News review of the day – Tuesday, January 20th

CHF under debate in Romanian Parliament

Romania’s Parliament is currently discussing concerns raised by the climbimg Swiss franc (CHF). The parliament’s lower house decided to open debates on a Personal Bankruptcy Law after legal expert MPs would consider the proposal. Debates are expected to start on Wednesday with a decision adopted soon afterwards at a special parliamentary session. Also on Wednesday, the Budget Committee in the House of Deputies and representaives of the country’s National Bank (BNR) will discuss recent moves by the Swiss National Bank to scrap the cap on the Swiss franc’s value against the euro.Officials worry that if the franc remains strong, people holding loans in the currency won’t be able to keep up with payments and could be forced out of their homes.

Former Romanian state secretary before DNA prosecutors

A former state secretary with Romania’s Justice Ministry was brought before prosecutors of the country’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) for alleged corruption on Tuesday. Ovidiu Puţura is accused of alleged influence peddling and bribe in a civil case. Mr. Puţura is also accused of illegaly promoting a man in order to help him get a notary job. Three judges in the Romanian northern county of Bistriţa are also expected to attened hearings before DNA prosecutors for their alleged involvement in Mr. Puţura’s case.

Former Romanian trade union chief and minister under investigation

A former trade union chief and minister is under investigation for his alleged involvement in a corruption-related case. Miron Mitrea, a former Transport Minister, was expected to appear before Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) on Tuesday for hearings about alleged wrongdoings related to the current home of his mother in the town of Voluntari near the capital Bucharest. Irina Jianu, a former head of the Construction State Inspectorate, is also involved in the case. It is the second term of an appeal concerning a prison ruling in 2014 against both Mr. Mitrea and Ms. Jianu. However, a previous hearing was postponed as both defendants claimed they were still looking for a lawyer. Ms. Jianu who was released from prison last week has failed to attend the hearing on Tuesday as she claimed she couldn’t afford to pay for the transport.

New earthquake strikes Romania

An earthquake of 3.8 degrees magnitude on Richter scale has struck Romania’s eastern county of Vrancea on Tuesday night at 1:53 local time. The depth of the quake was 40 km, according to figures issued by Romania’s National Institute for Earth Physics. 13 earthquakes of more than 3 degrees on Richter scale were reported in Romania since the beginning of the year with the strongest on January 4 measuring 4.3 degrees on Richter scale. The strongest quake in 2014 measured 5.7 degrees on Richter scale and it was reported on November 22 also in Vrancea.

Alexandru Danga