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BREAKING Romania's Social Democratic Government dismissed in censure motion The Romanian Parliament passed a censure motion against the Social Democratic (PSD) government led by Viorica Dancila on Thursday. The motion passed with 238 votes in favor, several more than the minumum of 233 needed, meaning the government is dismissed.UPDATE 1 The leader of the main opposition party, the Liberals (PNL), Ludovic Orban said just after the vote that "the nightmare Romania has been living for three years is over". Asked if he would be available to take over as prime minister, Orban said that "should we be called to govern, the proposal would be the president of the PNL, which is me, Ludovic Orban".UPDATE 2 Viorica Dancila said shortly after the vote that she was leaving with all duties fulfilled and that the motion could pass because of the "betrayal" of some of her PSD colleagues. She said she would still run in the presidential elections next month.UPDATE 3 Romanian President Iohannis welcomed the vote in a statement on Thursday afternoon. This process is called the PSD becoming history". He said he would start consultations with political parties tomorrow, with the goal of an efficient government until the next general elections. He said he considered early elections the best solutionUPDATE 4 THe leader of the opposition USR party, Dan Barna, said his group opts for early elections and this is what they would call for in consultations with the head of state.
UPDATE Romania Social Democratic govt faces censure motion, close vote expected Romania's Social Democratic (PSD) government of PM Viorica Dancila faces the Parliament on Thursday in a censure motion vote that may see it leave power. While the opposition, which tabled the motion, has been saying it has the necessary votes to let Dancila go, the PSD has a different view.UPDATE MPs have started the debate on the censure motion, with a vote expected at noon. The leader of the opposition Liberals said there were "100% chances for the motion to pass"UPDATE 2 Speaking before the Parliament, PM Viorica Dancila accused the opposition of "carrying fight launched by the most irresponsible president Romania ever had" and of becoming "a gathering of interests and opportunism".UPDATE 3 Voting has ended. With PSD abstaining, some 244-245 votes were cast, more than the necessary number for the motion to pass. But it was not clear early if all were in favor of the motion
Former Romanian President Basescu chimes in on Giuliani-Biden-Romania issue Former Romanian President Traian Basescu has said that he did not know of any business of former US Vice President Joe Biden's family in Romania, despite that he was well informed when he used to serve as head of state. Basescu also said he did not see any inconvenience about Biden's son allegedly offering couinsel to businessman Puiu Popoviciu, who was sentenced for corruption in 2017.
​CHRONOLOGY How links between Giuliani and Hunter Biden with Romanian businessman sentenced for corruption evolved under media scrutiny ​When Donald Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani promised new revelations on Biden-related deals in Romania last weekend, the media was lured to a piece by New York Times several months ago, which spoke of links between Joe Biden's son Hunter with Romanian businessman Puiu Popoviciu, who has been sentenced to corruption. Giuliani himself established a link to Popoviciu a year ago. Here is a chronology of events in the Giuliani-Biden-Popoviciu issue
Lack of Education minister causes unprecedented situation as postponed exam affects thousands of future resident doctors An exam due in November, by which thousands of graduates were due to become resident doctors, has to be postponed, as Romania's Health minister Sorina Pintea announced on Friday. The situation comes as the Government does not currently have an Education minister to allow for the organisation of the exam.
Some 7,000 violent criminals reportedly on Romanian streets as 21k inmates were freed through compensatory appeal - politician says Some 7,000 murderers, rapists, burglars are reportedly at large on Romanian streets as some 21,049 inmates have been freed through compensatory appeal introduced by Social Democratic (PSD) government, claims an opposition politician quoting official data.
How Romanian MEPs regard new proposal that EU funds be linked to rule of law compliance in European countries The Belgian candidate for the seat of European Justice Commissioner would like to apply as early as next year a mechanism to monitor the rule of law in all European countries and use the system to restrict or suspend granting of EU funds in places which don't comply with the rules. The issue, debated in the EP on Wednesday, echoed among Romanian MEPs: while EPP and Renew Europe members support the proposal, Romanian Socialists (or Social Democrats as they are called domestically) are opposing it.
Accusations of plagiarism target Romania's second option for European Commissioner seat Melania-Gabriela Ciot, Romania's second option for a seat in the future European Commission, plagiarised most of a scientific article published in 2012, according to a journalist who has gained fame for revealing high level plagiarism cases. Reporter Emilia Sercan writes for website PressOne.ro that Ciot is the second signatory of the article, after Vasila Puscas, Romania's former chief negotiator with the EU.
Head of Romanian organised crime prosecutor's office Felix Banila resigns The head of Romania's organised crime prosecutor's office DIICOT announced his resignation on Wednesday, three days after the President urged him to leave. Felix Banila resigned despite initial signs he would not comply with the request. He says he did his duty and job with all good faith and professionalism, but opted to resign because it was "absolutely necessary" for his colleagues to work without pressure.
​Head of Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce Dragos Anastasiu expects annulment of flat tax, major public sector layoffs A government with a technocratic prime minister would come to power in Romania in 2020, would lay off some 400,000 empoyees in the public sector and would have to drop the flat tax in favor of progressive taxation. Such are the expectations of the head of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce, Dragos Anastasiu, as he told them in a "private person" capacity to German business people in Romania, according to news agency Agerpres.
Who is Dan Nica, picked as Romania's new nominee for European Commission Romanian PM Viorica Dancila's new pick as a candidate for the European Commission, to replace Rovana Plumb after her rejection in the EP, is also a controversial political character. Dan Nica, a former minister of Communication, has been accused of abuse in office, but got away without prosecution. He was also involved in other scandals and falsely stated in the European Parliament that 98% of people indicted for corruption charges in Romania have been acquitted.
UPDATE Romanian PM Dancila picks MEP Dan Nica for European Commissioner job / ForMin official Gabriela Ciot - second option Romanian PM Viorica Dancila has picked Dan Nica, a member of the European Parliament, as Romania's new nomination for a seat in the European Commission, following the rejection of the first candidate, Rovana Plumb, in the EP. She made the choice at a leadership meeting of the governing Social Democrats (PSD), despite her claiming initially that no decision in this regard would be taken at the meeting. Nica was picked by unanimous vote.UPDATE PSD sources have said that PM Dancila called EC president elect von der Leyen to inform her about Dan Nica and that the top EU official reportedly demanded a backup option. PSD has picked such a backup in Gabriela Ciot, currently a secretary of state at the Foreign Ministry.UPDATE 2 PM Dancila later confirmed that two nominees are to be tabled. In case Hungary opts for one candidate, Romania would also pick one - Dan Nica; in case Hungary presents two candidates, Romania would nominate both Nica and Gabriela Ciot, she said.
Romania President Iohannis calls for resignation of top organised crime prosecutor Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called on Monday evening for the resignation of Felix Banila, the head of the organised crime prosecutor's office DIICOT. Iohannis pointed on how the inquiry has gone into a major murder scandal as the reason for his move.
UPDATE Romanian nominee for European Commission rejected for good in EP committee / Plumb reacts by blaming opposition, calling committee decision "deeply unjust" The JURI Committee of the European Parliament rejected the nominations of Romania and Hungary for seats in the new European Commission for good on Monday. The Committee first suspended the process of their approval in an unprecedented move last week, when, in the case of Romanian nominee Rovana Plumb, it noted suspicious details in her wealth statement.UPDATE Rovana Plumb's first reaction to the JURI Committee decision was to call it "deeply unjust", politically motivated and contrary to the procedure regulations of the EP. She also accused President Iohannis and leaders of the opposition of blocking her candidacy, along with the "aggressive negative lobby against Romania by the leader of the Renew Europe group in the EP, Dacian Ciolos".
New case of suspicious resume data in case of a Romanian energy company's top manager The manager of major Romanian energy transport company Transgaz has claimed in the official resume published by the company that he holds a diploma for long term oil and gas engineering studies. But the university that manager Ion Sterian indicates in his CV says he attended courses there for a shorter period and he was the recipient of junior engineering diploma.
Romanian PM Dancila, President Iohannis are both in US on Tuesday, but separately and with separate purposes Romanian PM Viorica Dancila is continuing her week-long visit to the US on Tuesday with scheduled talks on Energy. President Iohannis is also travelling to the United States, but with a separate goal - attending the UN General Assembly.
Dutch suspect of killing Romanian girl had at least 4 other trips to Romania, criminal activity might have occurred in several counties - prosecutor general The Dutch citizen suspect of having killed a 11 year old girl in a village in South Romania had been to Romania at least four other times, interim Prosecutor General Bogdan Licu said on Tuesday. He said it was suspected that the man's criminal activity might have taken place in several counties and investigators were trying to identify where he'd been or if he had accomplices.
Girl's murder by Dutch suspect shakes Romania / Suspect reportedly killed himself The murder of an 11y old girl who was kidnapped in South Romania last week has shaken Romania for the past several days. The case drew special attention as the suspect murderer, a Dutch national, was able to leave the country over the weekend. On Monday, it was reported that the suspect killed himself.
Romanian PM Dancila starts visit to US before start of presidential campaign Prime minister Viorica Dancila starts her visit to the United States on Monday as she gets ready for the campaign for presidential elections back home. With a meeting with US Vice President Mke Pence as the highlight of the trip, it is her second visit across Atlantic, after a first one where she caused uproar with statements regarding Romania's Embassy to Israel.
Romanian presidential elections: Who are the candidates running for the top job? ​Romania's President, the prime minister and the leader of the second biggest opposition party will face each other in presidential elections, along with five other candidates. This weekend saw the conclusion for the period of registration of runners in the elections due to take place in November and the crowd is quite motley. Who are the presidential hopefuls?

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