CARACAL CASE - The European Parliament President David Sassoli has called for more effective measures to prevent crime and violence against women, in a reaction on Twitter to the Caracal case. On July 24th, 15-year-old Alexandra Macesanu disappeared after taking a free car- lift to Caracal. She called the emergency number 112 three times, but authorities failed to locate her. Investigators started searching the home of suspect Gheorghe Dinca, aged 66, in the morning of July 26th, 19 hours after the girl called. After he was detained, Gheorghe Dinca stated he had killed two girls, aged 15 and 18, and then burned them. Alexandra's DNA was identified in the ashes picked from the suspect's home and the investigators found new fragments of bones and teeth near a forest in Caracal, and the tests are to establish whether they belong to the other kidnapped girl, Luiza Melencu, who disappeared in April. In the meantime, field searches and hearings continue. The prosecutors' department of the Superior Council of Magistracy has called on the Judicial Inspection to conduct verifications at the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism and the prosecutor's offices within courts of first instances and tribunals. The verification targets the way in which the criminal cases on human trafficking were prosecuted, as well as those on minor trafficking, killing and deprivation of liberty. The various flaws identified in the Caracal case have already triggered resignations and dismissals, including from among ministers.
BILLS - The Romanian Government is analyzing today, at first reading, the bill on searching missing persons. The bill stipulates the possibility for the missing person to be localized without opening a criminal file first and also the setting up, as a police department, of the central unit 'Missing persons' and of the emergency dispatch 'Missing minors'. According to the Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, the government will also analyze the budget adjustment, by observing the budget deficit target of 2.76%. The ministries of transport, European funds, business, agriculture, research, education and the Government's general secretariat will get less money, while the ministries of finance, environment, labour and regional development, as well as the Romanian Intelligence Service will get more. Also, the budget adjustment bill provides the necessary amounts for pensions and salaries, and also 28.5 million Euros for the completion of the process of restoring the special tax and the pollution tax for cars and vehicles.
INFLATION - The National Bank of Romania has maintained the 4.2% inflation estimate for the end of this year and an estimate of 3.4% for next year, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mugur Isarescu, has announced today. He has presented the quarterly report on inflation. In May, the Central Bank had forecasted a 3.3% inflation rate for December 2020. According to the Bank, the annual inflation rate will stand outside the central target range during the second half of 2019 as well, against the background of the shocks occurring in the first half of the year. Later, the rate will follow a relatively stable line, in the upper half of the target range, as the effects of the said shocks will subside, along with the prospects of inflationist pressure at the level of the basic inflation.
ORACLE - Prosecutors with the National Anticorruption Directorate have started the prosecution of the Oracle Romania CEO Sorin Mindrutescu, for aggravated bribe taking. According to the investigators, between 2009-2013 he claimed and received some 870,000 Euro in bribe from representatives of IT firms. In exchange for the money, Sorin Mindrutescu would provide advantageous price offers for the products sold by Oracle Romania, in particular IT licenses for public institutions, for those companies to be able to take part in tenders organized by various state-owned institutions or public institutions with private equity. Mindrutescu has rejected the accusations. Oracle is an American multinational company specializing in the development and selling of hardware and software solutions for companies and organizations.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, no.4 in the WTA rankings, has qualified for the next round of the WTA tournament in Toronto, Canada, with 2.8 million dollars in prize money, after a difficult match on Wednesday against the American Jennifer Brady (76 WTA), 4-6, 7-5, 7-6. In the next round Simona will play against the Russian Svetlana Kuzentova (198 WTA). Simona Halep won this tournament before, back in 2016. Also in Toronto, the pair made up of the Romanian tennis player Raluca Olaru and the Chinese Zhaoxuan Yang is today playing against the first seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova of the Check Republic. (translated by M. Ignatescu)