TRIAL – Magistrates with the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Bucharest announced on Monday that they dismiss all requests made by the defendants’ lawyers in a case of fictious hirings that involves the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea. The ruling in this case has been postponed for May 27. In a court of first instance, Dragnea was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
EXTRADITION - Radu Mazare, the former mayor of the city of Constanta, the largest city on Romania’s Black Sea coast, was brought to the country on Monday after being extradited from Madagascar. He was detained in Madagascar after the Romanian authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest through the Interpol. The former mayor has several convictions in Romanian courts. In February, an international warrant was issued after he received a conviction to serve 9 years in prison in a corruption case. He fled to Madagascar in December 2017, claiming political pressure in his many prosecutions, and he demanded asylum.
MEETING - Bucharest is hosting an informal meeting of the environment ministers from the EU member states, held as part of Romania’s presidency of the Council of the EU. The 2-day event that started on Monday, is co-chaired by the environment minister Grațiela Gavrilescu and the minister of waters and forests, Ioan Deneș. The meeting is also attended by environment ministers from the European Free Trade Association and from the EU candidate states, by the European Commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete and the European Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries Karmenu Vella. Talks focus, among other things, on climate change, dwelling on innovative solutions and the role of citizens in ensuring a future with reduced CO2 emissions.
WEATHER – The weather in Romania continues to be unsettled. Meteorologists have issued a fresh code yellow alert for storm and heavy rainfalls for the north, northeast, center and south of the country valid until Tuesday morning. Strong winds will be reported in the mountains and locally in the east and southeast of the country. Sunday evening’s storm wreaked havoc in the western county of Timisoara while floods affected the eastern counties of Botoşani, Suceava and Bacău.
BAROMETER - Almost half of Romania’s population believes that EU accession has brought about advantages, shows a nation-wide public opinion barometer made by INSCOP Research. According to the barometer, almost 85% of Romanians wish to consolidate the partnership with the US or to maintain it at the same level, and more than 60% believe Russia was and will remain the main threat to Romania’s security. Romanians believe that the biggest threat to their country in the near future is corruption (35%), being followed by a new economic crisis (18.9%) and a possible war in the area (15.4%). The data for the opinion survey was collected from across Romania between April 12 and May 3, 2019. 1,050 people were surveyed representing Romania’s un-institutionalized population aged under and over 18. The survey was conducted upon request by LARICS – the Laboratory for Information Warfare Analysis and Strategic Communication of the ‘Ion I.C. Bratianu’ Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Romanian Academy.
ELECTIONS - Hundreds of millions of Europeans are expected to the polls this week to elect a new European Parliament for a 5-year term. The elections start on May 23 in Great Britain and the Netherlands and will come to an end on May 26 in most EU countries, Romania included. Following the vote, 751 MEPs will be elected of whom 33 are Romanians who will represent the country at EU level until 2024. Thousands of people participated on Sunday evening in Bucharest and other cities of Romania in the manifestation entitled ‘All for Europe’, an event co-funded by the EC which was meant to motivate citizens to go to the polls and vote in the EP elections. The manifestation is part of a series of actions held on Sunday in 49 cities from 13 European countries. (Translated by Elena Enache)