Romania's president visits Israel
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was among the 50 heads of state and government who took part in the international forum dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust, held 75 years after the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. President Iohannis held bilateral talks with his Israeli counterpart, Reuven Rivlin, whom he assured that Romania will continue to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, the fight against anti-Semitism, as well as preventing discrimination and any form of violence. The participation of the president in this event is part of the series of initiatives by the Romanian state to promote European values, tolerance, and respect towards fundamental rights and freedoms, according to the Presidential Administration in Bucharest.
New heads of prosecution get appointed
Minister of Justice Catalin Predoiu announced his proposals for heads of prosecution at some of the most important prosecution offices in the country. They are Gabriela Scutea for the Prosecutor's Office with the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Georgiana Hosu as the head of organized crime prosecutors, and Crin Bologa as the head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, succeeding Laura Codruta Kovesi, who is now European general prosecutor. The Higher Council of Magistracy has to issue its advisory consent, and then President Iohannis has the option of vetoing the proposals.
Disputes on special pensions
Magistrates continue to protest the possible cancellation of so-called special pensions. Many courts across the country, including the Bucharest Tribunal and Court of Appeal, said they would suspend activity for an unspecified length of time, with the exception of criminal cases and civil cases involving minors. Upon the initiative of the Social Democratic Party, the Chamber of Deputies will gather in extraordinary session to debate the bill to scrap special pensions, which are not proportional to contributions, and which benefit magistrates as well. In turn, Liberal PM Ludovic Orban announced that the National Liberal Party has made the political decision to calculate pensions only proportional to contributions to the budget, with the exception of military retirement benefits. The Judicial Inspectorate and professional magistracy associations claim that the bill violates 'brutally' the principle of the independence of judges, in addition to articles of the Constitution and European Court of Human Rights decisions.
Romanian soldiers deployed in theaters of operations
Per diems granted to Romanian soldiers, gendarmes, and police deployed on international missions in theaters of operations or peacekeeping missions will be updated to match those granted by allied states. Officers stand to be granted 140 Euro per day, military engineers 130, and soldiers 120. These amounts will be supplied by the Romanian state absent payments by foreign partners or allied structures. This executive order was issued upon the initiative of Minister of the Interior Marcel Vela and Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca. They emphasized the fact that the present security environment in which Romanian security and military personnel are deployed has become significantly more dangerous.
Earthquake in the Senate
The Constitutional Court of Romania ruled on Wednesday that the appointement of Teodor Melescanu as Speaker of the Senate is unconstitutional. After many deferments, the court finally heard the complaint filed by several parties in Parliament. Melescanu, a controversial veteran of Romanian politics before and after the 1989 revolution, turning 79 in March, became the second most powerful figure in the state in September last year, proposed by the then ruling Social Democrats, in spite of opposition from his own party.
The anniversary of the Union of the Principalities
On Friday Romanians celebrate the 161st anniversary of the Union of the Romanian Principalities. On January 24, 1859, Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected prince of Wallachia one week after being elected prince of Moldavia. As a result, he became Prince of the United Principalities. His reign, between 1859 and 1866, implemented radical reforms, laying the foundation of modern Romania, carried through by the kings of Romania, as well as laying the groundwork for the Grand Union of 1918. At that point, in the aftermath of WWI, most provinces with majority Romanian population gathered into one state.