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1.Police officer becomes suspect of death threat to Romanian investigative reporter A police officer has become main suspect in the case of Romanian investigative journalist Emilia Sercan, who a week ago announced she received a death threat. She had linked the threat to her investigative reporting, which has focused on plagiarism cases among high level officials and lately on the leadership of the police academy of the country.
2.​House of Deputies adopt controversial changes to Romania criminal codes, Opposition announces challenge to Constitutional Court Romania's House of Deputies, as deciding forum, adopted on Wednesday a set of bills changing the criminal code and the criminal procedure code of the country, after passing them fast forward through a special commission. Opposition deputies criticised the changes to the law in the plenum during the day and announced they would challenge them to the Constitutional Court, as they "favored corrupt people in public documents". But the governing majority managed to push them through.
3.​Romania Justice in limbo as two key officials are crossed off before Orthodox Holy Week Romania's embattled judiciary faces a period of high tension as two key officials were prompted to leave office this week and key verdicts were postponed as the country prepares for the Orthodox Holy Week. Facing mounting pressure, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar announced his retirement and a prosecutor who has been accused of plagiarism was announced as replacement. And Justice minister Tudorel Toader announced his resignation as pressure increased for him to be replaced with an even bigger opponent of the fight against corruption.
4.Romania government and top EU officials, foreign ambassadors in unprecedented standoff over rule of law Top EU and Western officials issued unprecedentedly harsh warnings to Romanian authorities on Wednesday demanding that rule of law be respected in the country and a key candidacy for a top EU prosecutorial job go on unimpeded. Romanian authorities responded in a just as harshly worded manner. But both parties stopped short from turning escalating rhetoric into action. The spiraling tensions are all the more so critical as Romania is the current holder of the rotating EU Council presidency.
5."One meter highway" viral campaign draws thousands of people, officials and companies in 15-min protest across Romania Thousands of people across Romania on Friday joined a novel form of protest - a 15-minute pause in activity, joined by many companies and even authorities, in a call to build long due highways in the country and especially in its Eastern region of Moldova. The "Romania wants highways" campaign was launched by one young businessman from Suceava, NE Romania, who today inaugurated a piece of highway of only 1 meter length which he himself ordered to be built on a private property.
6.UPDATE Romanian PM Dancila resists increasing pressure to drop ordinance affecting judiciary Romanian PM Viorica Dancila on Monday said that her government would not drop an ordinance issued recently, which changes the laws of justice and has been fiercely criticised for undermining the independence of the judiciary. Her position comes as domestic and European criticism and pressure on authorities to drop the ordinance have increased significantly.UPDATE 1 President Klaus Iohannis urged the government late on Monday afternoon to annul the ordinance.
7.​Romanian magistrates in unprecedented wave of protests against changes to Justice laws Romanian magistrates across the country on Friday launched a series of protests against a recent emergency ordinance by which the government introduced a series of unannounced changes to the laws of justice. The protests, which are due to continue next week and include organised suspensions of activity, are warning that the independence of Romanian judiciary is threatened for political purposes.
8.Top EU officials including Frans Timmermans become subjects of complaint registered by Romanian body claiming to investigate Justice-related crimes A newly established body aimed at investigating crimes within the Romanian judiciary has registered a complaint against EC vice-president Frans Timmermans and other top officials, who are accused with criminal actions including the creation of an organised crime group. The body was established as part of the moves of the current government to subdue the judiciary politically. The complaint comes from a website known for its serving the interests of Romania's governing coalition in its attempt to put an end to the fight against corruption and bring the judiciary against political control.
9.Romania Justice minister Toader sparks outrage with two ordinances to change the laws of Justice Romania's Justice minister Tudorel Toader on Tuesday announced that the government adopted two ordinances changing the laws of justice: one focused on the designation of Romanian candidates to European prosecutor jobs and another on changing the three laws governing the judiciary, which were massively changed by the PSD-ALDE coalition last year. The announcement sparked harsh criticism from the President, the opposition, experts.
10.Former Romanian anti-graft chief Kovesi, a candidate for EU chief prosecutor, hears charges in case opened against her back home The former head of Romania's anti-graft prosecutor's office Laura Codruta Kovesi on Friday learned the charges brought against her in a corruption case which she says is aimed at undermining her candidacy for the job of EU chief prosecutor. She learned the charges after meeting a commission charged with investigating suspect magistrates, a body recently established by the governing coalition, criticised for attempting to subdue the judiciary and stifle the fight against corruption.
11.Romanian Parliament finally adopts 2019 budget bill with prospective deficit up to 2.76% Romania's Parliament on Friday finally voted the long overdue budget law for 2019, with the Government claiming it was a realistic one despite a long period of massive efforts to come up with some form of financial planning. The bill has been harshly criticized by the opposition, President Iohannis and analysts for being non-realistic, as it is based on forecast on an unexplained level of economic growth and revenues way above potential.
12.Romania's former anti-graft office head Kovesi accuses domestic attempts to prevent her taking over as EU Chief Prosecutor The former head of Romania's anti-graft prosecutor's office (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi announced in a radio show on Europa FM on Wednesday evening that she has been summoned as a suspect in a case, just as she prepares to go through European Parliament hearings for the EU Chief Prosecutor job. She accused a domestic attempt to stop her from taking over the job, given the hostility of the governing coalition in Romania against her.
13.Romania finds itself without head of Army while NATO secretary general visits Bucharest The Bucharest Court of Appeals has decided to suspend a decree by which President Klaus Iohannis has extended the term in office of the Army chief of staff, General Nicolae Ciuca. The decision is not final, but has to be applied, which means the Romanian Army remains without a head at the very moment NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visits Bucharest.
14.Key Romanian leader Dragnea to be absent from ceremonies to launch Romanian EU Council Presidency The official ceremony for the launch of the Romanian presidency of the EU Council, scheduled in Bucharest with the participation of top EU leaders, will be missed by House of Deputies speaker Liviu Dragnea, the de facto leader of the governing Social Democrats (PSD). Dragnea, a politician who has received a suspended conviction for electoral fraud and faces other corruption cases, has delegated his tasks as speaker to vice-speaker Florin Iordache, also of the PSD.
15.​Romania's judicial issues take international turn with cases involving top politician Dragnea, ex-chief anti-graft prosecutor Kovesi Two major judicial cases involving key public figures in Romania went international these days, shortly after the country took over the EU Council presidency. Both are related to the fight against corruption in the country and involve two major opponents - a former top anti-graft prosecutor and a political leader who had received a conviction.
16.Russia Embassy sparks Romanian diplomatic reaction with comments about alleged smear campaign against Soviet "bandit and rapist" soldiers ​Romania's Foreign Ministry reacted with "regrets" on Sunday to a statement published this weekend by the Russian Embassy to Bucharest, in which it claimed there was a campaign to smear the Red Army by labeling Russian soldiers during WWII as "bandits and rapists" while they liberated ECC countries from fascism. The Embassy statement was received as a provocation by Romanian commenters who point out the memories shared by the elderly, of the deeds Russians committed in their wake to their coming to Romania during and after the war.
17.Romanian government adopts ordinance expanding taxation despite public outcry Romania's Social Democratic government late on Friday adopted a much criticised emergency ordinance which forces new or increased taxes on banks, energy and telecom companies and changes to private insurances. The ordinance is a slightly watered down version of a draft one which on Wednesday sent shocks through the stock exchange and the business sector. The government went with the initiative anyway, despite criticism of its lack of transparency and abusive actions.
18.​Romanian first post-communist president Ion Iliescu indicted for crimes against humanity in 1989 Revolution case The man who took the reins of power in the wake of the anti-communist Revolution in Romania, Ion Iliescu, and three other high profile leaders of the December 1989 events have been indicted for crimes against humanity, the Prosecutor General's office announced on Friday.
19.Romania's government party in counter-attacks as motion censure fails Romania's Social Democratic Party (PSD)-led government survived a motion censure submitted by the opposition on Thursday, going on counter-attack with new threats and blaming others for political failures. The government was forced, however, to postpone until Friday a decision on a draft emergency ordinance on fiscal changes, which has sparked an outcry on the stock exchange and among businesses since Tuesday. The fate of another critical ordinance was still to be cleared by late afternoon.
20.​Romania government's draft taxes prompt major losses of over EUR3 billion on Bucharest Stock Exchange Some EUR 3.1 billion were erased on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) on Wednesday, a day after the Romanian government announced a draft ordinance bringing major changes to taxation and other corporate regulations, less than two weeks before the new year. Energy and banking institutions were most affected by the BVB blow in the wake of the government announcement, which mainly affects banking, energy, telecom and insurance companies.
21.Romanian government throws market into chaos with draft changes to tax and corporate rules ​Romanian authorities sparked market outcry on Wednesday by announcing on Tuesday evening a series of massive changes to Romanian tax and other corporate rules, changes due to be applied, theoretically, in less than two weeks. The Bucharest Stock Exchange opened with strong losses today and pension funds, investors and other private sector bodies reacted harshly to measures which include a Greed Tax (yes, that is its name), changes to private pensions and state intervention on electricity and gas prices.UPDATE 1 President Klaus Iohannis urged the government on Wednesday to drop plans for the new taxes, saying they were "throwing Romania into chaos". He said PSD was to blame of "greed"UPDATE 2 Also on Wednesday, the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) called for an urgent withdrawal of the emergency ordinance, calling its provisions as lacking responsibility and causing generalised chaos in the economy.
22.Romania governing party leader Liviu Dragnea draws reactions with radical speech attacking Justice rule, the West, major companies and president Iohannis Liviu Dragnea, the speaker of Romania's House of Deputies and leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD), used a speech on Sunday evening to strengthen his image of a strongman, with nationalistic attacks against the West, Western companies, the rule of law and president Klaus Iohannis, his political archrival. His statements drew a wave of reactions on Monday, as public bodies and various organisations took a stand against his statements.
23.Romanian Govt announces emergency ordinance on penal codes Romania's PM Viorica Dancila on Monday announced that the leadership of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) has decided the adoption of an emergency ordinance on the penal code and penal procedure codes of the country. She said that there was a vote on the opportunity of such an ordinance, but not when it would be adopted.
24.VIDEO Throngs attended blessing of Romania's new, grandiose Orthodox cathedral amid controversies Throngs of Romanians attended the blessing of a gigantic new Orthodox cathedral on Sunday, in the immediate vicinity of the immense Communist-era House of the People. The event and its circumstances painted a vivid tableau of the country which is due to celebrate the anniversary of 100 years of statehood on December 1.
25.​DIGEST ​Romania govt party leader Dragnea strengthens reign with reshuffle and Bucharest blow, as new revelations about him emerge The leader of Romania's governing coalition Liviu Dragnea on Monday strengthened his rule over his party by removing influential critics from key positions. He and his prime minister Viorica Dancila announced several major changes to the governmental team, while the Bucharest mayor, a prominent member of Dragnea's Social Democrats (PSD) and an opponent of the party strongman, was left without political functions.
26.​Top governing party politician shows middle fingers to Romania opposition in rebuke to European Commission criticism An influential deputy of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), Florin Iordache, used both his middle fingers towards the Opposition in Parliament on Wednesday, shortly after he rebuked European Commission calls for Romanian authorities to step back in their efforts to curb Judicial reform.
27.Romanian PM Dancila says EP resolution, EC report on Romania are "deeply unjust" and "eminently political" Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila, seen as a puppet acting on behalf of Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea, called two key positions of the European Parliament and the European Commission on Romania on Tuesday as "deeply unjust" and "eminently political".
28.​Bucharest reacts to Finnish government offer to take over EU Council presidency. Romanian ministry says country ready for job Romania's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the country was ready to take over its term at the presidency of the EU Council starting January 1 and that preparations were under way according to schedule. The statement came after the Finnish Government said it was available to take over the leadership of the Council earlier, if requested by authorities in Bucharest. Helsinki took the stand after Romania's President questioned the readiness of the government to deal with the responsibilities of the EU Council presidency.
29.European bodies slam Romania government over state of law, Romanian officials react The European Commission on Tuesday issued a blasting report the evolution of Justice reform in Romania - the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) - while the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the state of law in the country, seriously critical of events in the past year. Meanwhile, in Bucharest, the leader of the governing PSD party tried today to dillute the importance of the EU bodies' interventions.
30.As key minister steps back, Romania President Iohannis calls incumbent government "an accident of democracy", says country not ready to take over EU Council presidency Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Monday launched one of his harshest attacks on the Social Democratic (PSD)-led government, saying "things have gone insane" and "the political necessity is a replacement of this accident of the Romanian democracy, which is the Dragnea-Dancila government". He made the comments as the minister-delegate for EU issues, Victor Negrescu, appeared to have resigned last weekend, less than two months before Romania takes over the EU Council presidency.

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