ARRESTS- People holding top level managing positions in important state institutions in Romania have been taken into custody by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate for bribe taking and influence peddling. They are brought to court today, the prosecutors calling for their being remanded in custody, pending trial. Two of those arrested are the vice-president of the National Energy Regulatory Authority and a director with ENEL, an important electricity supplier. According to the prosecutors, Enel Muntenia, a company with hundreds of thousands of customers, has allegedly doubled the tax levied for green certificates. By this mechanism, hundreds of thousands of customers have been cheated. The situation has been discovered by the energy regulatory authority, which has proposed a 6% cut in tariffs, as a penalty. The vice-president of the National Energy Regulatory Authority has however intervened in favour of the supplier, getting in exchange a contract in favour of a private company. In another move, one of the richest businesspeople in Romania, Dan Adamescu, is today being brought to court, and is likely to be remanded in custody, pending trial. He is detained in a lawsuit, in which he is accused of giving bribe in exchange for receiving favourable solutions in insolvency files involving some of his companies.
D-DAY 70th ANNIVERSARY-19 of the most important world leaders, among whom US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Elisabeth II of Great Britain and Russian President Vladimir Putin, are today celebrating, on the French beaches of Normandy, 70 years since the decisive moment of victory over Nazi Germany, in WW II. The ceremonies are however overshadowed by the Ukraine crisis and the tense relations with Russia, following Crimea’s annexation. The Allies’ Landing, also known in history as D-Day, continues to be, to the present day, the largest military operation in history, involving the participation of some 3 million troops, who crossed the Channel from Great Britain to Normandy, in Northern France.
ECONOMY- A joint mission of the IMF, the European Commission and the World Bank is currently in Bucharest, until June the 16th, on a third assessment of the precautionary stand-by agreement signed with Romania last autumn. Today, representatives of the international lenders are having talks at the Health Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Romania. The talks are mainly aimed at finding solutions to introduce a 5% reduction in employer social security contributions, as of July the 1st. Following this week’s talks with representatives of the international lenders, the Romanian government has approved a series of measures meant to render the railway sector more efficient. These measures are part of Romania’s general transport master plan.
UKRAINE- An approximately 150-200 km long sector of the border between Ukraine and Russia is currently under the control of pro-Russian militias, the RIA Novosti news agency quotes the so-called Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk Republic, Vasili Nikitin, as saying. We recall that the Ukrainian government on Thursday decided to close down a sector of its border with Russia, alongside the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, for security reasons, sources with the Ukrainian government have announced. The Ukrainian army is currently carrying out an anti-terrorist operation in the Russian speaking regions in southeastern Ukraine, where it faces a separatist insurgency. The events have taken a dramatic turn in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where scores of dead and wounded among civilians have already been reported.
TENNIS- Romanian tennis player Simona Halep will go up one position in WTA standings on Monday, being ranked 3rd in the world, irrespective of the result she will have scored in Saturday’s Roland Garros final against Russian Maria Sharapova. Halep has reached the finals of the second largest Grand Slam of the year after defeating German Andrea Petkovic in two sets. It is for the first time that Halep, who has been declared the woman tennis player with the greatest ascension in 2013, qualifies for a Grand Slam final. The last woman tennis player from Romania to play in a Grand Slam final was Virginia Ruzici, back in 1980, also at the Roland Garros, a tournament that she had won years before, in 1978.
THEATRE- The 21st edition of the International Theatre Festival, the largest event of its kind in Romania, opens its doors in the central Romanian town of Sibiu. For ten days, hundreds of events, put up by 2,500 actors, artists and directors from 70 countries will turn Sibiu into a huge stage. The highlights of the festival will include theatre shows, dance, music, street performances, circus shows, exhibitions, reading sessions and conferences. Theatre critics rank Sibfest the 3rd largest festival of its kind in the world, after those in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Avignon in France.