US State Dept. 2017 Report on Human Rights: Corruption remains widespread in Romania
FINANCES - Romania will keep its deficit below 3%, as undertaken before international financial institutions, and the measures taken in 2018 will secure sustainable economic growth both for this year and in the future, the Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici said at a meeting with Poul Thomsen, director of IMF’s European Department. According to a news release issued on Sunday by the Ministry for Public Finances, on April 20-21 Eugen Teodorovici took part in the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington. The Romanian official also had a meeting with Cyrill Muller, World Bank vice-president for Europe and Central Asia. The Finance Minister proposed to the WB leaders a new approach on loan granting, which would make spending more flexible, depending on the stage of preparation and implementation of projects. According to the Ministry, the agenda of the Romanian delegation also included meetings with representatives of investment banks, rating agencies and officials of international financial institutions.
CONFERENCE – The Speaker of the Senate of Romania, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, and of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, will take part on Monday and Tuesday in the Conference of Speakers of EU Parliaments, held in Tallinn, Estonia. Taking part will be over 40 speakers of national parliaments, as well as the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. The main topics on the agenda are the future of the European Union and the EU security and defence.
HUMAN RIGHTS – Corruption remains widespread in Romania, and bribe-giving is still common practice in the public sector, reads the 2017 Country Report on Human rights issued by the US State Department. Laws were not always implemented efficiently, and officials, judges included, sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Immunity from criminal prosecution held by existing and former cabinet members who were also members of parliament sometimes blocked investigations, the report also reads. The same document notes that some Romanian politicians own or control media organisations, influencing their editorial policy. As regards prisons, the report mentions that they remained overcrowded and in breach of international standards, although the authorities took some steps to address the situation. In Romania, the US State Department says, some cases of police abuse were reported in 2017 as well, most of them going unpunished. So were cases of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and discrimination against the Roma, people with disabilities and sexual minorities. Child abuse and neglect cases were also reported.
ANTI-CORRUPTION – The Government of Romania intends to notify the Constitutional Court with respect to President Klaus Iohannis’ decision not to dismiss the chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, Laura Codruta Kovesi. A meeting in this respect will be held on Monday by PM Viorica Dancila and the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, the one who requested the dismissal. According to him, the President gave no judicial or managerial arguments to substantiate his decision, which was exclusively political in nature. The head of state said the dismissal request was ungrounded, which was also the official opinion of the Superior Council of Magistracy.
TENNIS - Romania’s women’s tennis team defeated Switzerland in the playoffs for the Fed Cup World Group, hosted by the north-western Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, general score 3-1. In the last match of the competition, the Swiss pair Viktorija Golubic/Jil Teichmann defeated Sorana Cîrstea and Mihaela Buzărnescu. In the first match of the day, world no 1 Simona Halep outplayed the Swiss Patty Schnyder and won the decisive point for Romania’s qualification. The previous day, Halep won against Viktorija Golubic, while Irina-Camelia Begu defeated Timea Bacsinszky. Demoted in 2016 from Fed Cup’s World Group, Romania thus returns to the world tennis elite in the 2019 season.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)