THE KING – The last king of Romania, Mihai I, on Saturday was interred at the royal necropolis in Curtea de Arges, southern Romania, the resting place of his wife, Queen Ana and the other three kings of Romania. The king died on December 5 in Switzerland aged 96. 21 cannon salvos were shot to honor Romania’s marshal and supreme army commander during World War II. Tens of thousands of people paid their respects to the King at the Royal Palace in Bucharest, accompanying the funeral convoy from the Palace to the train station. The funeral started on Saturday with a religious service in the Throne Room at the Royal Palace, followed by a second one in the Royal Palace Square. The coffin was laid on a gun carriage pulled by a military vehicle and transported to the Orthodox Cathedral, where the last religious service in Bucharest was held. The coffin was then transported by train to Curtea de Arges, where the final interment service was officiated. Attending the funerals were representatives of European monarchies and scores of high-ranking officials from all over the world.
COVERAGE – The Government of the State of Israel shares in the grief of the Romanian Royal Family for the death of King Mihai I, a friend of the Jewish people, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, adding that he was grateful for the royal family’s role in saving Jews during the Holocaust in Romania, especially HRM King Mihai I, who’s been declared “righteous among nations”, a press releases of the Israeli Embassy in Bucharest reads. Additionally, the state funeral of King Mihai I made headlines with the main international news agencies. Televisions from all over the world broadcast images from the events held in Bucharest. According to the BBC, attending the funeral were numerous representatives of Europe’s royal houses, including Prince Charles of Great Britain and the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos. King Mihai is best remembered for his decision in August 1944 to switch sides with the Allies and turn arms against Germany during the Second World War. France Press news agency also highlighted that thousands of Romanians bid farewell to their king. Since the king passed away on December 5, Romanians have proved their affection for their beloved king, amidst popular disgruntlement with the political class, France Press also reports.
COMMEMORATION – A national day of mourning was decreed on Sunday in Timisoara, western Romania, to mark 28 years since the 1989 anti-communist revolution and in memory of those who lost their lives. Religious ceremonies were held and floral tributes were paid to monuments devoted to the city’s heroes. Events will continue until December 20, Victory Day, when Timisoara will play host to a rock concert. Started out as a grassroots movement against the local authorities’ abusive decisions, the revolution spread quickly across the country, and led to the demise of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on December 22. Over 1,000 people were killed and nearly 3,400 were wounded over December 16-25. Romania was the only country from the Soviet bloc where the anti-communist revolution ended in violence with the dictatorial couple being executed.
MEMORANDUM – Romania’s Justice Minister Tudorel Toader has paid a visit to Malaysia, where together with Prosecutor General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Haji Mohamed Apandi bin Ali, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Romania and the Government of Malaysia on judicial cooperation. According to the Romanian Justice Ministry, the memorandum provides for various forms of cooperation, such as exchanges of legislation, experience and best practices in areas of joint interest, mutual visits of representatives of various justice institutions, promoting projects and programs for judicial cooperation. During his visit to Malaysia, Minister Toader had talks with Ionut Alexandru Gologan, the Romanian citizen who received a death sentence for drug trafficking in 2012. The Romanian delegation has expressed its hope that the memorandum would fulfill the two sides’ interests, while observing the legislation in force.
VISIT – EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, will pay a two-day visit to Romania on Monday. Her agenda includes meetings with Prime Minister Mihai Tudose and several members of the Government. Corina Cretu will also attend the 2017 Structural Funds Gala. Prior to her visit Corina Cretu said Romania has made sustained efforts to implement programs funded with cohesion funds, but these efforts must continue, Corina Cretu said.
BUDGET – Parliament’s joint budget and finance committees have adopted the state and social security budgets for next year. The state budget is based on an economic growth of 5.5%, an exchange rate of 4.55 lei against the euro and a monthly average income of some €570. The budget deficit is set at 2,97% of the GDP. On Monday, Parliament’s two chambers will debate the two bills in a joint plenary session, and a final vote on this matter has been scheduled for December 21.
FINANCE – The Romanian Finance Ministry plans on issuing short-term Eurobonds worth some €8 billion over 2018 and 2019, according to a Government bill. The measure is aimed at financing the budget deficit and re-financing public debt. The Finance Ministry estimates the value of current non-refunded bonds at some €19 billion. This year the Government borrowed some €3 billion on external markets. At present Romania has positive ratings with most financial rating agencies.
COMMITTEE – Parliament’s committee on the justice laws will convene on Monday to discuss amendments to the law package, which will be submitted to the Senate for debate, the decision-making body in this case. The amendments concern the status of magistrates and the laws on judicial organization and the functioning of the Superior Council of Magistracy. Also on Monday, the Committee will start debates to transpose into national law a European directive on the presumption of innocence.
(Translated by V. Palcu)