PSD leader Liviu Dragnea posted six blurred, shaky photographs on his Facebook page which he claimed were taken at an ‘exclusive’ dinner hosted by US president-elect (or president, by the time you read this) Donald Trump. Dragnea claims to have had a ‘warm and open’ conversation with Trump about ‘strategic partnerships’. It appears, however, that not for the first time Dragnea is lying through his rotting teeth. He was indeed in the same room as Trump for a short time, but the dinner was by no means ‘exclusive’ and was not hosted by Trump (who merely briefly showed up at the event having previously attended a number of others). For the privilege of taking six bad photos, Dragnea – a convicted criminal – appears to have paid as much as US$1 million of Romanian taxpayers’ cash. That’s the real scandal, and needs to be investigated. As former Minister of Health Vlad Voiculescu said: ‘US$1 million buys a fully equipped burns unit at a hospital’.
Meantime, one photo in particular has quickly become a meme:
Back in Romania, the opposition to the government’s emergency ordinance (OUG) that would at a stroke free thousands of criminals has reached a crescendo. Almost every part of the justice system (the attorney general, the high court, the Magistrates’ Association, the DNA and DIICOT) have now publicly stated that the OUG would be catastrophic. In fact, the only part of he legal system which remains in favour is Minister of Justice Florin Iordache. President Klaus Iohannis today once again called on Iordache to withdraw the OUG, declaring it ‘unwanted and unacceptable’.
A large protest against the OUG is planned for 18:00 on Sunday, at Piata Universitatii.
A small fire at track level briefly closed Universitate metro station and brought the M2 line (the busiest on the Bucharest metro system) to halt on Friday. Nobody was injured.
Tennis player Sorana Carstea continued her impressive run at women’s singles at the Australian Open, beating Alison Riske in straight sets to reach the fourth round.
If you want to represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv this year, you have just two days left to send your entries to TVR. Romania – as you may recall – was absent from the contest last year after it failed to pay its entrance fee.