Friday, February 24th

Dragobete, Valentine’s Day Romanian style

Romanians are celebrating the so-called Dragobete on February 24, the Romanian version of what is worldwide known as Valentine’s Day. According to traditional legends, Dragbete was the son of Baba Dochia, the legendary character related to spring arrival and the end of the winter. It is around this time that birds start building their nests and mate. Boys and girls gather vernal flowers, sing together while Romania’s capital Bucharest and towns and villages across the country seem to share their joy. A number of events are organised on Friday including open-air concerts and gift fairs.

Controversial GO13 scrapped

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has signed into law on Friday provisions designed to repeal the controversial GO 13 that would have protected many politicians from being prosecuted for corruption. President Iohannis also approved the GO 14 expected to invalidate the GO 13. The original decree, which would have taken effect weeks ago, decriminalized corruption that caused damage worth less than about 200,000 Romanian lei, or $48,000. The move sparked protests across the country seen as the largest since the fall of Communism.

No SRI – DNA agreements

„There are no agreements between Romania’s Intelligence Service (SRI) and the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the DNA| (National Anti-Corruption Directorate). The statement was made by SRI spokesperson Ovidiu Marincea on Thursday. „However, we do have such protocols with several Romanian institutions, which are prefectly legal”, Mr. Marincea told reporters. Still, some of the most troubling allegations in Romania concerned the alleged close relationship between the DNA and the SRI, commonly seen as successor to the former Communist Securitate secret police. Some say DNA relies on the SRI to intercept about 20,000 telephone calls each year.

Romanian Honey Fair

Câmpina, a Romanian town in the southern county of Prahova, hosts the 12th edition of its Honey Fair on Friday. More than 15,000 honey fans visited the fair last year, according to organisers. Participants include 130 bee keepers with tons of more than 20 sorts of honey. The Câmpina Honey Fair is seen as the largest Romanian event of the kind. Honey use and production have a long and varied history as an ancient activity in Romania and elsewhere.

Alexandru Danga – RADOR