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Romanian designated PM Dacian Ciolos announces full government team 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.
Two Romanian dead in Paris terrorist disaster. Romanian authorities condemn attacks ​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.
Romanian President designates former European commissioner Dacian Ciolos to form new government 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​ ​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.
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 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.
Romanian PM Victor Ponta resigns: I'm "giving up my mandate" in wake of deadly nightclub fire and major street protests. 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
VIDEO Major march against Romania's corrupted political class in Bucharest in wake of nightclub fire disaster that killed 32 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.
The Bucharest Colectiv Club fire disaster: Public outrage as #corruptionkills "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.
Two Spaniards, one Italian wounded in Bucharest tragedy that saw 27 killed, up to 200 injured in music club fire 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.
Romania's governing party elects leader with crushing 97% of votes 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.
UPDATE Censure motion against Ponta government fails in Romanian Parliament. Thousands protest against prime minister in Bucharest 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
​PHOTO FEATURE Refugees: a journey through Serbia 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.
Disputes flare as Hungary prepares to build anti-refugee barbed wire fence along Romania border 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.
Most prominent radical nationalist in post-communist Romania Corneliu Vadim Tudor has died 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.
Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu retained by anti-graft prosecutors on bribe taking charges ​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.
Romania's governing Social Democrats change indicted leader Victor Ponta with sentenced "interim" president Liviu Dragnea​ ​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.
Romanian President, Government in major clash as new fiscal code is sent back to Parliament 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.
UPDATE Romanian PM Victor Ponta says he withdraws from party leadership in wake of corruption case 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.
President Iohannis nominates former PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu back as head of Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service 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 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.

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