December 5th 2017

King Michael of Romania dies at 96

The former King of Romania, Michael I, has died in Aubonne, Switzerland on Tuesday. He was 96.The anouncement was made by Romania’s Royal House.
Michael I was born on October 25 October 1921. He was King of Romania from July 8, 1927 to June 8, 1930 and again from September 6, 1940 until his abdication on  December 30, 1947.
In 1944, Michael participated in a coup against General Ion Antonescu, appointed Constantin Sănătescu as his replacement, and subsequently declared an alliance with the Allies. In March 1945, political pressures forced Michael to appoint a pro-Soviet government headed by Petru Groza.  From August 1945 to January 1946, Michael went on a „royal strike” and unsuccessfully tried to oppose Groza’s Communist-controlled government by refusing to sign and endorse its decrees. In November, Michael attended the wedding of his cousins, the future Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip of Greece in London. Shortly thereafter, on the morning of December 30, 1947, Groza requested a meeting with Michael where he was forced to abdicate. Michael was forced into exile, confiscated of his properties, and stripped of his citizenship. He married Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma in 1948 with whom he had five daughters and eventually settled in Switzerland.
In 1997, after Ion Iliescu’s defeat by Emil Constantinescu, the Romanian government restored Michael’s citizenship and again allowed him to visit the country. He lived partly in Switzerland at Aubonne and partly in Romania, either at Săvârșin Castle in Arad County or in an official residence in Bucharest—the Elisabeta Palace. Besides Săvârșin Castle, the former private residences Peleș Castle and Pelișor were also restituted. While Peleș and Pelișor are open to the public, Elisabeta Palace and Săvârșin are used as private residences.
King Michael is survivied by five daughters: Crown Princess Margareta, Elena, Irina, Sophie and Maria.

Rallies under debate

Further talks were reported on Tuesday among leaders of Romania’s governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) concerning alleged rallies next Saturday supposed to express public support for the governing agenda and opposition against a so-called „parallel state”. A first such rally could be organised in the Romanian southern town of Craiova, in Dolj county, according to Claudiu Manta, a PSD Senator in Romania’s Parliament. Mr. Manta believes that some 30,000 people may attend the rally. However, other PSD leaders are not sure the move is necessary. And more, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, the leader of ALDE, the junior party in the governing coalition, told reporters on Monday that he did not bilieve such move was useful.

Conference launching EC’s Education and Training Monitor 2017

The Education and Training Monitor is the European Commission’s annual publication on education and training in the EU. The document was released to the public at a conference of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania in Bucharest on Tuesday. Here are some exerpts: „Romania is implementing a competence-based curriculum in school education. Plans are underway to train teachers to teach the modernised curriculum. Underachievement in basic skills remains one of the highest in the EU. This is due to educational factors and equity challenges. Access to quality mainstream education is particularly a challenge for students in rural areas and for Roma. Funding for education is low. Early school leaving risks remaining high, with consequences for the labour market and for economic growth. The labour market relevance of higher education is improving, but tertiary educational attainment is the lowest in the EU. Efforts to introduce dual vocational education and training are underway. Adult participation in learning remains very low despite the need for upskilling”…

Colectiv night club trial posponed

A trial concerning the Colectiv night club fire in 2015 was posponed for a fourth time due to procedure failures on Monday. A fire at the Colectiv night club on October 30, 2015 in the Romanian capital Bucharest killed 64 people and injured 147. Victimes included the four members of Good Bye to Gravity, a Romanian heavy metal rock group. Most Romanians believed that the high death toll was all down to corruption in Romania. The incident led to the fall of the government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Former Bucharest Sector 4 mayor Cristian Popescu, also known as Piedone, is on trial for abuse of office along with the owners of the club and employers of a firework firm who are accused of manslaughter.

CineMAiubit International Student Festival at its 21st edition

The 21st edition of the CineMAiubit International Student Festival opens in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Tuesday. The festival is a yearly event of cinema culture
organised by the CineMAiubit Foundation and the „I.L. Caragiale” National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest, with the support of the ARCUB, Romanian Filmmakers Union and the National Film Center. The three main sections of the festival include fiction, documentary, and animation/experiment. Most of today’s Romanian critically acclaimed film directors started their career as CineMAiubit festival contenders.

Alexandru Danga