Throngs of Romanians attended the blessing of a gigantic new Orthodox cathedral on Sunday, in the immediate vicinity of the immense Communist-era House of the People. The event and its circumstances painted a vivid tableau of the country which is due to celebrate the anniversary of 100 years of statehood on December 1.
The leader of Romania's governing coalition Liviu Dragnea on Monday strengthened his rule over his party by removing influential critics from key positions. He and his prime minister Viorica Dancila announced several major changes to the governmental team, while the Bucharest mayor, a prominent member of Dragnea's Social Democrats (PSD) and an opponent of the party strongman, was left without political functions.
An influential deputy of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), Florin Iordache, used both his middle fingers towards the Opposition in Parliament on Wednesday, shortly after he rebuked European Commission calls for Romanian authorities to step back in their efforts to curb Judicial reform.
Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila, seen as a puppet acting on behalf of Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea, called two key positions of the European Parliament and the European Commission on Romania on Tuesday as "deeply unjust" and "eminently political".
Romania's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the country was ready to take over its term at the presidency of the EU Council starting January 1 and that preparations were under way according to schedule. The statement came after the Finnish Government said it was available to take over the leadership of the Council earlier, if requested by authorities in Bucharest. Helsinki took the stand after Romania's President questioned the readiness of the government to deal with the responsibilities of the EU Council presidency.
The European Commission on Tuesday issued a blasting report the evolution of Justice reform in Romania - the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) - while the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the state of law in the country, seriously critical of events in the past year. Meanwhile, in Bucharest, the leader of the governing PSD party tried today to dillute the importance of the EU bodies' interventions.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Monday launched one of his harshest attacks on the Social Democratic (PSD)-led government, saying "things have gone insane" and "the political necessity is a replacement of this accident of the Romanian democracy, which is the Dragnea-Dancila government". He made the comments as the minister-delegate for EU issues, Victor Negrescu, appeared to have resigned last weekend, less than two months before Romania takes over the EU Council presidency.