EURO 2016 match between Romania and Switzerland ends in a draw; Constitutional Court narrows definition of abuse of public office, which remains criminal offence.
EURO 2016 - Romania met Switzerland on Wednesday evening in Paris in their second Group A match at EURO 2016. The match ended in a draw, each side scoring once. In the same group, France play Albania in Marseille. In their opening match last Friday, Romania lost to host country France 1-2, while Switzerland defeated Albania 1-nil on Saturday. On Tuesday in the first Group F matches, Hungary defeated Austria 2-nil, while Portugal drew against Iceland 1-all.
RULING - Romania’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday narrowed the definition of abuse of public office, saying it should apply to cases where public servants actually broke the law rather than where they caused harm by not doing their jobs properly. The abuse of public office, however, will remain a criminal offence, which eases concerns over the fate of a crackdown on high-level graft. The Court had resumed, on Wednesday, debates on a Criminal Code article about abuse of office, following a complaint that its text is ambiguous and unconstitutional. The complaint was signed by former ministers and a former head of the anti-mafia body who have been indicted for abuse of office. The chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate Laura Codruta Kovesi warned that a possible decriminalisation in this case would make it impossible to recover the losses caused as a result of abuse of office, which last year amounted to 620 million euros. 40% of the cases under investigation at the moment refer to abuse of office. In response, the National Union of Judges sent Kovesi a public letter urging her to put an end to what it described as pressures on the Constitutional Court before this is due to make public its ruling.
RadiRo - The RadiRo Festival, organised by Radio Romania, the only international music event exclusively dedicated to radio ensembles in Europe, will take place in Bucharest from September 24th to October 1st, 2016. As many as eight concerts in eight days of festival, five European radio orchestras, sixteen conductors and soloists who hold the headline of the international music scene - this is how the name card of the RadiRo Festival looks like in 2016, featuring a spectacular mix of the classical, modern and contemporary repertoire. The honorary director of the festival will be Kristjan Järvi, principal conductor of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra.
NATO - Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, on Wednesday demanded that Russia should withdraw its forces and military hardware from Ukraine, and halt its support for pro-Moscow separatists battling Kiev. Stoltenberg made these statements on Wednesday, the last day of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers held in Brussels. NATO’s Secretary General also announced that the heads of state and government of the NATO countries would show their firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by inviting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the Alliance’s summit in Warsaw next month. Moscow has constantly denied any direct involvement on the side of the rebels in the conflict that has made over nine thousand victims in the past two years.
VISIT - Bulgaria’s President, Rosen Plevneliev, announced on Wednesday in Sofia, after a meeting with his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, that his country would contribute military to NATO’s future multinational brigade in Romania. In his turn, Klaus Iohannis said that at the NATO summit in Warsaw due on July 8 and 9, Romania and Bulgaria would ask the allies to set up a permanent NATO fleet at the Black Sea. The agenda of the meeting in Sofia also includes ways to develop economic and trade cooperation, Romania's partnership with Bulgaria within NATO and the European Union, collaboration in south-eastern Europe and the security situation in the region. Romania's president and his Bulgarian counterpart will also attend the opening of the Romanian-Bulgarian Business Forum. Romania's president Klaus Iohannis pays an official visit to Bulgaria on Wednesday and Thursday for talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev and prime minister Boyko Borissov.
IMF - The International Monetary Fund warns that Romania may see its economy grow by even 4% a year, but only if it stimulates investments, steps up the absorption of European funds and solves the problems facing state companies. A former head of the IMF mission to Romania, Jeffrey Franks said, however, that he would prefer to see Romania grow by 3.5% every year for ten years rather than see it grow by 4.5% for five years and then witness an economic crisis.
VISAS - The issue of visas for Romanian citizens travelling to Canada is the main subject of a trip to this country by Romania's prime minister Dacian Ciolos on the 14th and 15th of June. He is due to meet his counterpart Justin Trudeau in Ottawa and the General Governor of Canada David Johnston, as well as members of the Romanian community. This is the first Romanian-Canadian meeting at prime minister level in the last 10 years. The nationals of Romania and Bulgaria are the only ones in the European Union still needing visas to travel to Canada.
(Translated by Elena Enache)