ECONOMIC GROWTH - Latvia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania reported the biggest economic growth in the EU in the first quarter of 2018 as against the same period of 2017, according to preliminary data made public by the Eurostat on Tuesday. Romania has reported a 4.2% economic growth. Also, according to data made public by the Romanian Statistics Institute on Tuesday, Romania’s economy in the first quarter of the year went up by 4% on gross terms and by 4.2% on seasonally as against the same period last year.
CONSULTATIONS - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Viorica Dancila held talks on Tuesday on the country’s foreign policy matters. On Monday, President Iohannis had sent the PM an official letter, inviting her to consultations on a number of issues, among which the bilateral ties between Romania and Israel, a possible relocation of Romania’s Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the latest developments in Middle East. The decision to hold consultations with PM Dancila was taken after President Iohannis had asked Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu for explanations on the reasons why Romania did not support the EU’s joint declaration regarding the relocation of some embassies to Jerusalem. We remind you that the Bucharest Government has already adopted a memorandum regarding the start of procedures for the relocation of the Romanian Embassy, but that the head of state made it clear that such decision cannot be taken without its approval.
RULING - The High Court of Cassation and Justice in Bucharest is today discussing the final term of the trial in which the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Chamber of Deputies Speaker Liviu Dragnea, is charged with abuse of office. According to anti-corruption prosecutors, when he was head of the Teleorman County Council Liviu Dragnea made several employees of the Social Assistance Directorate fictitiously hire two persons who were members of the Social Democratic Party’s local organization. Although the two were working exclusively for the Social Democratic Party, their salaries were paid from public money. We remind you that in 2016, the Court found Liviu Dragnea guilty of having local Social Democratic leaders take people to polls illegally, in order to make sure the referendum against the then president was validated, and gave him a 2-year suspended sentence.
ISRAEL – Thousands of Palestinians are gathering again today at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, one day after the Israeli army killed almost 60 protesters and wounded around 2,400, according to France Press. Palestinian protests might also take place in the West Bank. The violence occurs in the context of the inauguration, on Monday, of the new American Embassy in Israel, based on a controversial decision by US President Donald Trump to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s decision was criticized by a large part of the international community and caused the rage of the Palestinians who want East Jerusalem to become the capital of their future independent state. Upon the initiative of Kuwait, the UN Security Council is meeting today. Turkey accused Israel of state terrorism and genocide, claiming that the US has its share of guilt. Paris also condemned the Israelis’ violent action against Palestinian protesters. Amnesty International representatives have spoken about war crimes and the EU and London have made an appeal for peace.
HANDBALL - Romania’s AHC Potaissa of Turda, in north-western Romania defeated on Monday evening, on home turf, the Greek side AEK Athens 33-22, in the first leg of men’s Challenge Cup Final. The second leg will be played on Sunday in Athens. A year ago, AHC Potaissa Turda were left in tears after losing the men’s EHF Challenge Cup final against Sporting CP.(Translated by Elena Enache)