Today in Romania: 26/01/17

Romanian Justice Minister Florin Iordache declared today that the ministry under his jurisdiction would decide on Monday what to do about the two controversial emergency ordinances (OUGs) that would, if issued, pardon hundreds of corrupt politicians and cause cases to be dropped against many others. Iordache said that the two OUGs were ‘for the time being in the process of being debated. We will announce our point of view on Monday’. In other words: ‘We will wait and see if there are any more protests this Sunday’. With Sunday’s weather set to be sunny and relatively warm (well, slightly above freezing at least) the protests are likely to be even larger than last week. They will need to be: any smaller and the government will see it as a sign that people have already lost interest in the subject and rush the OUGs through. (In entirely unrelated news, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea is due in court on corruption charges on Wednesday).

The waspish Mayor of Bucharest Gabriela Firea is reportedly doing her bit to keep protesters off the streets on Sunday by threatening to hand out heavy fines to parents who bring their children. We hadn’t planned on taking ours: we will now.

The Ministry of Transport announced that it was abandoning work on the 47 km southern section of Bucharest’s ring road, despite its completion being a key component of the PSD’s election manifesto. Rumours abounded on Thursday that other major infrastructure projects would also be quietly ditched as the government realises that it simply doesn’t have enough money to keep its many, many promises.

Buses in Bucharest travel at an average speed of just 13kph during the busiest periods, it was revealed on Wednesday. Much-heralded plans for fleets of new buses running on dedicated bus lanes remain pipe dreams, however.

The international media campaign to clear the name of convicted fraudster Dan Adamescu continues, it appears, even after death. Take this article yesterday by one Martin Banks entitled ‘Leading Romanian businessman dies in prison‘. As anyone who has been folowwing Adamescu’s case will know, he had actually been in Bucharest’s most expensive private hospital for months, and died there on Monday. The Daily Telegraph also chipped in with a similar story, featuring Adamescu’s son.

The Romanian government has also tried to make Adamescu a martyr in order to give credence to its claims that Romania’s prisons are overcrowded (and that pardoning corrupt businessmen and politicians would therefore be a just and humane thing). ‘A businessman died in prison last night’, Liviu Dragnea said on Tuesday. ‘I didn’t know Romania was still sentencing people to death’.

Maria for girls and Andrei for boys were the most popular names in Romania last year, according to the National Institute of Statistics.

Ultra-expensive nightclub Fratelli and 11 other venues in Bucharest’s Sector 2 were temporarily closed on Thursday after various problems were found with their paperwork. Queens, the only gay club in Bucharest, is one of the venues to have been closed. The move comes after a fire at Club Bamboo, also in Sector 2, on Friday night.


2 thoughts on “Today in Romania: 26/01/17

    1. Nope. Am saying overcrowded prisons are not a priority. Plenty of overcrowded hospitals, schools to deal with first.

      If there is a real need to release a number of prisoners then priority should be given to non-violent criminals who have completed more than 90 per cent of their sentence on a case by case basis. And there should be no change in the law to ensure ongoing cases are dropped.


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