Negotiations for the formation of a new government
The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has designated the leader of the National Liberal Party – PNL, Ludovic Orban, to form a new government after consultations with the parliamentary parties, following the dismissal of the Dancila cabinet through a motion of no confidence. Ludovic Orban has had consultations with the parliamentary parties (the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Pro Romania, the People’s Movement Party and Save Romania Union) that backed the motion in order to ensure the number of votes necessary for the investment of the new government, that is 233 of the total of 465 votes. The representatives of the national minorities announced their support for the future cabinet. So far, the idea of a Liberal government has been gaining ground. Ludovic Orban needs to present, by next week, the structure of the new cabinet and the names of the candidates that will take ministerial seats. The Social Democrats have announced they will not go in Parliament to ensure the quorum at the vote on the new government.
On October 10 Parliament passed a motion of no confidence against the Social Democratic government headed by Viorica Dancila who said that her government was leaving with their duty accomplished. She called on the President, whom she considers the mastermind of the government dismissal, to urgently appoint a capable government. The leader of the National Liberal Party, which initiated the motion, pointed out that Romania needed serious projects and a government that should prove fairness. The political battle of these days is even fiercer as the presidential election will be held next month and both the incumbent president Klaus Iohannis and the outgoing prime minister are running in the race.
The leaders of the 27 EU member countries, among whom President Klaus Iohannis, approved, on Thursday evening, in Brussels, the new Brexit deal and have invited the EC, the EP and the Council of the EU to take all the necessary steps for this agreement to take effect on November 1. The agreement stipulates that Northern Ireland will remain in the UK’s customs territory but the island of Ireland will be aligned to some EU rules, meaning goods must be checked on entry to the island rather than border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic. This is to avoid the reemergence of a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and to consequently maintain the Good Friday agreement. The British PM Boris Johnson said the deal was mutually advantageous for both the EU and the UK and called on the British MPs to vote for it. If the British Parliament ratifies the document, it could be approved by the EP during next week’s plenary session.
Repatriation of the Queen Mother Helen of Romania
The remains of Queen Mother Helen of Romania, born Helen of Greece and Denmark, were repatriated on Friday to Romania to be subsequently laid to rest with her son King Mihai I of Romania, who died in 2017, in the royal necropolis in Curtea de Arges (in the south). Queen Helen, the wife of Prince Carol II and the mother of Romania’s last king, lived her last 34 years in exile in Italy and Switzerland. She died in 1982 and was buried in Lausanne. A descendent of the royal family of Greece, Queen Helen married with Prince Carol II of Romania in 1921, but 7 years later she divorced her husband due to his infidelities. Queen Helen was devoted to the education of her only son Mihai whom she closely advised during his 7- year reign. During the War Queen Helen intervened on several occasions to persuade general Antonescu to spare the Jews targeted by the government’s anti-Semitic policy. That is why the State of Israel gave Helen posthumously, in 1993, the title of Righteous Among the Nations in recognition of her actions during the Second World war towards Romanian Jews. The last king of Romania Mihai 1 died on December 5, 2017 aged 96 at his home in Switzerland. He was also the last of the 4 kings of the German dynasty Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen instated in power in Romania in 1866 that built modern Romania.
Laura Codruţa Kövesi, validated as European Chief Prosecutor
The former head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate in Romania, Laura Codruţa Kövesi, was validated as the first head of the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office by the Conference of Presidents of the EP, made up of the parliamentary groups’ leaders and the president of the EP. This was the last formal step of the appointment procedure and Parliament announced that Laura Codruta Kövesi could start her 7-year mandate at the helm of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office which is an independent office with the competence to investigate, prosecute and bring to judgment crimes against the EU budget. Laura Codruta Kövesi is the first person to occupy this position which she obtained in spite of the opposition expressed by the Social Democratic government of Romania.
Mircea Geoană is the new deputy secretary general of NATO
Romanian diplomat Mircea Geoană on Thursday officially took up his post as NATO’s Deputy Secretary General being the first Deputy Secretary General from Central and Eastern Europe. He replaced American Rose Gottemoeller, whose mandate was a first as she was the first women in the Alliance’s 70-year history that occupied such a post. Mr. Geoană most recently served as the President of the Aspen Institute Romania. He was also previously President of the Romanian Senate, Foreign Minister, and Romania’s Ambassador to the United States. (translation by L. Simion)