Social Democrats win a landslide victory in Romania's parliamentary elections/ Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels/ Romania's handballers take on the Czech team Tuesday
ELECTIONS RESULTS – The left-leaning Social Democratic Party won a landslide victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections with more than 45% of the votes, show data published by the Central Electoral Bureau following the counting of over 99% of the votes cast in Romania and abroad. Second comes the National Liberal Party with only 20%, followed by the Save Romania Union (USR) with more than 9% of the votes. The USR thus became the 3rd political force in Romania just months after its setting up. The new Parliament will also include the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats (ALDE) set up by the current speaker of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tăriceanu, with around 6%, the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania also with 6% and the People’s Movement Party of the former president Traian Băsescu. The future 464 MPs were voted by almost 40% of the Romanians with the right to vote. Following the results of Sunday’s elections the leader of the National Liberal Party Alina Gorghiu announced her resignation.
BRUSSELS – The Romanian Foreign Minister, Lazăc Comănescu, on Monday participated in Brussels in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting. The Romanian FM referred to the relationship between the EU and Africa, the main topic on the agenda of talks, saying that the identification of aspects of common interest had a special importance. The European foreign ministers also talked about migration and the situation in Syria.
STATISTICS - In Romania the annual drop in prices was intensified again in November after a moderate drop in October, reaching 0.7% as compared to November 2015, after in October the inflation rate stood at minus 0.4%, according to data made public on Monday by the National Institute of Statistics. The amount of commodities and services whose prices have dropped in comparison with November 2015 stands at 42.4%. The National Bank of Romania maintained, in its latest report on inflation presented in November, the inflation rate estimates for 2016 at minus 0.4% but revised upwards the estimates for 2017 at 2.1% from 2% as estimated in August.
HANDBALL - Romania's women’s handball team will be taking on the Czech team at the European Championship in Sweden on Tuesday. On Sunday, in their first game of the second group, the Romanians secured a 29-21 win against Hungary. Norway comes first in the group standings with six points followed by Romania and Denmark, each with four points. Next come the Czech Republic and Russia, each with two points, whereas Hungary has no points. Romania is coached by the Spanish Ambros Martin who replaced the Swedish Tomas Ryde, under whose guidance the Romanians won bronze at the 2015 World Championships in Denmark.
FOOTBALL – Romania’s football champions Astra Giurgiu will take on the Belgian team KRC Genk in the Europa League round of 32 after Monday’s draw that took place in Nyon, Switzerland. Astra has reached this stage of the championship for the first time and will play the first match on home ground on February 16, with the return match scheduled for February 23. Astra ended on 2nd place in Group E which also included AS Rome, Austria Vienna and Viktoria Plzen. Romania’s vice-champions Steaua Bucharest also played in the Europe League group stage, but failed to qualify to the round of 32.
LAGARDE - The IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde will stand trial in France over negligence leading to misuse of public funds for the time when she was Economy Minister in France's right-wing government between 2007 and 2011. She was accused of having awarded 404 million euros in state payout to businessman Bernard Tapie. If found guilty, Lagarde could get a one-year prison sentence and 15 thousand euros in fines. We recall that the French judges have recently indicted the former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac under the mandate of incumbent Socialist president Francois Hollande for tax fraud and money laundering. (translation by L. Simion)