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OPINION ​A cry of helplessness 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 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 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 "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.
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 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.
US Ambassador to Romania says he is "concerned about any attempt to threaten" independence of Romania's democratic institutions "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.
OPINION The crooks’ revolution begins. The assault day 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.
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" 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"​ 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 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 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 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" A group of 612 top Romanian researchers have published a letter of protest about a recent decision by Romanian authorities to suspend the access of Romanian universities and researchers to important electronic collections of scientific journals and data bases, according to a Contributors.ro report. The move, they say, leads to the isolation of the Romanian research community to internationals scientific information.
Romanian PM Victor Ponta dismisses accusations of plagiarism, says President Basescu is behind them Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta dismissed accusations of plagiarism in the case of his his PhD thesis in statements he made on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. He said he was ready to stand before any commission to show the allegations were baseless and that he believed President Traian Basescu was behind the appearance of the accusations in Nature magazine.
Nature magazine: Romanian PM Victor Ponta accused of plagiarism. FAZ compares Ponta to Hungarian ex-president Pall Schmitt and former German Defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttemberg ​Nature magazine reports that Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta is accused of plagiarism for his PhD thesis in law, which was published in 2003. "Nature has seen documents compiled by an anonymous whistle-blower indicating that more than half of Ponta’s 432-page, Romanian-language thesis on the functioning of the International Criminal Court consists of duplicated text", Nature writes. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also published an article on the alleged act of plagiarism by the head of the Romanian Government.
Populist party candidate wins town hall in Romania town due to host US missile shield components A candidate for Romanian populist party Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) was elected mayor in Deveselu, a town which is due to host elements of the US missile shield. Ion Aliman, a ship captain, won 54% of the votes, defeating the incumbent mayor, a Social Democrat.
Mayor under arrest comes first in race for a new term in Romania penitentiary town The mayor of a town on the outskirts of Bucharest, Jilava, best known for hosting a major penitentiary, comes first in the race for a new term in office, despite being under arrest. Mayor Adrian Mladin, charged with corruption, is the candidate with the most votes after vote counting in 185 of a total of 215 sections in the town.
The unexpected changes and expected wins of Romania's local elections Romanians voted strongly in favor of the new governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) in local elections on Sunday, after years of Democratic Liberal (PDL) government which applied a long series of austerity measures but which, according to rivals, had lost its legitimacy. USL claimed a strong lead across the country with major wins in Bucharest and other cities, while here and there a close vote remains to be settled.
First official partial results in Romania local elections: Social Liberals lead with three times more mayors than Democratic Liberals Romania's central electoral office announced the first official partial results of the Sunday local elections on Monday morning. According to the preliminary results, the governing Social Liberal Union (USL) won 52% of votes for County Councils and County Council presidents, as compared to Democratic Liberal's (PDL) 13%, while the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) won 7% of the vote. For local councils, USL leads with 42.7% of the votes, PDL - 15.78%. USL also leads in the race for mayor terms with 52.27% against PDL's 15.8%.
Exit polls: Governing Social Liberal Union crushes opposition in Romania local elections​ Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL) crushed opposition Democratic Liberals (PDL) in local elections on Sunday. According to a nation-wide poll presented by Romanian news channel Romania TV as polling stations closed at 9 p.m., USL won 60% of the votes at national level, as compared to 11% for Democratic Liberals and 10% for the fringe, populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party. In Bucharest, 66% of the votes went for incumbent, USL-supported mayor Sorin Oprescu and only 16% for his main PDL challenger Silviu Prigoana.updating
Romanians show up in larger numbers than expected to vote in local elections on Sunday Close to 30 percent of Romanian voters showed up at polling stations across Romania to cast their ballots in local elections by 2 p.m. on Sunday. The figures for the first hours of voting seem significantly higher than during the 2008 local elections.UPDATE Voter turnout at 5 p.m. stood at 39.01% at national level, about 5 percentage points higher than in the 2008 local elections.

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