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​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.
OPINION ​​Romania and the bankruptcy of liberal democracy "They plan to change the time! At night, like thieves!" The leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) Liviu Dragnea published this message on his Facebook page on Saturday, before the daylight saving time change and in a latest sign of defiance at the weeks of anti-government, anti-corruption protests that shook Romania earlier this year. His message, itself stolen from another Facebook page, mockingly added the hashtags previously used by protesters. The PSD leader retained this laid back attitude later during the weekend when he pictured himself with Prime Minister Grindeanu fishing in the Danube Delta, with the clear aim at to depict him as a humble disciple. Meanwhile, his partner in government, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu of ALDE, was discharging a key member of his party whom he accused of deviationism. But the really bad news is: the apocalypse comes smiling, inexorably. Dragnea took us all prisoners in his holey boat.
Romanian PM announces withdrawal of corruption-related decree, uses ambiguous language as massive protests continue in Bucharest Romanian PM Sorin Grindeanu announced on Saturday evening that his government would convene in emergency session on Sunday morning to "withdraw, postpone" a corruption-related emergency ordinance. He made the ambiguous statement as up to 150,000 people were protesting before the Government HQ in Bucharest against the ordinance, which is seen as favoring high level corruption.
Bulgarians, Moldovans expected to stage demontrations in support of Romanian protesters Protests are being organised in Bulgarian capital Sofia and in the Republic of Moldova in support of massive demonstrations taking place in Romania against government decisions that undermine the fight against corruption.
Romanian Government faces blanket criticism in wake of decisions undermining fight against corruption A series of legal changes secretly pushed by the Romanian Government late on Tuesday sparked a wave of protests and criticism on Wednesday. The Romanian President, the opposition parties, all key bodies representing the Judiciary, a major trade union, the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce blasted or simply criticised the Sorin Grindeanu government's moves or opted to just show how specifically they undermine the ongoing fight against corruption.
EC President Juncker blasts Romanian government moves undermining anti-graft moves ​"We are following the latest developments in Romania with great concern," say EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans in a joint statement issued on Wednesday. The statement comes after the Romanian government secretly approved late on Tuesday a series of legal changes that seriously undermine the ongoing fight against corruption in the country.
Romanian government secretly adopts emergency ordinances critics say undermine fight against corruption​ The Romanian government adopted Tuesday evening two emergency ordinances pardoning certain criminal sencences and changing the Criminal Law. The changes, which have sparked massive protests in Bucharest and other major cities over the past two weeks, are seen as major obstacles that undermine the fight against high level corruption and assist suspected criminals including the leader of the governing PSD party, Liviu Dragnea.UPDATE The number of protesters who gathered in Bucharest following the government decisions rose to some 15,000 by midnight. Thousands others took part in demonstrations in other cities. Meanwhile, the government published the decisions in the Official Gazette with unprecedented speed shortly after midnight. President Klaus Iohannis mourned the ordinances and the Prosecutor General urged the Ombudsman to challenge them at the Constitutional Court.
Tens of thousands of Romanians attend new protests against government plans to change legislation in favor of corrupt officials Tens of thousands of people were protesting in Bucharest and many cities across Romania on Sunday evening against government plans to force through a series of measures critics say are aimed at helping top politicians and business people who are targeted by the fight against corruption.
Massive protests in Bucharest, other Romanian cities against planned measures aimed at defending corrupt officials Thousands of people took to the streets of Bucharest and other major Romanian cities on Sunday evening to protest a series of planned governmental measures aimed at slowing down the fight against corruption and at protecting people investigated under graft charges. President Klaus Iohannis and some opposition politicians joined the crowds in Bucharest, days after similar protests took place after the government tried to pass the measures secretly.UPDATE As protesters marched through downtown Bucharest, their number rose to 20-30,000, according to various estimates.

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