DISTINCTION – President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, is to receive Charles, Prince of Wales, in Bucharest on Wednesday, and award him with the “Star of Romania” Order in the rank of Grand Cross. The agenda of the meeting will include the bilateral Strategic Partnership, the situation of the Romanian community in Britain after Brexit and the Prince’s substantial charity work in Romania. Although Charles was frequently in Romania over the past few years, this is only his second official visit. In 2016, he established an NGO in Romania, to help preserve the local heritage and encourage sustainable development.
JUDICIARY – The Prime Minister of Romania, Sorin Grindeanu, said he had confidence in the assessment of the work of National Anti-Corruption Directorate chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, and of Prosecutor General Augustin Lazăr. The assessment, conducted by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, and due to be made public on Wednesday, comes after the National Anti-Corruption Directorate started an investigation into the Cabinet’s endorsing the notorious Decree no. 13, which partly decriminalised abuse of office and which sparked the largest-scale protests in post-communist Romania.
ANTI-CORRUPTION – The former minister for development Elena Udrea was sentenced to 6 years in prison and ordered to pay 3 million euros in damages in what is known as the "Bute Gala" case. She was sent to court in April 2015, under charges of bribe-taking, abuse of office and attempted use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents, in order to unduly obtain European funds. Rudel Obreja, a former president of the Romanian Boxing Federation, was sentenced to five years in prison, while the ex-minister of economy Ion Ariton was acquitted in the same case. The defendants were accused of illegally using public funds in order to finance a boxing gala in which the former world champion Lucian Bute took part. The gala was organised by a private company, and under a contract signed with this company services were procured using EU funds, which is against the law.
NATO – NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations Patrick Turner said in Bucharest on Tuesday that Romania was one of the strongest allies in terms of implementing the commitments made at the Warsaw Summit last summer. The statement was made in a meeting of experts from NATO and partner countries on civil emergency situations. In turn, the Romanian state secretary with the Interior Ministry Raed Arafat pointed out that in Romania preparation for civil emergency situations was an ongoing process. The participants in the meeting, which is due to end on Wednesday, are looking into ways to improve the training of intervention forces in the case of natural disasters and hybrid threats.
MEASLES – In Romania, nearly 4,000 measles cases had been reported until the end of last week, the National Centre for Infectious Disease Monitoring and Control announced on Tuesday. So far 17 deaths have been confirmed. To control the spreading of the disease, healthcare authorities are vaccinating children aged between 9 months and 9 years. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also warns that, in spite of the measures taken so far, measles cases are still being reported in Romania.
TOURISTS – 20 Romanian tourists, stranded in Mexico because of unexpected demonstrations, will be repatriated on April 4, the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. They contacted Romania’s diplomatic mission in Ciudad de Mexico, after they got stuck trying to leave the southern Mexican state of El Camaron. The Romanian Embassy called for a police escort, which helped the Romanian tourists leave the area, the Foreign Ministry explained.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)