The Week in Review, March 4 -10

the week in review, march 4 -10 A roundup of the week's main stories

Former chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate face to face with prosecutors.

The former chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, Laura Codruta Kovesi, was informed on Thursday, after many hours of hearings at the special section for the investigation of magistrates that she was charged in a second file, in relation to the coordination of a crime group made up of prosecutors from the same Directorate. Mrs. Kovesi rejected the accusations as mere confabulation and claimed she is innocent. She says that she has been publicly harassed for two years, and the Judicial Inspection representatives have verified her on 50 occasions already. She claims that her summoning to the Prosecutor's Office on the very day when discussions for the election of the chief prosecutor of the future European Public Prosecutor's Office were being held in the European Parliament, was not a coincidence.

Laura Codruta Kovesi: "I don't think it's a coincidence, I think I was summoned on purpose for this particular day, I think it was on purpose that I was hindered today to give statements and clear things and I also think it was on purpose that I was summoned in relation to one case only to find out that I was being heard in a different case, without being summoned for it in a procedural and correct manner."

In a first file opened by the special section for the investigation of magistrates Mrs. Kovesi has been accused of abuse of office, false testimony and bribe-taking. We recall that Mrs. Kovesi was dismissed last summer from the position of chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the justice minister Tudorel Toader criticized her for having defied Parliament and for having contested the decisions of the Constitutional Court.

Minister Tudorel Toader is being contested

This week the justice minister Tudorel Toader has been faced with a simple motion but he has been rescued by the lack of quorum, as the vote on the simple motion filed by the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Party was rescheduled. On Wednesday the plenum of Parliament did not have the required quorum as the Social Democratic MPs decided not to participate in the vote, because they claim the motion includes many fabrications. Meanwhile, the Social Democratic leader Liviu Dragnea explained that the situation of Tudorel Toader will be discussed in the coalition, underlining the state of discontentment with this minister which needs to be clarified with their junior partners in the coalition, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats - ALDE. An independent supported by ALDE, Tudorel Toader has been criticized both by the Social Democrats and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, which is backing the government in Parliament. According to the Liberal Party representatives, by not ensuring the quorum at the vote on the simple motion on justice, the ruling coalition is putting pressure on minister Toader to promote the legislative changes they badly require. Minister Toader is also being contested by part of the civil society. Teachers and students on Thursday protested to show solidarity with the magistrates' protest, and condemned what they consider the political subordination of the judiciary. Previously, actors from several theaters in Bucharest and from across Romania had protested against the subordination of justice. They are all discontented with the recent government decree no. 7 which changes the justice laws.

The 2019 state budget bill returns to Parliament

The 2019 state budget bill is constitutional, the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday, following the notification made by President Klaus Iohannis. Refusing to comment on the Constitutional Court's decision, Klaus Iohannis announced he would return the bill back to Parliament, claiming this is a budget of national shame.

Klaus Iohannis: "The 2019 budget is based on a fantasy and there are no guarantees as to its implementation, as also pointed out by the European institutions and other international institutions. This budget bill places in doubt the compliance with the international treaties Romania is part of, and, unfortunately, also the legislation in the field. This year's budget is designed to serve, first and foremost, the political interests of a small group."

The parliamentary opposition, represented mainly by the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union, shares the president's views. In exchange, the governing coalition labeled the return of the budget bill to Parliament as deceptive, political and irresponsible. "It is obvious that president Iohannis is only interested in winning another term and does things that endanger Romania's image and macroeconomic indicators.

To say that the country is facing an economic disaster while official figures say the opposite, shows lack of responsibility and respect for truth. Blocking the government has become his main concern", prime minister Viorica Dancila has said. The deputy speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Florin Iordache, speaking on behalf of the Social Democrats, says they will send the bill to the president to sign as it was initially passed by Parliament, without making any further changes. According to the Social Democratic Party, the 2019 budget bill ensures the necessary resources for all important economic sectors.

Romania at the helm of the Council of the EU for 2 months

Romania's Prime Minister on Friday presented the balance of Romania's first two months at the helm of the Presidency of the Council of the EU. During the first two months of its term in office, Romanian Presidency completed 67 files, half of which have been already approved by ambassadors of EU member states. The Romanian Presidency and the European Parliament also reached a preliminary agreement on a set of temporary and limited measures to ensure basic road freight and road passenger connectivity in order to mitigate the most severe disruption in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated agreement. During talks held in Brussels with EU chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, Prime Minister Dancila said this week that the Romanian authorities have prepared for any scenario, including a no
Publicat: 2019-03-09 12:09:00
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