POLITICS
President Basescu calls for talks with political parties over National Integrity Agency Romanian President Traian Basescu invited parliamentary parties for talks at the Presidency HQ on Monday over the situation caused by a Constitutional Court decision stripping key powers from the National Integrity Agency (ANI) - the main body keeping the wealth of public officials under supervision.
Democratic-liberal star candidate Teo Trandafir winner in elections for Parliament seat in Bucharest on Sunday Democratic Liberal (PDL) candidate Teo Trandafir, well known to Romanians for her TV shows over the past decade, won the poll for a seat in the Romanian Parliament on Sunday, defeating rival candidate Liliana Minca of Social Democrats-Conservatives (PSD-PC) with 53.59% of the votes to 46.41%. Minca acknowledged Trandafir's victory in the Sunday elections - only 14.65% of the voters in the constituency showed up to vote.
Three of nine Constitutional Court judges made different opinion in National Integrity Agency case Three of the nine judges of Romania's Constitutional Court which decided April 14 that several key articles of the law on the functionality of the National Integrity Agency (ANI) - the main body checking the wealth of public officials - were unconstitutional voted against the decision.
Draft changes to Romania Constitution include articles regulating NATO and EU accession - an aim accomplished back in 2004 and 2007 respectively Draft changes to the Constitution, which were presented by Romania's PM Emil Boc on Wednesday, include small changes to two articles which would have normally be removed from the fundamental law: one on how the Parliament approves Romania's EU accession and another related to the NATO accession. Romania has been a member of the EU since 2007 and joined NATO in 2004, so articles 148 and 149 of the Constition should have simply be removed, according to constitutional experts.
Romanian President demands Government to pay debts to private companies Talks between Romanian President Traian Basescu and members of the Government on Tuesday focused on urgent "reform measures", according to a Presidency announcement. The issues discussed included cutting public spending and the process of decentralisation. A press release of the Presidency shows that the head of state underlined the need that state debt to private companies be paid.
Romanian PM accuses opposition Liberal party of using money from bank privatisation in electoral campaign Romanian prime minister Emil Boc claimed in a speech in the Romanian Senate on Tuesday that the opposition National Liberal Party - PNL "ate up" money from the privatisation of the Romanian Commercial Bank - BCR in its own electoral campaign, Romanian news agency Mediafax reports.
Romanian president Basescu says integrity body was almost dismantled in a move against Romania's interest The National Agency of Integrity (ANI) - a body supervising the wealth statements of public officials - was almost dismantled by a decision of the Constitutional Court which pleased some but was against the interest of Romania, President Traian Basescu said on Tuesday.
Social Democratic Party President Victor Ponta discussed online with HotNews.ro readers What is the Social Democratic strategy in opposition and how does the arrest of ex- PSD member, Senator Voicu affects the image of the party? What is Ponta's take on the fact that more and more people are leaving the party? PSD President Victor Ponta discussed online with HotNews.ro readers.
PM: I asked governing partners to de-politicize the public TV and radio  Romanian Liberal-Democrat party (PDL) president, PM Emil Boc, declared on Friday that he had discussed with coalition partners to modify the current law, so that the political umbrella is removed from the public radio station and TV channel, Romanian news agency Mediafax informs.
AP: Basescu came with a special dinner present for Obama — more troops for Afghanistan "One of the leaders hosted by Obama came with a special dinner present" at the dinner in Prague, the Czech Republic — "more troops for Afghanistan", Associated Press comments. 
US Ambassador to Romania: We strongly advice rejected applicants to not ask for a new entry visa The USA Embassy in Bucharest recommends Romanians who have failed to get an entry visa to not try for a second time, unless their situation has recorded considerable and positive changes. The statement was made by the American ambassador Mark Gitenstein, when launching an information campaign on obtaining the temporary US visa. 
MPs rejected Romanian public TV channel 2008 activity report. Dismissed manager accuses PM of political pressures Romania's Parliament rejected the Public Television (TVR) 2008 activity report on Tuesday, March 30, with 195 votes in favour of rejecting he report, 78 against and 3 abstentions. The Administration Council (CA) led by president - general manager Alexandru Sassu, is dismissed by law.
IMF Chief: Romania's got a tough fiscal situation, but things are brighter on monetary policy side Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF chief, said Romania's got a difficult financial situation, but things looked brighter in the monetary policy side, Romanian news agency Mediafax informs.
IMF chief recommended Romania to delay joining the euro zone Dominique Strauss Kahn is straightforward in recommending Romania to delay its intention to join the euro zone. "If you adopted the euro one or even two years later, it would be for the better. The objective reality is to have good economic figures to respect the requirements of joining the euro zone and then to realise that what has been done has been done in haste", IMF chief told Incont.ro. The economists interviewed by HotNews.ro on the issue agree: instead of joining the euro zone like the Greeks did, it's better to solve the economy's problems first and only later to think about it.
Moldavian Interior minister gave Romanian Foreign Affairs minister a piece of barbed wire that used to be part of the border fence between the two countries Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Baconschi received a piece of barbed wire from the Moldavian Interior minister Victor Catan. The piece used to be part of the fence stretched along the border of the two countries on the Prut river. Moldova removed the barbed wire fence in February during a ceremony. Moldavian Prime-Minister Vlad Filat and Romanian Administration and Interior minister Vasile Blaga cut the first pieces. 
President Traian Basescu and PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero seal strategic partnership Romanian president Traian Basescu and Spanish Government head Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero agreed to seal a Romanian - Spanish strategic partnership. The agreement will be signed this year, the Romanian Presidential Administration informs, without mentioning a specific date.  
Intelligence Services chief: Chances for threat remains low in Romania, but risk shouldn't be neglected "The chance for a threat remains low, but we don't have to neglect such risks. Prevention remains our fundamental target", Romanian Intelligence Services (SRI) head George Maior declared on Wednesday, during the annual report, according to Mediafax. Maior talked about the fact that Romania will host missile shield elements. He said SRI was preparing to respond to espionage. As for terrorism, he claims there are accentuated forms of radicalism and proselytes. 
Romanian president: SRI and SIE cannot be politically influenced, in contrast to department intelligence services President Traian Basescu has suggested that intelligence services structures assigned to departments can be influenced by the political environment, as opposed to SRI (Romanian Intelligence Services) and SIE (Foreign Intelligence Services). "I'm convinced that nobody can politically influence SRI and SIE anymore. But I'm not saying this about the department services. I'm talking about the two big services controlled but the CSAT (the Country's Supreme Defence Council)", the President underlined. 
Social-democrats submit a simple motion against Transport minister Social-Democrats (PSD) announced they would submit a simple motion against Romanian Transports minister, according to Agerpres. PSD leader Victor Ponta announced in the beginning of March that his party is considering the measures due to the staff cuts at Romanian Railways (CFR). 
Romanian president called meeting with Country's Supreme Defence Council Romanian President Traian Basescu called a meeting with the Country's Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) on Monday, March 22, at the Cotroceni Palace, the Presidential Administration informs.

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