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Romanian Foreign Ministry opts for non-involvement in controversy over visit of former PM to Moscow Romania's Foreign Ministry stated on Monday that a recent conference that took place in Moscow, with the participation of ministry officials and former PM Adrian Nastase, was not supported financially or organisationally by the governmental institution. The conference sparked controversy in Bucharest, as pictures appeared depicting ex-PM Nastase in the company of prominent Russians close to Kremlin policy making, prior to the presidential poll that saw the re-election of Vladimir Putin.
Romanian parliamentary commission brings changes to provisions of Justice laws that were found unconstitutional A special parliamentary commission tasked with changing the Laws of Justice adopted on Monday a series of additional changes to the provisions of the amended laws which the Constitutional Court has found to be unconstitutional.
Initiative to allow territorial autonomy for Szeklers' Counties enters parliamentary debate in Romania A Romanian House of Deputies commission will on Tuesday launch the debate on a bill initiated by a Democratic Hungarian (UDMR) MP on the territorial autonomy of the Szeklers' Counties - the Romanian counties with a large Szekler (ethnic Hungarian) community. The bill proposes a return to an administrative organisation that includes a local president, parliament and government, with Hungarian language admitted as official language along the Romanian language.
HotNews.ro editor-in-chief Cristian Pantazi, coordinating editor Dan Tapalaga leaving newsroom. Their messages to readers Cristian Pantazi, editor-in-chief of HotNews.ro, and Dan Tapalaga, coordinating editor at the website, on Tuesday announced their leaving the newsroom to launch their own editorial project. Here are their messages to readers.
EXCLUSIVE Romanian President's name considered in Brussels for president of European Council The name of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is taken into consideration in Brussels for the seat of European Council president, currently held by former Polish PM Donald Tusk, several political sources have told HotNews.ro for the past several days. They said it was not clear whether President Iohannis was interested in the job, but he was certaintly supported among European officials who have started preparations for accepting Iohannis as Council head.
[P] More Romanians interested in luxury tourism According to www.rentluxurycarindubai.com, an online portal dealing with high-end car rentals in Dubai, there is an increasing number of requests from Eastern European clients, Romanians included.
HOTNEWS.RO OPINIONS on Justice minister's decision to call for dismissal of top anti-graft prosecutors: a minister of thieves in a country run by criminals Romania's Justice minister Tudorel Toader earned himself the title of minister of thieves on Thursday, considering the way he chose for calling the dismissal of top anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, comments HotNews.ro journalist Dan Tapalaga. For his part, the editor-in-chief of the news website, Cristian Pantazi, called minister Toader's monologue against Kovesi a "plea for thievery, for breaching the law and against Justice".
Reactions to Romanian Justice minister's decision to call for dismissal of chief anti-graft prosecutor: ad hoc street protests, presidential, political and professional criticism When Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader announced Thursday evening that he launches the procedure for the dismissal of the country's chief anti-graft prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, he sparked a wave of criticism and even ad hoc protests in Bucharest and other cities.
BREAKING ​​Romanian Justice minister launches procedure for dismissal of top anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader on Thursday evening announced he was launching the procedure for the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kovesi, chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), the main body fighting corruption in Romania.
How Viktor Orban sells to Hungarians the illusion he has resolved the import of gas from Romania Hungary will soon sign an agreement that will allow it to import 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Romania annually for the next 15 years, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last week. It is, in fact, an agreement on the use of the future gas pipeline BRUA, which does not guarantee that the entire quantity of 4 billion cubic meters of gas will be exported to Hungary. Once Romania is linked to the West European market via Hungary - Austria, the Romanian gas will be bought by the consumer who will provide the best conditions.
Darius Valcov, seen as maker of Romanian governing party's economic program, receives 8-year sentence for corruption The man seen as the brain behind the economic governance program of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD), Darius Valcov, was sentenced to 8 years in a traffic of influence case on Thursday. The sentence given by the High Court of Justice can be appealled. Valcov is currently serving as an aide for PM Viorica Dancila.
US publication: Company owned by lobbyist who invited Romanian governing party officials to Trump inauguration has opened offshoot in Romania US publication McClatchydc.com has published an investigation into the businesses of American lobbyist Elliot Broidy, suggesting that his invitation to top Romanian officials to attend the inauguration of President Donald Trump is linked to the expansion of his business to defense contracts.
OPINION Governing Social Democrats' plan of total power seizure in Romania has been set in motion The leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea has realized that he is fighting the justice system in vain unless he first controls the institutions of force. For that reason, with his crony Viorica Dancila being appointed Prime Minister, he quickly moved to the plan of total power capture. I wrote on Friday that the PSD leader will capture the last unconquered institutions of the state, the intelligence and security-related bodies and services DOS, DGPI, SPP, SRI, SIE and obviously the anti-corruption prosecutors office, the DNA. Only three days after the new government took office, the balance looks bad. Three key institutions are already being taken in sight and pressed to surrender to the new master.
Juncker's warning: If Romanian laws of Justice remain as voted by the Parliament, talks about CVM and Schengen will be put in different terms / Klaus Iohannis: The independence of justice is intangible European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker warned on Wednesday that should the attempts to change Romanian Justice laws remain as voted by the Parliament, talks on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism - a key Justice monitoring instrument applied on Romania when it joined the EU - and Schengen membership would be put in different terms. Juncker also said in a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Brussels that the EU will not accept Romania to take steps back on the rule of law.
Juncker, asked if activating Article 7 for Romania is considered, dismisses any talks about it now European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said in a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday that he did not believe "under any circumstances" that we can speak of the activation of Article 7 of the European Treaties in the case of Romania. Article 7, triggered in the case of Poland for the risk of a serious violation of the rule of law, may end up with the suspension of the country's voting right.
Governing PSD party leader Dragnea announces intention to change laws on Romanian intelligence services ​Romanian House of Deputies speaker Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), said on Wednesday that amendments to the national security laws should be initiated in the upcoming parliamentary session. According to Dragnea, Romanian intelligence services SRI and SIE (the foreign intelligence service), "two highly respected structures," need new and more modern legislation.
Romanian Parliament approves highly criticised third Social Democratic government in less than a year Romania's Parliament on Monday passed the third Social Democratic Party (PSD) -led government in less than a year. The vote comes despite criticism that the new PM, Viorica Dancila, who is the first woman to serve in the job, is just a dummy for PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who can't stand for PM due to a sentence for electoral fraud. And many of the ministers have also caused stupefaction with their poor use of Romanian grammar and controversial statements during parliamentary hearings.
UPDATE It's official: Full list of new Romanian government led by Viorica Dancila. Who are the new ministers? Romania's nominated prime minister Viorica Dancila presented on Friday the full list of ministers due to take part in her future government. Her team, decided by the governing Social Democrats (PSD) in marathon leadership talks today, includes both members of the previous government, and new faces who would replace ministers seen as close to deposed PM Mihai Tudose.UPDATE See who the new ministers in the proposed government are
Romania's Constitutional Court makes first decision on controversial laws of justice. Some provisions of the Law on Judicial Organization – unconstitutional. Disputed special office to investigate magistrates - constitutional The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Tuesday declared unconstitutional a series of provisions of the controversial Law on Judicial Organization, which passed through Parliament late last year. It also decided to postpone the debate on the other two disputed pieces of justice legislation which sparked public outcry over the past several months, namely the Statute of Magistrates and the Organization of the Superior Council of Magistrates, for January 30, according to News.ro news agency. In the case of the Law decided upon today, the CCR considered that a key provision which caused a lot of criticism, the establishment of a special body to investigate magistrates, was constitutional.
UPDATE ​Massive protests take place in Bucharest on Saturday against governing coalition plans to subdue justice and harsh economic changes Massive protests in the making for more than a month are due to take place in Romanian capital city Bucharest on Saturday evening. Demonstrations, gathering local people as well as protesters from around the country, are aimed against government plans to subdue the judiciary politically, to put an end to the fight against corruption, as well as a series of government measures including changes to the fiscal code, which are seen as burdening the economy.UPDATE 9.30 p.m. The latest estimates say some 100,000 people attended the protests across the country, 70,000 in Bucharest.UPDATE 8.00 p.m. Somewhere between 40,000-55,000 are estimated to have taken part in the first two hours of protests in Bucharest starting 6 p.m. on Saturday. Many thousands more attended protests in other cities across the country, including Iasi, Cluj, Sibiu, Timisoara. In Bucharest, incidents between protesters and gendarmes were reported in the first phase of the protest, before gendarmes dropped attempts to contain the march and check participants pouring into University Square.

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