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UPDATE Romania Justice minister Tudorel Toader calls for dismissal of prosecutor general Augustin Lazar / PG hits back at attempts to "destabilize the Public Ministry"
Romania's Justice minister Tudorel Toader on Wednesday announced he launches the procedure to dismiss prosecutor general Augustin Lazar. The announcement comes after months of disputes between the two, which gained momentum after the dismissal of the chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi, earlier this year.UPDATE Reacting to the minister's announcement, Prosecutor General Lazar said on Wednesday evening that this was how the government answers to Venice Commission worries that the independence of Romanian prosecutors can be affected by procedures to dismiss them.
Russian Ambassador to Bucharest says Romania has become provider of destabilisation due to Deveselu base, political relations are modest but Russia is not to blame Russia's Ambassador to Bucharest Valery Kuzmin says in an interview that bilateral relations "could be a lot better" and his country was trying to move them forward. But he said in the interview given to Vestidinrusia.ro, an obscure website supporting Russian propaganda, that Romania has become a "provider of instabilitry and destabilisation in the region, because of the rockets in Deveselu" - the American-supported missile defense base in Southern Romania.
​New emergency ordinance raises serious issues in activity of anti-graft prosecutors An emergency ordinance related to changes to the Romanian justice system, which was adopted without prior analysis by the Romanian government on Monday, was published on Tuesday. Its publication revealed a series of serious issues that the prosecutor general and other magistrates say would affect the activity of anti-graft prosecutors. A key corruption case which may be affected by the newest measures would be the so-called Tel Drum case, which has been linked to the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea.
Romania government announces emergency ordinance on justice laws despite warnings Romania's Social Democratic (PSD) government on Monday morning adopted an emergency ordinance to "streamline" a series of changes to the justice laws. The move comes despite disquiet within the PSD over how the changes should look and despite warnings from outside the party over the possible effects of such an ordinance.
Romanian referendum on definition of family fails to come close to validation threshold - preliminary data ​​A referendum on changing the definition of family in the Romanian Constitution, seen by opponents as a politicised attack on gay rights, was bound to fail as preliminary data late on Sunday evening showed attendance was far from reaching the necessary threshold for poll validation. After 2 days of voting, by 7 p.m. on Sunday evening, only 18.87% of voters showed up at polling stations across the country, way below the 30% threshold needed for the referendum to pass.
Referendum: Romania votes in poll to change Constitutional definition of family amid increasing anti-gay propaganda, boycott calls and state-church collaboration
Some 19 million Romanians are invited to vote this weekend in a referendum aimed at changing the definition of family in the Constitution, so that same-sex marriages be prevented for good. It is one of the most divisive polls in the history of democratic Romania, with a high abstention rate expected as a good number of opponents of the change say they would boycott the politically charged vote. Warnings of potential electoral fraud intensified over the past week.
Romania governing party PSD faces internal revolt against leader Liviu Dragnea as challengers urge him to resign A group of prominent members of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) on Wednesday made available to the public a letter in which they call for the resignation of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea both as party head and as speaker of the House. They speak of a "crisis situation" and a need to avoid "international isolation" and urge the leadership of the party to discuss their request. For his part, Dragnea dismissed the move as a "game" in the benefit of intelligence services and President Klaus Iohannis.
Romanian Justice minister pushes local prosecutor Adina Florea for top job at National Anti-Corruption Directorate Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader has nominated Adina Florea, a prosecutor from the city of Constanta, for the chair of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), a key body in the fight against corruption. If accepted, Florea would take over a position previously held by Laura Codruta Kovesi, who has gained massive international support but also the hate of the governing Social Democrats.
Romania draws European Parliament attention again with riot police violence The plenary of the European Parliament will organise a debate in early October on the violence that flared at the massive anti-government protest in Bucharest on August 10 this year. The initiative of the debate belongs to the Greens, who have also called for a debate in February on the changes the governing coalition in Bucharest applied to the laws of justice.
Turkish teachers at school associated to Gulen movement expelled from Republic of Moldova A group of Romanian schools associated with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen announced on Thursday that six teachers of Turkish origin were retained "through violence" in the Republic of Moldova. Moldovan media also quoted the Service of Intelligence and Security (SIS) that seven foreign citizens, suspect of links to an Islamic group, had been expelled from the country. This comes as the Gulen movement has been the target of repeated attacks of the Turkish authoritarian regime of Recep Erdogan especially since the failed coup d'etat in 2016.
Romanian Foreign minister Melescanu reacts to critical EU Commissioner, says Romania remains pro-European ​Romanian Foreign minister Teodor Melescanu reacted on Thursday to accusations made by EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who has said Romania, Poland, Hungary and Italy were acting to weaken the European Union. Melescanu said that the statement is not covered by facts and thar Romania remains one of the most pro-European EU member states.
​Top Bundestag official Krichbaum says Romanian officials' derailments inflict serious damage on German-Romanian relations / Romania's Presidency of the EU Council seems to fail before it even starts / German investors deterred The recent derailments of two top officials of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) inflict serious damage on German-Romanian relations and the lack of action by the Romanian government in this regard means it accepts them, says the chairman of the EU Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag, Gunther Krichbaum, in answers to HotNews.ro questions. He says he Romanian presidency of the EU Council next year seems to fail before it even starts and warns that German investors are deterred by developments in Romania.
Up to 50,000 in peaceful second night of anti-govt protests in Bucharest as Romania reels in wake of violent riot police intervention during massive Friday demonstration ​Some 50,000 people joined a new evening of anti-government protests in Bucharest on Saturday, a day after riot police forces violently ended a similar demonstration organised by Romanians working abroad. This time around, the protest was peaceful with no major incident, despite authorities failing to provide proper explanations for the way they used violence against harmless protesters a night before.
VIDEO HotNews.ro journalist beaten by riot police during Bucharest anti-govt protests. "I yelled I am a journalist and lifted my hands above my head. One punched me, another kicked me in the back" HotNews.ro journalist Robert Mihailescu was kicked and punched by gendarmes during violent incidents on the margins on a major anti-government protest in Bucharest on Friday. He was attacked after the riot police launched an intervention against protesters, when people on social media said - with video proof - that peaceful demonstrators were hit by police forces without justification.
Romania riot police use tear gas indiscriminately against peaceful protesters in huge anti-government demonstrations in Bucharest Riot police used tear gas and a water cannon against peaceful protesters including women, children and elderly people on Friday night as some 100,000 people joined a protest in Bucharest against the current government led by the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Gendarmes showed up with water cannons and mounted police and, while appearing not to have used them by late in the evening, it  resorted to an unprecedented level of force against the people, while a limited number of protesters threw various objects at them.
Romania braces for major protest as Diaspora plans demonstrations against PSD-led government's policies Major protests are expected to take place in Bucharest and other major cities across Romania on Friday evening as the Diaspora has been organising a massive "return home" for demonstrations against the policies promoted by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) -led government. Facebook pages put up for the occasion suggest the protests will be massive, with tens of thousands of people announcing their participation.
Controversies hit economy and social plans of PSD-led government of Romania as parliamentary session ends ​The governing coalition in Romania concludes an extended parliamentary session this week with a wave of controversies related to legislation passed by their MPs and government. After marathon efforts to change the laws of justice, the coalition now has to cope with question marks about its competence and predictibility, with feelings of incredulity among observers about economy- and social-related plans and decisions of the Social Democratic Party (PSD)-led government.
Interim head Jurma takes over at helm of Romania's anti-graft body, top prosecutor promises continuation of fight against corruption Romania's prosecutor general Augustin Lazar said on Thursday that the fight against corruption in the country would continue in a strong manner as an interim head took over at the helm at the main body involved in fighting graft, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA). New DNA head Anca Jurma took over following the departure of Laura Codruta Kovesi, who was dismissed by the president as a result of political struggles earlier this week. Kovesi would not leave far, however, as she was poised to take another DNA-related job.
Romania President Iohannis says Romania had "good results" at NATO summit, President Trump "called things by their name" Romania reported results in three major objectives it had at the NATO summit this week, President Iohannis said as the Brussels summit ended on Thursday: a command center, upgrading a multinational brigade and a whole session on Black Sea issues. Iohannis also said President Trump did not initiate a conflict but "called things by their name" at the summit.
Top anti-graft prosecutor Kovesi's dismissal sparks harsh reactions in Romania / Interim head appointed at National Anti-corruption Department Romanian President Klaus Iohannis' decision on Monday to comply with a Constitutional Court decision and dismiss top anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi sparked a wave of criticism as moves were made to replace Kovesi. One of her aides was appointed interim head of the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) as the Justice minister announced the launch of official procedures to name a new head prosecutor at the Department and Kovesi herself spoke of political interference and urged Romanians to trust the fight against corruption can continue.

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