DNA – Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, on Wednesday sent a letter to the Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, saying the grounds on the basis of which he first rejected the proposal to appoint Adina Florea (prosecutor at the Prosecutor’s Office with the Court of Appeal in Constanta, in the south-east), Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate, DNA, still stand. Toader requested, at the end of 2018, that his proposal be re-examined by the president. The position of DNA Chief Prosecutor became vacant after Laura Codruta Kovesi was removed from office under a decree issued in July 2018 by President Klaus Iohannis, who enforced a ruling issued by the Constitutional Court. Earlier, the Constitutional Court took note of a legal conflict of a constitutional nature between the Justice Minister and the President of Romania, caused by the president’s refusal to endorse the proposal to remove Kovesi from office. Kovesi has announced that she challenged the decision at the European Court of Human Rights, citing human rights violations. She said she didn’t have the possibility to defend herself before the Constitutional Court and it was impossible for her to challenge the ruling issued by the Constitutional Court judges. The former DNA Chief Prosecutor says she does not want damages or to be re-appointed Chief Prosecutor but she wants to put an end to what she called the submission of prosecutors.
EU –The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker and the College of Commissioners will arrive in Bucharest on Thursday for the official launch of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Attending the official ceremony will also be the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. The moment will be marked by a concert at the Romanian Athenaeum given by the EU Orchestra, which will be performing Romanian Rhapsody no.1 by George Enescu and an excerpt of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy, which became the Anthem of the European Union in 1985. On Friday, Jean-Claude Juncker, will have talks with President Klaus Iohannis and PM Viorica Dăncilă, as well as with the Speakers of the two chambers of the Romanian Parliament. The European officials are due to hold talks at the Government with the Romanian ministers who will chair for six months, in Bucharest and Brussels, working meetings with their EU counterparts.
ECONOMY - Romania’s economy will register a growth rate of 3.5% in 2019 and of 3.1% in 2020, that is one percentage point less than it was estimated in June 2018, a report issued today by the World Bank shows. It is also estimated that Romania will report a 4.1% increase in the GDP, that is one percentage point less than in the June forecast. The growth will slow down in 2021, when the Romanian economy is expected to register a 2.8% growth rate, the report also shows. In another move, reducing the income taxation level and increasing salaries in the state sector have compensated an increase in social securities. The aforementioned financial institution estimates that in Europe and Central Asia, the economy slowed down to 3.1%, from 4% in 2017, thus reflecting the contraction of economic activities in Turkey in the second half of 2018. Except for Turkey, the regional growth rate is still unchanged, standing at 2.9% in 2018, because the slower pace of economic activities in such countries as Bulgaria and Romania has been compensated by the stepping up similar activities in the east of the region, which benefitted from higher crude oil prices, the World Bank reports.
DEFICIT – Romania’s trade deficit has increased by over 18%, according to data collected in the first 11 months of 2018 as compared to the same period in 2017. Figures released earlier today by the National Institute of Statistics show the difference between imports and exports has reached 13.4 billion Euros. In the first 11 months of 2017, Romania’s trade deficit stood at 11.3 billion Euros.
TENNIS – Romanian woman tennis player Irina Begu has qualified to the quarter finals of the WTA tennis tournament in Hobart (Australia), with some 250,000 USD in prize money up for grabs. Begu defeated Russian Ana Blinkova on Wednesday in three sets. She will next face Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia. In another move, Simona Halep, no.1 WTA, has been defeated by Australian Ashleigh Barty, in two sets, in her first match played in 2019, in the 8th finals of the Sydney tennis tournament with 823,000 USD in prize money up for grabs. Simona Halep will next play at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, in Melbourne, where she played the final last year. (Translated by D. Vijeu)