Showing posts with label ziare.com. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ziare.com. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2018

 The Venice Commission passed the report concerning the amendment of the laws of justice and the criminal legislation by the PSD-ALDE majority parliamentary coalition. In its opinion, the Commission expresses its concern over the fact that many of the changes made to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code in Romania seriously weaken the effectiveness of the criminal justice system when it comes to fighting corruption, violent crimes and organized crime.
The Venice Commission advises Romanian authorities to conduct a global reevaluation of the changes made in both codes through a comprehensive and effective process, which would result in a solid and cohesive legislative proposal which would have significant support within the Romanian society, taking into account the applicable standards and the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
European officials also remind that, through the ruling of October 12th, the Constitutional Court of Romania has established that over 63 articles of the draft law for the amendment of criminal procedure have been unconstitutional and the decision is awaited concerning the objections of unconstitutionality raised concerning the amendment of the Criminal Code.
With some amendments, the Commission has also passed the preliminary opinion issued in July concerning the three draft laws which amend the existing legislation concerning the bylaws of judges and prosecutors, the judicial organization and the Supreme Council of Magistrates. This opinion claims that the amendments made to the laws of justice have e negative influence on the efficiency, quality and independence of the judicial system and negative consequences when it comes to the fight against corruption.
Overall, the European officials are unhappy with the insignificant role the Supreme Council of Magistrates plays when it comes to the appointment of the Chief Prosecutors of the General Prosecutors' Office, the Department for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and the National Anticorruption Department, thinking that the entire process of appointment and dismissal of these magistrates will be politically influenced by the minister of justice.
Concerning the retirement of magistrates with 20 years of activity, the members of the Commission have established that that would harm the activity of the courts and prosecutors' offices of Romania, because the reduction of numbers would lead to the slowdown of the prosecution of ongoing civil and criminal cases.
The Venice Commission has acknowledged that through Emergency Government Ordinance 92 of 2018 the Government has delayed by a year the retirement of magistrates with 20 years of service, but thinks that it is necessary for the law concerning the retirement of those who have 20 years of service to be abrogated.
The members of this European institution have expressed their concern over the other stipulations of the Emergency Government Ordinance, but they will be included in another opinion which will be issued in the meeting which will be held on December 14th and 15th 2018.
What is certain is that, through his maneuver to draw up and pass the EGO concerning the laws of justice in the beginning of last week, Tudorel Toader has not succeeded in changing the agenda set by the members of the Venice Commission for the meeting of October 19th and to shift the debate on the laws of justice in December.
President Iohannis is asking for the resignation of the Minister of Justice
Immediately after the Venice Commission formulated his opinion concerning the amendments made to the criminal legislation and the laws on the judicial system, president Klaus Iohannis said that the very serious aspects mentioned by the European officials represent an unequivocal signal which the current government needs to take into account to avoid pushing Romania towards a direction that is incompatible with the values of the European Union.
The head of state thinks that it is unacceptable for the entire legislation in this essential sector to be dramatically altered just to protect some political leaders who are in trouble with the law. Iohannis claims that the changes made by the PSD-ALDE law irreparably harm not just the rule of the law but also the citizens' confidence that nobody is above the law, regardless of their position in society, but also the efforts of an entire nation for which the fundamental European values are indisputable.
Klaus Iohannis strongly condemns "the irresponsible behavior of the Minister of Justice which, under the pretense of the implementation of the recommendations of the Venice Commission within the OUG 92/2018, has incorporated completely unrelated provisions, in actuality even their opposite, which would increase the concern of the European partners".
The head of state claims that Tudorel Toader has permanently compromised his credibility and is asking for his resignation as minister of Justice. Klaus Iohannis is also asking the Parliament to take into account the opinion included in the report of the Venice Commission and to reassess with the greatest speed the amendments made to the laws of justice, as well as to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes in order for the negative impact on justice and the rule of law to end.
Following the expressed opinion, the representatives of the opposition think that Tudorel Toader should resign as minister of justice, because he has accepted the legislative amendments and because he has drafted, promoted and passed Emergency Government Ordinance 92/2018.
Ludovic Orban, the president of the PNL, said: "Both reports are extremely critical of the changes made. Eight recommendations have been passed and have been discussed the two ordinances for the amendment of the laws of justice in a critical manner. As far as the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, the report is scorching. We are on the edge and the parliamentary majority needs to wake up. If they don't, I feel the need to warn my fellow citizens of the risks that hover over Romania and over the dangerous consequences which the failure to comply with the recommendations of the Venice Commission might have. The report on the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification is coming, and that could be devastating for Romania. We are at risk of saying goodbye to Schengen, and to European grants. The PNL is asking for PM Viorica Dăncilă to come before the Parliament and to say whether she pledges to follow the recommendations of the Venice Commission or not. The time for doublespeak is over".
Dan Barna, the president of the USR, has stated that his political party will file today a simple motion of no-confidence against Tudorel Toader, because he views him as irresponsible, and claims that he is trying to fool society about his true intentions. The USR thinks that Tudorel Toader no longer has the moral legitimacy to lead the Romanian judicial system.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Acute flaccid myelitis, a mysterious polio-like disorder, has been on the rise since 2014 and most often affects children, according to the CDC. Recent possible cases were reported in Maryland.
More possible cases of a rare, polio-like virus have been reported, according to health officials. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been investigating more than 360 cases of acute flaccid myelitis dating back to 2014. The disorder, which mainly affects children, can paralyze a child's arms and legs. Maryland health officials told WBAL-TV that there have been four possible cases of AFM in the state. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Health announced six cases had been reported in children under 10 years old in its state. 
The CDC reports the cause of most AFM cases is unknown, but some cases have been linked to poliovirus (polio) and West Nile virus. Symptoms of AFM are extremely similar to poliovirus, West Nile virus and adenoviruses, which makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose. 
Symptoms include drooping face and eyelids, difficulty moving eyes and swallowing, and slurred speech. In severe cases, children might have trouble breathing and need a ventilator because of muscle weakness. 
More: What is acute flaccid myelitis, the mysterious polio-like disorder affecting kids?
More: Rare, polio-like paralyzing disorder affecting children on the rise, CDC says
There is no specific treatment for AFM, and the long-term outcomes for AFM patients is unknown. 
While cases have been on the rise since 2014, AFM still affects a small population — less than one in a million people in the United States annually. 
The CDC recommends people follow normal disease prevention steps to avoid AFM, including staying current on vaccines, washing hands and avoiding mosquito bites. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The world’s major economies are skating on dangerously thin ice and lack the fiscal, monetary, and emergency tools to fight the next downturn.
A roster of top crisis veterans fear an even more intractable slump than the Lehman recession when the current ageing expansion rolls over. The implications for liberal democracy are sobering.
“We have no ability to turn the economy around,” said Martin Feldstein, President of the US National Bureau of Economic Research.
“When the next recession comes, it is going to be deeper and last longer than in the past. We don’t have any strategy to deal with it,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Professor Feldstein, a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

ROMANIA/THE BANKING SYSTEM - Given where we are today and how we got here, I think we can safely say that the Romanian banking system is ready for the challenges of the future. Over the last years, we have witnessed a consolidation of the banking system through many mergers and acquisitions between banks, a trend which follows, as a matter of fact, from the development of the regulatory framework, as well as from the financial coming of age of the clientele. The banking business can no longer be efficient on a small scale or in a niche area, and that will become increasingly obvious in the coming period.
We are also witnessing a profound change of the banking sector, which will only become more acute over time. What I am talking about is the need to align with the requirements of the digital era. The bank isn't just a provider of loans and deposits, it also wants to be a reliable partner and to develop complex financial solutions for its customers. This change in the way the relationship with customers is approached is visible in the new policies and products launched by banks. Banks of the future will have to be deeply digital, and communicate with the new generations of customers in their own language, through alternative channels. For us, the stake is the customer's comfort in the long run, and digitalization is a process of permanent technological transformation. Hence where we get the assumed effort of OTP Bank România to understand and anticipate the needs of the customer and to give them exactly what they expect.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

   Mugur Isărescu, about NBR policies :
     - The decisions of the Board of Directors of the NBR have targeted the behavior of the monetary policy in the context of the significant and quick increase of inflation;
     - the lack of reaction of the NBR would have led to inflation expectations being tethered to a new higher level, because economic operators would have interpreted the lack of reaction from the NBR as a tacit acceptance of the new inflation level;
     - The risk of depreciation of the leu would have increased, which could generate new inflationary pressures, because the NBR can't fight the pressures of the monetary market regardless of the circumstances, especially if they are accompanied by a change in the perception by investors;
     - The hike of the annual inflation rate was generated first and foremost by exogenous, temporary and statistical factors;
     - The monthly price increases also reflect fundamental inflationary factors, such as the accumulation of inflationary pressures on the demand side, the increase of wage costs and increased inflationary expectations in the short term;
     - The measures passed by the NBR represent the only correct, justified and proportionate reaction to the inflationary threats and to the growing imbalances in the economy;
     - we share the point of view of a good combination between the monetary policy and the government's economic policy;
     - Inflation and the exchange rate represent symptoms of the quality of the mix of economic policies, and the chain of causes - budget deficit - current account deficit - weakening of the leu - inflation must be viewed as in correlation not just with the monetary policy, but with the government's fiscal-budgetary and tax receipts policy;
     - the full management of the aggregated demand by the NBR involves the more intense use of monetary policy instruments, which would generate a larger rise of the interest rate, because the use of macroprudential instruments, to reduce demand by compressing credit, is not enough;
     - a potential intervention on the exchange rate would not only prove unsustainable and would lead to the pointless loss of the currency reserves, but it would also affect the credibility of the central bank;
     - the situation in Romania is different from the one in Czech Republic, Poland or Hungary, as the inflation rate is within the targeted range (mostly due to some prudent budget policies), and the pressures are on the strengthening of the currencies, unlike Romania, where the pressures are towards its weakening;
     - the announcing of risks to the balances of the economy does not amount to expressing suspicions concerning the government's policy;
     - The NBR has opted to use the annual inflation rate because the ratio allows the ongoing observation of the inflation in relation to the target, and what the average citizen feels is more the CPI inflation, rather than the one calculated based on the Eurostat methodology;
     - the demand surplus is an unobservable size and it is justifiable its more cautious approach, because when its effects manifest themselves through inflation and foreign deficit it is too late for an effective action of the monetary authority;
     - Regardless of the level of surplus demand, its very existence requires a prudent economic management, which relies on anti-cyclical policies, and the pro-cyclical policies from the public authorities do nothing but deepen the imbalances;
     - In this context, the measures taken by the NBR had as their goal minimizing the risks of a eventual forced adjustment when the economic cycle enters a negative slope.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Guy Verhofstadt declared on Tuesday the European Parliament would fight to ensure that Northern Ireland remains subject to EU law after Brexit and heaped yet more pressure on Mrs May in a crunch week for the Prime Minister.
British MEPs accused the parliament’s Brexit coordinator of "intolerable interference" in UK affairs and of trying to topple Theresa May’s government.
Mr Verhofstadt, the parliament’s Brexit coordinator, told MEPs in the Constitutional Affairs Committee that it was the only way to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“It’s for us key that there will be in future, whatever the outcome of negotiations will be, no divergence in norms, rules or standards...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

European stocks make modest rebound after US shares end a wildly volatile session on the rise last night
  • Futures indicate that US stocks will slide back into the red when markets open in New York
  • FTSE 100 claws back 1pc while the DAX and CAC 40 nudge up 0.7pc and 0.5pc, respectively, in early trading
  • Asian markets rebound but run out of steam
  • European markets made a tentative recovery following yesterday's global stocks sell-off but futures contracts indicate that US stocks are set to tumble back into the red once again.
    After tumbling 2.6pc to a nine-month low in yesterday's global sell-off, the FTSE 100 has clawed...

    Thursday, February 1, 2018

    A cancer jab that can eliminate tumours even when they have spread throughout the body is about to start human trials.  Scientists at Stanford University in the US found that injecting tiny amounts of two drugs directly into a tumour not only kills the original cancer, but also triggers an ‘amazing bodywide’ reaction which destroys distant cancer cells.
    The drug combination works by switching on immune cells inside the tumours which have been deactivated by the cancer, then boosting them so they can go to work killing the disease.
    And once the immune cells have been reactivated, they recognise other cancer cells elsewhere in the body and set about clearing them out.
    Scientists said the therapy worked ‘startlingly well’ in mice. Nine out of 10 animals were cured of cancer after just one jab, and the rest after a second injection.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    With Brexit entering a critical phase, the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron in Britain tomorrow should give Theresa May a golden opportunity to begin work on building the new set of alliances Britain will need for life beyond the EU. Immigration issues are certain to dominate the agenda, as Mr Macron seeks to resolve the disruption caused by the hundreds of illegal migrants who have once again gathered in the Pas-de-Calais.   The French president has caused a degree of consternation in some circles with his suggestion that Britain should do more to resolve the seemingly perennial Calais issue by agreeing to take more migrants, as well as contributing more to the costs of cross-border security enshrined in the Le Touquet accords.  Such demands might appear presumptuous to committed Brexiteers, who take umbrage at the prospect of any foreign power telling the British government how...

    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Often, when a product is marketed as being 'for women', you can safely assume it will be a rip-off, covered in pink. See the ‘Bic for Her’ ballpoint pen, or women's razors. In fact, I have made it my policy to avoid anything that shouts about being made specially for us ladies.
    The once exception, though, just might be porn. PornHub, one of the world's genre’s biggest websites, has released a deep dive into the search terms entered by people all over the world, combined with their location and gender. It might sound a bit like Big Brother is watching you masturbate, but it's a fascinating insight. Interestingly, the year's top search term was 'porn for women'. Combine that with 359 per cent increase in female users and you are faced with an undeniable truth: women like porn. Women watch porn. But is this sweeping generalisation - ‘porn for women’ - really good enough? Is there really a consensus...

    Friday, December 15, 2017

    New archaeological excavations at the ancient port of Corinth have uncovered evidence of large-scale Roman engineering. Named Lechaion, the port was one of a pair that connected the city of ancient Corinth to Mediterranean trade networks. Lechaion is located on the Gulf of Corinth, while Kenchreai is positioned across the narrow Isthmus of Corinth on the Aegean Sea. These two strategic harbours made Corinth a classical period power, but the Romans destroyed the city in 146 BC when conquering Greece. Julius Caesar rebuilt the city and its harbours in 44 BC, ushering in several centuries of prosperity. Recent excavations by the Lechaion Harbour Project have revealed the impressive engineering of the Roman Empire. Caesar’s Corinthian colony developed into one of the most important ports in the eastern Mediterranean. Ships filled Lechaion with international goods and Corinth became so well known for luxury and vice that a Greek proverb stated, “not everyone can afford to go to Corinth.” However, while ancient coins depict a formidable harbour with a large lighthouse, visible remains of Lechaion are scarce. Visitors to the coastline today can see the foundations of two large structures forming the outer harbour, but otherwise the remains are buried under centuries of sediment. The excavations are beginning to reveal the secrets of this largely forgotten port.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2017

    SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, a champion of housing, civil rights and immigration issues, died Tuesday at 65.  Lee and his wife were grocery shopping at a Safeway supermarket just blocks from their home in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood when he collapsed from a heart attack about 10:30 p.m. Monday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Lee was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and died early Tuesday, according to his family.“It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away," a statement from the mayor's office said. "Family, friends and colleagues were at his side. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family.” San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed steps in as acting mayor. The city's Board of Supervisors, the equivalent of a city council, will vote on a new mayor in the coming weeks. Lee was appointed in January 2011 to replace then-mayor Gavin Newsom, who won election as the state's lieutenant governor. Lee won a full term that November and was re-elected in 2015.

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    SPD members voted overwhelmingly to allow their party’s leadership to enter talks with the CDU. The vote means leaders can discuss options including a renewed “grand coalition”, an informal cooperation or a formal agreement to tolerate a conservative minority government by not voting down certain parliamentary motions.  Attempts to build Germany’s next government have been at a standstill since last month’s collapse of coalition talks between the CDU, the Free Democrats and the Greens. Other European states have expressed their growing impatience with Germany’s political paralysis. Leaders including the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, have called on Schulz to break the deadlock. The SPD leader acknowledged those appeals on Thursday when he warned that “the continent cannot afford four more years of German European policy a la Schäuble”, referring to the austerity measures of the country’s conservative former finance minister. Schulz told delegates that he wanted EU member states to sign off on a “constitutional treaty” that committed the bloc to take steps towards a federal Europe – a proposal likely to be met with some resistance from Merkel and other EU leaders.

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    The management of OMV Petrom, namely Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, as well as the representatives of the Romanian state on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, Sevil Shhaideh and Radu-Spiridon Cojocaru will be invited to appear in the hearings on the Investigation Commission for the activity of the ANRE, the members of the Commission decided on Thursday.  This is the third invitation sent by the Chamber of Deputies to Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, who refused to show up twice for the hearings, and announced she would send in all the answers to the Comission in writing. Dumitru Costin, the president of the National Union Block (BNS- Blocul Naţional Sindical), yesterday said, in the Parliamentary commission concerning the activity of the ANRE, that OMV Petrom has caused the Romanian state a loss of 7 billion lei, according to some audits made by the Court of Auditors, and the money has yet to be recouped, even though the loss was uncovered in 2015. Iulian Iancu, the president of the Commission, said: "Colleagues have requested extending the invitations again to the management of OMV Petrom. Personally, I don't have much hope. In fact, I had given up making any further invitations. But following the statements of Mr. Costin, I will resume the invitations addressed to Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe and to the members on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, who are the representatives of the Romanian state". Iulian Iancu also said: "Dumitru Costin, the head of the National Union Block (BNS), has presented to the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE a document which has also been submitted with the Romanian government, specifically to the General Secretariat of the Government, to the attention of the prime-minister, in which Costin says that, he has received from the Romanian authorities documents concerning OMV, which describe investigations at various stages concerning tax evasion when it comes to salaries, VAT, the modification of the formula and the incorrect payment of royalties by OMV, which, according to the presented data, resulted in a loss of over 1 billion Euros, data backed by the report of the Court of Auditors. That document states that the case has reached the court.

    Saturday, December 2, 2017

    ECB recommends dropping the guarantee of bank deposits. The Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive, which came into effect less than two years ago, explicitly states that the guaranteed deposits may not be frozen and may not be subject to suspension of payments.  With the recommendation to drop the guarantee of bank deposits, the ECB has included the central banks and the Bank of International Settlements in the list of institutions whose accounts and transactions may not be frozen. But we shouldn't be overly worried, because the ECB has proved "generous". "During the transition period, depositors will have access to an adequate quota of their guaranteed deposits to cover the cost of living within five days from submitting the request", the proposal of the ECB shows. But who sets the cost of living and which is the "competent authority" that decides on the withdrawal of the funds? The national institutions for the guarantee of bank deposits have been created precisely to stop or at least to temper massive bank deposit withdrawals. The new proposal of the ECB directly undermines this institutional framework. "If the collapse of a bank looks imminent, a substantial number of guaranteed deposits may be subject to massive withdrawals, because customers want to ensure direct access to their own resources or no longer trust the guarantee scheme", the ECB document further states.The true stake is presented thereafter: "Such a scenario is very likely especially in the case of major banks, where the volume of guaranteed deposits is extremely high and can lead to the erosion of the trust in the guarantee scheme".  In the opinion of the European Central Bank, "if the moratorium applied to deposits doesn't include the guaranteed ones as well, then that moratorium can alert the customers with guaranteed deposits that a bank is at imminent risk of collapse", and under these circumstances "the moratorium can prove counterproductive and can result in a deposit flight instead of preventing it". Such proposals aren't just simple prudential measures of authorities that want to show that they have learned the lessons of the crisis, but instead they represent, particularly in the case of the European Central Bank, a tacit acknowledgment of the fact that the monetary policy has failed.

    Saturday, October 7, 2017

    Spain’s constitutional court has moved to stop the Catalan government making a unilateral declaration of independence by suspending the regional parliament session in which the results of Sunday’s referendum were due to be discussed. On Thursday, the court upheld a challenge by Catalonia’s Socialist party – which opposes secession from Spain – ruling that allowing the Catalan parliament to meet on Monday and potentially declare independence would violate the rights of the party’s MPs. Catalonia's political turmoil prompting firms to consider relocating . Banks Sabadell and Caixa among first to respond amid fears about access to rest of Spain and EU if independence is declared  The court warned that any session carried out in defiance of its ban would be “null”, and added that the parliament’s leaders could face criminal action if they ignored the court order.  Carme Forcadell, president of the Catalan parliament, said Monday’s session had not yet been formally convened, but that the court’s decision to suspend it “harms freedom of expression and the right of initiative of members of this parliament and shows once more how the courts are being used to solve political problems.” The Catalan government is understood to be meeting to discuss its response to the latest move by the court. It has previously ignored the constitutional court’s rulings, not least its order to suspend the referendum itself.  In a television address on Wednesday evening, the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, repeated his calls for mediation and dialogue with the Spanish government, but said the results of the vote would be put before parliament. “On Sunday we had a referendum under the most difficult circumstances and set an example of who we are,” he said. “Peace and accord is part of who we are. We have to apply the results of the referendum. We have to present the results of the referendum to parliament.”