President Klaus Iohannis to address Parliament on 7 February on government’s changes to criminal laws./ Parliament’s specialist committees are debating the 2017 budget bill.
Romania's president Klaus
Iohannis will address Parliament on the 7th of February on the
subject of the government's changes to criminal laws and the events sparked as
a result. The president challenged the government's move to the Constitutional
Court invoking a legal conflict of a constitutional nature between the
government, on the one hand, and the judiciary and Parliament, on the other.
After the Superior Council of Magistracy and the General Prosecutor's Office,
the Ombudsman is now also contesting the government ordinance. On Tuesday
night, the government passed a bill on prison pardon and issued an emergency
ordinance to amend the criminal codes. Tens of thousands of people again took
to the streets yesterday for the third day in a row to protest against the
government's decree that would partly decriminalise some forms of corruption.
Despite unanimous condemnation by the country's judicial institutions, the
Social Democratic government has decided to go ahead with the changes. The
Social Democratic Party yesterday reaffirmed its support for prime minister
Sorin Grindeanu. The leader of the party Liviu Dragnea says a disinformation
campaign is being waged on the subject and believes that any attempt to
undermine the activity of the government is in fact an attempt to destabilise
the rule of law.
Migration and the future of the European Union after
Brexit are analysed today in Malta at an informal meeting of the EU Council
where Romania is represented by its president Klaus Iohannis. The 28 EU leaders
are discussing in particular the migration from Libya and the central
Mediterranean routes. The Council plans to address the migration crisis by
tackling its causes, namely conflicts, political and economic instability,
human rights violations and poverty. The first measure envisaged is putting an
end to illegal migration. European leaders are also discussing ways to
strengthen the Union's external borders, a subject on which Romania has
repeatedly insisted. The Council will also discuss the future management of borders
through the use of new border control technologies.
Parliament's specialist committees are today debating the
2017 budget bill, with finance minister Viorel Stefan expected to attend. This
year's budget is based on a 5.2% economic growth rate and a deficit of maximum
3% and will allow Romania to comply with its commitments to allocate 2% of its
GDP to the defence ministry. The government expects an inflation rate of under
1.4% and an unemployment rate of 4.3%. In the opinion of the finance minister,
the budget bill is based on real economic data, the government programme of the
Social Democratic Party and public policies and national projects. It lays
emphasis on education, healthcare, infrastructure and investment.
A French soldier shot and wounded
a man armed with a knife trying to enter the Louvre museum in central Paris.
The man, who was carrying a rucksack, is said to have approached the soldiers
guarding the museum security and pull out a knife, trying to attack them. The
police say one soldier was wounded, while the assailant is in serious
condition. A police spokesman said the man shouted "Allahu
Akbar", while the head of the Paris police says he was probably trying to
commit a terrorist attack.
tennis player Adrian Ungur, no. 313 in the ATP ranking, today faces Ilya Ivashka (175 ATP) in Minsk in the Belarus-Romania
opener as part of the Euro-Africa Davis Cup Group 1. In the second match today,
Marius Copil, no. 129 in the world, plays against Egor Gerasimov (341 ATP). In
the doubles, Horia Tecau and Nicolae Frunza on Saturday face Max Mirnyiand Egor
Gerasimov. In the final single matches on Sunday, Romania's Marius Copil faces
Ilya Ivashka, while Adrian Ungur plays against Egor Gerasimov. In other news
from tennis, Romania's highest ranked player in the women's ranking, world no.
4 Simona Halep, who was due to play Russia's Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the
quarterfinals, has withdrawn from the Saint Petersburg tournament worth more than 700,000
dollars in prize money because of a knee injury.