CABINET The Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader Thursday announced his resignation, and said he would stay in the Ministry until the name of his replacement was published in the Official Journal. On Wednesday, PM Viorica Dăncilă sent President Klaus Iohannis the proposal for his replacement. The main partner in the ruling coalition, the Social Democratic Party, nominated Deputy Eugen Nicolicea to replace him. The SDP decided to withdraw political support for the Justice Minister after he refused to pass controversial changes to the criminal codes. PM Viorica Dancila also made new nominations for the positions of Minister for Romanians Abroad and Minister for European Funds, along with the resignations of the Minister for European Funds, Rovana Plumb, and of the Minister for Romanians Abroad, Natalia Intotero. The two are running for the European Parliament in the upcoming elections. Deputy Oana Florea was nominated for the Ministry for European Funds, and Senator Liviu Brăiloiu for the Ministry for Romanians Abroad.
CANNES The latest feature film by the Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu, “La Gomera / The Whistlers”, has been included in the official competition of the Cannes International Film Festival. The film will have its world premiere in the 72nd edition of the Festival, to be held on May 14th to 25th. Cristi, a Romanian corrupt policeman involved in a 30-million euro deal with the mafia, gets to La Gomera Island, in Spain, to learn 'El Silbo', a whistling language used by the locals. The code will help him release a criminal arrested in Bucharest, the only one in the gang who knows where the money is kept. Corneliu Porumboiu has been awarded several times in Cannes, his “Police, Adjective” having won in 2009 the Grand Prize and the FIPRESCI award in the 'Un Certain Regard' section.
ROMANIA - FRANCE Exhibitions at the National History Museum and the Museum of Art Collections, the 5th edition of Spotlight – the International Light Festival, and a Theo Lawrence & The Hearts concert, were included on Thursday in the opening programme for the Romanian section of the 2019 Romania – France Cultural Season. Romania’s National Art Museum opens an exhibition entitled “Species of Spaces: the Societe Generale Contemporary Art Collection”, in the presence of the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, the Culture Minister Valer-Daniel Breaz, his French counterpart Franck Riester and the Ambassador of France to Bucharest, Michele Ramis. Launched in November in France, the cultural dialogue between the 2 countries will continue in Romania until July 14th, with scores of performances, concerts, film screenings, literature-related events, exhibitions and roundtables held in more than 30 cities. The Cultural Season ended in France on April 16th and included events held in over 100 cities.
MASS MEDIA Hatred towards journalists has triggered violence and an intense climate of fear, reads the 2019 World Press Freedom Index released on Thursday by Reporters without Borders NGO. The organisation warns that the number of safe countries for journalists continues to decline. According to the report, only 24 out of the 180 countries covered by the barometer are safe. First ranks Norway, for the 3rd year in a row, followed by Finland, Sweden and Netherlands, whereas the countries that rank the lowest in terms of press freedom are China, Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan. Romania is placed 47th in the World Press Freedom Index, which says that part of the Romanian mass media have been gradually turned into propaganda tools, are under political control, with obscure funding mechanisms and editorial policies subordinated to the interests of their owners.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)