FLU – The number of deaths caused by the flu virus in Romania has reached 27, the National Institute for Public Health announced on Tuesday. Over 800,000 people have received flu vaccines, and doctors urge more people to get vaccinated as the number of flu cases is on the rise. The Healthcare Minister Sorina Pintea says this is not a flu epidemics, and added that prevention measures are of the utmost importance, while hospitals and public health directorates must implement the required measures.
JUDICIARY – Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that some provisions operating changes on the law regulating the Higher Council of Magistracy come against the Constitution. The ruling comes after the Supreme Court and the National Liberal Party in opposition notified the Constitutional Court against some of these changes, introduced through a bill endorsed in late 2017 by the Senate. One of the main provisions concerns the judicial inspection corps, which is to operate as a separate structure under the umbrella of the Higher Council of Magistracy. Backed by the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democrats and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Romania, these changes are challenged by the right-wing Opposition, by part of Romania’s civil society and by hundreds of magistrates, who argue that the judicial reform process is not transparent. In response, the Power claims the changes bring the laws on the judiciary in line with previous Constitutional Court rulings and with decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights.
DEFENCE – Romania is considering the possibility of setting up a joint battalion with the neighbouring Republic of Moldova, the Defence Minister Mihai Fifor announced. In an interview to Radio Romania, Fifor said that, if created, this battalion will be similar to the ones that Romania has with 2 other neighbouring countries, Hungary and Ukraine. The Romanian Defence Minister has also denied allegations that Romania will deploy troops on Moldova’s territory.
ACCUSATIONS – The Judicial Inspection in Romania has taken note of the recent accusations against certain prosecutors with the National Anti-Corruption Directorate in Prahova County, and said checks are underway. In a televised programme, a former Social Democratic MP, Vlad Cosma, who has been sentenced to 5 years in prison by a court of first instance, claimed on Monday that anti-corruption prosecutors allegedly asked him to plant evidence in a case involving the former Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta and businessman Sebastian Ghita, who fled the country. Cosma produced audio recordings, in response, the head of the Ploiesti Anti-Corruption Directorate Lucian Onea told a press conference that the institution he runs has never tampered with evidence or made illegal understandings with defendants. The Anti-Corruption Directorate argues that Cosma’s allegations are aimed at compromising those prosecutors and police officers who interfered with the interests of certain politicians.
TENNIS – Romania’s Fed Cup team will play on April 21 and 22, at home, against Switzerland, in the World Group playoffs, according to Tuesday’s draw in London. On Sunday, in the first round of World Group II, the Romanians defeated Canada in Cluj, north-western Romania. Also on Tuesday, the Romanian Sorana Cîrstea (38 WTA) defeated 6-2 / 6-3, Maria Sakkari of Greece (no 60 WTA), in the first round of the Doha tournament in Qatar, which has 3.1 million US dollars in total prize money. In the same round, another Romanian player, Irina-Camelia Begu, no 37 in the world, lost 6-4 / 6-2, to Australia’s Samantha Stosur. On Monday Mihaela Buzarnescu (43 WTA) outplayed Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine (no 40 WTA), 7-5, 6-4, and Monica Niculescu (no. 92) beat Russia’s Maria Sharapova (no. 41), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The world’s no. 2 player Simona Halep, who won the Doha tournament in 2014, takes on the Russian Ekaterina Makarova (36 WTA) on Wednesday.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)