Romanian Foreign Minister to meet Ukrainian counterpart, Romania's economy to report growth in 2018 and 2019
Romania – Ukraine – The Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu will meet Thursday in Cernăuţi, western Ukraine, with his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, talks will focus on bilateral cooperation, on ensuring education rights for the Romanian minority in Ukraine and the implementation of the conclusions of the Venice Commission in the new education law of Ukraine. The agenda of the meeting also includes meetings with the leaders of the regional administration and of the local council of Cernăuţi, as well as with representatives of the Romanian community in the region. We recall that the version of the law passed by the Ukrainian Parliament and promulgated by president Petro Poroshenko in September 2017 severely limited the access of ethnic minorities to education in their mother tongue. The Romanian community in Ukraine numbers almost half a million people.
Justice – The Romanian justice minister, Tudorel Toader, announced that, on January 16, he would hold talks in Strasbourg with the president of the European Court of Human Rights – ECHR, Guido Raimondi, about the roadmap for complying with the requirements of the pilot-decision regarding conditions in Romania’s penitentiaries. Minister Toader pointed out that a memorandum on the issue would be submitted to the Romanian government for approval and that, on January 22, the document would be sent to the Court. In April 2017 the ECHR ruled a pilot-decision against Romania in which it notified the existence of problems related to overcrowding in penitentiaries and detention centers. On the same occasion, the ECHR recommended the authorities to take further measures, both related to logistics and criminal policy, and granted Romania a 6-month deadline for drafting a coherent plan on the matter. Also the Court decided to suspend the examination of all files that denounced the improper conditions in Romania’s penitentiaries.
Economy – Romania’s economy will report an economic growth rate of 4,5% in 2018 and of 4.1% in 2019 as against the June estimates of 3.7% and 3.5% respectively, World Bank officials say. In the ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report, the WB expects Romania to report a 6.4% growth of the GDP for 2017 as compared to the previous estimate of 4.4%. Economic growth is to diminish in 2020, when Romania’s economy will report an advance of 3.5%. The WB considers that new privatizations in Central Europe (which includes Romania, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria) represent an opportunity for increasing productivity. In Romania, several state enterprises were depoliticised and their Boards of Directors were populated with professionals between 2013–2016, the report also shows.
Chişinău – The 7 new ministers appointed in the government of the Republic of Moldova were sworn in on Wednesday. The appointment decrees were signed by the speaker of Parliament, Andrian Candu, who has taken over the interim presidency of the state, after the pro-Russian president Igor Dodon refused to exert his constitutional prerogatives. Also Candu promulgated the law against propaganda, which provides, among other things, for restrictions as to the re-broadcasting in the Republic of Moldova of political TV programs broadcast in Russia. The Constitutional Court ruled, last week, that president Dodon’s deliberate refusal to comply with his obligation of appointing new members of the government and of promulgating the law represented an infringement of constitutional responsibilities.
Tennis – The Romanian tennis player Monica Niculescu on Wednesday defeated the American player Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 6-2 in the eighth finals of the Hobart tournament of Australia. The tournament has total prizes up for grabs worth almost 225 thousand dollars. Another Romanian player, Mihaela Buzărnescu, qualified to the quarterfinals after she defeated the German Anna-Lena Friedsam. In the next match she will take on American Alison Riske. Monday will see the start of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open, with Romanian Simona Halep, world’s no. 1, as main favorite.
Ambassadors – The Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Meleşcanu on Wednesday met with the ambassadors of the Arab states accredited to Bucharest. On the occasion, minister Meleşcanu said that one of the priorities of Romania’s foreign policy was to develop political and economic relations with the Group of Arab states. At the same time, the Romanian Foreign Minister reiterated the need for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by implementing the solution of the two states, Israel and Palestine, which should co-exist in peace and security. In turn, the representatives of the Group of Arab states appreciated the role of Romania as an active promoter of a peaceful resolution of conflicts and Bucharest’s constant support for a policy of dialogue and negotiations. (news translated by Lacramioara Simion)