VIDEO/PHOTO "The Cavalry March" - the passing of US armoured vehicles and helicopters through Romanian villages and sunny thristle fields of Baragan"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 offensiveTen 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.
Romania president makes debatable nominations of ambassadors to US, GermanyRomania 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 reactAn 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".
Romanian MPs once more save fellow senator from arrest on graft charges, but leave minister at prosecutors' handsRomanian 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 abusivelyUPDATE 2 Ex-minister Valcov was retained by anti-graft prosecutors in the late afternoon on Wednesday
Head of key Romanian anti-graft body Horia Georgescu retained in corruption probeProsecutors 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.
Commissioner Corina Cretu uses Parable of Talents to prompt Romania use financial instruments in support of SMEsEuropean 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
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 companiesGerman 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.
OPINION The major issues with President Iohannis' nomination of politician Eduard Hellvig as head of Romanian Intelligence ServiceInformation 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 ServiceRomanian 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.
Romania anti-graft prosecutors call for preventive arrest of former Romanian minister, presidential candidate Elena Udrea in multiple corruption casesRomania'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.
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