BUDGET ADJUSTMENT - The Romanian Government will approve this week the 2nd budget adjustment in 2016. The healthcare, development and agriculture domains will receive more money for funding ongoing projects. Supplementary funds will also be allotted for policies in the education and social welfare fields that will be funded through the local public administration and also for closing down several mines included in the Hunedoara Energy Compound.
MICROSOFT 2 - The former education minister, Alexandru Athanasiu, is being heard today by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’s prosecutors in the file Microsoft 2 related to the contracts concluded with the state on the leasing of Microsoft licenses used in schools. He is suspected of abuse of office, bribe taking, influence peddling and money laundering. Also today, in the same file, two former directors of the Microsoft Romania company Silviu Hotăran and Ovidiu Artopolescu have been prosecuted by prosecutors. In the Microsoft case, in October, a former communications minister Gabriel Sandu, a former mayor of the town of Piatra Neamt, Gheorghe Stefan, and businessmen Dorin Cocoş and Dumitru Nicolae received final prison sentences. The court decided to confiscate more than 17 million euros from the 4 aforementioned persons. They were accused of causing damage to the state budget worth 27 million euros and of receiving bribe worth 60 million euros. The Microsoft case also involves several former ministers from the Social Democratic and Liberal Democratic parties. The total damage in their case has not yet been established, says the chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.
PROFIT - In Romania companies reported a gross profit of more that 49.9 billion lei (that is almost 11 billion euros) in 2015, on the rise by 42.8% as against the previous year, show data made public on Monday by the National Institute of Statistics - INS. According to INS the biggest value of the gross profit was over 16.6 billion lei (almost 3.5 billion euros) in the services sector, followed by the industry and constructions sectors. The National Institute of Statistics also announced that the number of employees exceeded 3.9 million, on the rise by 2.4% in 2015 as compared to 2014.
HANDBALL - Romania’s women’s handball champion team, CSM Bucharest defeated, on home ground, 26-20, the Danish team FC Midtjylland in the last leg of the preliminary groups stage of the Champions League. Thanks to this victory, the en-titre trophy holder CSM will go with 2 points to the main groups stage. They will play against Krim Ljubljana (Slovenia), Larvik HK (Norway) and Team Esbjerg (Denmark).
TENNIS - The best-ranked Romanian tennis player, Simona Halep, (4th WTA) is among the 4 finalists for the title of WTA Shot of the Year. She was nominated for the title for one of her shots scored in a match against Russian Daria Gavrilova in the second round of the Montreal tournament, which she won. Other nominees for the WTA Best Shot of the Year title are the Danish Caroline Wozniacki, the Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska and the Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. It started with all the WTA Shot of the Month winners and the fans narrowed it down, on the WTA site, to the four best, two from each group. The winner of the 2016 WTA Shot of the Year will be announced on November 29.
STRASBOURG – The European Parliament’s plenary session starts Monday in Strasbourg. The relationship of the EU with Turkey, the EU common security strategy and the trade agreement with Canada are some of the issues to be analyzed until November 24. The MEPs will debate and vote on a draft resolution through which they ask for the consolidation of cooperation between the national armed forces. The resolution provides for the allocation by all member states of 2% of the GDP for defense. Another important draft resolution to be voted is related to the aggressive anti-European propaganda fueled by the Islamic State and Russia. The MEPs also want to ask for the opinion of the European Court of Justice on the trade agreement which the EU and Canada signed in October in Brussels. (transaltion by L. Simion)