase taxes on high incomes among public sector employees

de Editorial staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 25 Ian 2013 English | Top News
Romanian PM Victor Ponta said in an interview with the Romanian-language version of HotNews.ro on Friday that his government was looking for the "right judicial and constitutional solution" to allow for higher income taxes for budget sector employees with incomes of more than 4,500 lei (1,000 euro). He said he believed that an income of 1,000 euro would provide for a "decent living in the public sector".

Romanian PM Ponta says integrity body will receive extra responsibilities to combat EU funds-related conflicts of interests

de Editorial staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 25 Ian 2013 English | Top News
Romania's National Integrity Agency (ANI), a key body in preventing and fighting conflicts of interests, will receive more responsibilities in combating conflicts of interests related to EU funds, an initiative which would be discussed in government session next week, PM Victor Ponta said in an interview with the Romanian-language version of HotNews.ro on Friday.

Romanian PM Ponta says he supports shale gas exploration

de Editorial staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 25 Ian 2013 English | Top News
Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta said in an interview with the Romanian-language version of HotNews.ro on Friday that he supported the exploration of shale gas in the country.

Romanian government presents program: Average economic growth of 3% in 2013-2016, budget deficit below 3%

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 20 Dec 2012 English | Business
The newly designated government of Romania, formed of the Social Liberal Union (USL) alliance and led by Victor Ponta, eyes an average annual economic growth of 3% for 2013-2016 and maintaining an ESA-system budget deficit of under 3% until 2016, according to the USL governing program, published by the government on Thursday. On fiscal policies, the government says it plans to provide transparency for public funds, to simplify the tax system, to return to a 19% VAT and introduce progressive taxation.

Romanian Prime minister presents extensive team of new government

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 19 Dec 2012 English | Top News
Romania's designated prime minister Victor Ponta presented on Wednesday the structure and members of the future Government. It will include many more ministerial seats than before, many of which split from existing governing bodies. Ponta's team was announced after days of negotiations between the governing Social Liberal Union (USL), formed of Ponta's Social Democrats and the National Liberal Party, who won the December 9 parliamentary elections by a large majority.

Victor Ponta designated prime minister of Romania following December 9 general elections

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 17 Dec 2012 English | Top News
Romanian President Traian Basescu signed on Monday the decree designating Victor Ponta, leader of the Social Democrats (PSD) and co-head of the Social Liberal Union (USL) as prime minister of Romania. The move comes as the USL, the alliance of PSD and the Liberals (PNL), obtained a large majority of votes in the December 9 parliamentary elections.

Romania general elections results now official. PM Ponta says he hopes new government will be in place by Christmas

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 14 Dec 2012 English | Top News
The official results of the December 9 parliamentary elections in Romania were published in the Official Gazette on Friday. President Traian basescu said in Brussels today that he would call the Parliament immediately after the publication of results and that he would consider whether to do so on December 19. Meanwhile, PM Victor Ponta, whose governing alliance won a majority of votes in the elections, said in an interview he hoped the new government would be in place by Christmas.

US Ambassador Mark Gitenstein completes assignment in Romania

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 14 Dec 2012 English | Top News
US Ambassador Mark H Gitenstein has completed his diplomatic assignment in Romania and has returned to the US, the Embassy announced in a press release on Friday. Deputy Chief of Mission Duane Butcher has become charge d'affaires ad interim as of December 14.

Aftermath of Romania parliamentary elections: Main opposition alliance dismantled. Social Liberal Union claims 66% win. Not enough places in Parliament for elected MPs​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 Dec 2012 English | Top News
The main alliance of Romanian opposition parties, the Right Romania Alliance (ARD), was dismantled a day after parliamentary elections in which it suffered an overwhelming defeat against the governing Social Liberal Union (USL). While partial results show USL with about 60% of the total number of votes, USL says its own parallel counting shows it won with about 66% of MP seats. Meanwhile, The elections were harsh for the ARD leaders who have yet to learn if they'll get a seat in the Parliament - which will have more MPs than available room on the parliamentary floor.

Romania Parliamentary elections. The stake of PM Ponta's offer for Hungarian Democrats to support USL in Parliament, Government after Sunday poll

de Dan Tapalaga, adapt. V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 Dec 2012 English | Top News
Negotiations between the Romanian PM Victor Ponta's Social Democratic Party (PSD), a member of the Social Liberal Union (USL) along the National Liberal Party (PNL), and the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) for a possible collaboration in the Parliament and the Government had started before the December 9 general elections and are aimed mainly at strengthening the PSD position before PNL within the USL alliance, according to HotNews.ro sources. PM Ponta announced on Sunday night that he talked with UDMR over such a possibility. According to sources, the talks took place between Ponta and UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor, who may receive the seat of Culture minister.

Partial results in Romania parliamentary elections. House: USL alliance - 58.61%, ARD alliance - 16.58%, PPDD - 13.82%, UDMR - 5.21% / Senate: USL - 60.08%, ARD - 16.79, PPDD - 14.46%, UDMR - 5.31%

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 Dec 2012 English | Top News
The governing Social Liberal Union received 58.61% of votes in the Sunday elections for House of Deputies and 60.08% for Senate, according to partial results announced by the Central Electoral Office at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, with 95.83% of the votes counted. USL is followed by the Right Romania Alliance with 16.58% (House)/16.79% (Senate). the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party and the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR).

Romania's governing USL claims victory "against Basescu regime" in parliamentary elections

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 9 Dec 2012 English | Top News
Leaders of Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL) including Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta Liberal Senate speaker Crin Antonescu claimed victory in the parliamentary elections today, with exit polls showing USL getting over 50% of the votes. They said it was a "victory against the [President Traian] Basescu's regime" and insisted that NATO and EU will remain the "cardinal directions" of Romanian foreign policy. Meanwhile, opposition ARD alliance said they trusted it will reach its 20% target - while reports claim some of ARD leaders might not even enter Parliament.

EXIT POLLS Governing Social Liberal Union gets over 50% of votes in Romania parliamentary elections

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 9 Dec 2012 English | Top News
Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL), formed of Social Democrats and Liberals, scored over 50% of votes in parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to exit polls presented by TV channels at 9 p.m. today. According to exit polls, USL scored between 54 and 58%; the opposition ARD alliance - between 19 and 21%; the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) - between 10 and 14%; the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) - about 5%.
  • The exit poll results are "affected" by a large number of voters who notably refused to tell poll operators whom they voted with, as one polling institute director has said.
updating

Romania parliamentary elections: 20.56% turnout by 2.00 p.m as bad weather affects most of the country

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 9 Dec 2012 English | Top News
20.56% of Romanian voters showed up to cast their ballots in the parliamentary elections by 2.00 p.m. on Sunday, according to data announced by the Central Electoral Office. As bad weather affects most of the country, turnout is slightly above the 2.00 p.m. level of the 2008 parliamentary elections (19.84%) and below the level of the referendum to dismiss president Basescu this summer (21.37%).
UPDATE 1 Turnout at 6 p.m., 3 hours before closing vote, stood at 36.54%
UPDATE 2 Turnout at closing polls (9 p.m.) stood at 41.72%
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

OPINION ​The significance of Romania's December 9 general elections. Plus a few predictions

de Dan Tapalaga, adapt. V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 9 Dec 2012 English | Top News
​Romania is facing yet another one of its all to frequent milestone moments in its recent history with the parliamentary elections taking place on December 9. It has to choose between returning to the path to a Western model or to push quickly on the path to the Hungarian, Turkmen or Uzbek model - considering US Secretary of State Clinton's recent statements. The options are simple: functional institutions, rule for everybody and improving politicians or almighty oligarchs replacing institutions hand in hand with corrupt politicians. Will Romanians look for political leaders accepted by the West or for nationalist braggarts? On the domestic front, Romania is no longer facing the eternal choice of "the least evil". The stake for 2012: limiting "the biggest evil".

Romania's December 9 parliamentary elections: actors, context, stakes

de Editorial staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 7 Dec 2012 English | Top News
Some 18.2 million Romanian voters are expected to cast their ballots in parliamentary elections on December 9. The poll is a key moment in a political storm pitching the governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) against President Traian Basescu over the past seven months, a storm which sparked rising Western criticism of Romania's compliance with the rule of law and European values and amplified the stakes for the economic, political and international future of the country.
Cristian Pantazi
Photo: Hotnews

​OPINION "Uzbekistanisation" of Romania - a country on a brink

de Cristian Pantazi, transl. V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 7 Dec 2012 English | Top News
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday gave a terrible blow to the double-faced policy promoted by Romania's governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL), who are wearing a pro-Western mask before foreign officials and journalists while launching furious attacks on institutions and ignoring any economic reform when at home.  Clinton held a tough speech in which she mentioned Romania along former USSR countries and Hungary as countries with democratic difficulties. The speech came a few days after European Commission officials had sent the least wanted message from Brussels, the Commission is unwilling to conclude a new precautionary accord along the IMF in 2013 because Romania has not fulfilled its promises in the current accord. The two pieces of news mean two things: Romania's access to funding will be more expensive, while investors are to avoid Romania.

Google.ro could not be accessed Wednesday morning following "DNS poisoning attack"

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 28 Nov 2012 English | Top News
The Romanian-language version of Google has not been accessible for many Romanian users for several hours on Wednesday following what a report called a DNS poisoning attack. Google has said its services in Romania were not attacked, but that for a short period of time some Google.ro and other web services users were redirected to another website. For a while in the morning, the users could see the Google.ro interface replaced with a message from an "Algerian hacker".

UPDATE EU Summit: Van Rompuy's new proposal - more radical than before, pushes for EU budget cut by E200 bln. President Basescu calls for significant rise of direct payments to Romania farmers

de Cristian Pantazi, adapt. V.O. HotNews.ro
Romanian President Traian Basescu has demanded "imperatively" a significant rise in allocations for direct payments to Romanian farmers, during his talks with European Council president Herman Van Rompuy on Thursday, European sources told HotNews.ro. The talks come as EU leaders start marathon talks in an attempt to reach a compromise on the EU's 2014-2020 budget, with Germany and others saying they would not dismiss the possibility of failure.
UPDATE A new proposal pushed by Herman Van Rompuy is even more radical than the previous one, which called for an E80 billion cut. European sources told HotNews.ro that the head of the European Council has now proposed a EU budget cut of E200 billion - the amount demanded by Britain. The reduction would be applied to European Commission proposed budget of E1,047 billion.

Romania marks 10 years since invitation to join NATO

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 21 Nov 2012 English | Top News
The Romanian Presidency marked on Wednesday 10 years since Romania was invited to join NATO. The ceremony was a rare moment when incumbent President Traian Basescu and predecessors Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu were seen together, in the company of ambassadors and other officials. US Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein used the occasion to describe the US-Romania partnership as essential for NATO's European missile shield.

Romanian PM Ponta: Van Rompuy's proposal to reduce CAP and cohesion funds in 2014-2020 budget is unacceptable. Romania may use veto​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Romania's prime minister Victor Ponta said in a press conference on Thursday that European Council president Herman Van Rompuy's proposal to reduce the money allocated for Europe's common agricultural policy and cohesion funds in the EU 2014-2020 budget was unacceptable. He said Romania may go as far as to use its veto right in the case.

US Ambassador to Romania warns against renewed talks on changing law on integrity agency

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 31 Oct 2012 English | Top News
US Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein has told HotNews.ro that any initiative to renew talks on changing law regulating the National Integrity Agency (ANI) - which focuses on the wealth and interests of Romanian officials would be a very bad idea and would not be well received by the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, by the EU or the US. He urged Romanian authorities to prove caution in this regard. His statements came a day after he said Romania was facing difficult elections that may divide the people and that worried him.

Russia Ambassador to be invited to Romania Foreign Ministry in traffic accident case​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 23 Oct 2012 English | Top News
Russia's Ambassador to Bucharest Oleg Malginov will be "invited" to the Romanian Foreign Ministry "as soon as possible" for discussions on a traffic accident involving a Russian diplomat, which took place in Bucharest on Sunday, Foreign minister Titus Corlatean said on Tuesday, pointing out that the driver involved in the crash refused an alcohol text.

Romania's Competition Council launches investigation among media agencies

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 22 Oct 2012 English | Business
The Romanian Competition Council has launched an investigation on the local media market, eyeing media buying and planning agencies, the institution announced in a press release on Monday. The investigation is related to a possible deal among companies in this sector with the purpose of eliminating competitors in media agency pitches. The investigation is related to a newly formed Media Club, an entity announced recently by ten major media agencies in Romania.

European leaders spoke in Bucharest about danger of populism in Europe. Meanwhile, Romania governing coalition pushes nationalism in popular electoral meeting

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 18 Oct 2012 English | Top News
Angela Merkel, Jose Barroso, Traian Basescu and other European leaders who attended the European Popular Party congress in Bucharest on Thursday spoke of the threat of populism in Europe and of the need of a deeper European integration. Meanwhile in the Romanian capital, the governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) organized a major event in the city's National Arena stadium to launch their candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The event was marked by a series of nationalist and populist speeches.

Romanian business: Why death of business founders often lead to company collapse​

de Dan Popa, adapt. V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 30 Aug 2012 English | Business
While family businesses have a history of hundreds of years internationally and many of them long outlive their founders, a tendency among private companies in post-communist Romania shows that the death of their founders meant insolvency in many cases. Top local companies such as Aldis or Edy Spedition are such cases where businesses faced serious financial troubles following the death of their initiators. What makes the local market different for such a tendency to occur?

Traian Basescu returns to Romania Presidency​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 28 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Romanian President Traian Basescu, who was suspended by the Parliament and faced a referendum to remove him from office earlier this summer, returned to Presidency on Tuesday after a Constitutional Court decision that the referendum was invalid was published in the Official Gazette on Monday evening.

Romania Parliament takes note of Constitutional Court decision invalidating referendum to dismiss president. Traian Basescu to return to Presidency

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 27 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Romania's Parliament took note on Monday of a Constitutional Court decision to invalidate the July 29 referendum to dismiss President Traian Basescu. The publication of the Court decision in the Official Gazette is the last necessary step prior to Basescu's return to presidency and it may happen as early as Monday evening. The Parliament session today was not without trouble, as it started two hours late because of a boycott by the governing coalition of Liberals and Social Democrats, who oppose Basescu.

UPDATE Romania interim president Antonescu, PM Ponta say they will comply with Court decision allowing suspended president Basescu return to office, call decision "unfair" and Basescu "illegitimate" head of state​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 21 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Romania's interim President Crin Antonescu said on Tuesday he and his National Liberal Party would comply with a Constitutional Court earlier today allowing suspended President Traian Basescu return to office. But Antonescu said the Court decision was "unfair" for the 8.5 million people who voted in a referendum to dismiss Basescu and that he and his party would not recognize him politically, as Basescu "is an illegitimate president". Referring to a statement weeks ago that he would withdraw from politics should Basescu return to office, Antonescu said he would not do so considering the massive vote to dismiss Basescu.
UPDATE Crin Antonescu and other Liberal leaders said on Tuesday they would not exclude a new attempt to suspend President Basescu in the future.
UPDATE 2 PM Victor Ponta, a Social Democrat, also said on Tuesday the Court decision would be complied with, but called it "unfair" and "against democratic rules".

UPDATE Constitutional Court invalidates referendum to dismiss suspended President. Traian Basescu to return to Presidency

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 21 Aug 2012 English | Top News
The nine judges of Romania's Constitutional Court decided on Tuesday that the July 29 referendum to dismiss suspended President Traian Basescu was invalid. Six members of the Court decided to invalidate the poll and three against it. The vote means President Traian Basescu, who has been suspended by the Parliament, returns to the Presidency. The judges convened today to decide whether the referendum was valid or not. The Court session came after weeks of political turmoil as the governing coalition led by Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta and interim President Crin Antonescu has been trying hard to find ways so that a Court decision force Basescu to leave. The struggle has drawn massive criticism and suspicions about rule of law in Romania.

Romania PM Victor Ponta announces key changes in Government reshuffle

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 6 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Romanian PM Victor Ponta announced on Monday a series of proposals to change key members of his government, saying they were already accepted by interim President Crin Antonescu. He announced new ministers for the Interior and Administration Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Justice Ministry. The move comes after Interior minister Ioan Rus and another minister announced their resignation on Monday morning.

Romania Interior minister resigns accusing pressure from suspended president and interim president

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 6 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Romania's Interior and Administration minister Ioan Rus announced his resignation on Monday accusing pressure from both suspended President Traian Basescu and interim President Crin Antonescu. His resignation comes amid continuing political turmoil as Romania still waits for a final result of the June 29 referendum to dismiss President Basescu because of disputes on the voter lists used in the poll.

Political crisis continues as Romania's Constitutional Court postpones decision on referendum to dismiss president Basescu, pressure mounts on economy​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 2 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Romania's Constitutional Court (CCR) decided on Thursday to postpone until September 12 a decision on the validation of the Sunday referendum to dismiss the president, in which not enough votes were cast to exceed a 50% turnout threshold needed for the ballot to take effect. The news was announced by a CCR judge, quoted by TV news channels. The Court decision to postpone such a decision does little to solve the political crisis affecting Romania for the past weeks. Romania's central bank governor was among the last to warn today that a calmer domestic political life would help alleviate pressures on the economy.
UPDATE CCR later issued a press release showing that the postponement of a decision was due to "contradicting data" regarding the number of people on electoral lists.

Final vote count in referendum to dismiss Romania president: 46.24% of listed voters cast their ballots, less than 50% threshold needed to validate poll

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 1 Aug 2012 English | Top News
Voter turnout in the Sunday referendum, in which Romanians were asked if they agreed to dismiss President Traian Basescu, stood at 46,24%, according to final figures released by the Central Electoral Office on Wednesday morning. The percentage comes short of the threshold of 50% of listed voters needed for the referendum to be validated. Also on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court is due to convene for a decision whether to validate or invalidate de referendum, with the governing alliance which pushed for Basescu's impeachment now claiming that the participation threshold was exceeded, considering what they call the real number of Romanian voters.

Multinational group Naspers invests in Romanian e-commerce company eMag

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 30 Iul 2012 English | Business
Multinational electronic media group Naspers takes over 70% of major Romanian online retailer eMag, as announced in a notification to eMag partners, obtained by HotNews.ro. eMag, a 500-employee company which had a business figure of 145 mln euro in 2011 end expects 180 mln euro in business for 2012, confirmed the deal in a press release later on Monday.

Political struggle continues as Romania waits for final results of referendum to dismiss president

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 30 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Romania's governing coalition and suspended President Traian Basescu's team on Monday morning both claimed victory in the Sunday referendum in which the people were asked to decide whether Basescu should be dismissed or not. Their statements came despite a final verdict from the central electoral office on whether voter turnout was enough to validate the referendum, with preliminary figures showing that a necessary threshold of 50%+1 of listed voters has not been met.

UPDATE EXIT POLLS: About 85% of Romanian voters opt in favor of dismissing President Traian Basescu in Sunday referendum, but two hours before closing polls turnout was smaller than necessary threshold for validation. Turnout at closing polls: 45,92%

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 29 Iul 2012 English | Top News
86,9% of Romanian active voters voted in favor of dismissing President Traian Basescu and 13% against it in the Sunday referendum, but voter turnout stood at 44.01% at 9 p.m., two hours before closing polls, according to an Operations Research exit poll presented by news channel Realitatea TV at 11.00 p.m.. A separate exit poll by CCSB company for Antena 3 news channel showed 84% of active voters voted in favor of the impeachment and 16% against it, with a turnout of 44% by 9 p.m. 50% plus one of the total number of listed voters in Romania have to cast their votes by 11 p.m. for the referendum to be validated, with President Basescu and his political supporters urging people not to attend the poll, which they call a "coup d'etat" by the governing coalition.
UPDATE Preliminary turnout data for closing polls (11.00 p.m.) announced by the Central Electoral Office late in the night show 45.92% of the total number of listed voters cast their ballots in the referendum, less than the 50%+1 threshold for the referendum to be validated.
Referendum decisiv pentru Traian Basescu
Photo: Agerpres

Voting day: Referendum starts in Romania to dismiss suspended President Traian Basescu

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 29 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Polling stations across Romania opened early on Sunday for a referendum in which suspended President Traian Basescu faces the vote of the people, who are to choose whether to dismiss him from office or not. The referendum comes three weeks after a decision by the Parliament to suspend the President on grounds that he breached the Constitution, a move which has been described by Basescu and his supporters as a "coup d'etat" and which was based on measures harshly criticized across the European Union. The suspended head of state and his political supporters have urged the people to resist this by refusing to cast their vote today.
UPDATE 1 Voter turnout by 10.00 a.m. in the Sunday referendum was 9.05% of the population, the Central Electoral Office announced. Turnout was slightly higher in rural areas (an average of 9.10%) as well as in Bucharest, where turnout stood at 9.39%.
UPDATE 2 Voter turnout by 2.00 p.m. stood at 21.37%, according to data collected by the Central Electoral office
UPDATE 3 Turnout at 5.00 p.m. stood at a little more than half the needed votes for the referendum to be validated - 26.89%, according to estimations of the Central Electoral Office.
UPDATE 4 Voter turnout at 8 p.m., three hours before closing polls, stood at 37.67%, according to data announced by the Central Electoral Office.

Deal signed by leaders of Romania governing coalition speaks of dismantling key justice, anti-corruption bodies. PM Victor Ponta calls it "intoxication", another signatory confirms it​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 26 Iul 2012 English | Top News
​A document posted on the Internet and indicated by newspaper Adevarul depicts a deal signed by the leaders of Romania's governing coalition with a union of redundant military personnel, other trade unions and civil society organizations. It speaks of dismantling such key state institutions as the Constitutional Court, the National Integrity Agency, the National Anti-Corruption Department and the body studying the archives of the Communist-era secret police, the Securitate. The head of the redundant military personnel's union confirmed the document as real but said it was a draft deal which has to be discussed in detail. For his part, PM Victor Ponta said he only signed the first page of the document and that the story was fabricated by suspended President Traian Basescu's staff.
The Romanian Digest

Romania's Plot to Steal Titan-Nadrag-Calan - Part II

de Rubin Meyr Doru & Trandafir The Romanian Digest
Marţi, 24 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Recently uncovered minutes of the Romanian government's plot to steal Titan-Nadrag-Calan from Jewish industrialist Max Ausnit in 1941 are disturbingly similar to the recent efforts of a former Romanian government to confiscate 85% of his descendants' property rights in the same steel plant (as described in the May 2012 issue of The Romanian Digest).
Victor Ponta
Photo: HotNews / DP

UPDATE Romanian PM Victor's Ponta plagiarism case: two bodies say he copied chunks of doctoral thesis, one says no. Bucharest University commission finds copied text on 115 of 297 thesis pages. Ponta: Decision is politically motivated

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 20 Iul 2012 English | Top News
An ethical commission of the Bucharest University announced on Friday it has found that Romanian PM Victor Ponta's 2003 doctoral thesis included plagiarized text. This is the third verdict in the case, after two other academic bodies analyzed the text and made their own decisions on charges that Ponta was involved in an act of plagiarism: a first said he "copy-pasted" large amounts of text, while a second said he complied with the rules of 2003. The charges were first made public by Nature magazine last month and have since drawn huge media attention. The head of Romanian government has been quoted by Spanish El Pais newspaper as saying he would resign if a commission finds him guilty of plagiarism.
UPDATE PM Ponta reacted to the Bucharest University commission's verdict on Friday by saying the decision was "politically motivated".

UK Ambassador to Romania Martin Harris: Romania needs to build on this record of success / The Parliament needs to put its own house in order

de V.O. HotNews.ro
"Romania needs to build on this record of success, to implement the remaining reforms under the benchmarks and to establish a clear, sustainable and irreversible track record of tackling corruption", UK Ambassador to Romania Martin Harris writes on his blog. "Romania's politicians, of all parties, have a particular responsibility. The Parliament needs to put its own house in order. It is extraordinary that convicted felons can still sit as MPs", he writes.

Opinion: Romania matters

de Cristian Pantazi, transl. V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 19 Iul 2012 English | Top News
A very tough report of the European Commission on Romania's Justice system this week and the unexpected visit to Bucharest of the British Foreign minister were just as many cold showers for the people now in power in Bucharest. Their immediate effect was a decision by the Parliament to maintain a rule that 50%+1 of the registered voters have to cast their ballots in a referendum to dismiss suspended President Traian Basescu late this month. As a long term effect, the signals mean something else as well: Romania is no longer by itself in a world which invested in it both economically and geo-strategically.

European Commission lists requests for Victor Ponta Government to prove it complies with rule of law and independence of justice

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 13 Iul 2012 English | Top News
The European Commission has issued a list of its requests on Romania, which were addressed to Romanian PM Victor Ponta on Thursday and aimed at Romania's continued compliance with European standards. The list includes tough points such as the dismissal of incompatible MPs, the reinstatement of certain rules for the validation of a referendum to impeach the President and avoiding naming people at a key anti-corruption body during the interim presidency of Crin Antonescu.

Top EU officials including EP President, Justice Commissioner speak out on Romania as PM Ponta leaves for Brussels

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 11 Iul 2012 English | Top News
EU states are "a little too quiet" regarding the situation in Romania, European Parliament president Martin Schulz said in an interview for Le Monde, quoted by AFP. He made the statement following a controversial vote in the Romanian Parliament to suspend President Traian Basescu, which has raised questions about compliance with the country's constitution. For her part, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding was also quoted by AFP today saying the political crisis in Romania was a "great danger". The two spoke out on Romania as PM Victor Ponta, who's governing alliance has pushed for the suspension of the President, visits Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday.

US Ambassador to Romania: A referendum inconsistent with the Constitution would "knowingly provoke a very dangerous constitutional crisis"

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 11 Iul 2012 English | Top News
​US Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein says in a statement issued on Wednesday that a referendum in Romania "which appears inconsistent with the Constitution" would "knowingly provoke a very dangerous constitutional crisis". He notes that Romania's PM "is absolutely correct" that it is "unacceptable" to conduct such a referendum. Ambassador Gitenstein made the statement as Romania braces for a referendum late this month in which voters will be asked if they agree to remove President Basescu from office and debates are taking place on the constitutional and judicial framework of the referendum. The governing alliance hopes it would remove from office rival President Basescu - who was suspended by the Parliament on Friday.

Romania anti-graft prosecutors eye two Supreme Council of Magistrates members suspected of negotiating top jobs with new political leaders

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 11 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Investigators of Romania's National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) moved on the Supreme Council of Magistrates on Wednesday morning, targeting two prosecutors suspected of having negotiated with the country's prime minister the jobs of DNA chief prosecutor and Prosecutor General, according to judiciary sources quoted by Mediafax news agency. The DNA move comes the day when PM Victor Ponta leaves for Brussels where he is expected to explain his governing alliance's actions over the past two weeks to worried European officials.

Romania's Constitutional Court decides procedure to suspend President Basescu was constitutional. Crin Antonescu becomes interim president

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 9 Iul 2012 English | Top News
​Romania's Constitutional Court announced late on Monday evening that the procedure to impeach President Traian Basescu last week was constitutional and that it found that an interim presidency in which Senate speaker Crin Antonescu takes over as head of state was justified. The Court analyzed five of seven cases in which decisions made during last week''s blitz procedures to impeach the president were challenged as "unconstitutional". The announcement came at the end of a day in which those procedures were subject of harsh criticism both at home and abroad.
Basescu la tribuna
Photo: Hotnews

Romanian MPs have voted: President Traian Basescu impeached

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 6 Iul 2012 English | Top News
A majority of Romanian MPs voted on Friday evening in favor of the impeachment of President Traian Basescu, at the end of a blitz series of procedures which the opponents of the governing alliance, many independent observers and EU voices described as breaching the rule of law and questioning the independence of Romanian justice and balance of power. Basescu now has to face a referendum in which - according to rules newly voted by the Parliament - a majority of active voters decides his dismissal of President.
UPDATE A referendum where Romanian voters will be asked if they agree with the dismissal of President Traian Basescu will be organized on July 29, according to a proposed bill on the organization of the referendum, announced in the Parliament today.

Romania's Parliament convenes to suspend President. Traian Basescu: It is more important for governing alliance to take hold of all reigns of power including justice

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 6 Iul 2012 English | Top News
The Romanian Parliament convened on Friday afternoon to vote on a request to impeach President Traian Basescu. The votes of 217 members are needed to suspend the President, and the governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) hold by themselves 212 votes. The Constitutional Court issued an advisory ruling on the request earlier today, but gave no final ruling whether the arguments including in the impeachment request were valid. The vote comes as EU pressures intensify on USL, an alliance accused of threatening the rule of law. In his speech at the beginning of the Parliament session today, Basescu pointed out that, for USL, more important than his suspension the interest to take hold of all reigns of power, including justice.
UPDATE 8.10 p.m. Parliamentary debates are over. Voting on President Basescu's impeachment has started
UPDATE Senate speaker Crin Antonescu - a Liberal who is due to take over as interim President if Basescu is suspended, said he would witdraw from politics if Basescu is not dismissed in a referendum

Romania Parliament about to vote on impeachment of President Basescu as Constitutional Court gives unclear ruling on constitutionality of charges

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 6 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Romania braces for a vote in the Parliament late on Friday afternoon on the impeachment of President Traian Basescu. Prior to the parliamentary session, the Constitutional Court gave its advisory ruling on the request to suspend the President, but the ruling was not clear and both supporters and opponents of the head of state gave their own interpretation of it. The Friday afternoon events were preceded by an announcement of the Constitutional Court that one if its judges received "threats", by PM Victor Ponta's statement attempting to assure European countries that they should not worry about events in Romania, but also by an European Commission statement showing concern about these events.
UPDATE The parliament session to suspend President Basescu started at 5 p.m.

International reactions on Romanian power struggles and worries about rule of law

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 5 Iul 2012 English | Top News
The European Commission might postpone its report on Romanian justice, which was due early next week the latest, because an analysis is needed on the impact of measures taken by Romania's Victor Ponta Government and the Parliament over Justice institutions, several European sources told HotNews.ro. The possibility comes as several European officials have taken stand on the turmoil in Romanian politics, where a government alliance-led attempt to oust President Traian Basescu raised question marks about the independence of Justice and other institutions.

Romania President Basescu says parliamentary call for his suspension involves governing alliance attempt to take over control of Justice, state institutions. He asks for referendum on single-chamber Parliament

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 5 Iul 2012 English | Top News
​Romania President Traian Basescu held a speech in Parliament today following the reading of a governing alliance USL's request for his suspension. He said he would welcome a parliamentary procedure to suspend him, but questioned the constitutional validity of the current one and said it had four reasons: the USL will to take control over Justice, the USL will to take control of all state institutions, a will to not apply the results of a previous referendum when people opted for a single-Chamber, 300-member parliament and a "circumstantial" will to cover prime minister Victor Ponta's "European" reputation as a "copy-paste prime minister".

Romanian MPs give reading to request to suspend President Basescu. Vote to suspend him expected on Friday

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 5 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Romanian MPs convened in an extraordinary session on Thursday morning for the reading of a request to suspend President Traian Basescu. Basescu was present in the Parliament when the reading started. As the final debate and a vote on the request are scheduled for Friday, the President has the right to present his own point of view before the MPs.​Romanian MPs convened in an extraordinary session on Thursday morning for the reading of a request to suspend President Traian Basescu. Basescu was present in the Parliament when the reading started. As the final debate and a vote on the request are scheduled for Friday, the President has the right to present his own point of view before the MPs.

Romania's governing alliance launches procedure to suspend President Traian Basescu

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Romania's Parliament convened on Wednesday for a session to launch the procedures to suspend President Traian Basescu, as sources told HotNews.ro. Political sources also told hotNews.ro that the Government has adopted an emergency ordinance changing a law on the functioning of the Constitutional Court. In the afternoon, the ordinance was already published in the Official Gazette. And a spokesman for one of the parties in the governing alliance told a TV station that the suspension of the President might be voted in the Parliament on Friday.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

OPINION ​A cry of helplessness

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Iul 2012 English | Top News
In a short statement on Tuesday evening, at the end of a series hallucinatory events in the Parliament, Romanian President Traian Basescu addressed parliamentary party leaders Victor Ponta, Crin Antonescu, Daniel Constantin, Gabriel Oprea and Kelemen Hunor demanding them, repeatedly, “to immediately cease their actions against the institutions of the Romanian state.  Naming them, a rather unusual twist in his latest statements, looks more like a warning.

UPDATE Romania's governing coalition launches massive moves on state institutions. Opposition decries "coup d'etat" and accuses accuses attacks on of Constitution and state of law. Senate Speaker dismissed, replaced with governing alliance leader. House speaker replaced as well

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Romania's governing alliance of Liberals and Social Democrats (USL) launched a massive series of moves on state institutions and key people in the Parliament, the Constitutional Court and the People's Lawyer (Ombudsman) on Tuesday. The moves fall in line with the phases of an action plan by USL - first presented by HotNews.ro in its Romanian version - to suspend President Traian Basescu, who the USL leaders see as the main obstacle in their taking over effective power in the country. Opposition leaders decried on Tuesday what they called a "coup d'etat" and a major attack on the Constitution and the state of law.
UPDATE Romanian USL-dominated Senators voted on Tuesday to dismiss Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga. USL immediately pushed its leader Crin Antonescu as new Speaker.
UPDATE 2 - 10.30 P.M. House Speaker Roberta Anastase - a member of Vasile Blaga-led Democratic Liberals (PDL), who support President Basescu - was also voted out of office by USL-dominated deputies on Tuesday evening. PSD immediately nominated deputy Valeriu Zgonea to be voted new House speaker.

UPDATE Romania President Basescu demands PM Victor Ponta, governing alliance leaders to stop "actions against institutions" of Romanian state, which he says are in breach of European values

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Iul 2012 English | Top News
Romania President holds a statement on Friday evening. He started his speech by demanding PM Victor Ponta, governing alliance leaders to stop "actions against institutions" of the Romanian state, which he says are in breach of European values.
UPDATE He concluded his speech in just a few minutes. Read his statements in full

Viviane Reding is first top EU official to comment on Romanian Government's moves on Constitutional Court: I am seriously concerned about recent attacks on independence of Court

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Iul 2012 English | Top News
"I am seriously concerned about recent attacks on the independence of the Constitutional Court of Romania," said European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding on Twitter on Tuesday. Her comments came as Romania's government has been pushing for changes at Constitutional Court level so that it allow new legislation that may help the governing alliance in its political struggles with President Traian Basescu.

US Ambassador to Romania says he is "concerned about any attempt to threaten" independence of Romania's democratic institutions

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Iul 2012 English | Top News
"Manipulation or threats to your institutions particularly your courts will not only be of concern to our government but to the way Romania is viewed by financial markets", says US Ambassador to Romania Mark H. Gitenstein in a statement received by HotNews.ro. His statement comes as Romania's governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) have launched a series of moves on key people and institutions, including the Constitutional Court, which were described by USL political opponents, some media and commentators as "a coup d'etat" or attacks on the Constitution and the state of law.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

OPINION The crooks’ revolution begins. The assault day

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Iul 2012 English | Top News
All the information suggests that USL will force the President's suspension as soon as possible.  It is a matter of hours or of days at most.  From what I have learnt, Crin Antonescu dreams about moving in to Cotroceni Presidential Palace as soon as possible, possibly today.  Ponta and Antonescu are removing the Ombudsman [People's Lawyer], the judges from the Constitutional Court, the Presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.  Vasile Blaga's replacement is a crucial move, because he is the second man in the state, and should the President of the country be suspended, the President of the Senate would become the interim at Cotroceni Presidential Palace. Very probably, Crin Antonescu will take Blaga's place.
Victor Ponta
Photo: Consiliul European

UPDATE Scandal engulfs Victor Ponta's government as council studying plagiarism charges against Romanian PM is dismantled before verdict​. Council's verdict: Ponta involved in "copy-paste plagiarism case"

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 29 Iun 2012 English | Top News
A huge scandal involving accusations of plagiarism against Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta escalated on Friday. Sources told HotNews.ro a council checking the accusations that Ponta copied parts of his doctoral thesis from other works have found proof of plagiarism. But the council had just been dismissed in a complicated scheme of decisions that raised questions about compliance with the state of law under Ponta's 2-month old government. Ponta had said in an interview on Thursday that he would resign should accusations of plagiarism be proven.
UPDATE The CNATDCU council of scholars has decided: Ponta was involved in "copy-paste plagiarism case"

Prime minister represents Romania at European Council for the first time. President Basescu says he didn't go to Brussels today to avoid an "awkward position" for Romania: "Romania is legitimately present, but illegitimately represented at European Council"​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Weeks of clashes between Romania's new prime minister Victor Ponta and President Traian Basescu over who should represent the country at the European Council came to a last minute conclusion on Thursday. Despite a Constitutional Court decision that going to the European Council was the President's job, Ponta went to Brussels anyway today and was admitted as Romania's representative. After a tense first half of day, President Basescu made press statements saying that he didn't go to Brussels in order to avoid "an awkward position" for Romania". And he said Romania was "legitimately present, but illegitimately represented at the European Council" this week.

Romanian ex-PM Adrian Nastase's surgery successful after suicide attempt

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 21 Iun 2012 English | Top News
A surgical intervention Romanian ex-PM Adrian Nastase underwent on Thursday morning after he attempted suicide on Wednesday evening concluded successfully, medics announced today. They said the patient was "lucky" to survive as the bullet he shot in the attempt to kill himself came close to vital organs. Also on Thursday, Nastase's legal representative said a request would be submitted shortly so that a prison sentence the former prime minister received yesterday be suspended on medical grounds.

UPDATE Former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase rushed to hospital amid claims he attempted suicide following 2-year sentence in corruption case. Attempted suicide report confirmed by High Court Prosecutor's Office

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 20 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase was rushed to a Bucharest hospital from his home late on Wednesday, amid claims on TV news channels that he attempted to kill himself. The incident comes hours after Romania's High Court gave Nastase a final 2-year prison sentence in a corruption case. Nastase is the highest official in the country to receive such a sentence under corruption charges.
UPDATE 0.30 The High Court prosecutor's office announced it received a report regarding Nastase's suicide attempt and has opened an investigation into the situation. Reports say Nastase shot himself in the neck in the attempt to kill himself. Current PM Victor Ponta visited the emergency hospital later in the night before Nastase was to undergo an emergency surgical intervention,
UPDATE 8.00 a.m. Emergency hospital doctors told TV stations later in the night that Nastase's condition was stable and he would undergo surgery most probably in the morning.

Former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase receives 2 year prison sentence in major corruption case

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 20 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Romania's High Court maintained on Wednesday a 2 year prison sentence applied by the same court for former prime minister Adrian Nastase earlier this year. The final verdict in the so-called "Quality Trophy" case is unprecedented in Romania, as Nastase is the highest ranking former official in the country to be sentenced for corruption in the country. The case relates to Nastase's 2004 election campaign, when according to the charges he covered fund raising for the campaign by organizing a fee-based symposium. The verdict was announced three years and four months since the case was sent to court.
updating

612 Romanian researchers protest "serious isolation of Romanian community about international scientific information"

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 20 Iun 2012 English | Top News
A group of 612 top Romanian researchers have published a letter of protest about a recent decision by Romanian authorities to suspend the access of Romanian universities and researchers to important electronic collections of scientific journals and data bases, according to a Contributors.ro report. The move, they say, leads to the isolation of the Romanian research community to internationals scientific information.

Romanian PM Victor Ponta dismisses accusations of plagiarism, says President Basescu is behind them

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 19 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta dismissed accusations of plagiarism in the case of his his PhD thesis in statements he made on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. He said he was ready to stand before any commission to show the allegations were baseless and that he believed President Traian Basescu was behind the appearance of the accusations in Nature magazine.

Nature magazine: Romanian PM Victor Ponta accused of plagiarism. FAZ compares Ponta to Hungarian ex-president Pall Schmitt and former German Defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttemberg

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 18 Iun 2012 English | Top News
​Nature magazine reports that Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta is accused of plagiarism for his PhD thesis in law, which was published in 2003. "Nature has seen documents compiled by an anonymous whistle-blower indicating that more than half of Ponta’s 432-page, Romanian-language thesis on the functioning of the International Criminal Court consists of duplicated text", Nature writes. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also published an article on the alleged act of plagiarism by the head of the Romanian Government.

Populist party candidate wins town hall in Romania town due to host US missile shield components

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 11 Iun 2012 English | Top News
A candidate for Romanian populist party Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) was elected mayor in Deveselu, a town which is due to host elements of the US missile shield. Ion Aliman, a ship captain, won 54% of the votes, defeating the incumbent mayor, a Social Democrat.

Mayor under arrest comes first in race for a new term in Romania penitentiary town

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 11 Iun 2012 English | Top News
The mayor of a town on the outskirts of Bucharest, Jilava, best known for hosting a major penitentiary, comes first in the race for a new term in office, despite being under arrest. Mayor Adrian Mladin, charged with corruption, is the candidate with the most votes after vote counting in 185 of a total of 215 sections in the town.

First official partial results in Romania local elections: Social Liberals lead with three times more mayors than Democratic Liberals

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 11 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Romania's central electoral office announced the first official partial results of the Sunday local elections on Monday morning. According to the preliminary results, the governing Social Liberal Union (USL) won 52% of votes for County Councils and County Council presidents, as compared to Democratic Liberal's (PDL) 13%, while the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) won 7% of the vote. For local councils, USL leads with 42.7% of the votes, PDL - 15.78%. USL also leads in the race for mayor terms with 52.27% against PDL's 15.8%.

The unexpected changes and expected wins of Romania's local elections

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Luni, 11 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Romanians voted strongly in favor of the new governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) in local elections on Sunday, after years of Democratic Liberal (PDL) government which applied a long series of austerity measures but which, according to rivals, had lost its legitimacy. USL claimed a strong lead across the country with major wins in Bucharest and other cities, while here and there a close vote remains to be settled.

Exit polls: Governing Social Liberal Union crushes opposition in Romania local elections​

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 10 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL) crushed opposition Democratic Liberals (PDL) in local elections on Sunday. According to a nation-wide poll presented by Romanian news channel Romania TV as polling stations closed at 9 p.m., USL won 60% of the votes at national level, as compared to 11% for Democratic Liberals and 10% for the fringe, populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party. In Bucharest, 66% of the votes went for incumbent, USL-supported mayor Sorin Oprescu and only 16% for his main PDL challenger Silviu Prigoana.
updating

Romanians show up in larger numbers than expected to vote in local elections on Sunday

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 10 Iun 2012 English | Top News
Close to 30 percent of Romanian voters showed up at polling stations across Romania to cast their ballots in local elections by 2 p.m. on Sunday. The figures for the first hours of voting seem significantly higher than during the 2008 local elections.
UPDATE Voter turnout at 5 p.m. stood at 39.01% at national level, about 5 percentage points higher than in the 2008 local elections.

Romania votes in local elections amid voter apathy on Sunday

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 9 Iun 2012 English | Top News
​Romanians vote in local elections on Sunday which comes with a first for the country's democratic process - mayors are now elected in a single, uninominal, winner-takes-all round. The poll comes at the end of a dull electoral campaign and is expected to be influenced by huge voter apathy. The campaign has been felt in a limited number of cities, where candidates of the governing parties and of the opposition are close in the top of the polls. The battle is closest in the cities of Cluj, Braila and Craiova, as well as in Bucharest Districts 3 and 6.

PRESS REVIEW

What the newspapers say: January 12, 2011

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 12 Ian 2011 English | Press Review
Most prefects, mayors, county council presidents and their deputies moved their businesses on the names of their relatives to avoid being accused of conflict of interests but they continue to do business with the state. Salaries of Romanians increased n November, for the first time in the last 8 months. Hungarian Ambassador in Romania Oskar Fuzes declared that if the EU will not expand Schengen, it will be a failure.

BUCHAREST

Bucharest Baneasa Airport will serve business flights / Low cost flights will move on Otopeni Int'l Airport 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Joi, 9 Dec 2010 English | Bucharest
Transports ministry plans to transform the Bucharest Baneasa Airport by 2012-2013 in an airport reserved for business and VIP flights and therefore move the current low cost flights on Otopeni Int'l Airport causing higher costs for low costs, Romanian news agency Mediafax informs. 

Giulian Dimitriu - Fashion Age - Lady Gaga
Photo: giulian.ro

Lady Gaga, sculpted by a Romanian 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 30 Nov 2010 English | Bucharest
Romanian Giulian Dimitriu made a sculpture in marble of the famous artist that dominates the world of music currently. The statue was included in the Fashion Age collection, together with Mata Hari , Elan and Heshee statues. 


BUSINESS

IMF will release the seventh installment of about 900 million euro 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 7 Ian 2011 English | Top News
IMF board approved on Friday the sixth evaluation of the agreement with Romania and its supplementary letter so that the institution will release the seventh installment worth about 900 million euro that will be delivered most probably on Monday in the account of the Romanian National Bank, Romanian news agency Mediafax reads.

Romania’s commercial deficit dropped by 3.54% in the first 11 months of 2010 to 8.63 billion euro / Exports continue to work well 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 Ian 2011 English | Business
Romania’s commercial deficit dropped in the first 11 months of last year by 3.54% to 8.63 billion euro, from 8.95 billion euro in the same period in 2009 according to the Romanian National Statistics Institute. The decrease of the commercial deficit was mainly caused by an increase of exports and their advance to imports.

Central bank governor: Progress needed in 2011 for Romania to join euro

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 4 Ian 2011 English | Business
Romania needs to report further progress in 2011 so that it keep up with plans to join the euro in 2015, but reforms might take two years, which may change the date of euro adoption, Romanian National Bank (BNR) Governor Mugur Isarescu said on Tuesday.

CEZ group sold stake in Cernavoda project to Nuclearelectrica - Romanian state plans selling part of its stake

de Claudia Pirvoiu, transl. V.O. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 4 Ian 2011 English | Business
Czech group CEZ sold by the end of 2010 its shares in the project to conclude works at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania, a press release of the group reads. It says the announcement of an intention to sell the 9.15% of shares held by CEZ in Energonuclear SA company was made in late 2010 and that the shares were sold to Nuclearelectrica SA, the majority shareholder in the project to build reactors 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda plant. Contacted by HotNews.ro, CEZ informed the shares were sold for 7.4 million RON.

Ford names a Belgian to lead Craiova 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Joi, 2 Dec 2010 English | Business
Starting January 1, 2011, Jan Gijsen currently director for new markets within Ford Europe will be named director of Ford's Romanian company and President of Ford Romania, the company announced. He will replace Dioni Campos san Onofre who lead the Romanian branch in the last two years. 

IT Scop Computers was taken over by the Polish ABC Data company 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Joi, 2 Dec 2010 English | Business
Polish group ABC Data, one of the most active players in the region on IT distribution took over 51% of the Romanian company Scop Computers. ABC Data plans to takeover the whole share pack of the company in the next years. Polish press reads that the transaction was agreed on 5 million euro. 

Romanian minister: Social spending amount to 69 billion of a total lei of a total of 200 billion. It should be rationalised

de V.O. HotNews.ro
Joi, 2 Dec 2010 English | Business
Romania's government has a clear decision on rationalising social spending, which have a considerable weight in the consolidated budget - social spending amounts to 69 billion lei, of a total spending of 200 billion, Finance minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu said at a conference on European issues in Bucharest on Thursday.

POLITICS

Liberals and Conservatives to sign the protocol for the Center Right Alliance 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 Ian 2011 English | Politics
National Liberal Party President Crin Antonescu and Conservative Party leader Daniel Constantin will sign, on Monday the protocol for the creation of the Center Right Alliance and all odds are that the alliance will be registered in court as well in the same day.

UDMR leader Marko Bela will not run for another mandate 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Luni, 13 Dec 2010 English | Politics
Hungarian Democratic Party leader Marko Bela announced on Saturday that he will not run for another mandate as head of the party, underlying that his gesture does not mean he will withdraw from politics. 


REGIONAL EUROPE

Unemployment rate in the EU dropped in April to 9.4% 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 31 Mai 2011 English | Regional Europe
Unemployment rate in the EU dropped in April to 9.4% from 9.5% in the previous month and the one in the euro zone was 9.9% to a similar level to the one registered in March according to Eurostat data. In the similar period of 2010, the unemployment rate was 9.7% in the EU and of 10.2% in the euro zone.

European diplomats about Schengen: adhesion in March is out of the question / Sofia’s evaluation report is negative and we cannot have Romania without Bulgaria 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 7 Ian 2011 English | Top News
Romania and Bulgaria will not join Schengen at the end of March, as their leaders were hoping because the Bulgarian evaluation report on the security of Bulgarian borders is negative, several European diplomats declared on Friday at Brussels, AFP reads quoted by Romanian news agency Mediafax.

France will continue to repatriate illegal immigrants 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 8 Dec 2010 English | Regional Europe
France will continue to fight against clandestine immigration and to repatriate illegal immigrants on its territory, Interior minister Brice Hortefeux declared in an inverview for French daily Le Figaro. He said that illegal immigrants needs to drop. According to him, France repatriated in 2010 about 25,500 illegal immigrants. 

Israel's call for help to Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain and France to extinguish the fire broke nearby Haifa / Romanian authorities might send help 

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 3 Dec 2010 English | Regional Europe
Israeli Foreign Affairs minister called for help to Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain and France to sent specialized planes to attend the operations to extinguish the fire that broke nearby Haifa, Haaretz announces. 

Bucharest dropped from 29 to 73rd positions in a top on most efficient metropolitan areas

de A.C. HotNews.ro
Vineri, 3 Dec 2010 English | Regional Europe
Bucharest dropped to the 73rd position, from 29th in a most efficient capital cities top, based on economic performances, a Brookings Institution and London School of Economics top reads, quoted by Romanian news agency Mediafax. 



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