The Romanian government has approved the second budget revision in 2016/The National Anticorruption Directorate on Wednesday requested the Romanian President’s approval in order to start criminal investigation against three other former ministers
BUDGET REVISION– The Romanian government on Wednesday approved a second budget revision this year. According to finance minister, Anca Dragu, this is a positive one and reflects the efficient way in which the public money was spent, as well as the fact that Romania registered economic growth. The revision will bring more money to such fields as healthcare, investments, direct payments in agriculture and will also support some projects and policies in the domain of education and social assistance, financed by the local public administration. The revision was intended to redistribute funds which can no longer be spent by the end of 2016, to assure the financing of programs that are currently being developed and is based on the idea of maintaining the budget deficit target below 3% of the GDP.
MICROSOFT 2 CASE - The National Anticorruption Directorate on Wednesday called for the Romanian president’s approval in order to start criminal investigation against former ministers Dan Nica, Alexandru Athanasiu and Adriana Ţicău, for abuse of office in the "Microsoft 2" case. Dan Nica was minister of communications and IT (2000-2004), Silvia Adriana Ţicău, was successively, state secretary, minister of communications and IT (in the 2003-2004 period) and Alexandru Athanasiu, education and research minister. They are accused of involvement in the initiation, approval and backing of draft executive decisions which led to the signing of a Microsoft licensing contract with Fujitsu Siemens and expanding the contract to include Microsoft educational products. The prejudice in this case stands at some 67 million dollars.
INVESTIGATION – 11 former and acting members of the Board of Administrators of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation, including the President Director General Ovidiu Miculescu, are investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office with the Sector 1 Court, under suspicion of abuse of office and conflict of interest. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, between July 2011 and January 2014, they were allegedly involved in making decisions during the meetings of the Board of Administrators of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation when service-providing contracts were signed, based on which they allegedly obtained undue benefits worth some 400,000 lei, the equivalent of some 90,000 Euro. The communiqué issued by the Prosecutor’s Office says the continuation of criminal investigation is a stage in the criminal case, regulated under the Criminal Procedure Code, aimed at creating the legal framework for collecting evidence, an activity that can under no circumstance violate the presumption of innocence principle. Several searches were made last week, at the headquarters of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation, as well as at the legal and actual headquarters of a company that the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation did business with. A communiqué issued on Tuesday by the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation reads the investigations are related to the term of the former Board of Administrators.
PILOT STRIKE – Almost 900 flights by German flagship company Lufthansa have been cancelled, around one third of the total, including five return flights between Munich and Bucharest, as well as three return flights between Bucharest and Frankfurt. The protest will continue until Friday. The pilot strike will be affecting over 100,000 people. The pilot union is demanding raises worth an average of 3.7%, rejecting the offer made by management, amounting to 2.5%. The union turned down the offer, saying it amounted to a salary freeze. This wage war has been going on since 2014, with the union organizing over 14 protests. On Tuesday, 60 flights were cancelled for Eurowings, Lufthansa's low cost division.
HIGHWAY – The Romanian Ministry of Transportation announced it approved the project to build the highway linking the cities of Pitesti and Sibiu for its entire length, 123 km, at a cost of 1.6 billion Euro. This is the last segment of the fourth European corridor, and is supposed to be finalized in 2021, a year earlier than the master plan. This project had been in limbo for a long time, as the state could not decide on a method of financing, which hindered national development. The construction of this segment was demanded by car builders Renault and Ford, that have automotive plants in Romania, criticizing the lack of a high speed road as part of this European route.(Translated by C. Cotoiu and D. Vijeu)