Government - The PM designate of Romania, Ludovic Orban, announced he would submit, on Monday, in Parliament the list of ministers and an updated governing program with a view to starting procedures for the investment of a new government. The announcement came after President Klaus Iohannis designated the Liberal leader to from a new cabinet. The decision was made after the first Orban government was dismissed on Wednesday through a no confidence motion initiated by the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Party, following the government’s decision to assume responsibility for a bill on returning to the election of mayors in two rounds of voting, only a few months ahead of the elections. The Romanian president also reiterated his opinion that holding early elections was the best option for Romania at the moment. The interim vice prime minister Raluca Turcan said that all Liberal MPs would attend the meeting for the investiture of the new cabinet but they would abstain from voting, with a view to triggering off early elections. To call early elections the Parliament should reject two consecutive proposals of PM designate. However, before getting a vote in Parliament for the second Orban government, the Social Democrats announced they intended to notify the Constitutional Court over the re-designation of the outgoing PM Ludovic Orban as the new PM.
USR – The leaderships of the Save Romania Union party (USR), the 3rd most important party in the Romanian Parliament and of the extra-parliamentary party PLUS, led by the former PM and European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, met Saturday in separate meetings to decide on a merger. Following internal elections called at the initiative of the USR president Dan Barna, 91% of the USR members voted for their party to be positioned on the center-right side of the political spectrum. Elected on common lists, the USR and PLUS MEPs are affiliated to the Renew Europe centrist group.
Commemoration - Commemorations of the great Romanian politicians Iuliu Maniu took place on Saturday at the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance in Romania from Sighet (northwestern Romania) to mark 67 years since the death of the great politician. The political personality of the leader of the National Peasant Party, a prime minister of Romania in the interwar period and a member of the Romanian Academy was evoked in various speeches. A militant for national unity, a promoter of democratic principles and an adversary of Nazism and Communism, Maniu was arrested in 1947 by the puppet regime instated by the Soviet invaders and died at the age of 80 in 1953 in the Sighet prison where most of the former Democratic dignitaries had been imprisoned.
Repatriation – The repatriation procedures from Syria, through Turkey, of a family of 3 Romanian citizens have been finalized – the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced. According to a press release, the Romanian diplomats in Ankara and Istanbul undertook the necessary steps to facilitate the Romanian citizens’ entry and accommodation in Turkey. The repatriation measure is part of the constant actions of consular assistance and protection granted to Romanian citizens who are facing special situations. Since the onset of evacuation operations from Syria in 2011, 790 Romanian citizens have been repatriated.
Rugby – Romania’s national rugby team was defeated by Portugal, 11-22 on Satruday evening, away from home, in the 2nd round of the Rugby Europe Championship, after having been defeated in the first round by Georgia, 13- 41, one week ago, also away from home. In the 3rd round of the Rugby Europe Championship, Romania will take on Spain on February 22 in Botosani, northeastern Romania. (translation by L. Simion)