NATO – The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, is coming to Bucharest on Monday, when he is to discuss with President Klaus Iohannis about the forthcoming NATO summit and the status of its eastern flank. The two officials will take part together in the opening of the plenary meeting of the 63rd session of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly. More than 50 delegations from NATO member or partner countries are taking part in the session hosted by the Romanian capital city. Members of the Romanian Government have already addressed the participants, pleading for closer cooperation between the Allies. Foreign Minister Teodor Meleşcanu warned that the buildup of Russian forces at the Black Sea does not target this region alone, but also the Mediterranean and the Middle East, while the Defence Minister Mihai Fifor argued that simplified procedures and legislation in European countries would facilitate the movement of NATO troops from one country to another, allowing for easier participation in exercises involving large numbers of troops and equipment.
LEGISLATION – The leaders of the Social Democratic Party and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Romania, the two parties in the ruling coalition, will discuss next week the final texts of the laws on the judiciary. After that, according to the Social Democratic president Liviu Dragnea, the new legislation will be discussed in Parliament. Dragnea says the justice minister Tudorel Toader is drawing closer to finalising the new legislative package. Heavily criticised by the Opposition, civil society and the mass media, and disapproved of by the Higher Council of Magistrates, Toader’s draft laws stipulate, among other things, that the president of the country will no longer be involved in the appointment of the Prosecutor General and the chiefs of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism. The bills also make the judicial inspection corps subordinated to the Justice Ministry, and increase the length in office required for the promotion of magistrates.
SPAIN – Hundreds of thousands once again took to the streets on Sunday in Barcelona, to call for unity and protest the planned secession of Catalonia. The Nobel-winning Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, who is a Spanish citizen as well, was among the protesters. Employers organisations in Catalonia have also voiced concerns over the separatist intentions of the regional government, announced after last week’s referendum. Rulled illegal by the Spanish constitutional court, and marred by police violence, the referendum brough 2 million out of Catalonia’s 5.3 million people to polls, and 90% of the votes were in favour of secession.
TENNIS – The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep Sunday lost the Beijing tournament final to Caroline Garcia (France), 6-4, 7-6. On Saturday, in the semi-finals, Halep had defeated Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, a victory thanks to which as of Monday Halep is the new WTA no 1. Her performance was hailed by top personalities in Romanian and world sports, Romanian politicians and tennis fans. Simona Halep’s coach, the Australian Darren Cahill, the great gymnast Nadia Comăneci and former tennis player Boris Becker of Germany were among those who congratulated Simona Halep. According to Romanian tennis player Ilie Năstase, WTA no 1 in the ‘70s, the hardest is yet to come for Simona Halep, the first Romanian tennis player to have won the top world position in the women’s singles.
HANDBALL – Romania’s women’s handball champions CSM Bucharest started the 2017-2018 Champions League season with a clear home win against Slovenians Krim Ljubljana, 30-18. In the other Group A game, the Danish side Nykobing Falster outplayed the Polish Vistal Gdynia, 27-21. In the next match in the group, CSM will play in Gdynia, on October 11. In the men’s competition, CSM Bucharest lost at home, 26-30, against SKA Minsk, of Belarus, in the first leg of the second round of the EHF Cup. The decisive leg will be played on October 15, in Minsk.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)