Draft emergency ordinance that establishes what categories of convicts will benefit from pardon, put up for public debate in Romania.
DIPLOMACY - The Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) on Wednesday announced that it took note of the statements made recently by the pro-Russian President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, during his visit to Russia. MAE sees Dodon’s statements as “inadequate and inconsistent with the political reality and the special relationship that Romania and the Republic of Moldova share”. According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry, “continuing the modernization and reform process as well as keeping up with the aspirations of all Moldovan citizens, require responsible actions and attitude.” On the other hand, according to MAE, “the EU accession of the former Soviet republic continues to be a top priority of Romania’s foreign policy”. Igor Dodon said, among other things, that “half of the current territory of Romania is Moldovan”.
BILL - The Romanian Justice Ministry on Wednesday put up for public debate a draft emergency ordinance that establishes what categories of convicts will benefit from pardon. The document provides full pardon for inmates with prison sentences of up to five years, except for people convicted for violent crimes and corruption. Also, people over 60, pregnant women, mothers with children under five, and people with incurable diseases in terminal stages will have half of their sentences removed, regardless of the crimes they committed. According to the document, inmates who have committed a series of crimes included in the Criminal Code would not benefit from a full pardon. These include crimes against state security, murder, serious bodily injury, blows causing death, forgery, bribery, influence peddling, drug and human trafficking, prostitution, slavery, child trafficking and pornography, and fraud committed through electronic payment and information system, to name just a few. The Ministry of Justice says that these provisions are meant to solve the problem of overcrowded prisons in Romania. President Klaus Iohannis, and the heads of the prosecutors’ offices are against the bill.
FOREIGN POLICY – The fundamental pillars of Romania’s foreign policy continue to be the consolidation of the Partnership with the United States and the consolidation of the EU and NATO, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday at a meeting with the foreign ambassadors accredited to Bucharest. He added that Bucharest should further be a pillar of stability and predictability in the region. The Romanian President also said that Romania should increase defence expenditure of up to 2% of the GDP, according to the commitments it had made. In another move, Klaus Iohannis reiterated Romania’s support for the Republic of Moldova’s European path. He stood for a Brexit that should defend the interests of the Romanians living in Britain. Other priorities of the Romanian foreign policy will be the fight against terrorism and illegal migration.
IMF – A delegation of the International Monetary Fund, led by the head of the mission for Romania, Reza Baqir, on Wednesday started a one-week visit to Romania, to establish contact with the new government in Bucharest. The members of the mission are due to meet high representatives of the Finance Ministry and of the National Bank of Romania, the prime minister and other ministries who hold economy-related portfolios. The agenda of the talks will also cover issues related to the construction of the state budget for 2017. Currently, Romania doesn’t have a financing agreement underway with the IMF.
TENNIS - Romanian tennis player Sorana Cirstea qualified on Wednesday to the third round of Australian Open, the first Glrand Slem of the year, after defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. Cirstea will next play against American Alison Riske on Friday. On Thursday, the first day of the women’s doubles, Begu and Lara Arruabarrena (Spain) will be up against the team made up of Louisa Chirico (US) and Elise Mertens (Belgium) while the team Raluca Olaru of Romania and Olga Savciuk of Ukraine will play against Naomi Osaka of Japan and Monica Puig of Porto Rico. In the men’s doubles, Romanians Horia Tecau and Florin Mergea, playing in different teams, qualified on Wednesday to the second round.
(Translated by Elena Enache)