SOUTH KOREA – Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said in Bucharest on Thursday that Romania will further pay special heed to strengthening the EU-South Korea Strategic Partnership. He made the statement during the talks he had in Bucharest with the Chairman of the National Assembly in Seoul, Moon Hee-sang. On that occasion, the president underlined the special relations between the two countries, given that South Korea is the first Asian country that Romania established a Strategic Partnership with, 10 years ago. President Iohannis also encouraged all efforts to capitalise on the economic cooperation potential, also by attracting new South-Korean investments on the Romanian market. In turn, the Seoul official said Romania is currently one of his country’s most important strategic partners in South-Eastern Europe.
TRANSDNIESTER - Romania supports a thorough, peaceful and sustainable settlement of the Transdniester conflict, with the observance of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, a former Soviet state with a predominantly Romanian speaking population, Romanian Foreign Minister, Teodor Melescanu said on Thursday. He met in Bucharest with Franco Frattini, Special Representative of the Italian OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniester Settlement Process and the new head of the OSCE Mission in the Republic of Moldova, Klaus Neuekirch. Teodor Melescanu underlined, among others, that Romania will further pay special attention to monitoring the implementation of and compliance with the commitments made with regard to the situation of schools with Latin script teaching in the separatist region. Transdniester de facto got out from under the control of the central authorities in Chisinau in 1992, following an armed conflict which left hundreds of dead, and which ended with the intervention of the Russian army on the separatists’ side.
TRANSPORTS – The Federation of Romanian carriers, FORT, has announced the resumption of transport activities across the country, after the relevant committee with the Chamber of Deputies announced it would organise a debate demanded by the protesters. Intercity passenger transport was severely disrupted in almost half of Romania’s counties, where carriers protested the line ministry’s plans to change the rules for the award of licenses. The protest was organised after the Transport Ministry announced it would change the scoring system for the companies taking part in bids for transport routes, on grounds that the current system has led to a monopoly in the market.
JUDICIARY – The Public Ministry has all the resources required in order to make the Section investigating magistrate offences operational, the Prosecutor General Augustin Lazăr has announced. The statement comes after the Government passed an order on Wednesday regarding the establishment of that section, which is to take over all pending and finalised cases from the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, as of October 23. Augustin Lazăr said the act has already been made public in the Official Journal. Under the law, the new Section is to start working within six months after the law has taken effect, and the Higher Council of Magistrates is yet to initiate the procedures for making it operational. The new unit will be made up of 15 prosecutors, and its chiefs will be appointed further to a selection process run by a commission of 3 judges and a prosecutor from the Higher Council of Magistrates.
PENSIONS – In Romania, a new Pension Bill is to be sent to Parliament, after having been passed by the Government. The Labour Minister Olguta Vasilescu says no pension will be reduced under the new law, nor will the standard retirement age and contribution period be amended. Novelties include the introduction of master’s degree and doctoral degree studies as corresponding to pension fund contribution periods. The new law is to come into force in several stages until 2021, when it has taken full effect. Its provisions will regulate the benefits paid to over 5 million Romanian pensioners.
CLARIFICATIONS – The Craiova University has not signed and does not intend to sign any Memorandum with the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the higher education institution in south-eastern Romania announced on Thursday. The University makes clear that it hasn’t received any cooperation request from and does not cooperate with the Russian Foreign Ministry or other institutions from Russia, other than universities. The reaction comes after the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zaharova, quoted by TASS news agency, announced plans to set up a Russian-Romanian commission for public diplomacy and cultural-scientific dialogue. The setting up of the commission is reportedly stipulated in an alleged memorandum that the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the University of Craiova intend to sign to mark 140 years since the inception of diplomatic relations between Russia and Romania, TASS quotes Zaharova, as saying. (Translated by AM Popescu and D. Vijeu)