Thursday, July 16

Meeting of Romanian Senate’s Committee on Legal Affairs

A meeting on Thursday of Romanian Senate’s Committee on Legal Affairs is expected to vote a report concerning the Quarantine and Isolation Act as the document was subject to long-standing debates. Romanian senators previously agreed on a final draft taking into account opinions of MP groups, legal experts and civil society groups. A Senate’s final vote is expected later on Thursday. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban is also expected to attend debates in the committee. The daily tally was recently highest since the pandemic began in Romania over four month ago. Romania reported 35, 003 coronavirus cases on July 16 with 1,971 deaths and 22,189 recovered.

Hunedoara Energy Complex in crisis

Romania’s Energy Complex in Hunedoara is facing a historic decline in its coal production due to recent floods in the country’s western regions. Heavy rains triggered flash flooding in counties across Romania damaging hundreds of properties and prompting evacuations. A mine in Lupeni was forced to drastically slow down its daily capacity as its huge debt of over € 1.5 billion made it increasingly difficult to find suppliers. The Hunedoara state-owned coal producer was expected to get a state aid of RON 184.3 miliion (€ 39,5 million) in 2018 to close its coal mines at Lonea and Lupeni, seen as uncompetitive. Coal demand around the world has tanked over the past decades amid competition from cheap natural gas and expanded renewable energy sources. Coal companies have faced a reckoning as the world looks to combat climate change and move away from fossil fuel.

Former DNA prosecutor detained

Romania’s criminal police has arrested on Thursday a former prosecutor with the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the DNA. Mircea Negulescu, a former DNA prosecutor in Ploiești, southern Romania, was detained under a 24-hour arrest warrant. Mr. Negulescu is accused of forging evidence and forcing several witnesses into doing so, corrupting denounciations and making false statements while being in charge of a DNA enquiry involving former PM Victor Ponta, former MP Sebastian Ghiță and former British PM Tony Blair. Prosecutors accused Mr. Ghiță of bribing leaders of the former ruling left wing-PSD party, including Mr. Ponta, with €200,000. That money was allegedly used to organise a visit of Mr. Blair to Romania in 2012.

Alexandru Danga