Ruling Social Democrats meet to decide on reshuffling ministers; A decision is soon to be made in the revocation of head prosecutor
BUCHAREST - The National Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party, the main member of the ruling coalition in Romania, met on Monday to decide on a reshuffle. Last week, PM Viorica Dancila said she would submit a general evaluation of the government's performance, as well as individual cabinet evaluations, based on the promises in the governing platform. Ahead of the meeting, Minister of Defense Mihai Fifor announced his resignation, specifying that he wants to strengthen the Social Democratic team ahead of the next elections. Also ahead of the meeting, Bucharest General Mayor Gabriela Firea said she resigned as interim chairman of the Bucharest chapter of the party. She said her decision was made as a protest against the fact that the capital branch has not held elections for two years, and that she got no support in applying her platform in Bucharest. Firea has been harshly critical of party chairman Liviu Dragnea.
JUSTICE - The Higher Council of Magistracy is holding hearings with Romanian Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar, with a view to a decision on his revocation. His resignation was demanded by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader. Previously, the head prosecutor had filed a complaint with the ministry against his report on managerial performance. At the same time, Lazar filed in a local court of appeal a request to have the revocation procedure suspended. President Iohannis said he would not make a decision on the matter until the court ruling. Minister Toader initiated the revocation procedure in October, accusing the prosecutor that he did not carry out his legal obligations. Lazar claims that he complied with all legal requirements. Last week, the EC published its Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification report on Romania, which contained, among other things, a recommendation to cease and desist from suspending prosecutors.
BUCHAREST – President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani is on Monday in Bucharest accompanied by a major official delegation. PM Dancila said she would hold talks with them to discuss the future budget of the EU, the Brexit, and security policies, as well as to provide assurances that Romania is ready to take on the EU rotating presidency in the first semester next year. We recall that the minister in charge of preparations for this move has recently resigned, being replaced. In a different move, Minister of Justice Toader meets on Tuesday in Bucharest the European Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jurova.
FESTIVAL – The RadiRo Radio Orchestra International Festival, held by Radio Romania, continues in Bucharest. Playing on Monday night is the Leipzig Radio Orchestra of Germany. The festival, in its fourth edition, is the only festival in the world dedicated to radio orchestras, and this year, as a first, it will feature jazz music. All the concerts in the festival are broadcast live by Radio Romania, broadcast as recordings by public television, and re-broadcast by public radio stations all over Europe.
BRUSSELS – Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu attends on Monday the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. The agenda contains topics of current interest, such as Central Asia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Ukraine. The ministers will hold a joint session with defense ministers on topics of European security and defense, and will draw a report. At the working lunch, officials will exchange ideas about the latest developments in Yemen.
LABOR – The Bucharest Tribunal ruled illegal on Monday that last week's general strike held by workers in the metro transportation system, but that the ruling is subject to appeal. As a result, the management of Metrorex, the state company running the metro system in Bucharest, said that the strike planned for Wednesday does not meet legal requirements. We recall that Metrorex employees announced that they would go on general strike for an undetermined period of time. Union representatives demand a salary raise of 40%, while the management offered 18% at the most. Around 700,000 people use the metro system in Bucharest every day.