News review of the day – October 26th

Romanian Interior Minister asked to resign

A senator of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) called on Romanian Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea to resign following the death last week of a police officer while on duty in the minister’s motorcade. In a public statement on Monday, PNL Senator Puiu Haşotti said he would would ask the PNL leadership to order an unlimited strike of party lawmakers in case Mr. Oprea would not step down. However, the PNL senator said his party should attend debates in parliament about decisions concerning a law on the vote by mail and the meetings of a committee established in order to discuss electoral code issues. In his first comments about the incident Mr. Oprea said he was not aware of the accident at the time. Prime Minister Victor Ponta has accused opposition politicians and journalists of speculating about the death for political reasons.

Investigation into the case of Bucharest mayor extended

Prosecutors of Romania’s anti-corruption watchdog, the DNA, extended their investigation into the case of former Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu for new allegations. Mr. Oprescu was allegedly involved in a criminal group and he was accused of money laundring, DNA prosecutors said on Monday. The mayor of Romania’s capital has been arrested at home in September 2015 in an investigation into allegations of taking bribes. He was accused of taking kickbacks from companies awarded contracts with the city. Prosecutors alleged he took a 10% cut from deals. He denied any wrongdoing.

Magic night at the Romanian Atheneum with a concert supporting Romania’s Crown Princess Margareta Foundation

The Romanian Atheneum in the capital Bucharest hosted the 8th edition of a fund-raising Royal Concert on Sunday. The event marked the 94th anniversary of King Michael of Romania. Tiberiu Soare conducted the Foundation Orchestra with soloist such as Teodor Ilincăi, a well-known tenor. The fund is expected to finance the „Young Talents” National Programme where most promising young artists get support in their efforts to start their career. The „Young Talents” Programme is known as the best Art and Culture Programme in Romania, an award-winning laureate at the Civil Society Gala in 2013 and 2015. Other performers included cellists Izabella Ghergu and Cornelius Zirbo and young opera singers such asDiana Alexe, Daniela Popescu, Larisa Ştefan, Martiniana Antonie and George Vîrban – all former or current scholarship students.
Born on 25 October 1921, Michael was King of Romania from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930 and again from 6 September 1940 to 30 December 1947. He was forced to abdicate in 1947 by the government controlled by the Communist Party of Romania. As a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom through both of his parents he is a third cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. He is the last surviving monarch from the Interbellum and the oldest of only three surviving heads of state from World War II. King Michael lives currently in Versoix, Switzerland, along with his wife, Queen Anne of Bourbon – Parma.

Opening night of the Clara Haskil International Festival in Sibiu

The Clara Haskil International Festival opens in the Romanian Transylvanian town of Sibiu (Hermannstadt, the German name of the city, ed. n.) on Monday. The festival is dedicated to the memory of Clara Haskil, a Jewish-Romanian born pianist famous as an interpreter of Mozart but also Beethoven and Scarlatti. The one-week festival will allow audiences to meet young talents from Romania and abroad. The first evening will be marked by the prformance of Cristian Budu, a young Romanian-born Brasilian pianist already a laureate of the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Vevey, Switzerland, where Clara Haskil resided from 1942.
Alexandru Danga