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Defense minister says Romania on path to acquire first Patriot missile system and in advance talks to buy 36 other F16 aircrafts Romanian Defense m​inister Mihai Fifor said on Wednesday that "before the end of the year, the Romanian army will acquire its first Patriot missile system". He later said that "we are in advanced discussions to buy 36 other F16 aircrafts from the US, not from Portugal. We are at the beginning of this negotiation."
Romania's Anti-graft body DNA calls on magistrates council to defend independence of prosecutors in face of minister's political interference The head of Romania's National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi on Tuesday called on the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) to see whether a series of statements made by Justice minister Tudorel Toader were affecting the independence of the judiciary.
Romanian President Iohannis breaks silence on graft scandal, PSD attempts to change the laws of the judiciary. What can he do? ​Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stood up on Tuesday against actions by the governing Social Democrats (PSD) in the wake of a new graft investigation linked to the top PSD leadership. As the PSD had said it fully supported two ministers who are eyed in the new anti-corruption investigation, Iohannis said on Tuesday that people who face criminal inquiries or are judged for criminal activities "should not be part in the leadership of the state". He said the two ministers should have resigned or be dismissed by the party. Meanwhile, he is expected to make a stand on attempts by the PSD the change the laws of the judiciary.
Romania's governing party leadership announces "full support" for ministers involved in corruption case The leadership of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) announced on Monday they would provide "full support" for ministers Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, eyed by prosecutors in a new corruption case.
In "Belina" graft case, governing party leader Dragnea says he and his political partners are targets: We are not giving up / The laws of justice will be adopted The leader of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea claimed in a TV show on Sunday evening that an investigation into a new corruption case is "a violent attack on another state power, a violent attack on the Government". He said in the Antena 3 TV interview that he saw himself and other political leaders, the government and the parliament as "targets" of the investigation and warned that he was "not giving up, not even taking a step back".
Venice Commission: There is by no means a financial threshold for abuse of office Romanian newspaper "Adevarul" has obtained the official position of the Venice Commission on the most problematic legal issue in Romanian politics of the past year: the so-called prejudice threshold that should be imposed in defining the crime of abuse of office, the threshold below which the deed would be decriminalized.
Sources: Governing PSD party communicators to hold accountable President, other top officials for "liquidation campaign" against party leader Liviu Dragnea Main leaders and communicators of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) will counteract Belina file, which focuses on irregularities in which PSD leader Liviu Dragnea appears to be involved, with a joint message in the media in the next few days. According to several sources within the PSD, the message will portray Liviu Dragnea as a victim of a plan of his political opponents.
​OPINION Russia's methods: The way Romania gets ready for a media conquest As the world gets increasingly worried about the aggressive informational war tactics developed by Russia, Romania gets ready by itself to be conquered by means of media. While large countries such as the US, Germany or even organisations like NATO try to counter the new weapons perfected by Russia, in Romania the local media itself does the harm Russian trolls are struggling to do elsewhere.
​OPINION Romanian minister Tudorel Toader's counter-reform of the judiciary: Why proposals announced by Justice minister are poisonous Romanian Justice minister Tudorel Toader announced a set of proposals on Wednesday to reform the judiciary. The package of proposed legislation shows Toader fell in line with Social Democratic leader Liviu Dragnea's requests and complied to put forward a counter-reform of the Justice system in a country that has struggled to properly reform it for more than a decade. It is now essential that magistrates react firmly as their very independence is at stake.
VIDEO Haferland Week: the event which attracts more tourists towards the Saxon villages than any other time of the year The Saxon villages have caught the attention of the public opinion with the arrival of Prince Charles in the region, and even today, the most of the foreign tourists who visit this area are the Germans who, either wish to learn about their origins, or come to visit a region where people speak their language. However, every year, for one week, the crowd gets bigger, due to the thousands of Romanian tourists who come to enjoy the the Saxon traditions and natural landscape. Of course, they are joined by hundreds of Transylvanian Saxons, who return to their homeland, but also by travellers from other countries, as Haferland Week has already became an iconic celebration for this region.
OPINION ​The cartel against Romanian graft prosecutors: a major change of tactics in battle with anti-corruption chief Kovesi A small cartel formed of influential business people, media owners and corrupt politicians is investing energy and resources in an attempt to persuade Western governments that the fight against corruption in Romania, the anti-graft body DNA and its chief Laura Codruta Kovesi no longer deserve their support. We are witnessing a major change of tactics in the fight against prosecutors investigating high level graft. DNA's "clients" have understood that in order to have peace in the country a lot of noise has to be made abroad. Changing laws and killing institutions would be in vain if Brussels or Washington intervene in their support and put them back under pressure.
When will the public Radio Romania Actualitati join the EU and NATO? Have you heard about the Russian propaganda in its pure status, subsidized by ourselves, by our taxes? Yeah, it’s possible, and it’s scandalous. Radio Romania Actualitati, the station funded by your money, is a box of resonance for Kremlin’s official positions, broadly broadcasted, with no editorial filter, without any discernment, for tens of minutes of radio show. Last night, for dozens of minutes I had the feeling that I was listening to the  communist radio journals, when Romania was allied with Russia (then USSR), in the Warsaw Pact, when it was a comrade in ideology with China and North Korea, and the US, Japan and South Korea were the bad imperialists.
​Has Kovesi escaped from being changed? President Klaus Iohannis’ statements issued on Tuesday seem to have aimed to save the DNA and extinguish the fire started inside the DNA. On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea pushed the Justice Minister on Wednesday to say something about scandal, suggesting that the situation is bad. Justice Minister Toader will have to choose between two options.  Will he save Kovesi again or will he call for her removal?
Romania's new government causes outrage in business, political circles on very first day in office Romanian MPs voted a new Social Democratic government on Thursday, which later was sworn in a ceremony hosted by the Presidency. But even before it new prime minister Mihai Tudose and his team were sworn in, they caused shock among Romanian business and political circles, with a series of controversial nominations and by announcing with no prior debate a series of plans that would turn the country's tax system upside down.
Romania's ruling Social Democrats support controversial nominee for PM seat Romania's ruling Social Democrats (PSD) have proposed that ex-Economy minister Mihai Tudose become new prime minister of the country, after the previous PSD government was deposed by means of a motion in Parliament. Tudose's nomination must be accepted by President Klaus Iohannis before taking over the PM office. Iohannis was holding talks with leaders of various political parties prior to announcing his decision.
Romania Government down as governing coalition slams its own Executive in Parliament Romania's Government led by Social Democrat (PSD) Sorin Grindeanu was dismissed on Wednesday as it failed to pass a motion submitted against in the Parliament by the ruling parties themselves. PSD thus dismissed its own government at the peak of an unprecedented power struggle within the party leadership, pitching Grindeanu against party president Liviu Dragnea.updating
​Romania's ruling Social Democrats oust prime minister Grindeanu from party ranks, get ready for parliamentary motion against their own government The leadership of Romania's ruling party, the Social Democrats (PSD), decided on Thursday to oust prime minister Sorin Grindeanu from its party ranks. The PSD and their Liberal Democratic (ALDE) allies also announced a parliamentary motion aimed at bringing down the government next week. A major political struggle between PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and PM Grindeanu thus leads to an unprecedented move: a governing party attacks its own government in the Parliament.
​Romanian Government on verge of dismissal in ruling party power struggle Many Social Democratic (PSD) members of the Romanian government, with the notable exception of PM Sorin Grindeanu, submitted their resignations but were awaiting approval for their decision on Wednesday, at the peak of a power struggle within the ruling party which may lead to the fall of the current government. The PSD leadership was discussing Wednesday afternoon their support for the Grindeanu team, following reported tensions between the prime minister and the president of PSD, Liviu Dragnea.
Opinion: ​​The final battle The upcoming weeks will be critical for Romania. The hotly debated bill on prison pardons, which was one step from pardoning corrupt officials following votes in the parliamentary judicial commission earlier this week, returns to the Senate commission on Monday and is expected to receive a plenary vote most probably the same day. Should protests announced for Sunday receive a low turnout, MPs defying the fight against corruption may very well gather courage again. And Romanians should not be surprised if acts of corruption become subject to pardon in the draft legislation again, along with tax evasion, money laundering or fraud.
Romanian fugitive businessman Sebastian Ghita caught in Serbia ​Romanian businessman Sebastian Ghita, who faces several criminal inquiries at home and who has been on the run since late 2016, was retained in Belgrade during the night of April 13-14, the Romanian police has announced. HotNews.ro has reported a month ago that Ghita was spotted in Serbia, but the report had been denied by Romanian government officials at the time.

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