REVOLUTION CASE - Army prosecutors have today announced the extension of the interval for the criminal prosecution of the former president of the country Ion Iliescu to December 27-31, 1989, for which an endorsement of investigation is not necessary. Ion Iliescu has been summoned to the Prosecutor General's Office to be informed about the start of his prosecution for crimes against humanity, in the 1989 Revolution Case. On April 13th, the current president Klaus Iohannis endorsed the start of the criminal prosecution of Ion Iliescu, of the former prime-minister Petre Roman and of the former deputy prime-minister Gelu Voican Voculescu in the Revolution Case. The three ex-officials are now being prosecuted and can be sent to court for crimes against humanity, allegedly committed between the 22nd and the 31st of December 1989, when they were holding positions in the National Salvation Front Council, which back then was holding both the executive and the legislative power. According to prosecutors, the armed incidents that occurred after December 22nd, in several towns and cities across Romania, are indicative of the fact that everything occurred as the result of a pre-established plan, aimed at helping the new leaders take over power and gain legitimacy. The three former officials, though, say they are innocent. According to official statistics, in December 1989 more than 1100 people were killed and more than 3000 were wounded, mostly after the arrest of dictator Ceausescu and his wife.
BUCHAREST FORMAT - Bucharest is hosting the first parliamentary summit of the Bucharest Format (B9), attended by representatives of nine European countries and high ranking NATO officials. The summit is aimed at strengthening the role of national parliaments in the security and defense fields. The agenda of the event, which will last until Thursday, includes topics such as the future presence of NATO, the defense and deterrence posture, fighting terrorism, perceptions regarding the threats facing the participant countries and legislative consolidation in the defense field. The B 9 summit is aimed at conveying a unitary and coherent message concerning the strengthening of NATO's Eastern flank, ahead of the NATO summit to be hosted by Brussels in July.
FAC - The EU foreign ministers, gathered in Luxembourg, have voiced support for all the measures aimed at preventing new chemical attacks against civilians in Syria and have called for a re-launch of the political process, aimed to put an end to the conflict. Attending the External Affairs Council, the Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu has stated that Romania firmly condemns the use of chemical weapons in any circumstances, especially against civilians. Talking about the prolonged crisis in Syria, Melescanu has drawn attention to the danger of a military escalation, which would have serious consequences in the region, and has called on all the parties involved to support the UN's efforts to find a political solution.
SUMMIT - On May 4th, the Bulgarian city of Ruse will play host to an informal meeting of the presidents of Bulgaria, Austria and Romania, the countries holding successively the rotating presidency of the EU Council as of January 1st, 2018. According to the press office of the Bulgarian presidential administration, the three heads of state will debate topics of European interest, which are also among the priorities of the current Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council. The meeting in Ruse is an expression of the three countries' political will to ensure a common stand with regard to the main topics on the EU agenda, such as the European prospects of the Western Balkans, the future of the cohesion policy and the interconnection of the energy networks in the region.
PROTESTS - Hundreds of employees of the County Emergency Hospital in Craiova, south-western Romania, have today continued their protest against the drop in their incomes an said that, unless their claims are settled, they will start an all-out strike. Health-care employees in Iasi, in the north-east, and Resita, in the west, have also protested today against the new salary scheme used in the sector. On Monday, hundreds of employees with several hospitals in Bucharest and other cities across Romania came to the streets to protest against the 30% cap on bonuses, which has diminished their incomes significantly. The health minister Sorina Pintea has stated that the incomes have dropped only for 10% of the health-care staff and has explained that the bonus cap must be observed. Pintea has also said that hospital directors must manage their activities properly and provide the money for the existing gaps from the hospitals' own funds.
MUSIC AWARDS - On Monday, Radio Romania awarded the best Romanian music performers and the best pieces and albums recorded last year. The award for best female voice went to the pop singer Andra, and for best male voice to the soloist of the band 'Directia V', Cristi Enache. The rock band 'Vunk' and the pop band 'The Motans' won the awards for best rock and best pop artists respectively. The prize for best album and best singer of the year was won by Smiley, and the excellence award went to the pop-rock singer Dida Dragan.
HANDBALL - The Romanian women's handball champions CSM Bucharest will learn today their opponents in the Final Four semifinals, following a drawing of lots. CSM Bucharest qualified on Sunday night for the so called Final Four of the Champions League, although it had lost 20-27 to the French from Metz, in a match away from home. In the first match, on home turf, CSM had won 34-21. The other three teams that have qualified for the Final Four are the current champion Gyor ETO of Hungary, HC Vardar of Macedonia and Rostov-Don of Russia. The semifinals and the final will be held on May 12 and 13, in Budapest, where the Romanian team won the competition back in 2016. (translated by Mihaela Ignatescu)