VISIT - President Klaus Iohannis is
as of Tuesday in Israel, where he is attending the Global Forum "Remembering
Holocaust - Fighting anti-Semitism", marking 75 years since the liberation of
the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and the International Holocaust
Remembrance Day. The main ceremonies will be held on Thursday at the Yad Vashem
Holocaust Memorial. In Jerusalem, Klaus Iohannis met with his Israeli
counterpart, Reuven Rivlin, who referred to the close relations with Romania,
hailing our country's participation in condemning the Holocaust. In turn,
President Iohannis said Romania remains fully committed to preserving Holocaust
memory, combating anti-Semitism and preventing any forms of violence. On
Wednesday, President Iohannis will meet with the leader of the Blue and White
Alliance in opposition, Benjamin Gantz.
PROPOSALS - The Romanian Justice Minister
Catalin Predoiu on Tuesday announced the proposals for the offices of
Prosecutor General, head of the National Anticorruption Directorate and head of
the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT):
Gabriela Scutea, Crin Bologa and Giorgiana Hosu respectively. The proposals
will be submitted to the Superior Council of Magistracy, which has an advisory
role, and the last decision is to be made by president Klaus Iohannis, who can
turn them down once. The selection procedure started on December 2nd
last year, and 18 prosecutors have been interviewed on legislation, judicial
error, the Caracal case and other topics of interest.
PER DIEM - The Romanian military,
gendarmes and police attending mission abroad will receive per diems as high as
those received by the foreign partners, according to a Government decision. The
document was initiated by the defense and interior ministers, Nicolae Ciuca and
Marcel Vela, respectively, following talks with Romanian soldiers and gendarmes
during December's visit to Afghanistan. Therefore, the per diem can go up to
140 Euro per day, depending on the risk level in the areas where they carry out
their missions and operations.
SPECIAL PENSIONS - Several courts of law in
Bucharest and another seven large cities in Romania announced they would
suspend their activity, judges being displeased with the impending repeal of
special pensions. The Judicial Inspection claims the bill repealing special
pensions is a brutal violation of the principles of independence and immovability
of judges, as well as articles in the Constitution and ECHR provisions. On
January 28, the Chamber of Deputies will convene to debate a bill on repealing
this type of pensions, which shun the principle of fair contribution and which
have sparked heated debates across Romanian society.
FLU VIRUS - Classes in several schools and
kindergartens in Bucharest were suspended on Tuesday due to the flu virus.
Since the start of the winter season, some 165 cases of flu were reported in Romania,
2 people dying to the virus. Most cases are reported in Arges, Brasov and Cluj
counties and in Bucharest. At national level, over a quarter of patients
reporting symptoms have been officially diagnosed with the flu virus. Doctors
warn the only way to prevent the virus from spreading is vaccination. The
number of Romanians who have taken the anti-flu vaccine this year is higher
than last year, when some 150 people died to complications caused by the flu.
The Health Minister has called on experts to devise an additional action plan
to prevent and limit the disease from spreading, and elaborate a set of
response measures in the case of a coronavirus being reported in Romania.
Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, no.3 in the WTA rankings, on Tuesday
defeated the American Jennifer Brady 7-6, 6-1, in the first round of the
Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. Also on Tuesday,
Irina Begu (105 WTA), lost the match against the Dutch Kiki Bertens (10 WTA),
1-6, 4-6, and Monica Niculescu was defeated by the French Alize Cornet, 5-7,
6-1, 6-0. Another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea, has already qualified for the
second round, where she will play against the American Cori Gauff.
by V. Palcu)