Simona Halep qualifies to Roland Garros quarter finals, PM Dancila goes to Brussels on Tuesday
Pope’s visit – President Klaus Iohannis on Monday extended his greetings to all those who welcomed Pope Francis in Romania, highlighting that they gave an example of understanding and solidarity. He also thanked the authorities who have contributed to the success of the Pope’s apostolic visit to Romania. The Romanian president showed in a communiqué, that for 3 days, Romania was a welcoming host for Pope Francis who met openhearted and diverse people, a nation with a rich tradition that has confidence in its future which it is building through the solidarity of all of its citizens, irrespective of their mother tongue or faith. On Sunday evening, following his visit to Romania, the Pope wrote in a Twitter message in Romanian: “May the Blessed Virgin Mary extend her maternal protection to all the citizens of Romania, who throughout history have always placed their trust in her intercession. The Pope’s 3-day state, apostolic and ecumenical visit to Romania was held under the motto “Let’s walk together!” Hundreds of thousands attended the public events held on this occasion in Bucharest, Şumuleu Ciuc, Iasi and Blaj.
Brussels – The Romanian PM Viorica Dăncilă announced she would meet on Tuesday in Brussels with the president of the EC Jean Claude Juncker, with the first vice-president of the EC Frans Timmermans as well as with the president of the Party of European Socialists Serghei Stanishev, in the context of the recent EP elections. The Romanian PM said she would discuss with the European officials about the Romanian proposal for European Commissioner and also about the positions in the EP. PM Dancila said she would plead for ensuring an adequate and balanced representation at the level of European institutions.
Senate – The plenum of the Romanian Senate on Monday rejected the request of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate for approving the start of criminal prosecution against the speaker of the Senate, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu. 38 senators voted for the Anti-Corruption Directorate’s request, 71 voted against and one abstained from the vote. Prosecutors claim that the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats indirectly received undue benefits worth almost 800 thousand dollars from an Austrian company when he held the position of PM between 2007-2008. Last week the Senate’s committee on the judiciary had decided to give a favorable answer to the request of the anti-corruption prosecutors.
Informal meeting – The series of events held under the aegis of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU continues in Bucharest which hosts, on Monday and Tuesday, an informal meeting of the EU agriculture ministers. The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan is also attending the meeting. Research in agriculture and bioeconomy will be one of the main topics of discussion. In the context of negotiations on the multi-annual budget of the Union, Romania, as a holder of the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, believes the strategic planning of the common agricultural policy has the potential to consolidate the implementation of bioeconomy and to build synergies with agricultural policy and rural development instruments. While in Bucharest, Phil Hogan also met Monday with the PM Viorica Dancila with whom he discussed the legislative package regarding the reform of the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy.
Decree – The Romanian government on Monday passed an emergency decree which provides for the election of county council presidents through direct vote by the citizens, and not through the vote of the county councilors, as stipulated by the current regulation. The move is actually a return to the system of electing county council presidents that was valid in the period 2008-2016. The spokeswoman for the Romanian presidency Mădălina Dobrovolschi on Monday said that changing the election law through an emergency decree, in the sense of introducing the uninominal vote for electing county council presidents, is actually a gift from the prime minster to the local authorities in her attempt to win their support. Mădălina Dobrovolschi also added that this change will help the incumbent county council presidents.
London - The US President Donald Trump on Monday started a state visit to Britain where he met with members of the Royal Family and had a private lunch with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. The visit marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and takes place in the context of the Brexit crisis and of PM Theresa May’s forthcoming resignation. On Tuesday the US President will have meetings with the outgoing PM Theresa May and with American and British business leaders. His visits ends on Wednesday when he will attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to mark June 6, 1944, when 160,000 British, American, French and other Allied troops landed in Nazi-occupied Normandy in WW2. Donald Trump will then travel to Ireland and France.
EP elections results – The Central Electoral Bureau in Romania on Monday announced the final results of the EP elections held on May 26. The Bureau’s spokesman Marian Muhuleţ announced that the opposition National Liberal Party will have 10 seats, the Social Democratic Party in the governing coalition will get 9 seats and the 2020 Alliance made up of the Save Romania Union party and PLUS party will get 8 seats. The Pro Romania Party, the People’s Movement Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania will receive 2 seats each. Romania will be represented in the future EP by 33 MEPs for a 5-year mandate. Romania will receive its 33rd seat in the EP after Brexit.
Tennis - Number 3 in the world and defending Roland Garros champion Simona Halep on Monday qualified to the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam tournament in Roland Garros. She defeated 6-1, 6-0 the Polish player Iga Swiatek (104 WTA). Also on Monday, in the men’s doubles, the Romanian Horia Tecău and the Dutch Jean-Julien Rojer were defeated by Guido Pella/Diego Sebastian Schwartzman of Argentina, in the quarter-finals, 4-6, 4-6. (news translated and updated by L. Simion)