Ilie Şerbănescu: Koveşi`s removal from DNA is not the end of the political war in Romania

Ilie Şerbănescu (photo: Baricada)

The veteran analyst explains what Iohannis`s mistake was, who benefits from the changes in justice an why Romania is not on the road to becoming a new Poland or Hungary

Vladimir Mitev

Ilie Şerbănescu (b. 1942) is a Romanian economist and analyst, who was minister of reform between December 1997 and April 1998. He has written more than 600 articles and several books. His most recent book is called ”Romania – a colony in Europe`s periphery“ (2016). It studies the different dimensions of the Romanian economy which prove that it is peripheral and dependent on its foreign masters.

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Victoria Stoiciu: Capital is socially assisted in Romania, not the poor

Victoria Stoiciu (photo: Victoria Stoiciu)

Vasile Ernu speaks with Victoria Stoiciu about the new serfdom and the guaranteed minimum income: ”In our country the fight against poverty has turned into a fight against the poor”

Vasile Ernu

This article was published on 25 June 2018 on the site ”The Barricade”. 

“On Wednesday 20 June 2018, members of the Romanian parliament approved a legislative project which liquidates the right to a guaranteed minimum income in the case where even one offer of work is rejected by an unemployed citizen. The decision was taken with 274 votes in favour, 4 against and 2 abstentions”, reports the national press agency, Agerpres. In my view, there is no one any more in the Romanian parliament who represents the interests of the poor, who make up more than 40% of the citizens of this country. They are abandoned. We fight not with poverty, which is the gravest problem of Romania, but with the poor. The fight against the poor unites the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) [the two governing parties – translator’s note], the National Liberal Party, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), the Save Romania Union (USR) and others. They have taken an important step towards a new serfdom.

On the occasion of this parliamentary vote I talked with Victoria Stoiciu, who is very familiar with the sphere of social legislation and the problem of poverty. She is the programme director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Romania. She is also the national correspondent for Romania in Eurofound, the European agency conducting surveys on quality of life in the EU.

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Will Romania give up on its anti-corruption fight?

Liviu Dragnea and Klaus Iohannis (foto: CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 3.0)

After Donald Trump entered the White House the northern neighbour is one of the territories of global fight between pro-German and anti-German powers

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 5 June 2018 on the site and in the paper ”Word”. 

Has the end of the Romanian anti-corruption fight come? The question has probably passed through the head of many people, as the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) stipulated on 30 May 2018 that the urge of the minister of justice Tudorel Toader for resignation of the chief of the anti-corruption fight DNA is legitimate (because according to the court prosecutors are subordinated to its ministry). The CCR also defined the president Klaus Iohannis` rejection to sign the order for Laura Koveşi`s resignation as unconstitutional deed. In other words the Constitutional Court said that Iohannis, who is considered a pillar of anticorruption, must literally cut a part of his political body, signing the order for Koveşi`s resignation.

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Does Moldova have a future?

The unionist demonstration in Chisinau (photo: Malgrozata Kulbacewska-Figat)

They walk along the Stephen the Great Boulevard in Chișinău like victors. Then, proud and firm, they stop in front of the Moldovan government’s seat. They carry national flags. However, this is not an ordinary patriotic or nationalist demonstration: they, Romanians, coming from the neighboring country, will demand the liquidation of the country they are in. And no one in this country will tell them that this is illegal or inappropriate.

Malgorzata Kulbacewska-Figat

This article was published on 14 May 2018 on the English section of The Barricade.

Their only postulate is the incorporation of Moldova into Romania. They want the events from a hundred years ago, when the State Council governing the autonomous Bessarabia, convened in autumn 1917 as a result of the February Revolution, voted in favor of incorporation into the Kingdom of Romania.

To be precise, one hundred years without two days — the demonstration takes place not on the exact anniversary, but two days before it, on Sunday, March 25, so that the demonstrators have time to arrive to Chișinău and return home. Symbolism had to give way, as most participant had a long way to travel. The master of ceremony could greet “Romanian brothers from the other side of Pruth”, but the names of towns on the flags tell me that the majority of the demonstrators are Romanian.

In the last Moldovan census in 2014, 75% respondents declared Moldovan nationality, whereas 7% declared Romanian nationality. There are also opinion polls asking whether the respondent would like Moldova and Romania to unite. No more than 20-30% provide positive answers. However, the trend is going upwards.

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A discussion about the causes and reproduction of poverty in Romania

Victoria Stoiciu and Florin Poenaru (photo: The Barricade)

Тopics such as poverty, violation of labour rights and future of labour were in the centre of attention in a discussion, recorded and streamed live by „The Barricade“

Vladimir Mitev

Low income, problematic labour relations and future of labour were among the main topics in the first discussion of the series „Tema“, which took place on 24 April 2018 in the club „Londophone“. The discussion was focused on the causes and reproduction of poverty in Romanian. The special invitee was Victoria Stoiciu from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Romania. The moderator was Florin Poenaru from the left-wing portal „Critic Atac“. The coordinator was Vasile Ernu. „The Barricade“ streamed live the discussion in YouTube, which gathered around 30 people in this club in the heart of Bucharest.

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Codru Vrabie: Romanian anti-corruption may take a new form, but it would hardly cease

Codru Vrabie (photo: Vlad Stanciu/Asocaţia INK)

The expert on good governance talked with Baricada about the evolution of anti-corruption fight in Romania, about the deficits of the current discourse on potential union with the Republic of Moldova and about the need for concrete steps for better communication and closer ties between Romanians and their neighbours

Vladimir Mitev

Codru Vrabie is a civic activist, trainer and consultant on topics related to good governance, transparency, accountability and integrity in the public sector. He has contributed to a lot of reforms in the judiciary and public administration of Romania. Vrabie has BAs in legal and political sciences (Romania, Bulgaria, USA) and MAs in administrative sciences and European affairs (Romania, Netherlands, Spain). He has been working for the Romanian civil society since 1998. Starting in 2010, Vrabie works with the „Leaders for Justice” programme, which was replicated in 2017 in the Republic of Moldova. In April 2018, Codru joined the team of the site, where he works on the podcast series ”Hypotheses” – a project of Association ”Courage Ahead” (Curaj Înainte).

Baricada talked with Vrabie about Romania`s anti-corrupion`s direction of movement, after a member of the parliament from the ruling Social Democratic Party proposed in April 2018 changes to the penal legislation, which are believed to be beneficial for those accused of corruption and to make the work of prosecutors more difficult. Ever since 2017 there has been a tendency for redefinition of Romanian fight against corruption. Another imporant issue in the interview is Vrabie`s criticism towards the current discourse on unification between Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Vrabie also shared his thoughts on regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe and on Romanian-Bulgarian relations. 

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Ruse Summer Free Tour returns this summer

The Liberty Square in Ruse (photo: Ruse Summer Free Tour)

The free tour will take place for a third year in a row

This text is a press release by The Ruse Summer Free Tour

For a third year in a row Ruse Summer Free Tour welcomes the guests of Ruse and the region to show them around the landmarks of the town. The professional guides will be waiting for the curious to reveal the atmosphere of the city every Saturday, including public holidays, at 6 pm with a meeting place at the Statue of Liberty. The free tours are held in English, cover the central city parts and span an hour and a half. The first official tour this summer will take place on May 5th 2018.

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