Holland takes over EU's rotating presidency on January 1st, 2016 / Moldova's PM designate to present his cabinet members on January 2nd
Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice decided on Monday that Senator Dan Sova would further remain in police custody. Sova is accused of influence peddling. According to prosecutors, between 2011 and 2014, Sova accepted 100,000 Euro to persuade the general manager of a state-owned energy company to sign a contract with a specific law firm. In another case involving Dan Sova, is also investigated Romania’s former PM Victor Ponta, who resigned in November.
Moldova’s Prime Minister designate, Ion Sturza, has announced he will present the government programme and the cabinet members on January 2nd, 2016. Last week, Sturza announced he would ask for Parliament’s vote of confidence on January 4th. Sturza supports the idea of a technocratic government and says the country’s economic situation is extremely serious. Only one political party, the Liberal Democratic Party, has so far voiced support for the new cabinet that Sturza will propose.
1.3 million Romanians working for minimum wage in the private sector and for companies where the state is a partner are going to find out on December 30 if their income goes up, after the last government meeting this year. Until then, PM Dacian Ciolos is holding talks with employers and trade unions. In January, over 630,000 employees collecting state wages, such as public administration, police and gendarmes will get 10% higher wages. With a minimum gross wage of 230 Euro a month, Romania is last but one in the EU in this respect. In the Czech Republic the minimum wage is 332 Euro a month, in Poland 410, in Spain 760, and in Germany 1,470 Euro a month.
AFP has declared German Chancellor Angela Merkel the most influential personality of 2015. In a year of crises for Europe, from the Ukraine war to Greece's debt turmoil to the historic refugee influx, Germany's Angela Merkel emerged as the continent's de facto leader, drawing more praise and fire than ever, AFP reports. Time magazine also declared her as the world's most influential person of 2015, beating to the plate Russian President Vladimir Putin, who won the title in 2014.
Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis agency, says that Romania will play an important role in a future anti-Russian coalition. According to their forecast, Romania, Poland and Hungary will attempt to regain territory lost to Russia at some point in the past. Stratfor believes that the future of CEE will be defined by US interests. Poland is supposed to become the regional leader, while the EU, even though it would hold together, would be much more divided. The organization also expects Moscow to be afflicted by sanctions and low oil prices.
Holland takes over the EU's rotating presidency on 1 January 2016 for the 12th time. The most important issues it will be facing are the wave of migration and terrorism. Dutch PM Mark Rutte said this is going to be a very pragmatic presidency, focused on common issues. As for migration, the Dutch premier said he was irritated by the fact that the migrant crisis fell on the shoulders of western EU members, while eastern members shirked their duties in this respect.
(Translated by Elena Enache)