TOP NEWS
Cristian Pantazi
Foto: Hotnews

Government party's game of electoral seduction ends as hard attack starts in parliament for Great Liberation

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
The big economic lie of Romania's governing coalition is over. The main governing party, the Social Democrats (PSD) has dropped plans to increase pensions and salaries and switched to the invention of new taxes. PSD leader Liviu Dragnea no longer wants to buy the goodwill of the Romanians through populist measures, as he did at the beginning of the year, to anesthetize their critical sense of the destruction of Justice.  All that interests him now is his personal situation. Right now, as we speak, Dragnea and his men are attacking the Justice system in the Parliament - the only thing that interests him now. They have also set a public deadline: by the end of the year, the laws of justice must be massacred. This is Plan B.
Platforma de foraj petrolier Scarabeo 9
Foto: Wikimedia Commons

​EXCLUSIVE What royalties will be paid by Exxon, OMV, Lukoil and other companies that will export Black Sea gas. Plus: how many Romanian employees they should have, what kind of approvals are needed and what fines are received by institutions that do not give the authorizations on time

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
​Companies exploring and exploiting oil and gas fields in the Black Sea will have a normal royalty regime, and will pay the quota currently provided in the law or in the contracts concluded with the Romanian state, according to a draft law adopted by the Government. The project consulted by HotNews.ro also states that these companies (already exploring in the BlackSea are Exxon, OMV, Lukoil) have to have at least a quarter of Romanian employees and have to get approvals from 9 institutions, including the General Staff of the Army and the Foreign Ministry.The draft was adopted by the Government last week and has already been sent to Parliament for debate and adoption.

Romanian Constitutional Court head criticized by Supreme Council of the Magistracy for statements related to court decisions

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
The members of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy (CSM) on Tuesday criticized the statements made on a TV station by the President of the Constitutional Court (CCR) Valer Dorneanu, who talked about the decisions of the courts in which they would feel the political influence, CSM believing that this affects the independence of the judiciary, according to news.ro news agency.

Nobody should be above the law, US Embassy says following Romanian Parliament vote preventing corruption inquiry into prominent deputy

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Parliamentary immunity should not be used to defend someone from taking responsibility for his actions and nobody should be above the law, US Embassy to Bucharest says in an answer to news agency Agerpres, following a controversial vote in the Romanian Parliament on Tuesday.

Romanian deputies reject anti-graft body's request to pursue criminal inquiry against fellow MP in sensitive corruption case

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Members of Romania's House of Deputies rejected on Tuesday a request by the National Anticorruption Department to approve a criminal inquiry against former minister Rovana Plumb, a deputy for the governing Social Democrats (PSD), in a major corruption case. Defending herself in Parliament, Plumb suggested the case was part of a campaign to "demonize" the PSD, while a fellow PSD deputy, Judicial Commission head Eugen Nicolicea, put up a report claiming that the law was not broken in any way.

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe asks Romanian authorities to "review criminal legislation as soon as possible" and "to support politically and financially the outstanding work of the National Anticorruption Directorate"

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (APCE) has adopted Resolution 2188/2017- "New threats to the rule of law in member countries of the Council of Europe", according to Justiecurata.ro. Drafted by German Christian Democrat Bernd Fabritius as speaker, the resolution criticizes the situation in Romania, the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Poland and Turkey. The resolution was adopted at the meeting of 11 October with 47 votes in favor, 7 against and 2 abstentions.

Romanian opposition leader Orban: Government reshuffle is a joke / Liberals preparing censure motion

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Ludovic Orban, the leader of Romania's main opposition party, the National Liberal Party (PNL), said on Monday that the reshuffle decided by the governing alliance last week was "a joke" and criticized the new nominees, announcing that the Liberals were still considering the submission of a censure motion, according to Agerpres news agency.

Who are the new ministers named in Romania government reshuffle

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) have decided on their proposals for three new ministers, in a government reshuffle sparked by a tensions between PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and PM Mihai Tudose. The new ministers are Paul Stanescu for Development Ministry, Felix Stroe for Transport Ministry and Marius Nica for European Funds Ministry.
Victoria lui Tudose. Shhaideh, Plumb si Cuc au demisionat
Foto: Colaj foto

​Romania governmnent expects reshuffle as govt party leadership "passed difficult moment" in power struggle between leader Dragnea, PM Tudose

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Romania's governing Social Democrats are expected to make decisions on Friday on a a significant government reshuffle after the party accepted the resignation of several controversial ministers during marathon talks on Thursday night. The talks are seen as a blow for de facto party leader Liviu Dragnea, who is battling for power with prime minister Mihai Tudose.

Romanian President: An approchement between Romania and the Visegrad Group is not realistic

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
"We do not share the same views, in my opinion at this moment, an approchement between Romania and the Visegrad group is not realistic, not to mention that within the Visegrad group there are basically two camps that are increasingly divergent with regards to the future of the European Union,and the way things go in the EU in general," Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday.

Romanian President Iohannis questions Social Democrat's ability to govern, should current government fall

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Romania's President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that he would question the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) ability to govern in case the current government would fall due to internal party struggle.

Who is, Mihai Busuioc, new head of institution that controls how public money is spent: A close friend of Liviu Dragnea, with hundreds of thousands of euros in his bank accounts

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Mihai Busuioc, now secretary general of the Government, was appointed by Parliament on Wednesday as president of the Court of Accounts, the institution that controls how public money is spent in Romania. He replaces Nicolae Vacaroiu, whose 9-year term expires this month.

Romanian PM Tudose and governing party leader Dragnea send messages of dialogue and understanding amid deepening rift

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
The major disputes that ignited between Romanian PM Mihai Tudose and Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), which ignited last weekend, left room for messages of dialogue on Tuesday. The two met during the afternoon and announced that a decision on a future government reshuffle would me made on Thursday. And while Tudose met President Klaus Iohannis for talks on the government party rifts, PSD officials suggested talks to aleviate the problems were under way.

Romania's National Audiovisual Council rejects license request for Iasi-based TV station RTR amid suspicions of links to Russian state propaganda

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
The National Audiovisual Council rejected on Tuesday a request from Iasi-based companyTelecontent Production companin Iasi for the RTR TV channel, after postponing a decision in this matter in August, as representatives of the audiovisual forum said for HotNews.ro

Bucharest Mechanical Plant and US General Dynamics Company signs a Memorandum of understanding for the production and delivery of armored vehicles

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
The Romanian Ministry of Economy and Romarm, through Bucharest Mechanical Plant, and the American company General Dynamics signed a memorandum of understanding and  a cooperation agreement on Tuesday, in the presence of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose. The Memorandum of Understanding sets out the preliminary guidelines for cooperation as well as future actions aimed at establishing a joint venture between Bucharest Mechanical Plant and US General Dynamics Company, which will produce armored vehicles for the Romanian Armed Forces, according to a government press release.

Romanian PM Mihai Tudose makes disputes with party leader Dragnea public. Details of reshuffling plans already appear

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Romanian deputy prime minister Marcel Ciolacu would take over as Development minister after PM Mihai Tudose would oust incumbent minister Sevil Shhaideh, sources have told HotNews.ro. Shhaideh is one of the few ministers targeted for a government reshuffle of which Tudose spoke of in a TV interview on Monday night, suggesting major splits between him and the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea.
Dan Tapalaga
Foto: Hotnews

OPINION ​Has Social Democratic leader Dragnea's attack on Prime Minister Tudose started?

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Marţi, 10 Oct 2017 English | Top News
Four full months have yet to pass since Liviu Dragnea, the leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats, took down his own government, and he appears to have triggered the attack on incumbent PM Mihai Tudose, installed in the summer after the fall of his predecessor Sorin Grindeanu. All the information obtained by HotNews.ro and confirmed by several sources indicates that conflicts have broken out between the Dragnea and Grindeanu, and the last major reason for the dispute would be the PM’s refusal to sign the Constitutional Court intimation on the conflict between the state powers after National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) started the investigation into Belina case.
Ambasadorul Hans Klemm la Monumentul Holocaustului
Foto: Ambasada SUA

US Ambassador to Romania in harsh criticism of politicians who embrace economic nationalism and target multinational companies

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
US Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm criticized harshly on Monday the politicians and journalists who promote economic nationalism, "who oppose liberalism and who espouse economic nationalism once again seek to attack and demonize Europe’s Jews and Jews outside of Europe". He made the statements in a speech marking the National Day of Commemorating the Holocaust.

Report: Romanian Health minister Bodog "plagiarized" two-thirds of his PhD in economic sciences

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Romania's Health minister Florian Dorel Bodog appears to have plagiarized 147 of the 232 pages of his PhD thesis in economics, entitled "Management and marketing of sanitary units", which he held at West University of Timisoara (UVT) in 2008, writes Romanian journalist Emilia Sercan for Pressone.ro. Minister Bodog reacted by saying that he complied with all the ethical and professional standards and that the suspect segments of his thesis were originally his, and he allowed them to be used in other educational papers.

Hungarian PM Orban: I managed to build a personal relationship with the president of Romania's governing party, and that seems to offer hope for the future

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has spoken again about his closer relationship with the leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats, Liviu Dragnea. Asked by Radio Kossuth what progress has been made in the case of a high school for ethnic Hungarians in the Romanian city of Targu Mures, Orban said: "We have advanced a little in Romania because we have managed to build a personal relationship with the president of the ruling party, and that seems to offer hope for the future."
Jens Stoltenberg, secretarul general al NATO
Foto: Hotnews

​​VIDEO INTERVIEW. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: Romania is key ally in intelligence and cyber sectors / We see reports from several NATO allies of Russian attempts to interfere in domestic processes / Corruption undermines trust in democratic institutions

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomes Romania's contribution as a key NATO ally in the sectors of cyber security and intelligence, but also for its decision to invest 2% of the GDP in defence. In an interview for HotNews.ro, he announces that 10 NATO member countries will contribute with troops to the Craiova-based multinational brigade. He also warns "that corruption is undermining the trust in our democratic institutions".
Dan Tapalaga
Foto: Hotnews

OPINION Has Romania changed its foreign policy? Speeding up towards the Visegrad group

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Vineri, 6 Oct 2017 English | Top News
Information keeps coming that Romania is flirting with the Visegrad group (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia- V4), seen in the EU as the club of problem countries, with serious sideslips from the rules of Brussels. In the last several days alone, the following pieces of news crowded up: Foreign Minister Theodor Melescanu said unequivocally at the Cluj meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, that Romania is interested in collaborating with the Visegrad group of countries; and Romania is said to be about to attend a meeting of the V4 countreis in Budapest next week.

Romania's oil and gold resources placed in hands of former meat merchant and tax inspector

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
The National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), an essential institution that manages the resources of gas, oil and ores, has a new chief: Gigi Dragomir, 50, a man with no experience in the sector. Gigi Dragomir is an inspector in the County Public Finance Administration in Ilfov county. In recent years, he has participated in ANAF exams for a number of positions, but has failed them. Prior to becoming a fiscal inspector, he worked for a number of companies dealing with the trade and distribution of food products.

Major Romanian trade union protest against government, opposition, NGOs in Bucharest

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
About four thousand people protested in Bucharest Victory Square, in front of the Romanian Government HQ on Wednesday. The protest organized by Cartel Alfa, a major trade union, brought together employees from health, transport, police, steel and petrochemical sectors. Trade unionists from the mining, energy, insurance and banking sectors were also there. The people gathered in the market are equipped with whistles, drums, banners and flags to protest a series of welfare policies announced by the government.

Romania sentenced by ECHR for failing to protect child from father's beatings

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Romania was sentenced by the European Court Of Human Rights on Tuesday for violating the right not to be subjected to torture and the right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights in the case of an underaged person in which the state authorities proved incapable of defending him from his father's aggressions, NGO APADOR-CH has announced.

Romanian Constitutional Court decision: top graft prosecutor is required to appear before parliamentary investigation commission on the 2009 elections

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Oct 2017 English | Top News
The Romanian Constitutional Court admitted on Tuesday a constitutional legal conflict between the Parliament and the Public Ministry, represented by the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA), "generated by the refusal of the Chief Prosecutor of the DNA to appear before the Special Investigation Commission of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies for the verification of issues related to the organization of the 2009 elections and the result of the presidential election," the Court said in a statement on Tuesday. Observers say the decision is serious as it means MPs, many of whom are politicians who face judicial issues including corruption accusations, can summon prosecutors and other magistrates to answer their questions in the Parliament.
Florin Iordache
Photo: gov.ro

Former minister Iordache who sparked massive Bucharest protests now named in key justice position in Romanian Parliament

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Oct 2017 English | Top News
Former Romanian Justice minister Florin Iordache, who earlier this year was forced to resign following unprecedentely huge protests against his attempts to push laws to stifle the fight against corruption, has now been named in a key position in the Parliament, to supervise changes to Justice laws.

Romanian PM Tudose: In maximum one year, Romania and Bulgaria are in Schengen area. The two countries are oasis of safety for their citizens

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Oct 2017 English | Regional Europe
Romanian PM Mihai Tudose said in Varna, Bulgaria on Tuesday that he believed that Romania and Bulgaria would be part of the Schengen area within a year, as the two states offer the European Union one of the most secure border police, according to News.ro news agency. At the same time, according to Agerpres, Tudose said that Romania and Bulgaria are "two oases of stability and safety for the citizen on the street".

Magyar Nemzet: Hungary would like to bring Romania closer to the Visegrad Group

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Oct 2017 English | Regional Europe
Minority ethnic groups, security energy and infrastructure were among the issues discussed by Hungarian minister Peter Szijjarto and his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu in a meeting in Cluj on Monday. It has been said that the Hungarian government considered it possible to create a fast rail link to connect Budapest and Bucharest via Cluj. The two ministers also said it was in the interest of each side that Romania should have tighter ties with the Visegrad countries, according to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, quoted by RADOR agency.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

​OPINION How much can Romania count on EU, US to help with its problems

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Oct 2017 English | Top News
​Everyone out there is seeing serious troubles taking place in Romania in recent months, but is trying not to officially turn Romania into a "case". From that moment on, everything would get complicated. In Brussels, where I spent a few days recently, there are quite a few other priorities now: Poland, Hungary and, more recently, Spain. No one wants  another problem child. Once recognized and verbalized, the issue should be  solved, but the European Union has so far been proven powerless in the cases mentioned above.

Romanian Foreign Ministry confirms Romanian citizen wounded in Las Vegas attack

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Oct 2017 English | Top News
The Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday evening that a Romanian citizen was wounded in the deadly armed attack that took place in Las Vegas and was treated in a hospital in the region. The person will be visited by Romania's honorary consul there as soon as his condition allows it, it announced.

Romanian judges's body requests PM Tudose and Justice minister Toader to withdraw bills on Judiciary

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Oct 2017 English | Top News
An organisation of Romanian Judges has initiated a collection of signatures among magistrates in support of a memorandum requesting PM Mihai Tudose and Justice minister Tudorel Toader to drop a set of bills aimed at changing the legislation for the functioning of the Romanian judiciary, which have been harshly criticized as an attempt to stifle the independence of the Justice system.

Romanian Justice minister ignores negative notice of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) and announces he will not change bills on the judiciary

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Oct 2017 English | Top News
A set of bills aimed at changing he laws for the functioning of the Romanian judiciary will not be adjusted despite a negative non-binding notice it received from the Supreme Council Of Magistrates (CSM), Justice minister Tudorel Toader has said, quoted by news agency Agerpres. Minister Toader said there was no question of rewriting the draft laws of justice.
Tudorel Toader si Hans Klemm
Photo: Ministerul Justitiei

Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm says US "worried" about Romanian government plans to change laws on the judiciary

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 Sept 2017 English | Top News
The US are "worried" about proposals to change the laws regulating the Romanian "judiciary" as they may reverse the path of Romania as a state of law, US Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm was quoted by Romanian news agency Agerpres on Thursday.

Romania's top magistrates body in disagreement with government plans to change Justice laws

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 Sept 2017 English | Top News
Romania's Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) expressed its disagreement with a government project to change the laws governing the judiciary, according to CSM sources quoted by news agency Agerpres. The CSM position is not compulsory, but the Presidency later warned that it cannot be ignored by the Government and the Parliament.
Patriarhul Kirill
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch to visit Romania in October, first such visit after 1989 revolution

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 Sept 2017 English | Top News
​Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kyrill will visit Bucharest on October 27, along with Patriarchs of orthodox churches from other ex-communist countries. They will attent events organised to remember the defenders of Orthodoxy under communism as well as to mark 10 years since Romania's Daniel become Patriarch, a spokesman for Romanian Patriarchy has told HotNews.ro.
Mihai Tudose
Photo: Agerpres

Playing with the economy: How did the ruling coalition in Romania alter the business environment with inadequate decisions and with totally or partially withdrawn initiatives

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 Sept 2017 English | Business
"Stop this fiscal and budgetary hopping," addressed President Klaus Iohannis to the Social Democratic Party (PSD) , Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) parties, on June 29, at the Tudose Government Investment ceremony. The president's request was totally ignored in the three-month governance of the Tudose Cabinet.

Defense minister says Romania on path to acquire first Patriot missile system and in advance talks to buy 36 other F16 aircrafts

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 28 Sept 2017 English | Top News
Romanian Defense m​inister Mihai Fifor said on Wednesday that "before the end of the year, the Romanian army will acquire its first Patriot missile system". He later said that "we are in advanced discussions to buy 36 other F16 aircrafts from the US, not from Portugal. We are at the beginning of this negotiation."
Klaus Iohannis
Photo: Captura presidency.ro

Romanian President Iohannis breaks silence on graft scandal, PSD attempts to change the laws of the judiciary. What can he do?

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 27 Sept 2017 English | Top News
​Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stood up on Tuesday against actions by the governing Social Democrats (PSD) in the wake of a new graft investigation linked to the top PSD leadership. As the PSD had said it fully supported two ministers who are eyed in the new anti-corruption investigation, Iohannis said on Tuesday that people who face criminal inquiries or are judged for criminal activities "should not be part in the leadership of the state". He said the two ministers should have resigned or be dismissed by the party. Meanwhile, he is expected to make a stand on attempts by the PSD the change the laws of the judiciary.

Romania's governing party leadership announces "full support" for ministers involved in corruption case

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 25 Sept 2017 English | Top News
The leadership of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) announced on Monday they would provide "full support" for ministers Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, eyed by prosecutors in a new corruption case.

Romania's Anti-graft body DNA calls on magistrates council to defend independence of prosecutors in face of minister's political interference

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 27 Sept 2017 English | Top News
The head of Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi on Tuesday called on the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) to see whether a series of statements made by Justice minister Tudorel Toader were affecting the independence of the judiciary.

In "Belina" graft case, governing party leader Dragnea says he and his political partners are targets: We are not giving up / The laws of justice will be adopted

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 25 Sept 2017 English | Top News
The leader of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea claimed in a TV show on Sunday evening that an investigation into a new corruption case is "a violent attack on another state power, a violent attack on the Government". He said in the Antena 3 TV interview that he saw himself and other political leaders, the government and the parliament as "targets" of the investigation and warned that he was "not giving up, not even taking a step back".

Venice Commission: There is by no means a financial threshold for abuse of office

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 25 Sept 2017 English | Top News
Romanian newspaper "Adevarul" has obtained the official position of the Venice Commission on the most problematic legal issue in Romanian politics of the past year: the so-called prejudice threshold that should be imposed in defining the crime of abuse of office, the threshold below which the deed would be decriminalized.

Sources: Governing PSD party communicators to hold accountable President, other top officials for "liquidation campaign" against party leader Liviu Dragnea

de Editorial staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 25 Sept 2017 English | Top News
Main leaders and communicators of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) will counteract Belina file, which focuses on irregularities in which PSD leader Liviu Dragnea appears to be involved, with a joint message in the media in the next few days. According to several sources within the PSD, the message will portray Liviu Dragnea as a victim of a plan of his political opponents.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

​OPINION Russia's methods: The way Romania gets ready for a media conquest

de Dan Tapalaga, adapt. C.I. HotNews.ro
Joi, 21 Sept 2017 English | Top News
As the world gets increasingly worried about the aggressive informational war tactics developed by Russia, Romania gets ready by itself to be conquered by means of media. While large countries such as the US, Germany or even organisations like NATO try to counter the new weapons perfected by Russia, in Romania the local media itself does the harm Russian trolls are struggling to do elsewhere.
Tudorel Toader
Photo: Agerpres

​OPINION Romanian minister Tudorel Toader's counter-reform of the judiciary: Why proposals announced by Justice minister are poisonous

Miercuri, 23 Aug 2017 English | Top News
Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader announced a set of proposals on Wednesday to reform the judiciary. The package of proposed legislation shows Toader fell in line with Social Democratic leader Liviu Dragnea's requests and complied to put forward a counter-reform of the Justice system in a country that has struggled to properly reform it for more than a decade. It is now essential that magistrates react firmly as their very independence is at stake.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

OPINION ​The cartel against Romanian graft prosecutors: a major change of tactics in battle with anti-corruption chief Kovesi

de Dan Tapalaga, transl. C.I. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 25 Iul 2017 English | Top News
A small cartel formed of influential business people, media owners and corrupt politicians is investing energy and resources in an attempt to persuade Western governments that the fight against corruption in Romania, the anti-graft body DNA and its chief Laura Codruta Kovesi no longer deserve their support. We are witnessing a major change of tactics in the fight against prosecutors investigating high level graft. DNA's "clients" have understood that in order to have peace in the country a lot of noise has to be made abroad. Changing laws and killing institutions would be in vain if Brussels or Washington intervene in their support and put them back under pressure.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

​Has Kovesi escaped from being changed?

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Joi, 6 Iul 2017 English | Top News
President Klaus Iohannis’ statements issued on Tuesday seem to have aimed to save the DNA and extinguish the fire started inside the DNA. On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea pushed the Justice Minister on Wednesday to say something about scandal, suggesting that the situation is bad. Justice Minister Toader will have to choose between two options.  Will he save Kovesi again or will he call for her removal?
Cristian Pantazi
Photo: Hotnews

When will the public Radio Romania Actualitati join the EU and NATO?

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
Joi, 6 Iul 2017 English | Top News
Have you heard about the Russian propaganda in its pure status, subsidized by ourselves, by our taxes? Yeah, it’s possible, and it’s scandalous. Radio Romania Actualitati, the station funded by your money, is a box of resonance for Kremlin’s official positions, broadly broadcasted, with no editorial filter, without any discernment, for tens of minutes of radio show. Last night, for dozens of minutes I had the feeling that I was listening to the  communist radio journals, when Romania was allied with Russia (then USSR), in the Warsaw Pact, when it was a comrade in ideology with China and North Korea, and the US, Japan and South Korea were the bad imperialists.
Mihai Tudose
Photo: Agerpres

Romania's new government causes outrage in business, political circles on very first day in office

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 29 Iun 2017 English | Top News
Romanian MPs voted a new Social Democratic government on Thursday, which later was sworn in a ceremony hosted by the Presidency. But even before it new prime minister Mihai Tudose and his team were sworn in, they caused shock among Romanian business and political circles, with a series of controversial nominations and by announcing with no prior debate a series of plans that would turn the country's tax system upside down.
Cristian Pantazi
Photo: Hotnews

Tudose government – a frog too big to be swallowed by Iohannis

de Cristian Pantazi HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 28 Iun 2017 English | Politics
In 2009, the PDL representative Ioan Olteanu issued the most plastic definition for the political compromise: he compared the PDL’s alliance with PSD with “swallowing a frog.” Now, it was Klaus Iohannis who had to swallow a frog. Tudose government seems to be a bullfrog which is too big even for Romanian political standards. 
Mihai Tudose
Photo: AGERPRES

Romania's ruling Social Democrats support controversial nominee for PM seat

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 26 Iun 2017 English | Top News
Romania's ruling Social Democrats (PSD) have proposed that ex-Economy minister Mihai Tudose become new prime minister of the country, after the previous PSD government was deposed by means of a motion in Parliament. Tudose's nomination must be accepted by President Klaus Iohannis before taking over the PM office. Iohannis was holding talks with leaders of various political parties prior to announcing his decision.
Grindeanu a picat la motiune
Photo: Captura Privesc.eu

Romania Government down as governing coalition slams its own Executive in Parliament

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 21 Iun 2017 English | Top News
Romania's Government led by Social Democrat (PSD) Sorin Grindeanu was dismissed on Wednesday as it failed to pass a motion submitted against in the Parliament by the ruling parties themselves. PSD thus dismissed its own government at the peak of an unprecedented power struggle within the party leadership, pitching Grindeanu against party president Liviu Dragnea.
updating
Liviu Dragnea
Photo: Captura Antena 3

​Romania's ruling Social Democrats oust prime minister Grindeanu from party ranks, get ready for parliamentary motion against their own government

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 15 Iun 2017 English | Top News
The leadership of Romania's ruling party, the Social Democrats (PSD), decided on Thursday to oust prime minister Sorin Grindeanu from its party ranks. The PSD and their Liberal Democratic (ALDE) allies also announced a parliamentary motion aimed at bringing down the government next week. A major political struggle between PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and PM Grindeanu thus leads to an unprecedented move: a governing party attacks its own government in the Parliament.
Sorin Grindeanu
Photo: Hotnews

​Romanian Government on verge of dismissal in ruling party power struggle

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 14 Iun 2017 English | Top News
Many Social Democratic (PSD) members of the Romanian government, with the notable exception of PM Sorin Grindeanu, submitted their resignations but were awaiting approval for their decision on Wednesday, at the peak of a power struggle within the ruling party which may lead to the fall of the current government. The PSD leadership was discussing Wednesday afternoon their support for the Grindeanu team, following reported tensions between the prime minister and the president of PSD, Liviu Dragnea.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

Opinion: ​​The final battle

Sâmbătă, 6 Mai 2017 English | Top News
The upcoming weeks will be critical for Romania. The hotly debated bill on prison pardons, which was one step from pardoning corrupt officials following votes in the parliamentary judicial commission earlier this week, returns to the Senate commission on Monday and is expected to receive a plenary vote most probably the same day. Should protests announced for Sunday receive a low turnout, MPs defying the fight against corruption may very well gather courage again. And Romanians should not be surprised if acts of corruption become subject to pardon in the draft legislation again, along with tax evasion, money laundering or fraud.
Schimbarea de fizionomie a lui Sebastian Ghita
Photo: AGERPRES

Romanian fugitive businessman Sebastian Ghita caught in Serbia

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 14 Apr 2017 English | Top News
​Romanian businessman Sebastian Ghita, who faces several criminal inquiries at home and who has been on the run since late 2016, was retained in Belgrade during the night of April 13-14, the Romanian police has announced. HotNews.ro has reported a month ago that Ghita was spotted in Serbia, but the report had been denied by Romanian government officials at the time.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

OPINION ​​Romania and the bankruptcy of liberal democracy

Miercuri, 29 Mar 2017 English | Top News
"They plan to change the time! At night, like thieves!" The leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) Liviu Dragnea published this message on his Facebook page on Saturday, before the daylight saving time change and in a latest sign of defiance at the weeks of anti-government, anti-corruption protests that shook Romania earlier this year. His message, itself stolen from another Facebook page, mockingly added the hashtags previously used by protesters. The PSD leader retained this laid back attitude later during the weekend when he pictured himself with Prime Minister Grindeanu fishing in the Danube Delta, with the clear aim at to depict him as a humble disciple. Meanwhile, his partner in government, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu of ALDE, was discharging a key member of his party whom he accused of deviationism. But the really bad news is: the apocalypse comes smiling, inexorably. Dragnea took us all prisoners in his holey boat.
Liviu Dragnea vrea remanierea guvernului Grindeanu
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian PM announces withdrawal of corruption-related decree, uses ambiguous language as massive protests continue in Bucharest

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 4 Feb 2017 English | Top News
Romanian PM Sorin Grindeanu announced on Saturday evening that his government would convene in emergency session on Sunday morning to "withdraw, postpone" a corruption-related emergency ordinance. He made the ambiguous statement as up to 150,000 people were protesting before the Government HQ in Bucharest against the ordinance, which is seen as favoring high level corruption.

Bulgarians, Moldovans expected to stage demontrations in support of Romanian protesters

de Editorial staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 3 Feb 2017 English | Top News
Protests are being organised in Bulgarian capital Sofia and in the Republic of Moldova in support of massive demonstrations taking place in Romania against government decisions that undermine the fight against corruption.
Liviu Dragnea vrea remanierea guvernului Grindeanu
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian Government faces blanket criticism in wake of decisions undermining fight against corruption

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 1 Feb 2017 English | Top News
A series of legal changes secretly pushed by the Romanian Government late on Tuesday sparked a wave of protests and criticism on Wednesday. The Romanian President, the opposition parties, all key bodies representing the Judiciary, a major trade union, the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce blasted or simply criticised the Sorin Grindeanu government's moves or opted to just show how specifically they undermine the ongoing fight against corruption.
Jean Claude Juncker
Photo: Facebook

EC President Juncker blasts Romanian government moves undermining anti-graft moves

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 1 Feb 2017 English | Top News
​"We are following the latest developments in Romania with great concern," say EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans in a joint statement issued on Wednesday. The statement comes after the Romanian government secretly approved late on Tuesday a series of legal changes that seriously undermine the ongoing fight against corruption in the country.
Florin Iordache
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian government secretly adopts emergency ordinances critics say undermine fight against corruption​

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Marţi, 31 Ian 2017 English | Top News
The Romanian government adopted Tuesday evening two emergency ordinances pardoning certain criminal sencences and changing the Criminal Law. The changes, which have sparked massive protests in Bucharest and other major cities over the past two weeks, are seen as major obstacles that undermine the fight against high level corruption and assist suspected criminals including the leader of the governing PSD party, Liviu Dragnea.
  • UPDATE The number of protesters who gathered in Bucharest following the government decisions rose to some 15,000 by midnight. Thousands others took part in demonstrations in other cities. Meanwhile, the government published the decisions in the Official Gazette with unprecedented speed shortly after midnight. President Klaus Iohannis mourned the ordinances and the Prosecutor General urged the Ombudsman to challenge them at the Constitutional Court.
Protest
Photo: Hotnews

Tens of thousands of Romanians attend new protests against government plans to change legislation in favor of corrupt officials

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Duminică, 29 Ian 2017 English | Top News
Tens of thousands of people were protesting in Bucharest and many cities across Romania on Sunday evening against government plans to force through a series of measures critics say are aimed at helping top politicians and business people who are targeted by the fight against corruption.
Protest masiv pe bd Magheru
Photo: Hotnews

Massive protests in Bucharest, other Romanian cities against planned measures aimed at defending corrupt officials

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Duminică, 22 Ian 2017 English | Top News
Thousands of people took to the streets of Bucharest and other major Romanian cities on Sunday evening to protest a series of planned governmental measures aimed at slowing down the fight against corruption and at protecting people investigated under graft charges. President Klaus Iohannis and some opposition politicians joined the crowds in Bucharest, days after similar protests took place after the government tried to pass the measures secretly.
UPDATE As protesters marched through downtown Bucharest, their number rose to 20-30,000, according to various estimates.

Romania moves against fight against corruption, tensions involving intelligence services intensify​

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Marţi, 17 Ian 2017 English | Top News
The Romanian government is expected to adopt an emergency ordinance on Wednesday to change criminal law in a serious way, governmental sources have told HotNews.ro. The exact scope of the changes is not clearly known, but they are expected to target key legal means used in the fight against high level corruption that has taken Romania by storm for several years. President Klaus Iohannis, whom many have seen as the most important remaining opposition figure to the current government, made a mooted intervention on the issue on Tuesday.​
UPDATE 18.01.2017 The government dropped plans to discuss two emergency ordinances in this regard during its morning session on Wednesday after President Iohannis showed up to attend the session and prevent such a move.
Dan Adamescu
Photo: AGERPRES

British press hosts sustained campaign to discredit Romania's fight against corruption. Sentenced businessman and indicted son who fights extradition depicted as political victims

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 11 Ian 2017 English | Top News
A sustained campaign to discredit the fight against corruption that has been taking place in Romania is currently intensifying in British media. The campaign defends a Romanian businessman, Dan Adamescu, who last year was sentenced under corruption charges and his England-based son, Alexander Adamescu, who refuses to answer to bribery charges and fights extradition to Romania. The campaign, involving top media titles such as The Telegraph and The Guardian, gets a boost as an April deadline when British judges are due to decide on an extradition request regarding Adamescu Jr.. And the campaign find support in other European media, including talk that Adamescu newly-found "Jewish origin" may have relevance in the case.
Liviu Dragnea, la votul de investire al guvernului
Photo: Hotnews

New Romanian government receives parliamentary approval

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Ian 2017 English | Top News
​A new Romanian government led by Social Democratic PM Sorin Grindeanu received parliamentary approval on Wednesday, promising to make Romania "normal". Grindeanu's team, picked - including the prime minister - by Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea, offered during preliminary hearings today a series of hints on where the act of government is heading, beyond the official government planning announced by the PSD.
Prezentarea ministrilor PSD din Guvernul Grindeanu
Photo: Hotnews

Romania's new government members announced

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Ian 2017 English | Top News
The leader of Romania's largest political party, the Social Democrats (PSD), announced on Tuesday the list of nominations for the new government due to be sworn in following President Iohannis' acceptance of PSD official Sorin Grindeanu as prime minister late last year. THe list includes a previous nominee for the head of government and other controversial members of the PSD and its Liberal ally, ALDE.

Sorin Grindeanu
Photo: Agerpres

Social Democratic nominee Sorin Grindeanu named prime minister of Romania

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 30 Dec 2016 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has named Sorin Grindeanu, the nominee of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), as prime minister, the Presidency announced Friday Morning. Grindeanu was the second nomination pushed forward by the PSD in the wake of its victory in the general elections earlier this month. A first nominee - a Muslim woman connected to PSD local barons and whose Syrian family raised questions - had been rejected by the President early this week.

Romania President rejects controversial nomination of Muslim woman connected to Social Democratic barons as Romanian PM

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 27 Dec 2016 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday rejected the Social Democratic Party (PSD) nomination of Sevil Shhaideh for prime minister. Iohannis stopped short of explaining his decision to reject Shhaideh, a Muslim woman whom PSD leader Liviu Dragnea pushed forward as he himself had little chance of being accepted as PM. The decision comes after a week of controversies surrounding Shhaideh, who is married to a Syrian businessman close to the Assad regime.
Sevil Shhaideh
Photo: Agerpres

Sevil Shhaideh, a Muslim woman connected to local moguls with criminal records, is surprise nomination for prime minister of Romania

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 21 Dec 2016 English | Top News
​The leader of Romania's biggest political party shocked all on Wednesday as he nominated Sevil Shhaideh - a Muslim woman with a history of political and local administration cronyism, for the position of prime minister. Shhaideh nomination comes in the wake of general elections that Social Democrats won by a large margin, partially thanks to a nationalistic campaign that blasted the previous prime minister, Dacian Ciolos, and President Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German Lutheran, for not being "truly Romanian" or "Orthodox Christian" as the majority of the country's population.
Alegeri
Photo: Agerpres

Exit polls: Social Democrats in major lead in Romania parliamentary elections

de C. Ionescu HotNews.ro
Duminică, 11 Dec 2016 English | Top News
Romania's biggest political party, the Social Democrats (PSD), won a major lead over challenging Liberals in parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to exit polls announced at 9 p.m.. The exit polls placed the PSD at well over 40%, more than double the votes received by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and four times as much as the newly formed Save Romania Union (USR), which managed up to 10% of the votes.
updating
La vot
Photo: Agerpres

Romania votes in key parliamentary elections marked by graft, revolt, split society and... George Soros

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Duminică, 11 Dec 2016 English | Top News
​Millions of Romanians are expected to vote on Sunday in parliamentary elections seen as crucial for the future of Romania's international interests and for the major push against corruption in one of the poorest EU countries. In what appears, to some extent, to be a reverse image of the recent US presidential elections, the Romanian poll pitches establishment parties and a newly formed political movement of anti-establishment activists against each other in an ballot marked by the ongoing fight against corruption, "post-truth" electoral coverage and widespread revolt over a deadly fire which took place in Bucharest a year ago.
Klaus Iohannis
Photo: Administratia Prezidentiala

Romanian leader Iohannis congratulates US President elect Trump with message supporting joint efforts for stability and security

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 9 Nov 2016 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has sent Donald Trump a letter to congratulate him for his victory in the US presidential elections, the Romanian Presidency announced Wednesday morning. Iohannis said in the message that Romania "fully understands" to contribute to joint efforts promoting stability and security in the region.

Ex-British PM Tony Blair's name mentioned as Romanian anti-graft prosecutors launch new case against former PM Victor Ponta

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 6 Sept 2016 English | Top News
​Romania's anti-graft prosecutors announced on Tuesday the launch of a new criminal inquiry against former prime minister Victor Ponta. On the margins of hearings related to the case this morning, another top politician involved in the case mentioned the name of former British PM Tony Blair as related to the situation for which Ponta is now under scrutiny.
Presupusi traficanti de arme din Romania
Photo: Captura YouTube

Sky News report on Romanian "arm dealers" ready to sell guns to terrorists was most probably fake - Romanian judiciary sources. Romanian people filmed in the report facing hearings

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 10 Aug 2016 English | Top News
A recent Sky News report showing Romanian "arm dealers" ready to sell their weapons to anybody interested, including terrorists, appears to be fake, according to judiciary sources largely quoted by Romanian media on Wednesday. As prosecutors were raiding locations in Central and Northern Romania in relation to the Sky News report, the head of Romania's anti-terror and organised crime body, DIICOT, said claims that the Sky story was staged by the British journalists appeared true.
Ali H. Aslan
Photo: Twitter

Turkish journalist Ali H. Aslan: Erdogan has become more powerful than ever / He used the coup attempt to finalize his Islamist revolution

de Dan Tapalaga HotNews.ro
Marţi, 19 Iul 2016 English | Top News
​Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "has become more powerful than ever"following the attempted coup last week, says in an interview with HotNews.ro Ali H. Aslan, a Turkish journalist who has worked for Zaman newspaper. Aslan said Turkey might have faced the risk of civil war if the coup plotters had succeeded, but now there is a lot of fear among the opposition. Despite mutual threats, neither NATO nor Turkey would threaten their relationship, Aslan believes. On Fethullah Gulen, he believes the US would not extradite him unless the Erdogan regime provides clear evidence against him.
Nigel Farage
Photo: Hotnews

​VIDEO INTERVIEW Nigel Farage answers why he is still in the European Parliament - a "turkey who voted for Christmas". Plus: his position on Article 50 and racist outbursts in Britain

Miercuri, 29 Iun 2016 English | Top News
UKIP leader Nigel Farage says in an interview given to HotNews.ro on Wednesday morning that he would not leave his seat as a MEP because he has to watch "like a hawk" what happens to the outcome of leave negotiation, in the wake of the Brexit referendum. He says that unless Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which marks the formal launch of the EU exit procedures, is invoked quickly, "there will be a lot of anger". And he dodges questions about his feeling responsible for a recent wave of anti-immigrant, racist outbursts in British society.
Alegeri
Photo: Colaj foto

Exit Polls: ​Social Democrats lead in Romania local elections, with key win in Bucharest. Surprises across the country despite strong apathy

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Duminică, 5 Iun 2016 English | Top News
Social Democratic (PSD) candidate Gabriela Firea would become the first woman to serve as mayor of Romanian capital city Bucharest, according to exit polls for local elections announced on Sunday evening. Romanians voted their local administration across the country today, despite massive apathy, and their ballot offered several surprises. Bucharest fared worst among major cities in terms of voter turnout, with only a third of its voting population showing up at polling stations. And a newly formed party claiming to represent those who lost trust in traditional parties and corrupt politicians faired way better than the the second biggest political party in Bucharest.
Alegeri
Photo: Agerpres

Apathy-hit ​Romanians vote in local polls marked by fight against corruption and seen as test for upcoming parliamentary elections

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Duminică, 5 Iun 2016 English | Top News
​Some 18 million Romanians are invited to cast their votes in local elections due to take place across the country on Sunday. The ballot comes amid significant voter apathy caused by increasing general distrust in politicians and, particularly, by discontent with the people that parties have pushed forward to run for mayoral seats. The poll is seen as a test for parliamentary elections later this year and analysts warn it may have an impact on the current technocratic government in Bucharest.

Romanian court issues  arrest warrant against Israeli billionaires Beny  Steinmetz, Tal Silberstein and Shimon Shevez

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 15 Mar 2016 English | Top News
A Romanian court has approved arrest warrants against Israeli businessmen Tal Sliberstein, Shimon Shevez and Beny Steinmetz, indicted in a major illegal land retrocession case. The decision to issue the warrants may be appealed, but should it become final they would become targets of international pursuit.
Flotele militare in Marea Neagra
Photo: NATO

The balance of navy power at the Black Sea: How do the fleets of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey compare to that of Russia

de Victor Cozmei, adapt. C.I. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 9 Mar 2016 English | Top News
The Black Sea has become a hotspot in the still tenser relations between NATO and Russia and questions have been rising what countries like Romania can do against a possible Russian aggression. Romanian PM this week called for an active NATO presence in the Black Sea, while the Romanian Defense Ministry has launched a debate on the prospects of creating a joint NATO fleet in the region. But how do the fleets of countries such as Romania, Bulgaria or Turkey compare to Russia's?
Laura Codruta Kovesi si Raluca Pruna
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian Justice minister gives first sign that anti-graft head Kovesi's term in office may not be extended

de D. Tapalaga, transl. C.I. HotNews.ro
Marţi, 22 Dec 2015 English | Top News
​Romania's new Justice minister Raluca Pruna has said in an interview published by Romanian newspaper Romania libera that while there is a legal possibility that a person be re-invested as chief prosecutor "the Romanian society is rather antagonistic currently" and a re-investment may lead to criticism. Minister Pruna's allusion to Laura Codruta Kovesi, the head of the National Anti-corruption Department which has led a major crusade against high level graft for years, is quite transparent and may be seen as a first signal that Kovesi's term in office may not be extended.

Romanian Parliament approves new technocratic government led by Dacian Ciolos

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 17 Nov 2015 English | Top News
Romania's technocratic government proposed by designated prime minister Dacian Ciolos received the vote of approval in the Parliament on Tuesday, after days of political negotiations. A large majority of MPs voted in favor of the new government, as both major political groups - the Social Democrats and the Liberals - announced their support, with only the Liberal Democrats and other, smaller political groups opposed it.
Dacian Ciolos
Photo: Facebook - Dacian Ciolos

Romanian designated PM Dacian Ciolos announces full government team

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Duminică, 15 Nov 2015 English | Top News
Diplomats, business people, NGO representatives, people who have worked with European bodies and just a handful of political appointees form the new, technocratic government that Romania's prime minister designate Dacian Ciolos announced on Sunday. Earlier this week, Ciolos, a former European Commissioner for Agriculture, was chosen by President Klaus Iohannis earlier this week to form a new government to replace the Social Democratic government led by Victor Ponta, who resigned a week before in the wake of a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest and subsequent massive protests against corruption.
Explozii si impuscaturi la Paris 13 noiembrie 2015
Photo: Captura Le Figaro

Two Romanian dead in Paris terrorist disaster. Romanian authorities condemn attacks

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 14 Nov 2015 English | Top News
​Two Romanian citizens died in the bloody terrorist attacks that hit Paris killing nearly 130 on Friday night, Romanian Foreign ministry announced on Saturday, as Romanian authorities stated their solidarity with France and condemned the attacks. Security measures were strengthened around all French institutions in Romania, according to a press release of the French Embassy to Bucharest. All cultural events scheduled by te French Institute between November 16-20 have been cancelled or postponed.
Dacian Ciolos
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian President designates former European commissioner Dacian Ciolos to form new government

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 10 Nov 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis designated on Tuesday former European commissioner Dacian Ciolos to form a new, technocratic government in the wake of the resignation of ex-PM Victor Ponta and his Social Democratic government last week.

Romanian President Iohannis names Education minister as interim prime minister in wake of PM Ponta's resignation​

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Joi, 5 Nov 2015 English | Top News
​Romanian President Klaus Iohannis accepted PM Victor Ponta's resignation on Wednesday and decided to name incumbent Education minister, Sorin Campeanu, as interim prime minister, he said on Thursday. Iohannis also announced that for the first time ever he planned to invite a new entity to political consultations over the formation of a new government - the civil society.
Universitatea de sus
Photo: Adina Florea/Hotnews

New wave of massive protests in Bucharest and other cities as Romanians show prime minister's resignation is not enough in wake of nightclub fire disaster

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Joi, 5 Nov 2015 English | Top News
Some 35,000 people joined another wave of protests against Romania's political class in Bucharest and other major cities across the country on Wednesday, showing that the resignation of prime minister Victor Ponta with his government and of a prominent mayor of a Bucharest district was not enough of a change. It was the second night of protests, sparked by public outrage in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed dozens and injured over 100 on Friday - an accident blamed ultimately on corruption and abuse in office.
Victor Ponta (foto arhiva)
Photo: Agerpres

Romanian PM Victor Ponta resigns: I'm "giving up my mandate" in wake of deadly nightclub fire and major street protests.

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Nov 2015 English | Top News
Romanian PM Victor Ponta announced on Wednesday he was giving up his mandate and the mandate of his government. He made the statement following a major march in Bucharest on Tuesday night, which saw 25,000 people protest his government and other authorities in the wake of a nightclub fire on Friday that killed 32 people and injured dozens of others.
  • UPDATE Following Ponta's announcement, both the Social Democrats and deputy PM Gabriel Oprea's UNPR party announced they would want to remain in government, but Oprea dismissed the possibility of him retaining a government job. The opposition Liberals said they wanted early elections.  New protests are planned for Wednesday evening.
  • UPDATE 2 President Iohannis said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that the resignation of the government came "way too late" and that people had to die for it to happen. And he said he would start consultations with political parties tomorrow or the day after tomorrow
Protest in memoria victimelor de la clubul Colectiv
Photo: Bogdan Dinca / corespondent HotNews.ro

VIDEO Major march against Romania's corrupted political class in Bucharest in wake of nightclub fire disaster that killed 32

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Nov 2015 English | Top News
Some 25,000 people marched through Bucharest on Tuesday evening in one of the most intense protests the capital of Romania has seen in years. The march, organized mainly on social media, came in the wake of a fire disaster that killed 32 nightclub goers on Friday night, an accident that many have come to blame on widespread corruption. Throngs of people took to the streets in what became a protest against the whole political class.
"They die, you leave" sign at Colectiv march on Sunday
Photo: Mihai Ivascu / Hotnews.ro

The Bucharest Colectiv Club fire disaster: Public outrage as #corruptionkills

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Luni, 2 Nov 2015 English | Top News
"Coruptia ucide" is the Romanian wording for "corruption kills". The hashtag #coruptiaucide is becoming ubiquitous in Romanian social media as outrage engulfs the public in the wake of the bloodiest event the country has seen in 20 years: the fire that killed 30 and injured at least 180 in a Bucharest nightclub on Friday. As sadness turned to fury, the causes of the Colectiv Club incident are channeling people's anger towards authorities in a country where corruption is leaving people hopeless despite the ongoing, unprecedented fight against it.
Incendiul din clubul Colectiv
Photo: Facebook

Two Spaniards, one Italian wounded in Bucharest tragedy that saw 27 killed, up to 200 injured in music club fire

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 31 Oct 2015 English | Top News
At least 27 people, mostly teenagers and young adults, died in a fire that engulfed a music venue in Bucharest on Friday night, while other up to 200 people were injured, according to official figures available by noon on Saturday. Two Spanish citizens and an Italian were identified among the injured, according to Romania's Intelligence Service. The fire took place during a concert as fireworks were let off to mark the launch of a rock band's album.
Liviu Dragnea
Photo: psd.ro

Romania's governing party elects leader with crushing 97% of votes

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 12 Oct 2015 English | Top News
The man who has led Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) for the past several months, Liviu Dragnea, was elected party president officially with a crushing 97% of votes from party members on Sunday, according to official figures announced today. Dragnea was the sole runner for the top seat within the party, in a mock election which, according to PSD figures, saw more than 400,000 party members go out and vote on a bleak, rainy Sunday.
Victor Ponta (foto arhiva)
Photo: Agerpres

UPDATE Censure motion against Ponta government fails in Romanian Parliament. Thousands protest against prime minister in Bucharest

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 29 Sept 2015 English | Top News
The Romanian Parliament debates on Tuesday a Liberal-supported censure motion against the Social Democratic-led government of PM Victor Ponta, who the opposition says is a "compromised prime minister". Should the Parliament pass the motion, the government is dismissed, but the Liberals have very little chance of success as it failed to secure a majority on the vote. Meanwhile, thousands of people defied heavy rain in Bucharest in the morning to join a protest against Victor Ponta.
UPDATE The censure motion has failed, with only 207 votes in favor of the total 275 needed for it to pass
Refugiati in tabara de la Kanjiza
Photo: Bogdan Dinca / corespondent HotNews.ro

​PHOTO FEATURE Refugees: a journey through Serbia

de Bogdan Dinca / corespondent HotNews.ro
Joi, 17 Sept 2015 English | Top News
It’s Monday. After a six hours' drive, I get to the border. The customs officer has me open the trunk, asks me where I am headed to and bursts out laughing when I tell him about the Belgrade refugees. I am puzzled by his reaction, still he waves at me to keep going. The Serbian customs officer, on the other hand, is in no mood for jokes, he gives me a serious look, straight into my eyes, for half a minute or so. I suddenly feel guilty and try not to blink, he might just allow me to go on. He wins though, I am the first one to blink. I expect he’ll order me to take everything out of the car, but he suddenly turns his back at me without another word. I mumble a very timid "can I go now?" , but no answer comes, so I cautiously drive on.
Gard la granita Ungariei cu Romania
Photo: Hotnews

Disputes flare as Hungary prepares to build anti-refugee barbed wire fence along Romania border

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 15 Sept 2015 English | Top News
Bilateral relations between Romania and Hungary got tense on Tuesday as the government in Budapest announced plans to build a fence along the border with Romania, similar to that along the Serbian border aimed at putting a halt to the flow of migrants. The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest said it was a "politically incorrect gesture", while a top Hungarian officials accused the Romanian PM of extremist and false statements regarding Hungary's treatment of migrants.
Corneliu Vadim Tudor la vot
Photo: Agerpres

Most prominent radical nationalist in post-communist Romania Corneliu Vadim Tudor has died

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 15 Sept 2015 English | Top News
Corneliu Vadim Tudor, for a long time the notorious leader of radical nationalists in Romanian politics, died in a medical on Tuesday, news agency Mediafax has reported. Tudor, 65, was hospitalized on Monday morning following a heart attack. He died several hours after undergoing a surgical intervention.
Sorin Oprescu
Photo: Hotnews

Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu retained by anti-graft prosecutors on bribe taking charges

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Duminică, 6 Sept 2015 English | Top News
The mayor of Romanian capital city Bucharest Sorin Oprescu was retained by anti-corruption prosecutors at midnight last night. He faces bribe taking charges. Early on Sunday, prosecutors from the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA), which has been pursuing a long series of high level corruption cases including ones related to the current PM and other top officials, accuse Oprescu of receiving 10% of the value of contracts various companies signed with his City Hall or Hall-controlled public authorities.
Liviu Dragnea
Photo: Agerpres

Romania's governing Social Democrats change indicted leader Victor Ponta with sentenced "interim" president Liviu Dragnea​

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 23 Iul 2015 English | Top News
​The leadership of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) elected their former executive president as new "interim" president of the party, a seat held for the past several years by prime minister Victor Ponta. Ponta stepped down as party president "temporarily" earlier this month because of his being indicted in a corruption case. So the PSD leaders convened to name a replacement and found it in Liviu Dragnea, an influential member who has one big issue: he himself was not only indicted, by received a one-year suspended sentence in a corruption case, a sentence which he has appealed.
Klaus Iohannis
Photo: Administratia Prezidentiala

Romanian President, Government in major clash as new fiscal code is sent back to Parliament

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 17 Iul 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis decided on Friday not to approve a new fiscal code that the government has been pushing hard and decided to sent it back for review in the Parliament. The president warned that the measures included in the new code, among which a series of tax cuts which were lauded by the business community, would have major effects on budget building for the upcoming years. The decision prompted harsh reactions from the prime minister, his finance minister and the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), with promises that the value added tax would be pushed through an emergency ordinance this year any way.
Victor Ponta
Photo: Facebook

UPDATE Romanian PM Victor Ponta says he withdraws from party leadership in wake of corruption case

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Duminică, 12 Iul 2015 English | Top News
Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta has announced that he decided to step down from the leadership of his Social Democratic Party (PSD) until he proves his innocence against the charges anti-graft prosecutors have issued against him. He made the statement weeks after the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) launched a graft investigation against him, prompting insisting calls - including President Klaus Iohannis' - for him to step down as head of government, which he has rejected so far.
UPDATE PSD interim president Rovana Plumb later today said Ponta did not resign, but stepped down temporarily as head of the party. She said Ponta's resignation as prime minister was out of the question as it would provoke a "major political crisis". And she said she would serve as interim until the next party congress, which is due next year.
Mihai Razvan Ungureanu
Photo: Hotnews

President Iohannis nominates former PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu back as head of Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 24 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has nominated Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, a politician who had served as prime minister and as head of the country's Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), to head SIE again, the Presidency announced on Wednesday. The Parliament is due to make a final decision in this regard. If confirmed in office, Ungureanu would replace interim SIE head Silviu Predoiu. An influential opposition senator of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) already reacted by saying that PSD would oppose such an "illegal" nomination.

It's official: Romania to host US heavy military equipment and NATO units

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 23 Iun 2015 English | Top News
The United States will pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in six CEE states including Romania, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced, as quoted by Reuters. The news comes as the Romanian Parliament also approved on Tuesday a request by President Klaus Iohannis to allow the establishment of a NATO Force Integration Unit and a Multinational Commandment on Romanian territory. The request was approved unanimously. The Parliament also approved a new National Defense Strategy proposed by President Iohannis, which sees Russia as main threat to Romanian security.
Gabriel Oprea
Photo: AGERPRES

Romania President Iohannis names controversial politician Gabriel "National Interest" Oprea as interim replacement for PM Victor Ponta

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 23 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis signed a decree on Monday naming deputy PM Gabriel Oprea, a controversial politician with a shady past, as interim prime minister. Oprea thus takes the reins of the government as PM Victor Ponta, facing corruption charges, has left the country for a knee intervention in a Turkish hospital, sparking outrage back home.

Romania government survives censure motion

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 12 Iun 2015 English | Top News
​The Romanian Government led by Victor Ponta survived on Friday a censure motion submitted in the Parliament by the opposition, which had accused Ponta of undermining voting by Romanian abroad in presidential elections last year.
Ioan Rus
Photo: captura Digi24

Romanian minister sparks outrage saying children of people choosing to work abroad become hooligans, wives turn "whores"

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 11 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romanian Transport minister Ioan Rus sparked outrage both at home and abroad as he told a TV news channel on Wednesday night that people leaving for work abroad may get a 1,500 euro salary - but for this money their children become hooligans and their wives turn "whores". Following political and public outcry to his statements, he said on Thursday that he might ask the prime minister to accept his resignation.
UPDATE PM Victor Ponta announced on Facebook on Thursday afternoon that he accepted Rus' resignation.

UPDATE Romanian President, Embassies take stand as House of Deputies defend PM Ponta against inquiry on corruption charges

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 9 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and the Netherlands Embassy to Bucharest reacted harshly on Tuesday after the House of Deputies voted earlier today to reject a call by anti-graft prosecutors to allow an inquiry against prime minister Victor Ponta, who faces corruption charges including conflict of interest. The UK Embassy also made a statement defending the importance of the fight against corruption and the need for functional judicial and law enforcement institutions in Romania. Iohannis took the toughest stand on the issue so far, calling again for Ponta to resign.
Victor Ponta a fost la DNA la inceputul lunii iunie
Photo: Stirile ProTV

Romanian deputies build wall around PM Victor Ponta against criminal inquiry on corruption charges

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 9 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romania's House of Deputies voted on Tuesday morning to reject a request by the prosecutor general to approve a criminal inquiry against prime minister Victor Ponta, who faces corruption charges including conflict of interest. Ponta thus gets rid of the criminal inquiry for conflict of interest. The deputies' verdict comes despite a huge scandal sparked by Ponta when he refused to step down as head of government following the National Anti-corruption Department decision last week to launch an investigation against him on multiple corruption accounts.
Protest anti-Ponta 4
Photo: Hotnews

Romanian PM Ponta, highest ranking official facing corruption charges, openly threatens opposition as he refuses to resign. Deputies due to vote on request to open criminal inquiry against him

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 8 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romanian PM Victor Ponta, who on Sunday said he refused to resign in the wake of a decision by the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) to open a criminal inquiry against him on corruption charges, threatened the opposition on Monday and suggested he would use his parliamentary majority to resist justice pressure. His threats come as members of the House of Deputies are due to vote Tuesday morning on a DNA request to approve the opening of the criminal inquiry against him.

Victor Ponta's future in the government following corruption inquiry: three scenarios

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 5 Iun 2015 English | Top News
Romania's National Anticorruption Department (DNA) announced on Friday it had opened a criminal inquiry against PM Victor Ponta over actions he made when serving as deputy and as prime minister. DNA's announcement opens three scenarios for the Social Democratic head of government: resignation, his suspension by the president, or maintaining status quo.
Victor Ponta, la DNA
Photo: captura Digi24

BREAKING Romanian PM Victor Ponta says he is suspect in corruption case - UPDATE. DNA: Ponta placed under criminal inquiry over false documents, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering. President Iohannis demands Ponta's resignation

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 5 Iun 2015 English | Top News
PM Victor Ponta has become the highest ranking Romanian official who has been put under criminal inquiry under corruption-related charges while in office. Ponta was at the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) headquarters on Friday morning. He made no statement on his arriving at the DNA offices and there is no public information about the purpose of his going there.
UPDATE 1 Victor Ponta said on Friday he was a suspect in a case related to his activity as a lawyer in 2007-2008 and for conflict of interest over his naming fellow lawyer Dan Sova as minister in his government.
UPDATE 2 Asked on his leaving the DNA offices if he would resign, Ponta said: We don't do politics at the DNA, we do politics in Parliament
UPDATE 3 The DNA issued a press release announcing that anti-graft prosecutors ordered a criminal inquiry against PM Ponta for 17 cases of false documents under private signature, complicity to tax evasion, money laundering.
UPDATE 4 President Iohannis said in a statement on Friday that he calls for Victor Ponta's resignation
UPDATE 5 For now, PM Ponta said on Facebook on Friday that only the Parliament - who named him as prime minister - can dismiss him as head of government.
Daniel Constantin Horodniceanu
Photo: 7est.ro

Romania President Iohannis signs decree naming controversial prosecutor at helm of key body fighting organized crime

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 19 Mai 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has signed a decree naming a prosecutor noticed especially for his lack of results as head of the country's key body in charge with fighting organized crime, DIICOT. He named Daniel-Constantin Horodniceanu as chief prosecutor of DIICOT more than a month after he was nominated for the job by Justice minister Robert Cazanciuc.
Airbus Helicopter AS332 C1e
Photo: airbus.com

Airbus Helicopters starts construction works in Ghimbav, Romania plant​

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 18 Mai 2015 English | Top News
​Airbus Helicopters has started construction works at a Super Puma MK 1 assembling plant in Ghimbav, Romania, according to Buna Ziua Brasov newspaper which says investment will rise to 40 million euro. The first civilian helicopter is expected to be produced there in 2007, with military use ones due to be bult starting a year later.

Romania Development minister and key leader of governing Social Democrats Liviu Dragnea resigns following suspended prison sentence in referendum fraud case

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 15 Mai 2015 English | Top News
Romania's Development and Administration minister Liviu Dragnea, who on Friday received a suspended prison sentence of 1 year over fraud in the 2012 referendum to dismiss ex-President Traian Basescu, announced at noon today that he submitted his resignation from the Victor Ponta Government despite he considered himself not guilty. Dragnea claimed the sentence set a dangerous precedent that might threaten democracy, while PM Ponta supported him in stating he was not content with the decision. How can one campaign without urging people to vote? asked Ponta, despite Dragnea being sentenced for using his political influence to acquire the necessary referendum turnout threshold by illegal means.
Liviu Dragnea
Photo: Agerpres

Top Romanian minister Liviu Dragnea receives suspended prison sentence of 1 year for fraud in 2012 referendum to dismiss ex-president Basescu

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 15 Mai 2015 English | Top News
One of the most prominent members of the Romanian Government led by Victor Ponta, Development and Administration minister Liviu Dragnea, received a suspended prison sentence of one year on Friday in a case in which he is accused of fraud in a 2012 referendum to dismiss then-president Traian Basescu. The sentence can be appealed both by Dragnea and prosecutors.
Convoiul armatei SUA, cu steaguri romane si americane, in drum spre Ploiesti
Photo: HotNews.ro / Victor Cozmei

​VIDEO/PHOTO "The Cavalry March" - the passing of US armoured vehicles and helicopters through Romanian villages and sunny thristle fields of Baragan

Joi, 14 Mai 2015 English | Top News
"They're waving as if they've been waiting for the Americans their whole life", says a partially serious fellow reporter. From up on top of a Stryker armoured vehicle, one of the many in a miles-long convoy of US war machines, it comes easy to capture on camera the smiles and hails of people on the road side. Rarely would one see such a show of force - in Romania, it may only be the national day of December 1 when some bigger display of power is on display. Over 500 US troops, 80 combat vehicles - mostly Stryker transporters - accompanied by two Apache helicopters - crossed the distance between Mihail Kogalniceanu base in SE Romania all the way to Ploiesti on Wednesday and are due to move on to Brasov and the Cincu base in central Romania on Thursday, for one of the largest multinational NATO exercises this year.

Group of Romanian deputies facing legal problems attempt abusive change of Criminal Procedure Code to counter major anti-graft offensive

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 5 Mai 2015 English | Top News
Ten Romanian deputies, most of whom belong to PM Victor Ponta's Social Democratic Party, have submitted a bill to change the Criminal Procedure Code in such a way that prosecutors currently involved in a major push against corruption would be left without key legal tools of investigation and even risk prison sentences, as legal experts have explained to HotNews.ro. Half of the initiators are themselves facing criminal investigations and indictments, including PM Ponta's own godson. And one of them has already received a sentence for conflict of interests.
George Maior
Photo: Agerpres

Romania president makes debatable nominations of ambassadors to US, Germany​

de Ed. Staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 30 Apr 2015 English | Top News
​Romania President Klaus Iohannis has made a series of controversial nominations for key embassies abroad, including Berlin and Washington D.C.. He nominated George Maior, who recently left the helm of the Romanian Intelligence Service after eight years in office, as Ambassador to the United States. And he also nominated Emil Hurezeanu, a veteran journalist of German citizenship who has just received a Romanian one back, as Ambassador to Germany.

Russia Ambassador to Romania attacks opinion website and newspaper, calls authors "boors". Contributors.ro website, authors react

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Duminică, 29 Mar 2015 English | Top News
​An opinion article published by Romanian opinion and debate website Contributors.ro, called "The fascist lure of Comrade Putin", which was re-published by newspaper Romania libera, has sparked a harsh reaction from Russia Ambassador to Bucharest Oleg Malginov. In a press release published on the embassy website, Olginov claimed that "any boor having a say in the pages of central [Romanian] newspapers is not necessary at all". He also said that he was "surprised and disappointed" to read the article and that once he did so "the informative portal Contributors.ro and Romania libera newspapers have ceased to exist for me as media outlets worthy of respect".
Darius Valcov
Photo: gov.ro

Sources: ​Three paintings signed "Picasso" allegedly hidden along dozens of others, found by prosecutors in graft inquiry against former Romanian Finance minister Darius Valcov

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 27 Mar 2015 English | Top News
Former Romanian Finance minister Darius Valcov, who is subject of a major corruption inquiry, is said to have hidden over 90 paintings, including three by Picasso, according to judicial sources quoted by one local news agency and one TV channel on Thursday. The allegations appear days after prosecutors said a stash of US dollars, bars of gold and paintings including one signed "Renoir", all appearing to belong to Valcov, had been found in a safe box away from his home. Valcov, who served as Finance minister until very recently, was placed under house arrest on Thursday.

Romanian MPs once more save fellow senator from arrest on graft charges, but leave minister at prosecutors' hands

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 25 Mar 2015 English | Top News
Romanian MPs let fellow senator Dan Sova, a former minister, dodge arrest under graft charges on Wednesday, while approving a prosecutor's demand that they approve the arrest of another top politician, Darius Valcov, who recently resigned as Finance minister as he has been investigated for bribe taking and other abuses when he served as mayor of Slatina city a few years ago.
  • UPDATE 1 President Klaus Iohannis said with its decision in Sova's case the Parliament blocked a request of the judiciary once again. The US and UK embassies also spoke out that nobody should be above the law and that the parliamentary immunity should not be used abusively
  • UPDATE 2 Ex-minister Valcov was retained by anti-graft prosecutors in the late afternoon on Wednesday
Horia Georgescu
Photo: Hotnews

Head of key Romanian anti-graft body Horia Georgescu retained in corruption probe

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Luni, 16 Mar 2015 English | Top News
Prosecutors from Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) retained the head of the National Integrity Agency (ANI), another major anti-corruption body, after lengthy hearings on Monday. Judiciary sources told HotNews.ro that ANI head Horia Georgescu is suspected of abuse in office before his term at the helm of the Agency, which is key in keeping the wealth of Romanian public officials under scrutiny.

Romanian Finance minister Darius Valcov accused of taking EUR 2 mln. bribe when he served as mayor

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 14 Mar 2015 English | Top News
Romanian anti-graft prosecutors have launched a criminal inquiry against Romanian Finance minister Darius Valcov under charges of traffic of influence, while he is suspected of having taking bribes to favor a businessman. National Anti-corruption Department prosecutors accuse him of having received some EUR 2 million when he served as mayor of Slatina city in 2010-2013.
Corina Cretu si Eugen Teodorovici
Photo: HotNews / Dan Popescu

Commissioner Corina Cretu uses Parable of Talents to prompt Romania use financial instruments in support of SMEs

de Editorial Staff HotNews.ro
Vineri, 13 Mar 2015 English | Top News
​European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu used Biblical teachings in a conference in Bucharest on Thursday to push the Romanian Government into giving proper attention to and accepting the importance of European financial instruments to support SMEs. He warned Romanian minister for European Funds Eugen Teodorovici that, in the words of Matthew, "from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away". For his part, Teodorovici said that his government was working to create a state-controlled development bank to offer its own financial instruments to SMEs and other beneficiaries, in order to access European funds.

Romania says it regrets blunder after Foreign minister gave German counterpart a brochure with German flag printed on France map. Gift initiative belonged to local news agency

de Staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 10 Mar 2015 English | Top News
​German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier received a curious gift from his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu during his trip to Bucharest on Monday: a brochure on which the flags of Romania and Germany stood side by side - but while the Romanian flag was printed on a map of Romania, that of Germany was printed on a map of... France. The Romanian minister felt compelled to send the deepest regrets for the blunder personally to Steinmeier, who played down the incident.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Photo: Photothek - Thomas Kohler

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier: Germany ready to contribute to creation of a NATO command center in Romania / Plus: sanctions and Ukraine, interests of German companies

de Cristian Pantazi, adapt. C.I. HotNews.ro
Luni, 9 Mar 2015 English | Top News
German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has given an exclusive interview with HotNews.ro one day before his visit to Bucharest today, which comes just weeks after Romanian President Iohannis visited Berlin. Steinmeier says an important issue he would discuss with top Romanian officials will be to identify joint initiatives for stronger cooperation between the two countries. He said Germany was ready to take part in the creation of units to integrate NATO forces and of a multinational command center in Romania. Regarding German companies active in Romania, he said the extension of infrastructure, better legal safety and fair public tenders would be advantages for Romania in attracting German investments. He also spoke of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, saying it was wrong to believe that sanctions or weaponry deliveries would be a remedy in the Ukrainian conflict.
Dan Tapalaga
Photo: Hotnews

​OPINION The major issues with President Iohannis' nomination of politician Eduard Hellvig as head of Romanian Intelligence Service

de Dan Tapalaga, transl. C.I. HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 21 Feb 2015 English | Top News
Information obtained by HotNews.ro shows with little doubt that Romania's new President Klaus Iohannis has not consulted with the US partners of the country before making one of his most important moves at the start of his term: the nomination of a new head at the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) this week. The Americans were abruptly informed just prior to the official announcement that Iohannis' nominee for SRI director would be politician Eduard Hellvig, as confirmed by both domestic and foreign sources. So what he did not consult with the US - isn't Romania an independent, sovereign country? Why should the US or any other partner give their blessing before hand? Well, this is not about a foreign veto, but about a basic gesture of courtesy to the strategic partners of Romania.

President Iohannis proposes Liberal politician, supporter of US-Germany-Romania security axis, to head Romanian Intelligence Service

de C.I. HotNews.ro
Joi, 19 Feb 2015 English | Top News
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced on Thursday that he proposed Liberal politician Eduard Hellvig for heading the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), saying he was "the warranty for a European road of SRI". The seat of director at Romania's top intelligence service was left vacant after the previous director, George Maior, resigned in late January. Eduard Hellvig has been serving as a member of the European Parliament after he served as a minister in the Victor Ponta-led coalition government. He is a proponent of a stronger security collaboration with Germany than with Britain.
Sebastian Ghita
Photo: Hotnews

Anti-graft prosecutors investigate case involving business owned by Romanian PM Victor Ponta's family. Ponta's crony Sebastian Ghita summoned as "suspect"

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Marţi, 17 Feb 2015 English | Top News
Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors on Tuesday launched raids at 14 addresses in the cities of Bucharest and Ploiesti in a criminal case linked to suspected acts of corruption and EU fund fraud, the anti-graft body DNA has announced. According to judicial sources, targeted firms include a company established by the mother of Romanian PM Victor Ponta, which is now partially owned by Alexandra Hertanu, Ponta's sister. Also on Tuesday, Ponta's brother-in-law Iulian Hertanu, prominent politician and businessman Sebastian Ghita - one of Ponta's cronies - showed up for testimonies at DNA Ploiesti.

Romania anti-graft prosecutors call for preventive arrest of former Romanian minister, presidential candidate Elena Udrea in multiple corruption cases

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 Feb 2015 English | Top News
Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) requested approval on Wednesday afternoon for the preventive arrest of Elena Udrea, a prominent politician best known for her serving as Development and Tourism minister in 2009-2012 and for running in the 2014 presidential election, when she was supported by then-president Traian Basescu. DNA requested approval for her arrest in a case in which she is accused of bribe taking in the organisation of a sports event when she served as minister. Shortly after the announcement, DNA requested another approval to arrest Udrea in two separate cases, charging her with bribe taking and traffic of influence.
Adrian Sarbu, retinut de procurori
Photo: Agerpres

Top Romanian media owner and former CEO of Central European Media Enterprises Adrian Sarbu retained under tax evasion, money laundering-related charges

de Costin Ionescu HotNews.ro
Marţi, 3 Feb 2015 English | Top News
One of Romania's most powerful media owners, Adrian Sarbu, best known for his several years at the helm of listed international company Central European Media Enterprises, was retained for 24 hours on Monday under charges of abetting tax evasion, money laundering and embezzlement. The charges are related to a major tax evasion case involving the Romanian company he owns, Mediafax Group. Sarbu rejects the charges, claiming the case was fabricated against him by prime minister Victor Ponta and Ponta's crony Sebastian Ghita, an influential and controversial politician and businessman.
Elena Udrea
Photo: Hotnews

Former Romanian minister, presidential candidate Elena Udrea denounces interim head of intelligence service, speaks of links between services, shady business, politics and media

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Sâmbătă, 31 Ian 2015 English | Top News
Elena Udrea, a prominent politician who used to serve as Development minister years ago and ran unsuccessfully for presidency in 2014, shocked Romanian politics on Friday with an interview for HotNews.ro in which she made a series of allegations linking the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) with politicians, influential businessmen accused of corruption and controversial media owners. She came forward with the statements a day after she was placed under criminal inquiry under charges of money laundering and false wealth statements.

Former Economy minister Adriean Videanu retained by Romania anti-graft prosecutors

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 29 Ian 2015 English | Top News
Former Economy minister Adriean Videanu on Thursday was retained by Romania anti-graft prosecutors under charges of complicity to abuse in office, according to judicial sources quoted by news agency Agerpres. He left the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) in handcuffs late on Thursday.
Elena Udrea la DNA
Photo: Agerpres

Influential former minister Elena Udrea placed under criminal investigation by Romania anti-graft prosecutor

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Joi, 29 Ian 2015 English | Top News
Romania anti-graft prosecutors on Thursday launched a criminal investigation against influential former minister and 2014 presidential candidate Elena Udrea, under charges of money laundering and false wealth statements. The charges are related to her wealth, which prosecutors linked to her former husband, a low-profile businessman who is facing charges in two major National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) investigations.
George Maior
Photo: Agerpres

Head of Romania intelligence service resigns

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 27 Ian 2015 English | Top News
The head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), George Maior, submitted his resignation on Tuesday and President Klaus Iohannis accepted it, the Presidency has announced, failing to announce a possible replacement for Maior. The resignation comes a week after Maior criticized harshly a Constitutional Court decision to declare a cyber security draft law unconstitutional and the Court president denounced pressure from SRI.

Former ministers sentenced in strategic privatisation case

de Ed. staff HotNews.ro
Marţi, 27 Ian 2015 English | Top News
A former Economy minister and a former Communications minister, who served in the Romanian Government in mid-2000's, received prison sentences in a major case related to strategic privatizations at the time on Tuesday. Romania's High Court sentenced ex-Economy minister Codrut Seres to 4 years and 8 months, whil ex-Communications minister Zsolt Nagy was sentenced to 4 years. The ruling is final.
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.
updating
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.
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 (foto arhiva)
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 (foto arhiva)
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.

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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