Romania’s national currency reaches new historic low against the Euro, Prosecutors ask for 12-year prison sentence for former mayor of Constanta, Radu Mazare
Currency – Romania’s national currency, the LEU, on Friday reached a new historic low as against the EURO, with one Euro being traded for 4 lei and 76 bani. The value was reported after a one-day break on the inter-banking market occasioned by a national holiday. The leu also depreciated against the US dollar which was traded for 4 lei and 20 bani. The Social Democratic Party in the ruling coalition claims the national bank has enough resources, of almost 37 billion Euros, to be able to intervene in favor of the national currency. According to data published on Friday by the central bank the money supply rose by almost 9% in December 2018 as compared to the same month of the previous year.
Corruption – The National Anti-corruption Directorate prosecutors on Friday asked for a 12-year prison sentence for the former mayor of Constanta, Radu Mazare. This is the maximum sentence in a file in which Mazare is being tried for bribe taking, conflict of interests and abuse of office. The court meeting prosecutor also asked for the confiscation of one million Euros Mazare received as bribe as well as for the coverage of the loss. The trial is being judged in the absence of the former Social Democratic mayor Radu Mazare who left the country and fled to Madagascar where he asked for political asylum in December 2017. The High Court of Cassation and Justice issued an arrest warrant in absentia. Mazare made investments in Madagascar where he built a small resort for water sports on the shore of the Indian Ocean. Mazare was mayor of Constanta, the largest port on the Black Sea Coast, from 2000 to 2015 when he resigned after he was first arrested for corruption.
Chisinau – Friday saw the start of the campaign for the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova due on February 24. The elections will be held for the first time based on the mixed electoral system according to which 50 deputies will be elected on party lists and another 51 in individual constituencies, in one single round. So far 9 parties have been registered and 6 have submitted their files to the Central Electoral Committee. According to opinion surveys, running as favorites are Igor Dodon’s pro-Russian Socialists followed by a coalition of the pro-European right and by the center-left Democratic Party. A referendum was scheduled to take place at the same time with the elections, in which people are called to vote on whether to reduce the number of deputies from 101 to 61 and on whether the deputies can be revoked by the citizens.
Flu – The Romanian health minister Sorina Pintea on Friday said that she was expecting Tuesday’s communiqué of the National Public Health Institute before she declared a flu epidemic. If the communiqué shows that for the 3rd consecutive week the number of diagnosed flu cases is higher than the number of estimated cases, then a flu epidemic will be declared. The authorities announced 36 people have been killed by the flu virus this season. Doctors recommend vaccination.
Handball - Romania’s women’s handball champions CSM Bucharest on Saturday will play away from home against Gyor ETO from Hungary in their first match in the Champions’ League Main Group B. The two teams are on first positions Gyor with 8 points and CSM with 6 points. The group also includes Vipers Kristiansand (Norway), Krim Ljubljana (Slovenia), Ferencvaros (Hungary) and Thuringer HC (Germany). In the past two seasons CSM Bucharest got the bronze medal after in 2016 they won the trophy. This is CSM Bucharest’s 4th consecutive participation in the Champions’ League. Also on Saturday the holder of the EHF Cup, Romania’s vice-champions, SCM Craiova, will play at home against the Croat team Podravka Vegeta Koprivnica in Group D. Podravka is ranked 1st in the classification, with 6 points, being followed by de Super Amara Bera Bera (Spain) and SCM Craiova, each with 2 points. In Group A of the Champions’ League, SC Magura from Cisnadie will take on, away from home, the Norwegian team Storhamar Handball Elite. (translation by L. Simion)