News review of the day – October 24th

Romania’s interests insufficiently pleaded for in Brussels – study

Romania’s interests are insufficiently pleaded for in Brussels, according to a Europuls study presented today at the Representation of the European Commission in Romania. The document shows there is lack of national debate and consultations on European matters whilst Romanian officials are not aware of the country’s best interests, lack vision and long-term strategy. The Parliament seems not to have an essential role in the European law-making process.
The Europuls report recommends among other things that Romania’s mandates in Brussels be previously negotiated between more national actors whereas ministers should tackle more diverse European subjects other than European funds. Furthermore, a clear need for local authorities’ representation in Brussels has emerged as regions, companies, associations are now poorly represented.

Justice Minister: Amnesty and pardon, possible solutions to overcrowded penitentiary system

Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc considers amnesty and pardon could be solutions to the overcrowded penitentiary system, but he believes these clemencies should be included in a law only after thorough debate. The minister reminded that a draft bill on this matter is now in debate at the Parliament after being rejected by the Justice Ministry and that its further debate and endorsement is up to the priorities set by the lawmakers. On the other hand, chief of the High Court of Cassation and Justice Livia Stanciu opinated that such a law is not necessary at the moment.

Romania’s Armed Forces Day celebrated on October 25th

Defense Minister Mircea Duşa has congratulated the Romanian military today on the eve of Armed Forces Day celebrated each year on October 25th. The minister has appreciated the professionalism and high moral qualities of army representatives proven many times over the years inside the country and abroad. Mircea Duşa has evoked the events  seven decades ago when the Romanian soldiers set free the last two major occupied cities in Transylvania – Carei and Satu Mare and praised the military that sacrificed their lives in 1944.

Photo exhibition „Romania in Afghanistan – 12 years of US-Romanian strategic partnership” marks public radio”s anniversary

A photo exhibition by Radio Romania’s war correspondents called „Romania in Afghanistan – 12 years of US-Romanian strategic partnership” has opened today at the public radio’s headquarters. Visual testimonies across the 12-year presence at the Romanian camp in Kandahar have been gathered by war correspondents Radu Dobriţoiu, Mario Balint and Ilie Pintea. The event has been attended by FM state secretary Bogdan Aurescu, representatives of the US and France diplomatic missions to Bucharest, officers of the allied armies and of Romanian Defense Ministry.
The Romanian military has joined the allied efforts in Afghanistan for 12 years, 5.000 kilometres away from home, winning admiration and respect of its coalition parteners. Radio Romania and its war correspondents have been part of these efforts and the public radio is now proud to mark its 86th anniversary with this exhibition.

Radio Romania opens its doors to the public this Saturday

Radio Romania is celebrating 86 years since it first went on-air on November 1st. Among the events marking the anniversary is the Open Doors Day organized this Saturday, between 10 am and 5 pm. Visitors will be welcomed in Temisana Street and they will be guided throughout the day to see the main radio stations, Rador Press Agency or the recording studio of the Radio Theatre Department. Similar events will be hosted by Radio Romania’s regional studios around the country.

Bpost company in Belgium negotiates privatization of Romanian Post with the government

Bpost company in Belgium has expressed interest in the majority stake of Romania’s national postal operator and will negotiate its privatization with the government, according to Romanian Minister for Information Society Răzvan Cotovelea. The Romanian Post, which is 75% owned directly by the government and 25% by a state fund set up to compensate victims of the pre-1989 communist regime, has had a majority stake up for sale since the end of 2012. The Romanian state intends to sell 51% of its shares. The minister added that the Belgian company is the sole bidder so far but he hasn’t set up a deadline regarding a decision. Minister Cotovelea said the national post needs 100 million euro to become competitive, but the Romanian state cannot inject this capital leaving privatization the only option. Last autumn, the Romanian Post had registered a 8.6 million-euro loss whereas this year it has reported a profit worth 6.5 million showing it is heading in the right direction, added the minister.

Henri AppPort – First airport application in Romania launched today

The first mobile application launched by an airport in Romania has been presented today at Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest. The application is called Henri AppPort and will be available in Romanian and English. It is designed to provide real-time information about flights timetable and to help passengers identify check-in desks and boarding gates easily. Travelers will also be able to learn about shortest airport connections or weather forecasts for Bucharest and their destination city. Similar applications have already been launched in several European airports like London, München or Athens, according to Bucharest Airports National Company.

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem brings fragment of the Holy Cross to Bucharest

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has arrived in Bucharest today on his first visit to Romania. His Beatitude was welcomed on Henri Coanda International Airport by a delegation of Romania’s Orthodox Chruch led by Metropolitan Andrew of Cluj, Maramureş and Sălaj. The high orthodox cleric is bringing a fragment of the Holy Cross framed in an icon of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen. The visit is occasioned by the annual pilgrimage on October 27th dedicated to Saint Pious Dimitrios the New (Basarabov), Protector of Bucharest, whose relics are kept within the Patriarchal Cathedral.

Free Press Square underground passage in Bucharest to open next spring

The Free Press Square underground passage in Bucharest is to be inaugurated next spring, according to Mayor Sorin Oprescu, who has inspected today the undergoing works in the area. The actual earthworks are going to start this November and the passage will be the first one in Bucharest to have an underground bifurcation. The route is realized one-way only facilitating the influx of cars coming to the Capital through National Road 1. The passage will have two exits: one leading to Kiseleff Boulevard and one to Mărăşti Boulevard.
Meanwhile, parallel works are taking place to create an underground pedestrian passageway linking Herastrau Park to the bus terminal in Free Press Square.
The works will cause a 54-hour traffic restriction in the first week-end after December 1st.
General Mayor Sorin Oprescu has stated that the passage will solve most of the traffic jam problems in the area, as 12.000 cars are registered at this crossroads every hour.

Bianca Ioniţă