Romania commemorates today 40 years since the devastating quake of March 4, 1977.
REPORT - Corruption continues to be one of Romania’s major problems, according to the US Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016. According to the report, bribe giving and taking continues to be a widespread practice in the public sector, the laws are not always enforced effectively and the officials, including judges, are sometimes corrupt and are not being punished. The report also mentions that the immunity held by former and current ministers, who are also parliament members, has sometimes blocked criminal investigations. The report denounces discrimination against the Rroma minority, prison overcrowding and the media politicisation.
JUSTICE – Romania’s new justice minister, Tudorel Toader, has announced that in about six weeks he will present the Government a draft law that will modify the criminal law in keeping with the Constitutional Court’s decisions. In an interview on Radio Romania, the minister said the law will be debated and adopted in Parliament. Tudorel Toader was appointed at the helm of the justice ministry in February, following the serious political crisis triggered by the government’s attempt to change the criminal laws through emergency decrees.
PNL - The National Coordination Council of the right-of-centre National Liberal Party, the main opposition party in Romania, on Saturday decided on the roadmap, procedures and manner of electing its president. Although many Liberals favoured the idea of the party president to be elected directly, by all party members, this will only be the prerogative of the delegates at the Congress due in June. So far, former ministers Ludovic Orban and Catalin Predoiu have voiced their intention to run for party president, after Alina Gorghiu resigned this position following the defeat in the parliamentary elections.
QUAKE – Romania commemorates today 40 years since the devastating quake of March 4, 1977, measuring 7.2 degrees on the Richter scale, that killed 1,570 people. The quake also caused material damage worth over 2 billion dollars. About 230 thousand homes were seriously damaged and 760 economic units became unfunctional. The earthquake generated an economic and social crisis that, according to historians, the communist dictatorship of that time was unable to overcome. Experts have warned that hundreds of buildings risk collapsing in the capital Bucharest in case of an earthquake of an equal magnitude.
WOMEN’S HANDBALL - European champions CSM Bucharest qualified to the Champions League’s quarterfinals after defeating on Friday evening, on home turf, the Slovenian team Krim Ljubljana, 28-26. In the last match of the group CSM Bucharest will be up against the Danish team Ebsjerg. Most probably, the Romanian team’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be the Macedonian side Vardar Skopje.
RUGBY - Romania’s rugby team is today taking on Russia away from home. The match will be played in Sochi and will count for the third round of Rugby Europe Championship. In the first game, the Oaks lost 38-41 to Germany, then they defeated Spain, 13-3. Romania’s next fixtures are the match against Belgium away from home on March 11 and the home game against Georgia, due on March 19.
(Translated by Elena Enache)