News review of the day – December 29th

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis meets interior, foreign and defence ministers

Romania’s newly elected President Klaus Iohannis has invited the country’s interior, foreign and defence ministers for talks at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace in the capital Bucharest on Monday and Tuesday. The meeting between Mr. Iohannis and Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu and Defence Minister Mircea Duşa was confirmed by political sources. However, the agenda of the talks is still unveiled. In another move, President Iohannis hold informal talks with Prime Minister Victor Ponta last week on issues concerning goverment’s priorities, recent political and economic facts and institutional co-operation. Another informal meeting between President Iohannis and Prime Minister Ponta was reported on Monday.

Last meeting of Ponta Cabinet in 2014

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta hold his 2014 last cabinet meeting at the Victoria Palace in the capital Bucharest on Monday. The cabinet was expected to discuss two emergency ordinances designed to bring changes to current Education Law and a law ensuring the quality of the educational process. Further talks would focus on a draft law aimed at changing assignment procedures for special working conditions. As the country’s Constitutional Court is expected to consider a complaint put forward by the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) concerning the 2015 Budget, Mr. Ponta expressed the hope that the court would allow his government to access the new Budget on January 1st. „Otherwise, we stay stuck in the 2014 Budget still unable to proceed with the measures included in the Budget next year”, Mr. Ponta said.

Romania’s Constitutional Court rejects an Opposition complaint

Romania’s Constitutional Court rejected a complaint put forward by the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) concerning the newly adopted 2015 Budget Law. The two parties claimed that the government failed to meet the deadline allowing the Cabinet to present parliament with the budget plan. The court rejected the complaint at a meeting on Monday. „Neither existing laws nor the country’s constitution stipulate sanctions against such failure.Therefore, we are unable to come up with sanctions against the government or parliament. We cannot declare such failure unconstitutional”, Chief Justice Augustin Zegrean told reporters.

Dozens of villages in 12 Romanian counties under blizzard threat

Dozens of villages and towns in 12 Romanian counties are currently under blizzard threat. Thousands of homes face power and drinking water cuts. However, no missing people were reported according to data issued by the country’s Interior Ministry (MAI) on Monday. In areas under red or yellow code MAI and army personnel were needed in rescue operations, a MAI spokesman told RADIO ROMANIA. Water supplies are needed in the southern Dâmboviţa county while villages and towns in the counties of Hunedoara and Mehedinţi (south-western Romania), Buzău and Brăila (eastern Romania) and Argeş (southern Romania) face power cuts. More than 16,200 firefighters, police, geandarmerie and other public officers are involved in rescue operations.

Alexandru Danga