Tuesday, September 6th

Romania’s new home minister

Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Cioloş has appointed Dragoş Tudorache as acting minister of the country’s home affairs on Tuesday. The move comes after former Interior Minister Petre Tobă resigned last Thursday pending a criminal investigation against him over allegations of shielding suspects in a case involving suspected embezzlement and abuse of power. A former lawyer at a court in the Romanian eastern town of Galaţi, Mr. Tudorache graduated the Al. I. Cuza University in the Moldavian city of Iassy before receiving a Master ‘Cum Laude’ degree in EU Law at the University of Stockholm in Sweden. Mr. Tudorache’s previous position was as head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery.

Former Romanian PM before DNA prosecutors

Romania’s former Prime Minister Victor Ponta appeared before prosecutors of the country’s anticorruption watchdog, the DNA, on Tuesday. Mr. Ponta was expectd to answer new corruption allegations. Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate found that Victor Ponta was a suspect in a new probe of alleged influence peddling before placing him under judicial control for 60 days. The case also involves Sebastian Ghiţă, known as a close friend Mr. Ponta, and Sorin Chirilă, a friend of Mr. Ghiţă. Followintg the country’s general elections in 2012, Sebastian Ghiţă, a businessman and owner of the Romania TV became a deputy of the newly created Social Liberal Union (USL) of Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, also a former prime minister. Romanian media is also mentioning former British PM Tony Blair for his alleged involvement in the affair. Mr Blair, who runs the Government Advisory Practice which works with several regimes, has travelled at least twice to Bucharest in 2013 to meet Mr Ponta. Tony Blair facilitated a three-way conversation between himself, Mr Obama and Victor Ponta in the stands of Soweto’s FNB stadium. The discussion lasted 15 minutes, according to a post on Mr Ponta’s Facebook page, although he said nothing official was discussed.

Hungary’s Wizz Air flights from Satu Mare

Wizz Air announced the north-western city of Satu Mare as its newest Romanian destination on Tuesday, launching a new service to London Luton. Satu Mare is becoming the tenth Wizz Air Romanian destination. Starting from 31 October service from Satu Mare will connect the northwest Romanian city with London Luton two times a week on Mondays and Fridays. Wizz Air’s Satu Mare route is becoming the first international connection from the airport. The airline is continuously investing in its Romanian operations and is planning to grow its fleet in the country to 20 aircraft by the end of 2016, including 4 of the new 230-seat Airbus A321.

Police alert: ATM thefts

Romanian police is working to bring down cashpoint fraud. Police in the Romanian southern town of Ploieşti have launched three raids in Bărcăneşti and Gherghiţa on Tuesday – the alleged home of the suspects involved in the case. Four arrest warrants were issued with suspects expected to be questioned about their alleged involvement in the case. Suspects were involved in 15 ATM thefts around Ploieşti area. Raids also involved the forces of the Romanian Geandarmerie supported by officers with the Special Operations Directorate of Romania’s Police General Inspectorate.

Alexandru Danga