Emergency decree – The leftist government of Romania on Wednesday approved through an emergency decree the budget adjustment bill. The PM Viorica Dancila said that the budget adjustment, which is a positive one, is meant to support, among others, investments and the losses incurred by pig farmers due to the African swine fever crisis. In turn, president Klaus Iohannis strongly criticized what he called the ‘inadmissible manner’ in which the government acted, given that the budget adjustment bill was approved without the approval of the Supreme Council of National Defense. Further talks on this issue have been scheduled for Thursday between president Iohannis and the justice minister Eugen Teodorovici.
Parliament – The Chamber of Deputies Wednesday rejected a request by the right-wing Opposition to set up 2 inquiry committees, one on the Government’s handling of the African swine fever crisis, and another one on the intervention of riot police at the anti-government protests in Bucharest on August 10th. The authors of the request said they wanted to identify the causes for the quick spreading of the disease in Romania and to find out whether certain public institutions were involved in activities beyond their legally defined powers. Also on Wednesday the General Prosecutor’s Office announced the start of prosecution, in rem, for the crime of spreading diseases among animals and plants and for professional negligence. At present swine fever outbreaks are reported in 11 counties in Romania, triggering the culling of over 140,000 pigs and spreading further, in spite of the measures taken by authorities. On Tuesday the Senate’s defense committee cancelled the hearings on this topic, at the request of the Social Democratic Party in power. Scheduled to be heard in Parliament were the Interior Minister, Carmen Dan, the coordinator of the gendarme intervention Laurenţiu Cazan, and the Prefect of Bucharest, Speranţa Cliseru. So far 770 people affected by the brutal police intervention during the protests have filed criminal complaints.
Poisoning – British prosecutors on Wednesday announced they held enough evidence to indict two Russian citizens in the case of the poisoning with a nerve agent of the former double agent Sergey Skripal and of his daughter in March in the southwest of England. European arrest warrants have been issued for the two Russian citizens Aleksandr Petrov and Ruslan Boşirov. The British authorities have pointed out that they will not ask for the two Russians’ extradition because the Russian Constitution does not allow it. The Skripal case has caused a serious bilateral crisis and led to a wave of mutual ousting of diplomats, a process that also involved allied countries of the UK, including Romania. (news translated and updated by L. Simion)