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Ex-Romania PM, ministers, European Parliament lawmaker stripped of honors over corruption convictions

They were Romania's elite. But now twelve former senior officials with corruption convictions including a former prime minister and a European Parliament lawmaker have lost prestigious national honors. President Klaus Iohannis signed a decree on Wednesday stripping the former dignitaries of the "Star of Romania" awards following public outrage after former Prime Minister...

Romania’s president to rescind presidential awards given to officials who later served prison sentences

Romania’s former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase is set to have a high-level award rescinded after President Klaus Iohannis says officials who later went to prison are not deserving of the honor. Iohannis says he will remove presidential awards of anyone who subsequently had a criminal conviction that resulted in a prison sentence. Nastase...

Ex-Romanian strongman Liviu Dragnea to stay behind bars after court rejects his bid to be released

Romania’s high court has rejected an appeal by Liviu Dragnea the former leader of the Social Democrats, to overturn his 3 ½ year prison sentence for instigating official misconduct. The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Tuesday also turned down the appeals of two other officials who were convicted in the same case. The ruling is final.

Romania’s Parliament debates whether to scrap disputed ‘special pensions’

Romania’s ruling Liberal Party says it wants to scrap some so-called “special pensions,”  monthly payments made to retirees that are not based on contributions paid into the social security system. The pensions, which can reach many thousands of euros a month, are a contentious issue in Romania. Critics say they are unfair, discriminatory and cost the state too much....

Corruption? Us? Social Democrats take swipe at Sweden on international anti-graft day

 President Klaus Iohannis and others spoke out Monday against the effects of corruption on society and its citizens as the world marked International Anti-Corruption day. But the opposition Social Democrats used the occasion to take a dig at Sweden and its telecommunications company Ericsson which was recently fined in the U.S. for allegations...

Corruption forced millions to leave Romania for better opportunities abroad-deputy PM

Millions of Romanians have been forced to leave the country and seek out better opportunities and jobs in the last 30 years due to rampant corruption, the deputy prime minister said Monday. “Millions of parents and children were hounded out by the effects of corruption which forced (Romanians) to make a future far...

Romanian doctors who accept bribes risk being fired under new proposal

Doctors and medical staff at Romanian public hospitals who are caught receiving bribes may lose their jobs, under a new proposal from the health ministry. Health Minister Victor Costache said the ministry was considering putting a clause in contracts that would ban kickbacks which have been rife in the Romanian healthcare system for decades. Medical staff caught taking bribes...

Bucharest mayor under fire after saying PM’s office looked like “a black people’s bar”

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea has left herself open to accusations of racism after she said the prime minister's office used to look like “a black people's bar" when he was deputy mayor of Bucharest. Firea, who announced this weekend she would seek another term as mayor,  made the incendiary remarks about Premier Ludovic...

Romania’s environment minister wants to ban log exports to non-European Union countries

Romania’s environment minister says the government is considering banning the sale of wood to non-European Union members to protect the country’s virgin forests from illegal deforestation. The minister, Costel Alexe, said he had spoken to forestry officials about banning log exports outside the EU, but couldn’t prevent exports within the 28-member bloc due to...

Romania foreign minister: Bucharest may withhold aid over democratic backsliding after regime change in Moldova

Romania may withhold aid to Moldova after a pro-Russian party took control of the government following the ouster of a pro-Western party from the ruling alliance, Romania's foreign minister said. Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said the removal of the pro-Western ACUM group from the former Soviet republic's government  last month meant foreign...

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