Doina Cornea, a symbol of anti-communist resistance, has passed away
A symbol of anti-communist resistance in Romania, Doinea Cornea passed away on Thursday night after a long suffering. Born 89 years ago into a family of high moral and religious stature, Doina Cornea was a university professor with the French Department of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj and in the 1980s she became famous for her public criticism of the Communist regime. Her letters were read on international radio stations and stirred the anger of the Romanian officials. As a result, she was fired from the university, and was arrested and beaten by the political police, the Securitate. She became one of the central figures of the anti-communist Revolution of 1989 and was one of the first to protest against the way in which the National Salvation Front, which took the reigns of power after the fall of the Communist regime, ruled the country. Pope John Paul II awarded her the Order of Saint Gregory the Great and King Michael I awarded her the Order of the Star of Romania. She also received the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits.
President Iohannis sends the justice laws back to the Constitutional Court
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has decided to send to the Constitutional Court the recently adopted justice laws. Rushed through parliament in December, in the form proposed by the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the laws had reached the stage where they were to be promulgated by the president. The president, however, has announced that he will send the laws to the Constitutional Court and will notify the Venice Commission. According to the head of state, the laws are not in line with either the domestic constitutional framework or the European standards regarding the status of magistrates, judicial organization and the functioning of the Higher Council of the Magistracy. Klaus Iohannis has stated that the new provisions damage the prosecutors’ status and enhance the risk of the justice process as such being blocked. Also, the president has stressed, structures are being created with the aim of controlling the magistrates and eliminating guarantees of the judiciary’s organizational independence, by enhancing the role of the Justice Minister, to the detriment of the Higher Council of the Magistracy. The ruling coalition believes that the head of state merely wants to delay the application of the laws, but the opposition has hailed the president’s move and has called for the resignation of the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader. In parliament, the Special committee in charge of analyzing the justice laws has started talks on the changes brought to the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Civil Procedure Code.
The European Commission maintains its forecasts regarding Romania’s economic growth in 2018 and 2019
The European Commission has maintained its forecasts regarding Romania’s economic growth this year and next year, to 4.5% and 3.9% respectively. In its spring economic forecast published on Thursday, the Commission also signals the fact that the budget deficit would reach 3.4% of the GDP in 2018, also as a result of the significant increase in salaries in the public sector. At the same time, the inflation rate, which has been growing since 2017, will maintain its upward trend, though the pace will not be that fast in 2019. As regards the European level, economic growth is still solid, and that has helped reduce the level of unemployment down to the lowest rate in the past 10 years, as the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici has announced. The EU and the Eurozone economy will keep growing by 2.3% this year and 2% in 2019, which confirms the Brussels officials’ statement that Europe is not just in a stage of economic re-launch, but it is also solidly expanding.
World Press Freedom Day was celebrated across the world on may 3rd
World Press Freedom Day was celebrated across the world through various events. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a message conveyed on the occasion that the promotion of a free press represents everybody’s right to know the truth. In the past years, however, the media has been faced with several challenges, in particular the ‘fake news’ phenomenon, and in some countries even prestigious institutions have been accused of promoting this phenomenon. Moreover, according to the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, established by the Reporters Without Borders organization, the feelings of hate and hostility towards journalists have grown in the past years. World Press Freedom Day is also an opportunity to pay homage to those journalists who died while doing their job. According to the latest toll, 65 journalists were killed across the world in 2017. in Romania, the latest report, launched by Active Watch, shows that the mass-media in Romania is still used for propaganda, disinformation and intoxication. In the World Press Freedom Index Romania ranks 44th out of 180, ahead of the US and Italy, but after South Korea.