Romania’s Supreme Defence Council approves strategy on the relationship with the neighbouring Republic of Moldova/ President Klaus Iohannis approves DNA's requests regarding the criminal prosecution of three former ministers
NATIONAL DEFENCE – Romania’s Supreme Defence Council on Tuesday approved a medium and long-term strategy on the relationship with the neighbouring Republic of Moldova, a former Soviet state, with a majority Romanian-speaking population. President Klaus Iohannis, who chaired the council’s meeting, said Moldova’s European integration is a major objective for Romania. He also said Romania’s efforts will be systemised and channelled, at the level of institutions, so that the results become visible to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. Another issue on the agenda of talks was the plan of action for the Romanian armed forces to be sent on missions and other operations abroad in 2017 as well as the stage of implementation of the national defence strategy for the period 2015-2019.
ANTI-CORRUPTION – The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, has approved the request of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate regarding the criminal prosecution of the former ministers of communications and IT, Dan Nica and Silvia Adriana Ţicău and of the former minister of education and research, Alexandru Athanasiu. The three are suspected of abuse of office in the so-called Microsoft 2 case regarding the lease of IT licenses at excessive prices that caused a total damage estimated by prosecutors at 67 million dollars. On Monday the Chamber of Deputies postponed making a decision, due to the lack of quorum, regarding the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’s request to start the criminal prosecution of Eugen Bejinariu, a former secretary general of the Government, who was accused of recurrent abuse of office in the same case.
SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES – The Romanian Interior Ministry has announced it will mobilize more than 23,000 policemen, gendarmes, fire-fighters and border police officers daily, at national level, in order to ensure increased safety for the citizens in the period November 30 – December 4. They will pay special attention on December 1, Romania’s National Day, when 257 public events will be held in 204 towns and cities, in which as many as 255 thousand people are expected to participate. Declared official holiday after the 1989 anti-Communist uprising, December 1 marks the completion, at the end of WWI, in 1918, of the process of setting up the Romanian unitary nation state, when all the provinces inhabited by a Romanian-speaking majority population included in the neighbouring multinational empires came under the authority of Bucharest.
PILOT STRIKE- The Romanian Foreign Ministry warns the Romanian citizens who want to fly by Lufthansa that another 8 flights to and from Munich and Frankfurt were cancelled on Tuesday, as the German pilots continue their strike. Germany’s Lufthansa, the biggest airline in Europe, announced the protest would continue on Wednesday. All in all, almost 1,700 flights will be cancelled and over 180,000 passengers affected. Last week, Lufthansa had to cancel almost 2,800 flights following a 4-day strike of the pilots, which affected more than 350,000 passengers. The pay dispute between the pilots and the Lufthansa management started in 2014 and more than 14 such protests have been staged ever since. Trade unionists ask for an average 3.7% pay rise but the airline leadership offers only 2.5%, which the pilots rejected, as they claim this would be a virtual freezing of salaries.
HANDBALL – Romania’s national women’s handball team gathered in Bucharest on Tuesday, ahead of the European Championship to be hosted by Sweden between December 4- 18. In the final, Romania will take on Norway, in Group D, on December 5, Russia on December 7 and Croatia on December 9. In the last training match the Romanian team were defeated by Hungary on Sunday, 24-29, in the central western city of Cluj Napoca, in the final of the Carpaţi Trophy. The Romanian women’s handball team is coached by the Spanish Ambros Martin who last month replaced Swedish coach Tomas Ryde who had led the team to victory at the 2015 world championship in Denmark, when they won the bronze medal.(Translated by L. Simion and D. Vijeu)