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CORRUPTION – The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Saturday greenlighted the pre-trial 30-day arrest of MP Nicolae Paun, representing the Roma community in Parliament. Paun was taken into custody on Thursday by anti-corruption prosecutors in a case where he is accused of embezzling European funds and money laundering. Prosecutors say that together with Social-Democratic MP Madalin Voicu, Nicolae Paun planned to embezzle 6 million euros worth of funds addressed to the Roma community. Voicu is investigated on bail, after deputies last week voted against the request to place him on pre-trial arrest. In another development, the High Court of Cassation and Justice on Friday greenlighted the pre-trial arrest of Liberal Senator Doina Tudor. In 2013 Doina Tudor allegedly helped her former husband, Daniel Tudor, at the time the vice-president of the Financial Surveillance Authority, receive 200,000 euros in bribes from an insurance company in exchange for helping it pass an audit. Daniel Tudor was placed on house arrest pending the investigation.
SYRIA – The situation was quiet on Saturday in the main conflict areas in Syria after the Russian-American ceasefire has come into effect. The agreement applies only to a small part of Syrian territory, as jihadists, the Islamic State terrorist organization and the Al-Nusra Front are controlling more than half of the territory. Russia on Saturday announced it stopped all airstrikes in Syria as per the ceasefire agreement. The UN Security Council in a resolution on Friday called on all parties involved in the Syrian civil conflict to observe the terms of the agreement and to allow the quick and safe access of humanitarian organizations nationwide. The Council insisted that the Syrian Government and opposition resume talks under UN mediation. This is the first ceasefire of its scale since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011, killing over 270,000 people. Over half of the country’s population has fled Syria, the large number of immigrants destabilising the Middle East and Europe.
VISIT – EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova will pay a visit to Bucharest on Monday. The European official will meet with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, Justice Minister Raluca Pruna, Labour Minister Claudia-Ana Costea, as well as other MPs. Talks will focus on various topics, including the progress Romania has reported in reforming its justice system, the judiciary’s contribution to the European Commission priorities, such as the Single Digital Market and the European Security Agenda. Commissioner Jourova will attend a discussion panel attended by NGOs operating in the field of Roma integration, to discuss Romania’s experience in terms of implementing the national strategy for the integration of the Roma.
CONFERENCE – Minister Delegate for Romanians Abroad Dan Stoenescu on Friday attended the conference “Repatriot – Entrepreneurship through Repatriation”, held in Munich. The purpose of the event was to raise the awareness of Romanians abroad regarding the need to develop entrepreneurial skills and to present business opportunities back home. Also on Friday Minister Stoenescu met with Herta Daneil, the head of the Federation of Transylvanian Saxons and with Peter-Dietmar Leber, the chairman of the Association of Banat Swabs in Germany. On this occasion, the Romanian official highlighted the importance of the Romanian community in Germany and of the German community in Romania for bilateral relations between the two countries.
MISSILE – A missile on Friday hit the military base in Kandahar, Aghanistan, where Romanian military are also stationed. According to a press release of the Romanian Defence Ministry, no victims and material damage have been reported. The entire personel of the military base followed procedures and took shelter in special areas. Romania has over 600 military deployed in Afghanistan. The Ministry is carefully monitoring their mission and all safety measures and procedures.
RUGBY – Romania’s national rugby team trounced Russia 30-nil on Saturday at home in the European Nations’ Cup, the second most important European competition after the Six Nations’ Tournament. In the first two games, Romania defeated Portugal 39-14 on home turf and Spain 21-18 away from home. In March Romania will also play Germany and Georgia in the competition’s highlight match. We recall at in autumn, the team coached by Lynn Howells of Wales took part in the World Cup in England, where it defeated Canada and lost to France, Ireland and Italy in the group phase.
(Translated by V. Palcu)