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UPDATE PM Emil Boc announces Government steps down to "ease social tension" in Romania. President Basescu names Justice minister Catalin Predoiu interim PM Romanian PM Emil Boc announced on Monday he and his government would step down in an attempt to "ease the social tension" and avoid interfering with the "economic stability of the country". He urged politicians to help a new Government go through Parliament approval as fast as possible and recalled that both the European Commission and the IMF expect Romania to have a higher economic growth than the Euro zone this year.UPDATE President Traian Basescu has named incumbent Justice minister Catalin Predoiu as interim prime minister following Emil Boc's resignation. Predoiu will serve as PM until a new government is formed.
Romania census: Population stands at 1966 level of 19 million people, down 2.6 million as compared to 2002 census Romania has a stable population of 19.042 million people forming 7.1 million households, preliminary results of a census which took place in autumn 2011 show. According to National Statistics Institute data presented on Thursday, there are some 8.5 million homes and 5.1 million buildings in Romania.
Romanian High Court sentences ex-PM Adrian Nastase to two years in corruption case Romanian High Court of Justice magistrates gave former prime minister Adrian Nastase on Monday a 2-year sentence and stripped him of certain rights in a corruption case known locally as the "Quality Trophy" file. In this case, Nastase, who served as head of the Romanian government between 2000 and 2004, was charged of supporting his electoral campaign through funds collected in a "Quality Trophy" event organized by the a public institution. The sentence can be appealed.UPDATE Adrian Nastase said on Monday he would appeal the verdict and that he was sure "things will be corrected on appeal". He called the verdict a "political decision, a dirty decision" and referred to "rumors" that head judge Ionut Matei "had meetings with representatives of the National Anti-corruption Department", the body which launched the corruption investigation against him.
New Foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu signed into office Romanian President Traian Basescu signed on Tuesday the decree by which Foreign minister Teodor Baconschi is dismissed from office and the decree by which Cristian Diaconescu is named head of the Romanian diplomacy, the presidential administration has announced. The new minister was sworn in on Tuesday evening.
VIDEO French citizen caught stealing from old woman's purse in downtown Bucharest A French citizen has been arrested after he was caught on camera when stealing from an old Romanian woman's purse in a supermarket in Unirii Square, downtown Bucharest. The incident took place late afternoon on Saturday, January 21 and was filmed by the supermarket cameras.
VIDEO ​PHOTO Thousands join anti-presidential, anti-government protests in Bucharest. UPDATE Violent outbursts as demonstrations came to an end Thousands of people were protesting against current president Traian Basescu and his Democratic-Liberal government in central Bucharest on Thursday evening. Two protests started in the afternoon - one organized by the opposition Social Democrats and Liberals (the USL union) at the Arcul de Triumf square, and another, popular protest in Universitate Square. While the political protest ended at 7 p.m., many of its estimated 7,000 participants moved to Universitate, where HotNews.ro reporters estimated some 2,000 people were present by 8 p.m..UPDATE The protests concluded about midnight, shortly after a series of confrontations between police and violent protesters took place. The incidents started at about 11.00 p.m., when gendarmes responded with a strong push after several young men, apparently football supporters, provoked them. The gendarmes eventually cleared the Universitate Square of protesters. Meanwhile, a US government official quoted by the AFP urged Romanian authorities and protesters to show restraint from violence.
Bucharest braces for Opposition protest as demonstrations continue ​Hundreds of people from several cities across Romania were on their way to Bucharest on Thursday for demonstrations to be organized by the Opposition parties later in the day. It is the first official political meeting after popular protests erupted last weekend, peaking with major street violence on Sunday.
​VIDEO Bucharest witnesses most violent street protests since the nineties Romania enters a fourth day of anti-government and anti-presidential demonstrations after a weekend marked by the most intense street violence the country has seen since the miners protests in Bucharest in the nineties. Peaceful protests took place in many cities across Romania these days, but only the capital city saw a wave of violence, with HotNews.ro recorded videos showing dozens of violent football fans coming to confront the special police forces deployed in the city centre.
Security improved at Romanian zoo following tiger escape. As tiger was shot dead, mayor says he is pleased with actions taken in the case The mayor of Romanian city of Sibiu, where a tiger escaped from zoo earlier this week, was quoted by the media on Thursday as saying that he was please with the actions taken to solve the situation despite describing them as chaotic. Mayor Klaus Johannis ordered measures to improve security at the zoo following the escape of the tiger - which was eventually shot in a forest near the city.
Romania Parliament passes 2012 budget with 239 votes against 168 Romanian MPs adopted on Thursday the 2012 state budget law with 239 votes in favor and 168 against. While prime minister Emil Boc welcomed the vote noting that it was "the first time in the past 20 years when a budget with no electoral connotations is voted, the opposition protested saying the budget would not meet key objectives and maintains the gap between Romania and other European countries.
Romanian High Court acquits ex-PM Adrian Nastase in major corruption case Romania's High Court of Justice acquitted ex-PM Adrian Nastase in a major case in which he, a former aide and a former head of the national body dealing with money laundering were charged with acts of corruption. The decision is not final and can be appealed. Anti-graft prosecutors have demanded a 3-year suspended term sentence for Adrian Nastase in the case, commonly known in Romania as the "Aunt Tamara" case.
HotNews.ro monitoring report on major corruption cases in Romania. Total delays in 27 cases amount to 92 years 92 years, 7 months and 28 days - this is the total amount of delays in 27 major corruption cases which have been monitored by HotNews.ro. Almost a year and a half since the Romanian-language version of HotNews.ro launched a section dedicated to such major corruption cases, a statistical report on the results were presented on Thursday during a conference organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, in the presence of most judicial institutions in Romania and key ambassadors to the country.
Evaluating the impact on Romania of measures adopted by EU leaders on Wednesday night ​A calmer period for financial markets and an assurance that foreign banks will not withdraw capital from subsidiaries on the outskirts of the euro empire are the two key advantages Romania has following the deal of EU leaders on the set of crisis measures. But major question marks persist among authorities and business people in Bucharest. What do the measures decided forcedly in Brussels on Wednesday mean in real terms and what are the key issues of uncertainty following the euphoria of the moment?
Romanian president Basescu on European Council decision on bank recapitalization: Guarantee that subsidiaries of banking groups maintain capital level Romanian President informed the Romanian public in a press conference on Wednesday night that European leaders who had convened for marathon talks adopted the declaration on bank recapitalization. He used the occasion to underline that all states received guarantees that subsidiaries belonging to banks from other countries will have their capital level maintained for the coming years.
IMF mission head Jeffrey Franks on possible cut in Romania social contributions: There will be very limited room in the 2012 budget for new initiatives IMF mission head Jeffrey Franks has told HotNews.ro that Romanian "growth in 2012 will be lower than we had previously expected due to the effects of problems in the rest of the European Union." On a possible cut in social contributions, a measure that the Romanian business environment has been pressing for, Franks said "there will be very limited room in the 2012 budget for new initiatives". He also sanctioned the Romanian government progress when it comes to arrears and the reform of state companies.
Question marks about peculiar details in US basketball player Chauncey Hardy's death. Underworld clan's links with Romanian officials Several days after the violent incident in which US basketball player Hardy Chauncey died in the Romanian city of Giurgiu, details about the case are yet to be cleared. Official reports of the police and prosecutors say he was beaten by a single person, but reports by local officials and journalists speak of several aggressors. Links of Romanian politicians and public authorities to a Giurgiu underworld clan which is apparently involved in the case have also emerged.
US basketball player Chauncey Hardy killed because he put his cap on girl's head. Inquiries ongoing ​American basketball player Chauncey Hardy was beaten to death in Romanian city of Giurgiu on Saturday because he put his cap on a girl's head in a club that night, prosecutors investigating the case said on Monday. The victim - Hardy - was thrown to the floor and hit his head some 40 cm away from the place he was hit, according to the file. The case caused two investigations and an uproar among the public at large, considering the involvement of local mob personalities in Giurgiu.
US Ambassador to Bucharest announces possible new agreement on F-16 fighter planes acquisition: a Romania-Croatia-Bulgaria joint plan for new planes US Ambassador to Bucharest, Mark Gitenstein, said on Thursday that Romanian President Traian Basescu discussed the possibility of Romania acquiring F-16 fighter planes during his visit to Washington earlier this week. The main contact on the issue was the one with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the major news is that there was a working plan in this regard involving Croatia and Bulgaria.
Romania President's visit to Washington leads to key missile shield accord, strategic partnership declaration. Basescu: Romania's security will reach its highest level ever A deal with Washington for the deployment of the US missile shield in Romania, once applied, will improve Romania's security to the highest level in the history of the country, President Traian Basescu said upon his return from the United States on Wednesday. During his trip to Washington, which resulted in the adoption of a joint statement on a Strategic Partnership for the 21 Century and the signing of the accord on the missile shield deployment in Romania, he held talks with President Barack Obama, who intervened during Basescu's scheduled meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden.
UPDATE Romanian President Traian Basescu met Barack Obama in Oval Office on Tuesday Romanian President Traian Basescu met US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Tuesday, according to Romanian TV news reports. Realitatea TV broadcast images of the to heads of state in the late afternoon. Traian Basescu left for a visit to the US on Tuesday morning, but the Romanian presidential administration had not mentioned anything about a possible meeting with Obama. It only announced the visit is aimed at signing bilateral accords.UPDATE The meeting between Traian Basescu and Barack Obama lasted about 25 minutes, as a B1 TV news channel correspondent to the US reported.

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