World: Backstage drama accompanies Romania's debut in EU presidency - PressFrom - US

WorldBackstage drama accompanies Romania's debut in EU presidency

05:30  11 january  2019
05:30  11 january  2019 Source:

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Backstage drama accompanies Romania's debut in EU presidency© The Associated Press Members of a choir arrive at the Romanian Atheneum concert hall in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, before an event marking the official start of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania — Backstage drama came to the fore Thursday as Romania assumed the presidency of the European Union for the first time, an international debut that was preceded by questions about the country's readiness for the role.

The formerly communist country's turn in the rotating office brought EU officials to Bucharest as the president and prime minister fought over which of them would represent Romania at summits. Notably absent was the convicted politician who is assumed to be the one in charge. He is suing the EU over fraud allegations.

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BACKSTAGE DRAMA is a community and independent theater fundraising project produced with the talents of both theater and the film/tv communities. BACKSTAGE DRAMA is a web series, created to raise funds for community and independent theaters.

The presidency of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union , the upper house of the EU legislature.

Apprehension was evident several times during an evening ceremony at an August concert hall where the start of Romania's six-month term was marked.

"It depends only on you whether for Europe, Romanian politics will be a good example or a dire warning," EU Council President Donald Tusk told his hosts during a speech delivered in the Romanian language.

As snow fell, hundreds of protesters outside the Antenaeum concert hall waved EU and Romanian flags while trying to put a spotlight on government corruption.

A light projector beamed a green message onto the palace where EU officials planned to dine, saying the protesters "want the EU" and Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party "wants Russia."

During the ceremony inside, politicians listened to an orchestra performing George Enescu's often intense and impulsive Romanian Rhapsody — and heard some bluntly worded speeches.

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How Romania is represented in the different EU institutions, how much money it gives and receives, its political system and trade figures. Presidency of the Council of the EU : The following link is a redirection to an external website Romania holds the revolving presidency from 1 January to 30

Clarry Bartha made her debut at the court of the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in Stockholm in the role of Donna Anna, then played numerous other Mozart persona such as the Countess, Fiordiligi, Arminda and the First Lady all over Europe .

"As a reminiscence of the communist past, some institutions and decision-makers are still holding on to the unchecked power they have previously indulged in," the president of Romania's Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu said.

He did not specify the places and people he accused of claiming the same unaccountability they collectively enjoyed before 1989," the year communism fell in Romania.

Holding the EU presidency matters to the bloc's member nations, especially one like Romania that joined only a dozen years ago. The role requires keeping EU business flowing during the six-month term, but lacks the authority to block or undermine the communal business of the bloc.

Some Romanians say the events of recent weeks have made for a dysfunctional government. Others prefer to see it as evidence of a healthy democracy, which would be another relatively new situation in Romania.

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The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania . The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term (since 2004, after the Constitution was modified in 2003). An individual may serve two terms.

Presidential elections were held in Romania in 2014. In the first round on 2 November, the top two of the fourteen candidates qualified in a run-off on 16 November.

"I see nothing unnatural," Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said of the election year political infighting. "On the contrary, I see it as proof of very vivid democratic life."

It does make planning difficult.

Iohannis has been representing Romania at the summits of leaders of EU nations. Dancila recently challenged the practice, saying the prime minister should be at the summits as the head of government. Daily feuds have ensued.

For its presidency, Romania chose "Cohesion, a common European value" as its motto.

Another awkwardly timed problem arose Thursday, when word went public that the chairman of Romania's ruling party had sued the European Commission — led by Juncker.

Liviu Dragnea, the country's most powerful politician and de facto leader, brought the case to the European Court of Justice over allegations he defrauded the EU.

The European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, said 21 million euros ($24.15 million) was fraudulently paid to officials for road construction in Romania. The alleged misuse of funds from 2001-2012 were when he headed a county council in southern Romania.

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BACKSTAGE DRAMA is a community and independent theater fundraising project produced with the talents of both theater and the film/tv communities. Please help us grow this project and community theater by supporting the series at this link: BACKSTAGE PASS.

The Save Romania Union ( Romanian : Uniunea Salvați România , USR) is a political party in Romania . The party was founded following the success of the Save Bucharest Union (USB) party in the 2016 local elections.

Romania's anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating whether Dragnea set up an organized crime group with other officials and forged documents to illicitly obtain EU funds.

Dragnea is the only high-profile Romanian politician who will be absent from Thursday evening's opening ceremony. He is barred from being prime minister because of a conviction for vote-rigging.

Romania has received criticism from the EU in other areas. Under Dragnea's Social Democratic Party, the government embarked on a contentious overhaul of Romania's judicial system. The EU has opposed the changes, saying they could protect corrupt officials.

Asked about Dragnea's problems with the EU, Foreign Minister Melescanu said that "any person, even if he is a politician, is entitled to look for the legal possibilities to prove his innocence."

In another sign of the gridlock in Romania, the justice minister on Thursday asked Iohannis for a third time to appoint a regional prosecutor as chief of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate.

The president has already twice refused to appoint the minister's pick, saying she was legally disqualified because there was no guarantee she didn't collaborate with the Communist-era Securitate police.

The president also has rebuffed two of the prime minister's candidates for ministerial posts.

The country's political pedigree has given some in the EU a little apprehension about the Romanian presidency.

"The rest of Europe is watching," said Ska Keller, the president of the Greens/EFA group in the EU Parliament.

Plane makes emergency landing in Black Sea port in Romania.
Romanian authorities say an airplane flying from Cyprus to the Romanian capital has made an emergency landing in the Black Sea port of Constanta due to problem with the wing flaps. Nobody has reported injured. Authorities say the Romanian airline Blue Air flight from Larnaca to Bucharest, carrying 109 passengers and crew, landed safely in Constanta Sunday afternoon. Director of Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport Bogdan Artagea said the pilot asked to land because he couldn't open the wing flaps. Artagea said local emergency authorities were called to the airport in eastern Romania. Authorities checked the plane, which was scheduled to fly later to Bucharest.

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