Elections for the European Parliament are held today in Ireland and the Czech Republic
ELECTIONS Eligible voters in Ireland and the Czech Republic are expected in polling stations today to elect their representatives in the European Parliament. The European elections started on Thursday in the UK and Netherlands, with Latvia, Slovakia and Malta holding the ballot on Saturday and the rest of the EU member states, including Romania, on Sunday. In Romania 13 political parties and 3 independent candidates are running for 33 seats. On the same day, a referendum on the judiciary is scheduled in Romania.
COUNCIL The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, will take part on Tuesday, May 28th, in an informal meeting of the European Council held in Brussels, Bucharest announced on Friday. The participants will look at the results of the elections for the European Parliament, held between May 23rd and 26th. The EU leaders will also have a preliminary discussion regarding the candidates for the top posts in the EU institutions.
POPE The National Bank of Romania will release on Thursday, May 30th, gold and brass collector coins devoted to Pope Francis’ visit to Romania, while another brass coin devoted to the same event will be in circulation beginning the same date. The gold coin obverse features images of churches and the localities to be visited by the Pope, along with “Romania”, “year of minting 2019” and the monetary value of “500 lei”. The reverse, which is common to all the coins, features the portrait and emblem of Pope Francis and inscriptions reading “His Sanctity Pope Francis’ visit to Romania”, “May 31st – June 2nd”, and the motto of the visit, “Let’s walk together!”. The Pope comes to Romania on an invitation from President Klaus Iohannis and of the Romanian Catholic Church. He will visit the capital city Bucharest, the largest city in the east of the country, Iasi, the spiritual capital of Romanian Greek-Catholics, Blaj, where he will beatify 7 bishops killed in communist prisons, and the Marian shrine in Şumuleu Ciuc. In 1999, Romania was the first country with a mostly Orthodox population to have been visited by a Pope, John Paul II.
MEDAL The Government of Japan awarded Constantin Chiriac, director of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, the Order of the Rising Sun with neck ribbon, the highest awarded by this country to foreign citizens. The medal was handed to Constantin Chiriac in Bucharest by the Ambassador of Japan, Hitoshi Noda, in a press conference that preceded the start of the 26th edition of the Festival, scheduled between June 14th and 23rd. The founder of a cultural event famous around the world, director of the "Radu Stanca" Theatre in Sibiu and a professor at the "Lucian Blaga" University, Constantin Chiriac was rewarded by Japan for his contribution to promoting the Japanese culture in Romania and cultural exchanges between the 2 countries.
BLACKMAIL In Bucharest, the deputy rector of the ''Alexandru Ioan Cuza'' Police Academy, Mihail Marcoci, announced on Friday that he resigned from office, after being placed under court supervision by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate. The rector and deputy rector of the Police Academy, Adrian Iacob and Mihail Marcoci, are probed into by the Anti-Corruption Directorate, while under court supervision, for suspicions of having prompted an officer, in April 2019, to send a death threat to journalist Emilia Şercan, in order to force her to halt a journalist investigation concerning the Police Academy rector. According to the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, between March and April this year Emilia Şercan published a series of articles covering the award of Ph.D. titles by the ''Alexandru Ioan Cuza'' Police Academy.
UK The British PM Theresa May announced on Friday that she will step down on June 7th, in response to calls from the Tories to allow a new leader to try and overcome the Brexit standoff, Reuters reports. The procedures for appointing a new prime minister will most likely begin on June 10th. Depending on the number of candidates, the process might take until autumn, but the Conservative Party is hoping to step up the procedure and to be in a position to announce a new leader by the end of July.
TENNIS The Romanian Sorana Cîrstea (93 WTA) is playing today against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, no 39 in the world and seed no 1, in the semi-finals of the WTA tournament in Nurnberg (Germany). Cîrstea is one of the 4 Romanians taking part in the Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the year, which starts on Sunday. She begins with a very difficult match, against the Czech Petra Kvitova (6 WTA). Simona Halep, who won the tournament last year and is currently ranked 3 in the world, plays against the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (47 WTA), Mihaela Buzărnescu (30 WTA) against Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova (60 WTA), and Irina Begu (118 WTA) against Lin Zhu of China (108 WTA). In the men’s competition, the only Romanian in the singles tournament is Marius Copil (81 ATP), playing against Benoit Paire of France (51 ATP).
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)