SAME-SEX MARRIAGE – Same sex relationships fall within the ‘private life’ and ‘family life’ categories, argue the judges of Romania’s Constitutional Court in response to a notification by a Romanian-American couple related to a Civil Code article regarding the non-recognition of same-sex marriages. According to the Constitutional Court, members of stable same sex couples have the right to express their personality as part of their relationship and to have their corresponding rights and obligations recognised officially. The Constitutional Court adds that Romania has no form of official and legal recognition of same sex relationships, a situation only found in 5 other EU member states, namely Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. The Constitutional Court clarifications come during the campaign for a referendum on October 6 and 7, when Romanians are called to vote if they want the concept of “family” redefined in the Constitution as being based on the marriage of a man and a woman, rather than of spouses, as it is at present. The revision bill is based on a citizens’ initiative and it was denounced as discriminatory by human rights and sexual minority rights associations.
TREASON CASE – The Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism in Romania (DIICOT) announced on Friday that it has closed a case based on the high treason accusations brought by the president of the National Liberal Party in opposition against PM Viorica Dăncilă. According to the Directorate, the case, which concerned the memorandum approved by the Government with respect to the relocation of the Romanian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, was dismissed because no breach of the law has been established. The criminal complaint filed in May by the Liberal leader Ludovic Orban also concerned Liviu Dragnea, the president of the Social Democratic Party in power, who was accused of unlawful disclosure of state secrets, Orban said at the time.
EU PRESIDENCY – The Government of Romania must stand united ahead of taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council, and domestic political disputes are an obstacle in this respect, the Ambassador of Germany to Bucharest, Cord Meier-Klodt said on Friday. The German diplomat also added that with the EU presidency, which Romania is to hold in the first half of 2019, come opportunities that the country must not miss. The statements were made in Cluj, north-western Romania, where the German Ambassador attended a conference on "The Romanian Presidency of the European Union Council: Opportunities and Challenges." The participants also included the Ambassador of Romania to Germany, Emil Hurezeanu.
INFLATION – The annual inflation rate in the Euro zone increased in September 2018 from 2% to 2.1%, shows a preliminary survey published on Friday by Eurostat. In September, the most significant price hikes in the Euro zone were reported in the energy field, where an annual increase of 9.5% was reported, followed by 2.7% price rises for foodstuffs, alcohol and cigarettes and 1.3% for services. In August, Eurostat says, Romania had the highest year-on-year inflation rate among EU states for the 7th consecutive month, with a 4.7% increase in consumer prices, after 4.3% in July. The National Bank of Romania revised its inflation forecast for the end of 2018 from 3.6% to 3.5%.
TURKEY – The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, criticised the situation in Turkey during a joint press conference on Friday with the visiting President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The German official mentioned issues such as the freedom of the press and human rights, and called for immediate solutions to the situation of several German citizens detained in Turkey. Still, Merkel listed shared German-Turkish interests, including the partnership within NATO, the migration problems and the fight against terrorism. In turn, Erdogan called on Germany to extradite the supporters of Turkish cleric Gülen. Hundreds of supporters of this terror group live in Germany, the Turkish President said, blaming them for a failed coup 2 years ago. Turkey and Germany also announced on this occasion that they will have a meeting in the forthcoming weeks, together with Russia and France, on the situation in Syria.
TENNIS – The Romanian tennis players Irina Begu and Raluca Olaru Friday qualified for the doubles final of the tournament in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), with 250,000 US dollars in total prize money. In the semi-finals, they defeated the Russians Margarita Gasparian and Anastasia Potapova, 2-1. In the final Begu and Olaru are facing Olga Danilovic (Serbia) / Tamara Zidansek (Slovenia).
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)