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THURSDAY ROUNDUP Romanian justice laws: President, ambassadors, investors speak out against governing coalition attempts to subdue the judiciary European ​Ambassadors, international investors, President Iohannis are among those who have risen their voice for the past two days against attempts by the Romanian governing coalition to bring down the Romanian judiciary and the fight against corruption. Meanwhile, the coalition gives no sign of slowing down or stepping back in face of criticism. Here is the latest roundup.
​ROUNDUP Parliamentary offensive against Romanian criminal law and Justice laws continues amid protest, criticism - latest news Romanian MPs of the governing coalition continue their offensive for changing the laws of the Romanian justice on Wednesday, despite fierce criticism of their amendments and accusations that they destroy Romanian criminal law and the fight against corruption. Here are the latest news on their activity.
Romanian MPs in fast forward actions to change the laws of Justice. The latest events Romanian MPs of the governing PSD-ALDE coalition have been moving fast to change the laws of Justice, despite massive criticism, in process started several weeks ago. Here are the lastest events.
OPINION. The toughest winter for Romania. What's next in govt coalition efforts to subdue Justice The governing PSD and ALDE parties seem determined to pass the laws changing the rules of Romanian justice by Christmas, despite hundreds of magistrates coming out in several cities across the country on Monday in a silent protest on court stairs, in an unprecedented move after the fall of communism. Street manifestations have lost their energy and mobilization, somehow naturally after months and weeks of admirable civic efforts. From now on, we will enter a more tight calendar of actions. What are we heading for?
​A first for Romanian judiciary: Magistrates in Cluj, Constanta protest changes to laws of justice Dozens of magistrates in the Romanian cities of Cluj and Constanta convened outside courts on Monday in protest to a series of changes to the laws of justice currently taking place in the Parliament, according to local media.
Another blow to Romanian Justice: PSD deputies submit bill to block incrimination of acts of corruption if not self-interested If a person would commit acts of corruption but not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others, the incrimination of such acts would no longer be possible, according to a new bill submitted by a group of 15 deputies of the Romanian governing PSD party, newspaper Adevarul has reported.
Renewed major protests in Bucharest, other cities against Romanian govt coalition plans to destroy justice system Some 10,000 people faced rain, snow and low temperatures in Bucharest on Sunday evening and many thousands more in Cluj, Iasi and other major cities across Romania for a new round of protests against governing coalition plans to change the laws of Justice in the Parliament.
Main Romanian body dealing with organised crime, DIICOT, says planned changes to criminal codes would block  the institution DIICOT, the prosecutor's office dealing with organised creime in Romania, says in a press release issued on Thursday that it is "surprised" and "concerned" about a series of planned changes to the criminal codes of the country, which are due to be discussed in the Parliament. It warned that the activity of DIICOT, which runs some 1,200 anti-drugs cases monthly, would be blocked from the very beginning, should the changes come into effect.
Romanian President says planned changes of criminal codes in Parliament "too big, too speedy" Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said in Brussels on Thursday that a series of planned changes to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, currently on agenda of the Romanian Parliament, are "too big and too speedy".
National Anti-corruption Division: Decriminalizing the offense of false testimony, with effect on all the cases in progress / Who would be among the great beneficiaries Romania's National Anti-corruption Division (DNA) says in a press release that one of the amendments to the Criminal Code actually decriminalizes the offense of false testimony and draws attention to the fact that this has the effect of "including all the pending cases".
Another lethal amendment for Romanian criminal law says suspect must first be warned before the prosecutors can begin to collect evidence HotNews.ro has identified another fatal amendment for the investigators, in a long series of amendments aimed at changing the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. PSD and ALDE, the governing coalition parties, propose to amend the article of the Criminal Procedure Code which refers to „Bringing to  knowledge of the quality of suspect”.
Disaster at Romania's motorway company: 0 km of motorways, 0 km of by-pass variants, 0 km of national road completed in 2017, says association ​The end of the year balance sheet of Romania's National Road Infrastructure Administration Company (CNAIR) shows a disaster on all levels, says Pro Infrastructure Association, which asks the CNAIR director to resign. The NGO that tracks  the infrastructure projects is accusing the motorway company management of not finding solutions to launch public "new, perfectly circulating road segments."
Romanian anti-graft body DNA blasts governing coalition proposals to change criminal procedure code / DNA head Kovesi: If applied, the changes would close down anti-corruption directorate Romania's National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) reacted on Thursday to proposals submitted by the governing PSD-ALDE coalition to change the criminal procedure code. The planned changes "would have a devastating effect on criminal inquiries as they eliminate indispensablelegal means by which investigating bodies can pursue criminal inquiries", a DNA press release says. It says a EU directive  aimed at strengthening the rules on presumption of innocence, which is used as an argument to introduce the changes, is "just a pretense to eliminate the ability of criminal inquiry bodies to uncover and prove crimes and the purpose of the changes has nothing to do with the presumption of innocence".DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi warned in a statement for Digi 24 channel on Thursday that if applied, the planned changes would leade to the closure of the DNA. "They wouldn't allow us to investigate corruption", she said.
Romanian parliamentary parties about to deal destructive blow to justice with amendments imposing censorship, witness intimidation and others A special commission of the Romanian Parliament on Thursday is expected to discuss a series of amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, which if adopted will deliver a massive blow to Romanian justice. They argue changes to the codes are needed because of a EU directive. But the amendments appear to be conceived specifically to save whole categories of culprits, while others impose heavy limits to inquiries or are aimed at intimidating investigators.UPDATE The head of the special commission said on Thursday morning that the talks on the amendments to the criminal codes would take place on Monday
OPINION ​Why is the governing PSD in such a rush to destroy Romanian justice? That’s how it started in Hungary eight years ago. It's true, Victor Orban's Fidesz won a majority of two-thirds in Parliament in 2010. With this support he slaughtered not only the laws and institutions but also the Constitution. It would be the only specific difference to what happens in Romania these days. Still, we find a striking resemblance to the actions of Romania's PSD-ALDE-UDMR coalition in recent days. Like Orban, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea has not lost time in parliamentary debates and has changed key laws without consultation, transparency and other minimum conditions of dialogue in a rule of law.
​Romania governing coalition MPs force new rule preventing debate of opposition-submitted amendments MPs of Romania's governing coalition voted on a new parliamentary rule on Wednesday morning, which leaves the opposition without the possibility to argue in support of its amendments. The move, which prompted criticism that it establishes a dictatorship of parliamentary majority, comes as the coalition forces a fast forward vote on a series of changes to the laws of the judiciary, seen as an attempt to subdue it politically.
The state of ongoing changes to Romanian Justice laws that the governing PSD-led coalition wants to adopt by Christmas The three drafts for amending the Romanian laws of justice are at different stages in the parliamentary circuit at the moment, with only one adopted by the plenum of the House of Deputies, the first notified room. The Senate is the deciding chamber on all three bills aimed at changes the rules of the Judiciary, in defiance with massive criticism that they are an attempt to subdue it politically.
Controversial Romanian company Tel Drum and two of its representatives prosecuted for fraud with European funds Romanian company Tel Drum and two of its representatives, Petre Pitis and Mircea Visan, are being prosecuted by DNA, the anti-graft body, for fraud with European funds leading to a prejudice of over Eur 1 million. Tel Drum, a bearer shares company, has been linked by the media to House speaker, governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea, an association he denies.
Changes to ​​Justice laws catch speed in Romanian Parliament The PSD-ALDE draft law amending Law 303/2004 on the Statute for Judges and Prosecutors, the amendments to which were voted by the House of Deputies on Wednesday, was adopted by the plenum of the House on Monday afternoon a solemn session in the memory of late King Michael. The bill is one of the key changes pushed by the governing coalition to Romanian laws on the Judiciary, which have sparked huge criticism as an attempt to subdue it politically.
​ANALYSIS Why the proposed changes to the Romanian laws on judiciary are dangerous The governing coalition in Romania, which holds a majority in the Parliament, has been pushing for massive changes to three key pieces of legislation regarding the functioning of the Judiciary. The attempts to change the current legislation have been fiercely criticised as attempts to subdue the judiciary politically. They should be taken into consideration as a whole, not in separation. See the proposed changes below, step by step, then connect the dots to see the big picture.

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