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​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.
Romanian Government approved draft budget for 2018 The government approved on Wednesday the draft budget for 2018, which is based on 5.5% economic growth, annual average inflation of 3.1%, an average exchange rate of 4.55 lei / euro and net average earning monthly of 2,614 lei. The budget deficit in cash is estimated at 2.97% of GDP, while the ESA deficit is 2.96% of GDP, with a budget deficit target below 3% of GDP.
OPINION Romania's King has died and with him the idea of monarchy is fading Romania's King Michael I, who ruled Romania before communists took over in mid-20th century, has died, taking with him the answers to some of the questions we all ask ourselves: what would have happened if he had refused to abdicate in 1947 and would he have faced the communists?? Why did he remove his nephew, former prince Nicholas, from the succession order? The passing of the last king of Romania, a heavily tried monarch, basically cancels out the possibility of restoring the monarchy and leaves behind a Royal House that seems unworthy of his memory.
Romanian Parliament votes late into the night over controversial changes to laws of the Judiciary despite opposition protests, street demonstrations and intl pressure Romanian governing coalition deputies voted on a series of changes to the laws of the judiciary late into the night on Wednesday, despite opposition protests in the House of Deputies, street demonstrations outside of the Parliament HQ and earlier talks on the issue held by key Ambassadors to Romania. The political situation escalated throughout the day, despite a mourning period announced following the death of King Michael, a former, respected ruler of Romania, which was announced a day before.
Romania's King Michael dies age 96 King Michael of Romania, 96, has died at his residence in Switzerland, the national television has announced, quoting a Royal House press release. King Michael was the living monarch who had survived the second world war.
OPINION US warns, Romania's governing PSD accelerates The US has sent three signals for the past two days to Romania's PSD-ALDE governing coalition, warning it cannot rule against its own people. Their answer? Their  foot pressed on the throttle to the bottom for the rapid passage of the laws of Justice, plus misinformation and an attempt to stop the protests.
​Romania's governing coalition leaders react harshly to US Department of State stand on planned changes to Justice laws The leaders of Romania's governing PSD-ALDE coalition reacted harshly on Tuesday to a US Department of State statement issued on Monday evening, which blasted planned changes to the laws regulating the Romanian justice system and which have been criticized as undermining the independence of Justice. The leaders of the coalition said they were "unpleasantly surprised" by the statement and rejected "any pressure" on the Parliament.
Tens of thousands of Romanians protest against governing coalition and its plans to change the rules of Justice Some 25,000 people have been protesting in Bucharest and tens of thousands others in cities across Romania on Sunday evening against the Social Democratic Party (PSD) -led governing coalition and its plans to change the laws of Justice, which would subdue the judiciary politically. Some 25,000 people attended the protest in Bucharest, which started before the Government HQ, continued with a march and a protest before the Parliament palace. They called for the resignation of top PSD leaders including PSD party president and House of Deputies speaker Liviu Dragnea.
Anti-graft prosecutors place whole wealth of governing party leader Liviu Dragnea under precautionary attachment in major graft case Prosecutors at Romania's National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) have placed a precautionary attachment on all assets owned by Liviu Dragnea, House speaker and the leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), in a major corruption case. The DNA eyes to recover a prejudice of RON 127,5 million (EUR27,4 million) in the Tel Drum case.
 Romania's governing coalition puts controversial changes to Justice laws on fast forward. How and when Parliament may pass them Romania's governing coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is hurrying up with its plans to change key laws for the functioning of the justice system, despite outcry from the civil society, associations of magistrates and international organisations, who see the move as an attempt to subdue the judiciary politically. The bills may pass a special commission in the Parliament this week and be voted by the joint chambers of the Parliament within ten days, political sources have told HotNews.ro.
European Commission report on Romanian justice: EU monitoring to continue in 2018, proposed changes to national law would harm independence of judiciary / Romanian officials react The European Commission published on Wednesday its latest report on the situation of the Romanian justice system, the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report. It announced the EU monitoring of Romanian justice would continue in 2018, despite current government's hopes that it would end early next year. And it slams a series of recent proposals to change laws in a manner that would affect the independence of justice. The Romanian government received the report on the positive note, while most other top officials underlined its criticism of government attempts to undermine progress in the reform of the judiciary.
Details of the espionage attempt defeated by the Romanian intel: How Serbian who fought for pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine tried to find out secrets about Romania's military bases and radar from the Black Sea Sarbian Bratislav Zivkovic, leader of the paramilitary group of the Cetnic, who fought in the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo and also along the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, tried several times in 2017 to find information and secrets about the military bases and the critical infrastructure of Romania in the Dobrogea area. The Serbian was monitored by the SRI and was declared undesirable by court. Zivkovici left Romania on Monday, shortly after filming documents he thought were secret, but actually were placed by the SRI.
​European Commission: Romania has accepted the corrections demanded to the EU projects involved in Tel Drum case The European Commission has asked the Romanian authorities to apply financial corrections for the European funds which are being investigated by the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF in the case of Tel Drum, and Romania has accepted these corrections, a spokesman for the EU executive has told HotNews.ro.
​It's official: Leader of Romanian governing party Liviu Dragnea placed under criminal inquiry by the National Anti Corruption Division for creation of organized crime group and abuse of office Romania's National Anti Corruption Division (DNA) reported on Monday the launch of a criminal inquiry against Liviu Dragnea, speaker of the House of Deputies and leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), as well as a group of top managers of Tel Drum company, under suspicion of establishment of an organized crime group and abuse of service in connection with the rehabilitation of county roads with EU funds.
​​OPINION Romanian Government takes great political risks by causing tax chaos and attacking foreign investors Romanian PM Mihai Tudose launched attacks on multinational companies during a government session on Wednesday, when his team adopted a highly disputed ordinance that turns the tax rules in Romania upside down. His Communist-style quarrel with major companies, reminiscent of Chavez, is totally hypocritical. The same Tudose had no issue in keeping royalties for multinationals in the energy sector and he had also accepted multinationals' requests this summer to drop plans to introduce a split VAT and taxes on turnover. In fact, his attacks on Wednesday means a recognition of defeat against party leader Liviu Dragnea and an attempt to mask it by outbidding chaotic changes to the Fiscal Code.
​Tens of thousands protest in Bucharest, other Romanian cities against government plans to subdue Justice Some 20,000 people protested in Bucharest and many thousands more in major cities across Romania on Sunday evening against governing coalition plans to change the laws regulating the judiciary, changes seen as an attempt to politically subdue the Justice system.
Official documents: Romania's governing PSD party pays lobby firm USD100,000 to set meetings between PSD leader and top US officials A Romanian politician who has received a sentence for election fraud is attempting to set up meetings with US Vice President Mike Pence and House speaker Paul Ryan, according to official Department of Justice documents quoted by legistorm.com, a website monitorin Congress and lobby activities. The report recalls that the leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, who is also speaker of the House of Deputies, has received a sentence for attempting to fraud a referendum to dismiss the President of Romania. On Friday morning, Liviu Dragnea dismissed info of any contract between the PSD and any lobby company of the kind mentioned in the report.
​Romanian President Iohannis warns government on "zany" fiscal changes, promises use of all available tools to preserve independence of Justice Romanian President Klaus Iohannis criticized the Social Democratic (PSD) government harshly on Thursday about a series of fiscal changes that he called "zany" and chaotic. He also promised to use all tools at his disposal to preserve the independence of justice.
Moldovan President Dodon invites Romanian counterpart Iohannis to visit Moldova, talks about "asperities and difficulties" between the two states Igor Dodon, the pro-Russian President of the Republic of Moldova, sent to President Klaus Iohannis, through the Romanian ambassador to Chisinau, an official invitation to visit Moldova, according to a Facebook post. "I have the certainty that only through repeated talks the asperities and difficulties that may arise in the relations between states or between institutions can be overcome," Dodon wrote.
Romania marks two years since Bucharest club fire disaster Romania marks on Monday night two years since a fire disaster in Bucharest that killed dozens of people and sparked a wave of protests against corruption, toppled a government and led to massive press investigations into major political and administrative irregularities affecting the national health system.

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