PROTEST - People have taken to the streets in Bucharest and other cities across Romania to take part in a protest titled "We want Europe, we don't want dictatorship". They are accusing the ruling coalition, made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of failing to keep the promises they made during the election campaign, of alienating Romania from the European democratic standards and throwing it into a regime ruled by politicians' interests. According to the organizers of the protest, some of the anti-democratic measures taken by the governing coalition include the modifications brought to the criminal codes and the changes to the justice laws, operated without public consultations. Romanians in the Diaspora have announced they are supporting the protesters.
1848 REVOLUTION - On Saturday, Romania's President Klaus Iohannis attended in Blaj, central Romania, events devoted to the commemoration of 170 years since the National Assembly of the 1848 Revolution. He stated that Romania must maintain its European path and remain strong and anchored in the European values and the rule of law. The Romanian Revolution of 1848 was part of the European Revolution and an expression of the Romanian nation's affirmation process and national consciousness.
DIPLOMACY - The Romanian Foreign Ministry has issued a communiqué in which it justifies the decision to reject the EU proposal by means of which the members states were asked to refuse to relocate their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry explains that it took into consideration the very complicated regional context and conducted a thorough analysis of the text proposed by the European External Action Service. President Klaus Iohannis has announced he will invite the Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu to explain the stand taken by the Romanian representatives at the European External Action Service regarding the relocation of embassies from Tel Aviv. He has also stated that the Romanian Embassy cannot be moved without his approval. On April 20th, the Romanian Presidential Administration had stated that the head of state Klaus Iohannis believed that the relocation of the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem would be, at this stage, a violation of relevant international law. A day before, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea had announced that the Government had adopted a memorandum stipulating the start of the procedures to move the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem.
VISIT - The Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, currently on a visit to Rome, has met with Romanian students of pontifical universities. On the occasion, Ms Dancila has promised the Romanian Government will help equip the library of the 'Pio Romeno' Pontifical College. She stressed the importance of the College for the Romanian students at the Vatican and for strengthening the ties between Romania and the Holy See. On Friday, Viorica Dancila was received by Pope Francis, whom she thanked for his interest in the relations with Romania and voiced hope that the Pope would pay a visit to Romania. The Romanian Prime Minister's visit to the Vatican is taking place at a time of very good bilateral ties, and in the year when Romania is celebrating 100 years since the Great Union, which will be marked by the Holy See through several cultural and academic events.
DIASPORA - The Ministry for Romanians Abroad will award this year 100 successful Romanians, under a project aimed at highlighting the top 10 Romanian personalities in 10 countries across the world inhabited by large Romanian communities. The Minister for Romanians Abroad Natalia Intotero made the announcement in Deva, western Romania, on Saturday. The first event will take place in Brussels on Wednesday and will promote the Romanian traditional costume, given that this year Romanians celebrate one hundred years since the creation of the Romanian unitary state.
THEATRE - The "Matei Visniec" Theatre Festival is underway in Suceava, north-eastern Romania. Until May 20th, the festival will be playing host to some 60 performances, for all ages and tastes. 300 guests are expected to attend the festival, actors, directors and theater critics from across the country, from the Republic of Moldova and from France. The special guest of the festival, just like every year, is the Romanian writer and playwright Matei Visniec, who has settled in France. His plays have been staged all across the world, including Japan, the US, Brazil and Turkey. In Romania, his works were banned before the anti-Communist Revolution of 1989.
ART SAFARI - Works worth some 10 million Euro, from important private collections, from the Pompidu Museum in Paris and from the collection of the former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu can be seen until May 20th at 'Art Safari', the largest artistic event in Romania, organized in central Bucharest. The most valuable exhibit is a work by Constantin Brancusi, which is part of a private collection and was evaluated at a 'seven figure sum' as the director of 'Art Safari Bucharest' Ioana Ciocan has told us. The 'Art Safari' Exhibition has reached its fifth edition.
EUROPEAN LITERATURE NIGHT - The Romanian writer Magda Carneci will attend the European Literature Night organized by the Czech Center in New York, under the aegis of the European Union of National Institutes of Culture. This second edition will present authors and books from Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Hungary. Each author will be presented along with a book translated into English, and young American students will read from them. Magda Carneci will participate with the volume "A Deafening Silence".
RESOLUTE CASTLE 2018 - The Cincu shooting ground, in central Romania, is hosting the multinational exercise Resolute Castle 2018. It's a six-month exercise that involves the participation of military of the Romanian Land Forces and of the South Carolina National Guard. Romanian and American soldiers will carry out infrastructure and refurbishing works in Cincu. Resolute Castle 2018 focuses on building and consolidating training centers in Poland and Romania. This allows the US military units to rapidly mobilize its forces, to carry out rotating drills together with allies and multi-national partners and to demonstrate their deterrence capacity in a security environment.
HANDBALL - Romanian women's handball champion CSM Bucharest has failed to qualify for the Champions League's final in Budapest. The Romanian squad was defeated 26-20 by the Hungarian Gyori Audi ETO KC, in the first semifinal of the Final Four. CSM won the Final Four in 2016. On Friday, SCM Craiova won the EHF Cup in women's handball, by defeating on home turf on Friday night the Norwegian squad Vipers Kristiansand 30 to 25. This is the first European trophy won by SCM Craiova, and also the first EHF Cup for the Romanian women's handball. The competition had been won by Romanian teams before, but under the previous name, IHF Cup ( Chimistul Ramnicu Valcea in 1984 and 1989 and Rapid Bucharest in 1993). (translated by Mihaela Ignatescu)