A roundup of some of the main stories in Romania today.
Government. The prime minister designate Ludovic Orban on Thursday made
public his nominations for the cabinet positions. The government proposed by
the Liberal leader has only 16 ministries and one deputy prime minister, with
Raluca Turcan being proposed for the latter post. According to the governing programme
presented by the National Liberal Party, the urgent measures include ensuring
the best conditions for the organisation of the upcoming presidential elections
in November, nominating a candidate for the position of European commissioner
and amending the state budget for 2019 and drafting the budget for next year.
Orban will submit his nominations and programme to Parliament, which will
establish a timetable for interviews with the candidates and a vote in a joint
sitting of the two chambers. The maths, however, indicate that the Liberals
don't have a majority in Parliament yet after talks with the Pro Romania party led
by the former prime minister Victor Ponta have collapsed. The support of the
People's Movement Party is also in doubt, this party being unhappy with the
idea of a minority Liberal government. The Save Romania Union and the Alliance
of Liberals and Democrats say they have reached a political agreement with the
Liberals. We recall that the National Liberal Party initiated the no-confidence
motion that brought down Viorica Dancila's Social Democrat government on the 10th
European prosecutor. The decision to appoint Romania's former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruta Kovesi as the head of the future European Public Prosecutor's Office was signed on Wednesday by the speaker of the European Parliament David Sassoli and the Finnish minister for European affairs Tytti Tuppurainen on behalf of the Council of the European Union. This comes after the European Parliament's Conference of Presidents on the 16th of October completed the final step in the process to appoint Kovesi as the first European public prosecutor. An idea launched and promoted by the former Romanian cabinet member and MEP Monica Macovei, the European Public Prosecutor's Office is to start operating at the end of 2020 as an independent body in charge of investigating, prosecuting and indicting crimes against the European Union budget such as fraud, corruption and cross-border VAT fraud in excess of 10 million euros. 22 states are participating at the moment, with the remaining five states, namely Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Ireland and Denmark, being able to join at any point.
Pollution tax. Plans to introduce a duty on Euro 5 emissions standard cars
travelling in Bucharest were adopted on Thursday by the General Council of the
Bucharest City Hall. The introduction of the duty on Euro 4 vehicles has been
postponed by one year, to January 1st 2021. Access to the capital
city for non-Euro, Euro 1 and Euro 2 vehicles will be prohibited beginning in
2022 and for Euro 3 cars beginning in 2024. Bucharest's mayor Gabriela Firea
says the money raised from this tax will be channelled to environmental
projects and the purchase of eco-friendly public transport. Exempt from paying
the duty will be people with disabilities and their carers, scooters and
motorcycles, emergency vehicles, tax authorities vehicles and the broadcasting
vehicles of media institutions.
Exercise. Constanta, Romania's biggest maritime port located in the
south-east of the country, saw the completion of a multinational exercise
planned by the Supreme Headquarters Allied
Powers Europe. The operations took place in Romania and the neighbouring Bulgaria
and were conducted by the Allied Joint Force Command Naples. The exercise was intended
to offer participants clear understanding of national defense
capabilities and terrain in both Bulgaria and Romania.
Tennis. The Romanian-Dutch doubles pair Horia Tecau and Jean-Julien Rojer
on Thursday reached the semifinals of the ATP tournament in Basel, Switzerland,
worth more than 2 million euros in prize money. They defeated the British pair Jamie
Murray and Neal Skupski in two sets. This is Tecau and Rojer's third semifinal
in Basel after 2015 and 2016.