Monday, March 23rd

Romanian PM’s governing report

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta published his governing report on his personal blog account on Sunday. The report refers to a period between 2012 (the year when the first Ponta Cabinet was sworn in) and 2015 with Mr. Ponta claiming that his government achieved 80 percent of the goals included in the governing programme of the Social Liberal Union (USL) under the slogan „Social Liberal Union – Strong Romania”. „Despite PNL (National Liberal Party) pullout, PSD (Mr. Ponta’s left wing Social Democratic Party) looked forward and went on with the plan while trying to put into fact every word of it”, Victor Ponta says. Such achievements include VAT cuts on food (bakery products with others still to come), the 5% cut on social contribution, restauration of salaries for public servants, a small pension increase and a pay rise for medical staff and teachers, etc., according to the report.

Former minister before Romania’s anti-corruption watchdog

A former Romanian minister has appeared before prosecutors of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) early on Monday. Darius Vâlcov, a former Finance Minister, is charged with influence peddling. A DNA arrest warrant on his name is still to be approved by a Committee on Legal Affairs in the Romanian Senate. Mr. Vâlcov is suspected of favouring a local businessman when he was mayor of Slatina, a town in southern Romania, in exchange for a 20-percent cut. Prosecutors say he received a bribe of some 2 ml. euros between 2010 and 2013. He denies the allegations.

Arad Police to tackle beggars

Police in the Romanian western town of Arad have been deployed to tackle the growing problem of beggars blighting the city. More than 40 beggars were discovered in a building in the city centre on Monday. Police say that some individuals are actually fake handicapped beggars who cannot be seen as disabled. They just pretend having their feet, hands or other body parts missing in order to get people to give them money. Many beggars are in a desperate condition. But some of them beg ‘for the sake of begging’.

Radio Romania Cultural Awards Ceremony

The Radio Romania Cultural Awards ceremony is expected at the Odeon Theatre in the capital Bucharest on Monday at 7 PM. The 2015 edition will honour artists with outstanding achievements in theatre, cinema, fine arts, literature as well as education and science. Veteran stage and film actor Mircea Albulescu will get the Excellence Award  while the Lux Mundi Award will go to Gigi Căciuleanu, a Romanian-born French choreographer. The „In Memoriam Iosif Sava” Award will go to Bucharest Music University (also known as the Music Conservatoire) marking its 150th anniversary.

Alexandru Danga