Hundreds protest against proposed Prosecutor General dismissal; Romania is declared top maize producer in Europe
JUDICIARY - Hundreds protested in Bucharest and Cluj against the move by the Justice Minister to revoke Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar. The report submitted by the minister includes 20 charges, similar to the report last summer that resulted in the dismissal of head anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. President Klaus Iohannis, the right of center opposition, as well as many magistrates, are against the move. The EC said it would evaluate all the recent developments in Romania as part of their next report under the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification, due on November 13.
HARVEST – Romania is expected this year to harvest between 14.5 and 15 tons of maize, compared to 11.8 tons expected to be harvested by France, which would make Romania the biggest corn producer in Europe, according to the association of corn producers in France, quoted by the daily Le Monde. Romanian Minister of Agriculture Petre Daea confirmed the news, saying that Romania would once again be the top maize producer in the EU, due to its propitious climate and soil. In 2017, Romania reported a grain harvest of almost 27 million tons, 1.4 tons per capita, with record harvests for wheat, barley, green peas, sunflower, soy, maize, potatoes, and grapes.
TENNIS - Romanian tennis player Marius Copil, 93rd seeded in the ATP, plays against 57th seeded Taylor Fritz of the US in the finals of the Swiss tournament in Basel, with almost 2 million dollars prize money at stake. In the eighth finals, Copil won his most important victory, that against Croat Marin Cilic, ranked sixth in the world. That was the first victory won by the Romanian athlete against a top 10 adversary.
SPORTS – Romanian military athletes won in Sydney, Australia, two gold medals and one silver medal in various events in archery, as well as two bronze medals in indoor rowing and archery. The competition was the Invictus games, for veterans wounded in action. Romanian vets came in fourth twice in the 1,500 meter track event. 15 soldiers represent Romania at the games, their second showing in the Invictus event, after the 2017 games in Toronto, where 15 wounded soldiers took part in six individual events. They managed to get four medals, one gold in the team archery event, one silver in the individual archery event, in rowing, and in the 1,500 meter track event. The competition, dubbed the wounded soldier Olympics, was initiated by Prince Harry of the UK.
LABOR – In Romania, the head of the labor union representing metro train workers, Ion Radoi, said that the collective labor contract for his members expires on October 27. This announcement was made in order for him to announce that a general strike will be declared in mid-November if labor negotiations fail. According to the labor leader, one of the demands made by employees was a 42% rise in wages. Radoi spoke of the gap between earnings for metro employees in Bucharest and in Brussels. Gross wages for Romanian workers are around 700 Euro right now, as opposed to earnings by their counterparts in Brussels, who make around seven times more. He also said that the metro system is understaffed, with 4,560 employees, as opposed to the 5,000 that he said was the minimum figure.
OSLO – NATO continues large scale military maneuvers in Norway, simulating defense against an invasion of an allied country. The Trident Juncture exercise is attended by 50,000 troops from 31 allied and partner countries, with 250 aircraft, 65 warships, and 10,000 vehicles. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance has informed Russia of the deployment early this year. The Russian embassy in Norway said that this was an anti-Russian provocation. Analysts say that Trident Juncture is NATO's way to show solidarity to Russia, after statements made by President Vladimir Putin, who warned European countries that they risk being attacked by Russia if they accept to host American medium range missiles.
EUROSTAT – The European statistics authority Eurostat published a report according to which the life expectancy of a newborn in the EU in 2016 was 81, while the lowest figure was registered in Romania, ranging between 74.4 and 74.6 years of age. Among member states, Spain had the highest life expectancy, 83.4, followed by Italy, France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Malta.