BREXIT - Romania’s technocratic prime minister said on Wednesday that Bucharest wishes to be a part of the European integration nucleus, having the necessary means and political will to bring additional value to the debate regarding the future of the European Union. Ciolos held talks in Bucharest with the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. The European official's trip to Romania comes only four days after taking over the position of Brexit negotiator.
TRIAL - The Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice on Wednesday ruled that the trial of the leader of the Social Ddemocratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, can start. Between 2006 and 2013, Dragnea, who at the time was the head of Teleorman county council and the leader of the local PSD branch, allegedly ordered the executive manager of Teleorman's general directorate of social assistance and child protection to violate her duties by keeping two employees on the payroll although they did not come to work. In fact, the two employees worked for the PSD's Teleorman branch. In April Dragnea received a two-year suspended prison sentence for his involvement in voter manipulation in a referendum on the impeachment of former President Traian Basescu back in 2012. According to prosecutors, in 2012, while a secretary general of the Social Democratic Party PSD, Dragnea used all the means available calling on PSD representatives all over Romania to illegally bring people to vote in a referendum on sacking the former right-wing president Traian Basescu. The referendum failed due to the lack of quorum.
PRIVATISATION - The government in Bucharest says it plans to sell the packages of shares in state-owned companies and privatise companies in a difficult financial situation. A memorandum published on the government's official website contains the measures considered in the case of several state companies. The economy ministry has proposed the launch of a call for the sale of around 15% of the shares held by the government in the Oltenia Energy Complex and Hidroelectrica, while holding on to a majority package. Over 25% of the state's shares in Rompetrol will also be put up for sale. The transport ministry plans to increase the registered capital of the National Airport Company and the Port Administration by 20-25% by issuing new shares and to make a new attempt to privatise the freight division of the Romanian Railways Company.
NOBEL - France's Jean-Pierre Sauvage, UK's Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Holland's Bernard L. Feringa on Wednesday received the Nobel prize in chemistry for the design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale. The machines conceived by the three scientists will most probably be used for the development of new elements such as new materials and energy storage systems and sensors, the Nobel jury has explained. Last year, the Nobel prize in chemistry went to a Swedish and two American scientists for their studies on DNA repair.
FRONTEX - The Romanian interior minister Ioan-Dragos Tudorache is attending until Thursday, a conference on the launch of the new Frontex Agency, the European border and coast guard agency. The meeting is attended by the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, Slovenia's prime minister, the interior ministers of Bulgaria, Slovakia, Turkey and Greece and the Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri. The new European agency will comprise Frontex and the national authorities of the member states responsible for border management, including coast guard if this entails border controls. EU members will contribute to common efforts to make the Union's external borders more secure with border police and other staff. Romania's contribution consists in 75 border police officers who will take part in rapid response teams on the EU external borders.
(Translated by Elena Enache)