January 8th 2019

Meeting of Romania’s DNA

Romania’s Prosecutor General is expected to attend a meeting of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) on Tuesday. Prosecutor General Augustin Lazăr is the last major figure in an anti-corruption drive still in office despite an attempt of Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to remove him from the job. Mr. Toader demanded his dismissal last October, accusing him of exceeding his authority in a move seen as heightening concerns in Brussels about democratic values in some of the European Union’s eastern member state. The former head of Romania’s anti-corruption watchdog, Laura Codruţa  Kövesi, was sacked last July and the interim mandate of Anca Jurma expired today. Ms. Jurma already announced she was not seeking a new mandate. Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis rejected the government’s nominee for chief anti-corruption prosecutor amid concerns among magistrates and diplomats that she might be soft on high-level graft in one of the European Union’s most corrupt states. The proposal of Adina Florea, a little-known prosecutor in the Black Sea port of Constantza, is part of a series of legal and personnel changes made by the ruling Social Democrats that are seen as threats to judicial independence and could further heighten European Union concerns about democratic values in some of its eastern member states.

Romania’s priorities as president of the European Council

Romania’s Minister Delegate for European Affairs is expected to present the country’s priorities during its six-month presidency of the European Union. Minister George Ciamba will attend a meeting of EU General Affairs Council in Brussels on Tuesday. The agenda of the meeting includes a presentation of the priorities of the Romanian Presidency, and issues concerning the multiannual financial framework. The Council will also review the state of play on legislative files in view of the end of the legislative cycle. A press conference is scheduled at 13:00 (local time). Romania’s government insisted it was capable of handling the rotating presidency of the European Union, dismissing remarks made by Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the bloc’s executive branch. But Mr. Ciamba said on Monday: “Romania is well-prepared. Period,” adding that “there were political disputes in all member states.”

Romanian engineer Eugeniu Iordăchescu dies at 89

Eugeniu Iordăchescu, a Romanian engineer who devised an ingenious way to save churches and many other historic buildings from being destroyed by the country’s former Communist ruler Nicolae Ceauşescu, has died last Friday, on January 4. He was 89.
Inspired by how waiters carrying glasses on a tray without spilling a drop, he imagined a concrete tray built under the churches. Detached from its foundations, churches were lifted and placed on rails and moved to a new location with the help of hydraulic jacks and winches.
At least 10 of Romania’s finest churches, dating from between the 16th and 19th centuries survived thanks to Mr. Iordăchescu.They include the Mihai-Vodă church, built in 1594 by Prince Michael the Brave, which was moved the furthest, some 289 metres.
Eugeniu Iordăchescu is survived by two sons. One of them, Adrian Iordăchescu, is also a civil engineer.

Alexandru Danga