Former ministers sentenced in strategic privatisation caseA former Economy minister and a former Communications minister, who
served in the Romanian Government in mid-2000's, received prison
sentences in a major case related to strategic privatizations at the
time on Tuesday. Romania's High Court sentenced ex-Economy minister
Codrut Seres to 4 years and 8 months, whil ex-Communications minister
Zsolt Nagy was sentenced to 4 years. The ruling is final.
Head of Romania intelligence service resignsThe head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), George Maior, submitted his resignation on Tuesday and President Klaus Iohannis accepted it, the Presidency has announced, failing to announce a possible replacement for Maior. The resignation comes a week after Maior criticized harshly a Constitutional Court decision to declare a cyber security draft law unconstitutional and the Court president denounced pressure from SRI.
HotNews.ro round table: TTIP effects on economy and Romania's priorities during negotiationsThe effects of the future free trade deal between the EU and the US, TTIP, on European economy and Romania's priorities during negotiations are the subject of a round table HotNews.ro organises on Thursday, with support from the US Embassy. The round table will be attended by representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission Delegation to Romania, the US and UK Embassies, AmCham, trade unions and NGOs.
Romanian Foreign minister Melescanu resigns over presidential vote abroadRomania Foreign minister Teodor Melescanu announced his resignation on Tuesday, taking responsibility for the impossibility that not all Romanians were able to vote at polling stations abroad in the presidential elections on Sunday. He said he would submit his resignation in a government meting today - eight days after he was named Foreign minister, replacing Titus Corlatean, who resigned over similar issues.
Romania elects new President in tense poll as sinister campaign endsRomania heads to the polls on Sunday for a second round of presidential elections seen as key for democracy and state of law in the SE European country. After one of the dirtiest electoral campaign in Romania's 25 year post-communist history, some 18 million people have to choose between current Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, who has run a populist, nationalistic campaign appealing to the poorer segments of the population, and Klaus Iohannis, the ethnic German, popular mayor of Sibiu city, who has little to no experience in national or international politics.
UPDATE Exit polls in first round of Romania presidential elections: Ponta 40%, Iohannis second, Macovei dominates close fight for third placeRomanian PM Victor Ponta won 40% of votes in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, followed at a distance of about 6-10% by main rival Klaus Iohannis, according to exit polls announced at 9 p.m. A very close fight is taking place for the third place, with Monica Macovei appearing to be shoulder to shoulder with Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Elena Udrea in lead of the pack. The exit polls are partial and reflect the situation at 7 p.m., while not including a very important vote of the large Romanian diaspora.UPDATE Ponta and his supporters ireceived the results cautiously, suggesting they expected worse results once the official counting starts delivering real numbers. Klaus Iohannis came forward to say that of all candidates he alone remains to defend the state of law.
Romania heads to first round of presidential elections in key moment for democracy and state of lawRomanian democracy and state of law are facing a new challenge 25 years after the fall of communism as the country heads to the polls to elect a new president on Sunday. Social Democratic prime minister Victor Ponta, the ethnic German mayor of the city of Sibiu Klaus Iohannis spearheading the opposition and 12 other candidates are vying for the seat which incumbent President Traian Basescu has held for ten struggling years. The first round of elections today ends a campaign like no other in Romania's recent past, with no real political debate but marred by a sweeping wave of corruption-related arrests, suspicions of intelligence services interfering with the political process, and a heavy use of biased media to smear rivals and shove sensitive issues under the carpet.
Romanian anti-graft prosecutors call for criminal inquiries against no less than nine former ministers in Microsoft-related caseRomania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) plans to start
criminal inquiries against nine former ministers for alleged acts of
corruption in a case related to the acquisition of Microsoft licenses.
The head of DNA on Friday demanded the Prosecutor General to notify the
President of Romania, the speakers of the Senate and House of Deputies
and the European Parliament so that it start criminal inquiries against
the nine, who served as ministers in Social Democrat Adrian Nastase's
government in the early 2000's and in more recent years, when Emil Boc, a
Democratic Liberal, served as PM.
Russia's silent threat. The pillars of Kremlin influence in Romanian domestic life"There is no rational threat to Romania [from Russia], but we have to
prepare for the irrational", Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a
speech in late August, as Russia's campaign to split Eastern Ukraine
was in full swing. Irrational or not, Russia is already playing in
Romania several of its aces, some built hastily, some built carefully in
time. The purpose of the Kremlin is to influence the domestic and
foreign play of a troubled country, as it does along its Western
borders: in the three Baltic states, in Poland, not to mention the
Republic and Moldova and Ukraine. The stake for Moscow is to keep NATO
and EU as far away from its borders as possible in order to keep away
the democratic values of the Western bloc and prevent a deterioration of
its sphere of influence.
Romanian excises on fuel, energy or coffee based on a fictitious exchange rateWhile the Romanian currency, leu (RON), has been stable since the
beginning of the year, with an average rate of 4.45 RON/euro, the
Romanian Government has invented a RON/euro rate above the real one in
order to draw more money from excises. For the whole year of 2014, the
currency rate set for the calculation of all excises has been set by an
emergency ordinance at 4.738 RON/euro. Thus, prices for all excisable
products (fuel, electricity, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, luxury products)
are based on a rate which is 6.4% higher than the real one.
Pascal Bruckner: Putin doesn't tell us how much he despises us, he sees us as degenerates / Not only France, but the whole Europe seems to want to drop from historyPascal Bruckner's generation is the last generation of French thinkers
who get involved in public debates. "Nothing can happen without debate",
says Bruckner in a long discussion with Romanian website
Contributors.ro about great French intellectuals, about the angst and
low spirits of the French for the past several years, about politics and
Putin, about the French law against prostitution and about his last
book, autobiographic novel "Un bon fils", recently published in Romanian.
Bruckner remains a moralist with a high interest in politics - he spares
nothing to criticize the current French president - a dauntless
supporter of Europe and a thinker always ready to polemicize.
Putin's ideologist Aleksandr Dugin has visited RomaniaRussian President Vladimir Putin's unofficial ideologist Aleksandr Dugin has been in Romania for the past several days, where he met representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church about his Eurasian project "The Third Rome", writer Mircea Popa, secretary general of the Romania-Russia Foundation, has told HotNews.ro.
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