Assessment of Romania's prosecutor general, Swine fever reported at biggest pig farm in Braila
Protocols – The Romanian justice minister Tudorel Toader on Saturday announced the start of the procedure for the assessment of the managerial activity of Romania’s prosecutor general Augustin Lazar in the context of the protocols concluded with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). The assessment results will be made public within 30 days at the most. The General Prosecutor’s Office announced it concluded in December 2016 two cooperation protocols with the Romanian Intelligence Service which were in force only for 3 months. One of them, which was made public, set the conditions for access to the technical systems belonging to the National Centre for Interception of Communications, while the other, which was classified, was related to cooperation regarding crimes against national security, terrorism as well as crimes made by the military staff within the Intelligence Service. The head of the Romanian Intelligence Service Eduard Hellvig said Friday that no such cooperation protocol between the Intelligence Service and other state institutions is currently valid. The speaker of the Senate and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the governing coalition Calin Popescu Tariceanu said that the news related to the two protocols between SRI and the General Prosecutors’ Office, even if officially denounced, was further proof of the SRI’s attempt to subordinate justice and violate the rights and freedoms of Romanians. The leaders of the governing coalition have repeatedly denounced the existence of secret connections between SRI and prosecutors.
Moody’s – Moody’s Rating Agency maintained the BBB-/A-3 rating for Romania’s government debt on long and short term, in hard and local currency, reconfirming the country’s stable outlook, the Finance Ministry officials announced in a communiqué conveyed to AGERPRES news agency. Moody’s rating shows that Romania has a solid economic growth rate that will be maintained in the coming years, and this prospect for growth and the moderate level of public debt are reason enough for investors to trust the Romanian economy, claims the finance minister Eugen Teodorovici. According to the aforementioned source, some of Romania’s strengths underlying Moody’s rating include the country’s robust potential for economic growth on medium term, its moderate fiscal capacity and the moderate exposure to external risks. Moody’s ratings point to an increase, in the next 2 years, in Romania’s real GDP by 4% in 2018 and by 3.5% in 2019.
Swine fever - The sanitary veterinarian authorities have confirmed the existence of the African swine fever virus in Romania’s biggest pig farm, the 2nd largest in Europe, located in the southeastern county of Braila. The farm has as many as 140 thousand pigs. All the pigs will be slaughtered starting on Monday. There are three more pig farms in Braila where the virus was confirmed. The African swine fever spread in counties from the northwest and southeast of Romania, affecting mainly pigs from households and farms. The producers’ associations believe that a state of emergency should be declared in the affected counties, as the companies that invested in the pig farming sector are on the brink of bankruptcy.
Tennis – The pair made up of the Romanian Horia Tecau and the Dutch Jean Julien Rojer won the ATP doubles in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the US, a competition offering total prizes worth 700 thousand dollars. They defeated 6-4, 6-2 the pair Jamie Cerretani (USA)/ Leander Paes (India). The Romanian-Dutch pair is to defend the title at the US Open, the year’s last grand slam tournament that will start on Monday in New York. In the US Open, Romanian Simona Halep, world’s no. 1 player and top seed, will be up against the Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the first round. Another 5 Romanian players will play in the singles. Mihaela Buzărnescu will first play against the Czech Marketa Vondrousova, Sorana Cîrstea will face the American Alison Riske, Irina Begu will be up against another American player, Jennifer Brady, Ana Bogdan will play against the Czech Marie Bouzkova, while Monica Niculescu will be pitted against Israeli Julia Glushko. Marius Copil, the only player in the men’s competition, will be up against Croat Marin Cilic, world’s no. 6 player, in the first round.
Black Sea security – The Romanian defense minster Mihai Fifor said Saturday that Romanian should have good capabilities for deterrence and defense of NATO’s eastern flank, given that it is the main provider of security and stability in the Black Sea. He added that the government was doing its best for the major army endowment programs to be observed. Last year Romania started to allot 2% of the GDP for defense.
Beijing – China denounced on Saturday what it called American President Donald Trump’s irresponsible statements, as he cancelled US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming visit to North Korea citing a lack of progress on denuclearization and of cooperation from China, France Press reports. On Friday President Trump said that because of the US’s much tougher trading stance with China, the latter was not helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were. This is the first time that President Trump denounces the absence of concrete progress after June’s historic summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, France Press also writes.(translation by L. Simion)