RULE OF LAW – The situation in Romania, including the independence of the judiciary will be on the agenda of talks between the members of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans. The talks are scheduled for Monday in Strasbourg. According to the website of the European Parliament, the preliminary opinion of the Venice Commission on three drafts to revise the Justice Laws, on the status of judges and prosecutors, judicial organisation and the functioning of the Superior Council of Magistracy will also be approached during the talks. The meeting is held ahead of Wednesday’s debate in a plenary session of the EP in Strasbourg, on the rule of law in Romania, a debate that the Romanian PM Viorica Dăncilă has been invited to attend. Dăncilă has already held talks on this issue in Brussels, earlier this week, with the main groups in the European Parliament.
INDONESIA – The provisional death toll of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami which rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday stands at over 830 dead, the National Disaster Management Agency has announced. Many people are caught in the rubble, after several buildings collapsed following Friday’s earthquake which measured 7.5 degrees and caused tsunami waves of up to 6 m in height. Rescue teams in the town of Palu, on the western coast of Sulawesi, are making huge efforts to take people out from under the rubble. Most victims have been identified in Palu. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has sent messages of condolence to the victims’ families. The ministry expresses compassion and solidarity with the Indonesian people and authorities and expresses deep regret over the high number of victims, as well as for the high volume of material damage caused by that natural disaster, the Romanian Foreign Ministry writes in a communiqué.
SOVEREIGN FUND – The Romanian Finance Ministry has launched a public debate on the setting up of the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund. The document establishes the legal form, the registered capital, the strategy and management of this fund which, in the government’s opinion, is needed to mobilise the available financial resources and channel them towards profitable projects. According to the relevant ministry, this Sovereign Fund is also aimed at developing and financing profitable and sustainable investment projects, from own funds and from attracted funds. The fund will include 33 state owned companies and the registered capital will stand at some 2 billion Euros.
GUAM – The former Soviet states which are making up the GUAM group, namely Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Moldova, will join efforts and will better coordinate their positions to defend their territorial integrity, representatives of the GUAM member states have announced in Chisinau, during a session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly. The delegates have also criticised Russia’s involvement in fuelling territorial conflicts in the region. GUAM was set up in 2006, with the declared aim of developing cooperation between the member states, by boosting stability and common security in the European space. The Republic of Moldova, a country with a predominantly Romanian speaking population, is currently holding the presidency of this organisation.
TRANSPORTS – Road passenger traffic in Romania increased by some 14% in the first half of the year, as against the similar period of 2017, and air traffic by 7.5%, data released by the National Statistics Institute show. The n umber of passengers who travelled by plane in the first six months of the year stood at some 10 million, 86.6% of whom were registered on international flights. In exchange, railway passenger traffic decreased by 2.7% in terms of the number of passengers. A 23.4% drop was also reported on Romania’s internal waterways. No passenger sea traffic was reported in the aforementioned time span.
TENNIS- Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, no.1 WTA, on Sunday abandoned the match she played with Tunisian Ons Jabeur, no.113 WTA, in the first round of the Beijing tennis tournament with some 8 million dollars in prize money, after the Tunsiain player won the first set 6-1. Halep is still affected by back problems. Another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea no.57 WTA, is facing Dutch Kiki Bertens no.11 WTA, whom she has defeated in all matches they have played so far. Although she was defeated by Slovenian Polona Hercog, Cîrstea made it to the main tables, after Australian Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the competition, after Friday’s defeat. In the doubles, Romanian women players Mihaela Buzărnescu and Monica Niculescu have qualified for the second round, after defeating the pair Hao-Ching Chan (Taiwan)/Zhaoxuan Yang (China). Buzărnescu and Niculescu will face in the eighth finals the pair made up of Abigail Spears (the US)/Alicja Rosolska (Poland).