23.5 C
Bucharest
September 23, 2020
SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Mutu set to remain
at Fiorentina?



Romanian striker Adrian Mutu will remain at Fiorentina because he has an ego and will be very useful for the club next season when, at the end of his 9-month suspension, he will team up with striker Alberto Gilardino, another important player Fiorentina is not willing to give up, Sandro Mencucci, the club’s delegated administrator, stated for fiorentinanews.com. Turkey’s Fenerbahce was expected to take the first concrete steps towards making official its EUR 7 M offer for a three-year contract with Romanian striker Adrian Mutu, the calciomercato.com website wrote on Monday. The anti-doping court of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) suspended Mutu for 9 months after he tested positive for sybutramine back in January. The suspension will expire on October 28.


Tennis:
Murray and Roddick find their feet on grass



Champion Andy Murray and Andy Roddick whacked away the clay from their tennis shoes and began their build up to Wimbledon by beating little-known opponents on a rain-blighted day at Queen’s Club on Tuesday. Murray, who last year became the first Briton to win the title in 71 years, kicked off his grasscourt campaign with a 7-6 6-3 win over Spaniard Ivan Navarro while Roddick was at his ruthless best in a 6-2 6-1 demolition of Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn. Third seed Murray initially seemed taken aback at the sight of a serve-and-volleying Spaniard but once he had got over that shock he found his groove to book a place in the third round. “Tricky play, not what you expect from a Spaniard coming forward on every point,” Murray said in a courtside interview.


Cycling: Haedo takes Criterium stage win


Argentine Juan Jose Haedo timed his effort to perfection to snatch the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in a mass sprint on Tuesday. The Saxo Bank rider surged ahead with some 50 metres left to pip German Martin Reimer of the Cervelo team and Lampre’s Grega Bole of Slovenia. It was another quiet day for Alberto Contador, who once again spared his team mates as the Spaniard is not looking to defend his overall leader’s yellow jersey. Twice Tour de France champion Contador is using the eight-day race as part of his preparations for the Tour and although he is the overwhelming favourite, he has no ambitions in the Dauphine. His Astana team protected him by the front of the peloton along the 177 kms from Annonay, leaving the chasing work to the sprinters’ teams.


Athletics: Merlene Ottey still surprising at 50


Jamaican-born Slovenian sprinter Merlene Ottey seems unaffected by passing years, finishing the 100-meter race of the Grand Prix meeting in Postojna (Slovenia) in 12 seconds and 72 hundreds of a second. The finishing time represents by far a world record for athletes over 50 years of age, AFP informs, being quoted by Agerpres. Merlene Ottey celebrated her 50th birthday on May 10. The sprinter who won the largest number of titles in history (20 medals at the World Championships and 9 medals at the Olympic Games) continues to amaze despite her age. After finishing 4th in the 100-meter final of the Sydney Olympic Games ten years ago, Merlene Ottey was recently awarded the Bronze medal after America’s Marion Jones admitted to having used performance-enhancing drugs.

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Lucian Bute to box against Jesse Brinkley for world’s IBF title


Romanian boxer Lucian Bute will box against America’s Jesse Brinkley for the world’s IBF title, Rudel Obreja, president of the Romanian Boxing Federation, stated on Tuesday during a press conference. “Lucian Bute will box against America’s Jesse Brinkley, with the IBF assigning the latter as the challenger.


If Brinkley suffers an injury then Bute will box against someone else,” Obreja said. Obreja stated that by the end of the month he has to inform Interbox whether the world title bout will take place in Romania.


Lothar Matthaus to attend final of National Championship for juniors


Germany’s former international player Lothar Matthaus will attend on Wednesday in Mogosoaia the CFR Cluj vs. ACU Arad game counting for the final of the National Championship for juniors, businessman Marius Vizer told Mediafax. “Lothar Matthaus will be present in Romania at the final of the National Championship for juniors. He will be my guest; he will keep an eye on some of the players. Matthaus will probably take part in the prize awarding ceremony too,” Vizer said. FRF President Mircea Sandu will offer prizes to the winners of the National Championship for juniors. The CFR Cluj vs. ACU Arad game will take place within the Mogosoaia Football Centre at 6 PM.


Rugby team’s head coaches attacked in Botosani


Romeo Gontineac and Steve McDowell, the head coaches of Romania’s national rugby team, were attacked while leaving a nightclub in Botosani after Saturday’s World Cup playoffs game against Ukraine, prosport.ro informs. Lucian Lorin, a spokesperson for the Romanian Rugby Federation, has stated that Gontineac and McDowell were attacked by several people while leaving the club. Romeo Gontineac was punched only once but McDowell had to be hospitalised after the incident. The New Zealander was diagnosed with acute head and face trauma and nose concussions. Romania’s rugby team defeated Ukraine on Saturday in Botosani in a game counting for the second leg of their World Cup playoffs fixture, score 61-7. Romania won the first leg too, score 33-3 (14-3 at half time). Romania will now play against Tunisia after which it will face the winner of the game that pits Uruguay against Kazakhstan.


Court rules to keep referees Martis and Serea under arrest


An Arges court has decided on Tuesday to uphold the preventive arrest measures against referees Marius Martis and Ionica Serea. The two were charged for corruption alongside Pitesti-based businessman Cornel Penescu and his companies’ manager Liviu Facaleata. The court’s ruling is not final and can be attack within the Pitesti Court of Appeals within 24 hours.

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Sources: Ford asks gov’t to extend
contractual deadlines by one year



Ford Group has asked the government to extend by one year to September 2011 the deadlines for investments and production parameters within the Automobile Craiova plant, invoking the economic crisis as an argument in its support, Mediafax informs, quoting official sources. The request has significant chances of being accepted by the government. The request was expressed during negotiations that the two sides had on signing an additional act to the sale contract that AVAS and Ford signed in 2007 back when Ford bought the majority package within Automobile Craiova. “The American group’s request was for this four-year contract to be extended by one year in what concerns investment commitments, invoking the financial crisis; the government could accept the request considering the global financial situation,” sources involved in the negotiations stated.


PDL lawyer-senators helped remove teaching of Geography and History in minorities’ languages


A new scandal promises to shake the ruling coalition after PDL senators on the Legal Affairs Committee endorsed the removal of the teaching of Geography and History in national minorities’ languages. With the Senate being the ultimate decision-maker on matter of education, the stance taken by the Liberal-Democrats poses a risk of further weakening the position of their own government right before the debate and voting on the no-confidence vote motion introduced by PSD+PC. The most vehement opponent of minorities’ right to the teaching of the two subject matters in their mother tongues is Senator Iulian Urban, who denounces UDMR’s straddling conduct over PDL-backed bills and claims he does not agree to Hungarians’ being given the right to study Romanian Geography in their own language. He abstained from voting when the Social Democrats proposed to remove the article from the draft, thus allowing for the PSD amendment to be adopted with three votes in favour, two opposed and one abstention.


Ciorogarla case: Preda brothers and 15 other defendants sent to court


The prosecutors of the Department for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) sent brothers Eugen and Adrian Preda to court, along with 15 other defendants. The Preda brothers and 13 more suspects were apprehended on December 27, 2009 in 15 simultaneous Police raids. At their homes, officers found 35 of the 62 weapons stolen from an army warehouse in Ciorogarla, plus three more firearms and live ammunition. According to a DIICOT press release, the 17 defendants must face charges of forming an organized criminal group, theft with very serious consequences, crimes against the guns and ammo regulations, illegal trafficking of high-risk drugs in Romania and abroad, and other crimes. Out of the 17 defendants, 16 are in preventive arrest.


King Mihai acquires “Furnica” Complex-Peles by enforcement


King Mihai initiated procedures to reclaim the “Furnica” complex in Sinaia by enforcement, after a trial in which the State Protocol Heritage Administration (RA-APPS) claimed compensation for state expenses. The authority is due to evict the complex in a month’s time. The enforcement ruling was issued last year by Ploiesti Court and contested, in vain, by RA-APPS, according to Mediafax.The Furnica Complex, a building which stands on the Peles Estate, has approximately 240 rooms, alongside workshops, gardens and other annex buildings, covering a total surface of 3,982 square metres.


Magnitude 4.8 earthquake rocks eastern Romania, Bucharest


A minor earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale rocked eastern Romania, and the capital Bucharest, on Tuesday evening, at 6.16 PM. The tremor was epicentered in the Vrancea region, at a depth of 120 km. According to Gheorghe Marmureanu, manager of the National Earth Physics Institute, the quake was strongest felt in Bucharest. Tuesday’s tremor had no stronger aftershocks.

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Romanian flies from
Vienna to London hanging
by jet undercarriage



The 20-year-old man “dropped frozen stiff from the fixed landing gear” of United Arab Emirates State fleet aircraft after its landing at London-Heathrow on Sunday, the Austrian Independent reports. The jet had landed at Vienna International Airport (VIA) last Thursday before taking off for the British capital Sunday evening. According to Austrian journalists, the blind stowaway survived only because the empty jet had to fly at lower altitude than planned due to thunderstorms en route. Vienna police declined to comment on the reports, while British officials are set to interview the man who is recovering at a London clinic after suffering serious hypothermia from the flight.

Milan authorities to erect
anti-Roma wall



Italian officials are seeking to erect a three-metre-high wall in Milan, aimed at protecting local resident from Romanian Roma. According to Antena 3 news channel, the wall will surround a former industrial area between the motorway and the railway on the north-western outskirts of the city.


The concrete barrier is supposed to be 3-metre-high and 400-metre-long, and seeks to prevent Romania from returning to the area. “In the first place, it is not a wall, but a gate. The decision to build a barrier here has been taken after local residents repeatedly requested us to act,” ‘La Repubblica’ newspaper quoted Giorgio Oldrini, mayor of Milan suburb Sesto San Giovanni, as saying. The wall started being erected on Tuesday morning, in an area abusively occupied by Roma people, despite mayoral authorities repeatedly evicting them from there. Even before the work began, law enforcement forces evicted 40 Romanian Roma from the area.

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PDL mayor resigns and immigrates
to Germany



Upset by central policies, a Democrat-Liberal mayor from Alba decided to resign his position and to immigrate to Germany. The mayor of Rosia de Secas Township, Gheorghe Wagner, announced the press by an open letter that the decisions made lately by the political class are unacceptable and sorely affect Romanians’ living standards. According to Antena 3, Wagner renounces his office as mayor because he no longer wishes to be part of the present political class, which acts only on behalf of interest groups. The mayor apologised to residents for his decision and explained he wished to immigrate to Germany, where most of his relatives live.


UNPR Iasi top member resigns from party


One of the leaders of the recently set up National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR) Iasi, Valerian Salavastru, announced, yesterday, his decision to resign from the party, on the grounds that he could no longer remain within a “communist” party which, alongside the ruling Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL), is leading Romania straight to collapse, Mediafax informs. Salavastru, former member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), stated he had sent in his resignation yesterday, by e-mail, to the leader of the UNPR Iasi branch, Tudor Ciuhodaru. “I don’t belong in this governing coalition which is leading Romania straight to collapse and I don’t belong in such a party. At the UNPR May 1 congress, I felt as if I was among Communist Party members, and I cannot relate to such a party,” Salavastru stated.


Romanian patients turn to European Parliament for healthcare and aid


The Romanian Organisations of Patients with Chronic Diseases’ Coalition (COPAC) warns that the National Healthcare Office’s (CNAS) intention to modify the drug compensation system is an attack on the health of the population, according to a release sent to our editing office. “This [new] system has been conceived unilaterally, without prior consultations with the patients’ associations, the Romanian Doctors’ College or the Chemists’ College. We strongly urge CNAS to renounce this project,” Cezar Irimia, the chairman of COPAC, stated. If this measure, which openly defies patients’ rights, is maintained, COPAC will turn to European authorities for help.


Prostitute owes RON 90,000 to the local budget


A Piatra Neamt prostitute holds the record of fines at county level, with debts worth almost RON 90,000 to the local budget, Agerpres reports. According to data provided by the Piatra Neamt Tax Department, the young woman has accumulated fines worth a total RON 87,000. With fines for prostitution ranging between RON 500 and 1,000, the prostitute must have been fined at least 87 times by police. The Tax Department sent the case to court, in view of recovering the money, but it is hard to believe this will actually happen.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

EximBank simplifies guarantee issuing process


EximBank has simplified the sovereign guarantee issuing process by cutting the volume of paperwork required as well as the processing time to only 10 days, the bank informs by release. ‘The new rules apply to guarantees of up to EUR 1.5 M awarded for a maximum period of 5 years,’ EximBank President Ionut Costea said. He added that the new decision made by the bank management would have positive effects both on borrowers who will find it easier to resolve cash flow issues and on financing providers as it would contribute to the growth of lending activities. Apart from guarantees, EximBank provides financing meant to contribute to the development of infrastructure and public utilities, regional development, research and development, protection of the environment and Romanian export insurance.


Loan agreement for North
Station-Otopeni Airport line okayed



The draft law sanctioning the loan agreement between Romania and the Japanese International Co-operation Agency for the development of the tube lien to connect the North Train Station to the ‘Henri Coanda’ International Airport was Ok’ed by the government yesterday, PM Emil Boc announced, according to Mediafax. The document provides for the conclusion of a simplified agreement by exchange of notes between the Romanian and Japanese governments for the award of a loan worth JPY 41.87 bln (EUR 338.9 bln) for building the rail connection between the Bucharest underground transport system and the ‘Henri Coanda-Otopeni’ Airport.


BCR Pensii doesn’t exclude futher acquisitions


The main objective for BCR Pensii is to remain stale past this period of economic crisis, without excluding further acquisitions on the compulsory private pension market (Pillar II) if the price is attractive, Mediafax informs. ‘We will keep thinking. We will not turn down an opportunity if it comes at a good price,’ BCR Pensii General Manager Simona Ditescu said. In the second half of 2009, BCR Pensii Private also walked into the segment of facultative pensions (Pillar III), by taking over the management of the BCR Prudent scheme from BCR Asigurari de Viata (life insurance).


Common strategy on heating aid
for low-income population



Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu yesterday said he was engaged in talks with central administration authorities, with Administration and Interior and Finance ministry officials, seeking to draft a common strategy on granting heating aid to low-income population, Agerpress reports. He noted no more subsidies would be paid to decrease the price of the gigacalory and that the only intervention would take the form of heating aid only granted to people and families living on low incomes. The mayor did not detail on the income ceiling considered for paying the aid, but said he was awaiting the government’s position in the matter as some of the per-Gcal subsidy has so far been contributed by the executive, which is still in arrears in respect of amounts falling due last winter.

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BP shares tumble as U.S. probes oil spill


British energy giant BP Plc’s stock price tumbled on Wednesday as it faced more U.S. government and congressional scrutiny over its handling of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a congressional hearing that BP’s latest effort to try to contain the oil gushing from its deep-sea well may have increased the flow of crude 4 to 5 percent above what it was before. The oil spill, which began on April 20, is causing an ecological and economic disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the government relief effort, told reporters that BP planned to move another rig to the spill site on June 14. This would enable the company to boost its capacity to collect oil from the ruptured well to 28,000 barrels (1.18 million gallons/4.45 million liters) a day, he said. Government scientists have estimated that the leak spews 12,000-19,000 barrels a day, with one estimate as high as 25,000 barrels. They are due to present revised estimates later this week or early next week. BP shares fell around 6 percent in London, following a 5 percent drop on Tuesday, on worries that the company will have to suspend its dividend payment under pressure from U.S. politicians who say it should go to pay for legal claims and environmental damage in the Gulf. The disaster remains at the top of President Barack Obama’s agenda, a point underscored by his strong comments and his plans to head back to the Gulf Coast next week to inspect operations to tackle the worst oil spill in U.S. history.


China fossil fuel CO2 jumps as global total falls


China could face increasing pressure in U.N. climate talks after data released on Wednesday showed the country’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel rose by 9 percent in 2009, bucking a global downtrend. China’s greenhouse gases from fuels like oil and coal grew to 7.5 billion tonnes, even though global emissions fell for the first time since 1998 as industrial output and fuel consumption dropped amid a global recession, BP data showed. China, the first nation to emit over 7 billion tonnes of CO2 in a year, increased its lead over the United States, the second-largest emitter which it surpassed in 2008. U.S. fossil fuel emissions fell by 6.5 percent to 5.9 billion tonnes, the lowest level since 1995, BP said in its annual Statistical Review of World Energy. Global fossil fuel emissions slid by 1.1 percent to 31.13 billion tonnes after peaking at 31.55 billion tonnes in 2008. China’s emissions have grown sharply in the past decade as the country built scores of new carbon-belching coal plants to power its meteoric economic growth. Though many observers say China needs to do more to curb its emissions growth, some pointed out that absolute emissions is a single factor that needs to be considered against others, and that historical levels should also be taken into account. “We need to look at a basket of indicators that includes absolute emissions, as well as emissions per unit of GDP, emissions per capita and, critically, historical emissions, a category in which the U.S. consistently leads,” said Nick Robins, head of HSBC’s Climate Change Centre of Excellence. “In terms of future emissions targets, China is ahead of the U.S. because it has set itself commitments to reduce carbon intensity, while the U.S. is struggling to get climate legislation through Congress.” China has pledged to cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each unit of national income by 40-45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

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CEC Bank opens European Funds Office


CEC Bank will provide guidance, will promote and sell lending products for drawing EU funds through the European Funds Office that will be opened within the bank’s branches in the Counties of Constanta, Suceava, Botosani, Braila, Galati and Tulcea, according to a press release. “We attach special importance to accessing EU funds and to our clients. In the past two years since we have been a commercial bank we have financed mainly SMEs, agriculture and local public administrations, all that meaning a major leap forward in the activity of the bank. In 2009, we were one of the few banks where credit was up by 15 per cent, in the context of an overall banking fall by 3.6 per cent. One of our overriding objectives in 2010 is to fund the sector of agriculture for which we have the necessary expertise, including projects implemented with European co-financing,” CEC Bank President Radu Gratian Ghetea said. So far, CEC Bank has completed 2,250 projects funded with EU money.


FDI could still go down in Romania


Crisis cut foreign direct investment in Eastern and Southern Europe by a half last year, to a 2005 similar level of EUR 58.5 bln, according to the Vienna Institute for Compared Studies which warns that, in Romania’s particular case, it may continue to drop, Mediafax informs. FDI in 2008 was at EUR 111.5 bln, the institute states in a release. FDI in new EU member states dropped to 2003 levels after strong growth in the previous years. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania attracted less than half of the FDI they had in 2008. Equity flows to Slovenia and Slovakia were even negative, suggesting withdrawals of accrued reserves. The region’s most robust economies – Estonia and Poland – were less affected by declining FDI.


Hungary cuts plan eyes new taxes and ban on FX


Hungary’s new prime minister said on Tuesday he would cut public wages, overhaul the tax system and ban mortgage lending in foreign currencies as he strove to reassure nervous investors he can contain the budget deficit. After sweeping an April election with a two-thirds majority, Victor Orban unveiled a programme dramatically departing from that of a previous caretaker Socialist cabinet that cut spending last year after narrowly avoiding economic meltdown in 2008. The rightist Fidesz party has pledged to cut taxes and create jobs to tackle Hungary’s large debt pile but analysts say that could threaten targets agreed under the country’s 20 billion euro (16.6 billion pound) European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout. Struggling to win back market confidence after Fidesz officials rattled investors by warning of a Greek-style debt crisis last week, Orban said he would introduce a flat 16 percent income tax. He said his government would also cut taxes for small and medium sized companies and ban mortgage loans in foreign currencies. Foreign-denominated loans have been a crucial driver of Hungary’s economy this decade amounting to around 70 percent of all retail loans.

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Ambassadors
on Cotroceni visit



The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand, Chantipa Phutrakul, the one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Ben Ali Ar-Rasi, the one of the Republic of Iraq, Mohameed Saeed Abdulsahib Abdulrazzaq Al-Shakarchi, and the one representing the Republic of Latvia, Einars Semanis, presented yesterday their credentials before the president Traian Basescu, while the ambassadors of the State of Israel, Oren David, of the Austrian Republic, Martin Eichtinger, and of the Kingdom of Sweden, Mats Aberg, were present at Cotroceni on a farewell visit, as they are at the end of their terms.

Laszlo Tokes has EPP support for EP vice-president position


MEP Laszlo Tokes yesterday morning was granted full support by the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) group to run for vice-president of the European Parliament, Democrat Liberal Euro-deputy Cristian Preda wrote on his blog. “Laszlo Tokes will become the first deputy from Romania elected vice-president of the European Parliament. This morning, he was granted support by the whole EPP group to run for this position, and was praised as a symbol of the fight against communism. The Romanian revolution still produces effects,” Preda explained, quoted by Mediafax. Social Democrat MEP Corina Cretu however finds as “blameworthy” the support granted by the PDL delegation in the European Parliament to Tokes’ candidacy, which proves that PDL is “willing to pay any price for having the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania as ruling partner.”

Basescu calls
for Albanian Aromanians to be granted national minority status



During talks in Tirana with Albanian counterpart Bamir Topi Tuesday, President Traian Basescu called for the Aromanian community in Albania to be granted national minority status. ‘During the talks I had with Mr. President, I called for the status of national minority to be granted to the Aromanian community in Albania, Basescu said in a press statement released by the Presidency after the meeting he had with Bamir Topi.


‘Romania considers that Aromanians are loyal citizens of the Albanian state, a fact proved over time. Also, during the talks, I approached the issue of compensations related to the Iorga House at Saranda, as the Albanian justice ruled,’ President Basescu said, according to the Presidency. President Basescu also stated he agreed with his counterpart Bamir Topi on a business forum being held this coming autumn.

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Ex CC head: There is no such thing as interim president institution


While on national television channel TVR Tuesday evening, Ion Vida, a former president of the Constitutional Court (CC) said that judge Ion Predescu being assigned to take his place is illegal given there is no such thing as the institution of caretaker president, and the decision was reached without the required quorum being met. “Mr. Predescu has been assigned, who wants to be president. There were five guys in the plenum who voted for an interim president to be chosen. The legal quorum is of at least seven people. When I saw them going to do such thing, I left the hall, plain and simple and let them do as they wished. There is no such thing as this institution, of temporary president, under the law in force,” Mediafax quoted Vida as saying. His view was not shared by the deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies’ legal committee, Social-Democrat Florin Iordache, who yesterday said that appointing an interim president was called for, given this institution needs a leadership. The chairman of the committee, Daniel Buda of the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) agrees with the measure and reckons Predescu being named CC interim president as legal, given the term of former president Vida having expired. CC argued that 83-year-old Predescu was picked given his being the most senior age-wise of the court’s judges, and deemed its choice necessary in order to ensure the good run of the court.

Parliament extends procedure code report deadline


The plenum of Parliament yesterday passed with a solid voting majority the deadline for submission of penal and civil procedure reports being extended to June 18. Last week, President Traian Basescu sent a second letter to Parliament thereby he called for the codes of penal and civil procedures to be adopted by the end of this parliamentary session. The head of state maintained that the report by the European Commission – Justice and Home Affairs – may make record a positive evaluation given Parliament passes the two codes at the soonest. ‘In this respect, I go back on the letter sent to you in the month of April, asking for the two aforementioned codes to pass by the end of this parliamentary session,’ the president’s letter reads.

Romanian justice monitored ‘for
as long as it takes’



Interviewed by Bulgarian journalists about how long the monitoring of Romania and Bulgaria would still last, the head of the Justice Department of the European Commission gave an ambiguous answer, avoiding giving a term. Jonathan Faull on Tuesday stated that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism in place for Romania and Bulgaria in the area of justice and home affairs would remain in force ‘for as long as it takes’. Bulgarian news agency FOCUS states on its website, cited by Realitatea TV, that Faull stressed out the positive developments recognized by the Commission in its regular report, but added that ‘there were still many things to be done’.


The EC official reminded Bulgaria and Romania of their common goal of having an independent judiciary and of combating corruption.

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