October 7, 2018

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FAMILY REFERENDUM - Nearly 19 million Romanian voters are invited this weekend to vote on a proposed redefinition of the concept of family in the Constitution. The initiators aim to define "family" as an institution based on the marriage of a man and a woman, rather than the marriage of spouses, as it is at present. According to data released by the Central Electoral Bureau on Sunday, at 10 AM, some 7,24% of the total number of eligible voters had cast their ballots so far, many of them in urban communities. The Romanians living abroad can vote in 378 polls hosted by diplomatic missions, consular offices, cultural institutes and other locations. Most polls abroad are in Italy, Spain, the Republic of Moldova, the USA, UK, France and Germany. The voting process abroad will conclude on the US West Coast and in Canada on Monday morning, Romanian time. The vote in the diaspora started on Friday night in Auckland, New Zealand and will take 58 hours to complete. Parliament has passed a bill rephrasing the Constitutional definition of marriage, based on a citizen initiative signed by 3 million people. To pass, the referendum needs meet the 30% voter turnout threshold and 25% of votes cast have to be valid.


MOTION - The Chamber of Deputies on Monday will debate a simple motion filed by the National Liberal Party in opposition against Economy Minister Danut Andrusca. The Liberals accuse Andrusca of deliberately destabilizing the country's economy. Last week the Chamber voted against a simple motion the Liberals filed against Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, whom they accuse of failing to implement the taxing and budget strategy. The opposition also calls for the elimination of the additional excise tax on fuel, the start of major investment projects and the allotment of 100% of tax revenues to local administration starting next year. Also this week the Senate dismissed a simple motion against Transport Minister Lucian Sova, filed by the National Liberal Party and Save Romania Union. The opposition accuses Sova of poor management of the road and rail transport networks.


HEARING - Monday, October 8, will see the first hearing in the case where Social-Democrat leader and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Liviu Dragnea was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment in the court of first instance. In June, the High Court of Cassation and Justice handed Dragnea the sentence for instigation to abuse of office. Anticorruption prosecutors say Liviu Dragnea ordered the fictitious employment of two party members at the Social Assistance and Child Protection Directorate. The two were paid with taxpayer money, although they allegedly worked exclusively for the Social-Democratic Party. Liviu Dragnea denied the accusations. In 2016, Dragnea was handed a 2-year suspended prison sentence for attempted election fraud. This summer the High Court cancelled the ruling to suspend the prison sentence.


EUROPEAN WEEK OF REGIONS - The 2018 edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities kicks off on Monday in Brussels, in the presence of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, the European Committee of the Regions president, Karl-Heinz Lambertsz and European Parliament vice-president, Pavel Telicka. This year's edition is a special one, devoted to the European Commission's cohesion policy proposal for the 2021-2027 period. Decision-makers and local, regional, national and European experts will take part in a series of debates as part of the most important event devoted to cohesion policies at European level.


THEATRE FESTIVAL - Theatre companies from six countries, world famous klezmer bands and artists will meet in Bucharest over October 7-14 as part of the third edition of the TES FEST International Yiddish Theatre Festival. The event is organized by the Jewish State Theatre to mark 70 years since the institution was founded and 142 years since the first Yiddish professional theatre was set up in Iasi, Romania, in 1876, by writer and artist Abraham Goldfaden. Companies from the US, Israel, France, Moldova, Austria and Poland are expected to attend. On the sidelines a series of related events, such as workshops, meetings, film screenings and exhibitions about the history and activity of the Jewish Theatre in Romania will also be held.


NOBEL PRIZE - The 2018 Nobel Prize awards season will come to a close on Monday, when the Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences will be awarded. On Friday,Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege, who treated sex violence victims in his home country, and Nadia Murad, a Kurdish human rights activist having survived Islamic State sexual slavery, were awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee explained the prize was awarded "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war". Both had a crucial contribution to raising awareness with respect to this type of war crimes and in fighting them.

(Translated by V. Palcu)



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Publicat: 2018-10-07 13:08:00
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