ANTI-CORRUPTION - The Judicial Inspection in Romania has taken note of the accusations launched publicly against some prosecutors of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate in Prahova County, southern Romania, and has announced that it makes verifications. In a televised program, the former Social-Democrat MP, Vlad Cosma, who has been sentenced to five years in prison, in a first instance court, on Monday claimed that the anti-corruption prosecutors allegedly asked him to plant evidence in a file related to the former Social Democrat PM Victor Ponta and businessman Sebastian Ghiţă, who fled to Serbia. Vlad Cosma has made available audio recordings. In response, the DNA Ploiesti chief-prosecutor, Lucian Onea, has told a press conference that evidence has never been falsified and illicit understandings with the defendants have never been made in the institution he runs. The Anti-corruption Directorate claims that Vlad Cosma’s allegations are aimed at compromising prosecutors and police officers who affected the interests of some politicians. The president of the ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, has said that if the accusations related to the activity of DNA Prahova turn out to be true, there are elements of political police in Romania. In another move, representatives of the right wing opposition say the respective information should not be the subject of political debate. According to them, finding the truth is the responsibility of the Judicial Inspection, the Supreme Council of Magistracy, the Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor’s Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
JUSTICE OVERHAUL – Romania’s Constitutional Court is today analysing the notifications forwarded by the High Court of Cassation and Justice and the main opposition party, the National Liberal Party, regarding the modifications brought to the Law on the organisation and functioning of the Superior Council of Magistracy. Late last year, the Senate adopted, as decision-making body, the draft modifying the Law on the functioning of the Superior Council of Magistracy. Some of the most important provisions referred to the Judicial Inspection, which will be functioning as a structure within the Superior Council of Magistracy, as a legal body. Backed by the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party-the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Romania, the modifications are contested by the right wing political opposition, part of the public opinion and hundreds of magistrates, who consider the judicial overhaul to be a process lacking transparency. In exchange, the representatives of the ruling coalition say the changes are meant to bring the justice laws in line with earlier rulings issued by Romania’s Constitutional Court and by the European Court of Human Rights.
FINANCIAL –"Romania's expansionary fiscal policy looks set to continue following last month's change of prime minister and this will increase macro-economic imbalances" the London-based Fitch Ratings said in a commentary published on its website. Fitch also sees a sizeable structural budget deficit which will make Romania's public finances more vulnerable to shocks. "Pro-cyclical fiscal policy has boosted growth but increased the risk of the economy overheating. A strong fiscal impulse contributed to robust consumption-driven growth of close to 7% in 2017 - the highest in the EU," Fitch has also noted. “With the economy operating above capacity, further fiscal easing risks increasing macroeconomic imbalances, potentially increasing inflationary pressures, weakening competitiveness and widening the current account deficit”, the ratings agency added. Fitch also noted that the Dancila cabinet has presented its governing programme which includes proposals for further tax cuts and increases to minimum wages and pensions, as well as for introducing tax exemptions for medical doctors.
WRD- World Radio Day is being celebrated today the world over. It is for the seventh year in a row that World Radio Day is being celebrated on February 13, to mark the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, when it transmitted its first call sign: "This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world." The theme of World Radio Day this year is “Radio and Sports”. In Romania, the first broadcast by the public radio was aired on November 1, 1928, 90 years ago. February 13 is a day to celebrate radio, to improve international cooperation between broadcasters and to encourage major networks and community radios to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves. World Radio Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio, and enhance networking among broadcasters.
TENNIS – Romania’s Fed Cup team will play Switzerland over April 21-22 on home turf in the World Group playoffs. On Sunday, Romania defeated Canada at home in the first round of the second world group. Today Irina-Camelia Begu, 37 WTA, is playing Samantha Stosur of Australia, 44 WTA, in the first round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha, offering $3.1 million in prize money. Also today, Sorana Cirstea, 38 WTA, is playing Maria Sakkari of Greece, 60 WTA. On Monday, in the first round, Mihaela Buzarnescu, 43 WTA, ousted Lesia Tsurkenko of Ukraine, 40 WTA, in straight sets. Monica Niculescu, 92 WTA, upset Russia’s Maria Sharapova, 41 WTA, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Simona Halep, WTA no. 2, who won the Qatar Open in 2014, will play in the second round against Ekaterina Makarova, 36 WTA. In the women’s doubles, Irina Begu and Monica Niculescu will take on Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.