Romanian president holds talks with political parties
Romanian President Klaus Johannis has convened political parties for a first round of talks concerning the new government expected to rule Romania starting from next year. The invitation was made only to leaders of political parties expected in the new parliament following elections on December 11. „Integrity criteria prevail”, President Iohannis told foreign diplomats refering to a law stipulating that „allowed to be members of government are persons […] that have not suffered criminal convictions” (Law 90/2001). The statement may well refer to Liviu Dragnea, leader of the left-wing Social Democrat Party (PSD) who got a two-year suspended jail sentence for election fraud. Participants in the meeting at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Wednesday will include leaders of the right-wing National Liberal Party (PNL), the newly established Save Romania Union (USR), Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians (UDMR), and Popular Movement Party (PMP). The PSD leaders, winners of Sunday’s election, declined to meet the president on Wednesday for talks on a new government, saying they would wait and propose a prime minister candidate only after a new parliament is sworn in. A similar claim was made by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), a PSD ally expected to join a potential governing coalition.
Renewed raids at a Bucharest hospital
New raids were reported on Wednesday at the Marie Curie Hospital in the Romanian capital Bucharest following a scandal involving a well-known pediatric surgeon.
Gheorghe Burnei is suspected of 17 corruption-related crimes including unauthorised experiments and bribery. The raids were made in an attempt to find new evidence concerning the accusations against Mr. Burnei who was currently under house arrest for 30 days.
Celebrations in Iassy
Celebrations are taking place in the Romanian north-eastern city of Iassy marking the 100th anniversary of a two-year period between 1916 – 1918 when the town became the wartime capital of Romania hosting the so-called government and parliament of the Great Union. A military parade, religious services, and cultural events are expected on Wednesday and the next two days. Proud of its ancient history, Iassy was the capital of the Moldavian culture since 1405. This week’s events will open under the title of „Iassy, Capital of National Revival”.