European Council meeting in Brussels, Code orange alert for flooding for 8 drainage basins in Romania
European Council – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is participating for two days in the European Council meeting in Brussels. Talks will focus, among others, on the European defense policy, economic growth and competitiveness, digitalization, innovation and trade and the post-2020 EU budget. The main topic of the summit is migration. According to a communiqué of the presidential administration, Klaus Iohannis will reiterate the need to continue the consolidation of the EU’s external border protection and will highlight the need for a collective effort of member states to intensify dialogue with the migrants’ countries of origin or of transit. In a letter conveyed to the heads of state and government of the 28 EU members, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk points to the very high stakes involved, and to the growingly heated debates over migrants. He underscored that the EU’s target should be to dismantle the bootleg-type of business, this being the most efficient way to stop the migrants’ flow and to put an end to loss of human lives at sea.
Brussels – The Speaker of the Romanian Senate Calin Popescu Tariceanu is having talks today in Brussels with the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, about observance of human rights and freedoms in Romania and about the institutional relations in a rule of law state. A press release issued in Bucharest writes that the talks will tackle the stage of monitoring of the Romanian judiciary by the EC through the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CMV) and bilateral issues. The meeting is taking place in the context in which the EU officials are closely monitoring the amendments brought to the justice laws by the ruling coalition in Romania made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats, amendments that are being contested by the opposition parties, civil society and part of the magistrates and that triggered off street protests. In Bucharest, the US Embassy issued a release stating that important partner states have called on Romania to consider the potentially negative impact of the amendments to be brought to the criminal laws and have asked the authorities to avoid changes that might undermine the rule of law or Bucharest’s capacity to fight crime and corruption.
Weather – Romania’s eastern half will be under a code yellow alert for rain until Thursday night. The highs of the day will range between 23 and 29 degrees C, with a 20 degree reading in Bucharest at noon. Meteorologists warn that it will continue to rain in most regions of Romania until Saturday. Hydrologists have also issued a code orange alert for flooding for 8 drainage basins in the south, center and east valid until Thursday afternoon. For other rivers in the south, east and center of the country a code yellow alert has been issued, valid until midnight. According to the Interior Ministry rainfalls have affected 60 localities in 14 counties. The Ministry officials have mobilized at national level, around 16 thousand employees and more than 6,600 technical means.
Government – The Romanian government is today discussing a bill on granting state aid to those companies who make large-scale investments, mainly in less developed regions. According to the finance minister Eugen Teodorovici the government decision submitted for analysis is a follow-up of the state aid scheme that was successfully implemented between 2014-2017. Minister Teodorovici said that resuming this scheme would boost economic growth, bridge the gaps between regions and help produce innovative products.
DIICOT – The prosecutors of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism in Bucharest started the investigation in rem in the case of the criminal complaint made by the opposition National Liberal Party president Ludovic Orban against the Social Democratic prime minister Viorica Dancila, a case in which he accuses her of high treason and disclosure of secret information that undermines national security. The complaint is related to a memorandum discussed in the government meeting that analyzed the adequacy of relocating the Romanian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Ludovic Orban accused Viorica Dancila of revealing confidential information and of having presented the Romanian President with false information in relation to the respective memorandum. (news translated by Lacramioara Simion)