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Romania's Constitutional Court makes first decision on controversial laws of justice. Some provisions of the Law on Judicial Organization – unconstitutional. Disputed special office to investigate magistrates - constitutional The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Tuesday declared unconstitutional a series of provisions of the controversial Law on Judicial Organization, which passed through Parliament late last year. It also decided to postpone the debate on the other two disputed pieces of justice legislation which sparked public outcry over the past several months, namely the Statute of Magistrates and the Organization of the Superior Council of Magistrates, for January 30, according to News.ro news agency. In the case of the Law decided upon today, the CCR considered that a key provision which caused a lot of criticism, the establishment of a special body to investigate magistrates, was constitutional.
UPDATE ​Massive protests take place in Bucharest on Saturday against governing coalition plans to subdue justice and harsh economic changes Massive protests in the making for more than a month are due to take place in Romanian capital city Bucharest on Saturday evening. Demonstrations, gathering local people as well as protesters from around the country, are aimed against government plans to subdue the judiciary politically, to put an end to the fight against corruption, as well as a series of government measures including changes to the fiscal code, which are seen as burdening the economy.UPDATE 9.30 p.m. The latest estimates say some 100,000 people attended the protests across the country, 70,000 in Bucharest.UPDATE 8.00 p.m. Somewhere between 40,000-55,000 are estimated to have taken part in the first two hours of protests in Bucharest starting 6 p.m. on Saturday. Many thousands more attended protests in other cities across the country, including Iasi, Cluj, Sibiu, Timisoara. In Bucharest, incidents between protesters and gendarmes were reported in the first phase of the protest, before gendarmes dropped attempts to contain the march and check participants pouring into University Square.
EXCLUSIVE OMV CEO Rainer Seele: It makes no sense and we have no interest in Petrom-Gazprom cooperation / Petrom has to go abroad / Big volumes coming with Neptune project will be exported Major Romanian energy company Petrom "has to go abroad" in order to secure new reserves and Kazakhstan and Bulgaria are possible targets, OMV CEO and Petrom supervisory council chairman Rainer Seele says in an interview with HotNews.ro. Seele says it makes no sense for Petrom to cooperate with Gazprom when it comes to business or shareholders. Seele lauded the performance of Mariana Gheorghe, who has managed Petrom for the past 12 years. He says new Petrom CEO Christina Verchere Christina Verchere understands especially the development of gas fields and gas projects.
OPINION Anger vs. rational thinking. Two perspectives on President Klaus Iohannis decision to quickly accept the PSD proposal for prime minister Romanian President Klaus Iohannis' decision on Wednesday to quickly announce that he accepted the PSD proposal for prime minister, MEP Viorica Dancila, just one hour after the conclusion of the consultations with the parties, raised an unprecedented wave of public indignation. Rightly, in the absence of more detailed arguments and explanations, the feeling of abandon without fighting has revolted even the most infamous supporters of the president. Once the wave of emotion slowed down, we can go through both perspectives with calm. There are a number of arguments from the president. Few have seen or accepted them. So what are the two perspectives?
Romanian President Iohannis accepts PSD nomination and designates Viorica Dancila as prime minister Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced on Wednesday that he decided to accept Social Democratic Party's (PSD) nomination for prime minister, MEP Viorica Dancila. He said he made the decision considering the Constitution, the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the fact that the PSD and their allies held a majority in the Parliament.
​​OPINION The hardest moment of Romanian President Iohannis's career: The "Dancila test" Any move made by Romania's President Klaus Iohannis must be judged by two filters: 1) public interest; 2) his political interest in being re-elected in 2019. Faced with the test put up by the governing Social Democrats led by House speaker Liviu Dragnea, after their nomination of MEP Viorica Dancila for the seat of prime minister, Iohannis knows perfectly well that the public interest is for him to refuse the proposal. Electorally speaking, however, the interests of the president are different: he wants the PSD not to give a prime minister that can become a strong counter-candidate in 2019 and, moreover, he wants the PSD to settle the critical situation in public finances.
Romania's ruling Social Democrats nominate MEP Viorica Dancila for prime minister The leadership of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD) on Tuesday nominated Viorica Dancila, a MEP since 2009, for the seat of prime minister, in the wake of PM Mihai Tudose's withdrawal on Monday. Dancila is a politician who has grown in local politics in an area long ruled by current PSD leader Liviu Dragnea.
Romanian President names Defense minister Mihai Fifor interim prime minister in wake of PM Mihai Tudose's resignation Romanian President Klaus Iohannis named Mihai Fifor, who has served as Defense minister in Mihai Tudose's government until now, as interime prime minister on Tuesday. Iohannis said in a press statement that he would start consultations with parliamentary parties for the nomination of a prime minister starting Wednesday.
BREAKING Romanian PM Mihai Tudose resigns Romanian PM Mihai Tudose informed the leadership of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) on Monday evening that he would resign, according to Agriculture minister Petre Daea. Political sources quoted by TV news channels had previously said a resignation was submitted at a party leadership meeting. Sources have also told HotNews.ro that several of his ministers would also resign.UPDATE PM Tudose has confirmed his resignation, saying he would not serve as interim head of government until a replacement was found.

OPINION Conflict on repeat at the leadership of Romania's governing PSD party. What are the assets of rivals Dragnea and Tudose and who is the third way

The second conflict between Liviu Dragnea, the leader of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), and PSD's PM Mihai Tudose comes in less than a year and throws PSD back into the crisis. The confrontation between the two has a new episode today, under the eyes of the so-called barons - influential local PSD leaders across the country - who want more power. The discussion is based on a different reality from the previous conflict with Tudose's deposed predecessor, Sorin Grindeanu: now, Liviu Dragnea no longer has the parliamentary majority to beat the Government, nor is it certain that Iohannis will appoint a new PSD prime minister. TOP PSD figures such as Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea and minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu, allied so far with Dragnea, also see the opportunity of the moment.
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".

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