CONFERENCE - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has today said at a conference dubbed “We are inventing the future! Our bet on science!” that there is still a gap between Romania and Western Europe in economic and social terms and has pointed out that Romania’s modernisation in the future depends a great deal on its investment in innovation. Iohannis has said that special attention needs to be paid to the development of major projects in strategic fields and that research is the key of any strategy for sustainable economic growth. “Increased European funds absorption and private investment is a must so that Romania can develop its research infrastructure,” the head of states has said.
INFLATION – The annual inflation rate in Romania went up to 5.4% in May, its highest level in the past five years. The increase takes place against the background of higher prices for food, by almost 4%, non-food products, by almost 8% and services, by almost 3%. The National Bank of Romania has recently revised upwards, at 3.6%, the inflation rate forecast for the end of the year, and at 3% the inflation rate for the end of 2019.
VENICE COMMISSION – Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is today having a meeting with the Venice Commission delegation who is in Romania on a visit focusing on the changes to the justice laws. The delegation’s agenda includes meetings with Parliament members, and officials from the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Constitutional Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the National Anti-corruption Directorate, the Higher Council of Magistracy, judge and prosecutor associations and civil society organisations. Both President Iohannis, and the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have requested the opinion of this body, which comprises independent experts in constitutional law, with respect to the Romanian laws on the organisation of courts, the operation of the Higher Council of Magistracy and the status of judges and prosecutors. The requests came after the right-wing opposition, the media and civil society claimed that these laws are used by the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in order to stop the fight against corruption and get control over magistrates.
RULING – Judges with the High Court of Cassation and Justice might give a verdict later today in the case involving the former head of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, Alina Bica, businessman Dorin Cocos and his son. Bica is accused of aggravated abuse of office while employed as a secretary of state and representing the Justice Ministry in the Central Commission for Compensation Settlement within the National Authority for Property Restitution. The former chief of the anti-mafia prosecutor’s office is in Costa Rica, together with Dorin Cocos’ ex-wife, Elena Udrea, herself a former minister and tried for corruption, after having been regarded for a long time the most influential member of the ex-President Traian Basescu’s circle. The 2 applied for political asylum in Costa Rica.
SUMMIT - US President Donald Trump said he was very proud of the outcome of his historic meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The latter has in turn promised that the world will see a major change. Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un pledged to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,and to seek to declare an official end to the 1950s Korean War and establish a permanent peace agreement. The American leader has given assurances that this process will start very soon and that the relationship with North Korea will be very different. According to Reuters, although the summit in Singapore marks only the beginning of a diplomatic process, it could fundamentally change the security landscape of Northeast Asia, just as former U.S. President Richard Nixon visit to Beijing in 1972 led to the transformation of China.
THEATRE - In Sibiu (central Romania), the 25th International Theatre Festival continues. This is the largest performing arts event in Romania and one of the most important in Europe. On Tuesday, the 5th day of the festival, over 60 events are scheduled, including 14 street shows, 5 dance shows and 8 theatre performances. Thousands of artists from over 70 countries are performing every day both in theatre halls and in unconventional venues.
HANDBALL - Romania’s national women’s handball team will today find out its group stage opponents at the 2018 edition of the European Championship, in the wake of the drawing of lots held in Paris. Romania was included in the second pot, having made it to the final tournament as winner of the preliminary group, outclassing the teams of Russia, Austria and Portugal. At the latest edition of the European championships in 2016, the Romanian national team came in 5th. On Wednesday, on home court, Romania’s men’s national handball team take on the national team of Macedonia in Cluj-Napoca. The fixture counts as the decisive leg of the qualifying playoffs tie ahead of the World Championships, to be held in Denmark and Germany in 2019. In the first game in Skopje, Romania sustained a 24-32 defeat.
(Translated by Elena Enache)