Hungary will soon sign an agreement that will allow it to import 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Romania annually for the next 15 years, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last week. It is, in fact, an agreement on the use of the future gas pipeline BRUA, which does not guarantee that the entire quantity of 4 billion cubic meters of gas will be exported to Hungary. Once Romania is linked to the West European market via Hungary - Austria, the Romanian gas will be bought by the consumer who will provide the best conditions.
An agreement with a major financial stake was signed February 1st this year between representatives of a Romanian state company and a US company owned by Elliot Broidy, an American lobbyist involved in the visit of two top Romanian politicians to Washington for the inauguration of Donald Trump's presidency. Representatives of Romania's Economy ministry have confirmed the information for HotNews.ro. The agreement was signed in secrecy, without media presence or press releases, in an opaque manner, despite it being attended by top ministers and the US Ambassador to Bucharest.
The man seen as the brain behind the economic governance program of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD), Darius Valcov, was sentenced to 8 years in a traffic of influence case on Thursday. The sentence given by the High Court of Justice can be appealled. Valcov is currently serving as an aide for PM Viorica Dancila.
US publication McClatchydc.com has published an investigation into the businesses of American lobbyist Elliot Broidy, suggesting that his invitation to top Romanian officials to attend the inauguration of President Donald Trump is linked to the expansion of his business to defense contracts.
The leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea has realized that he is fighting the justice system in vain unless he first controls the institutions of force. For that reason, with his crony Viorica Dancila being appointed Prime Minister, he quickly moved to the plan of total power capture. I wrote on Friday that the PSD leader will capture the last unconquered institutions of the state, the intelligence and security-related bodies and services DOS, DGPI, SPP, SRI, SIE and obviously the anti-corruption prosecutors office, the DNA. Only three days after the new government took office, the balance looks bad. Three key institutions are already being taken in sight and pressed to surrender to the new master.
European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker warned on Wednesday that should the attempts to change Romanian Justice laws remain as voted by the Parliament, talks on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism - a key Justice monitoring instrument applied on Romania when it joined the EU - and Schengen membership would be put in different terms. Juncker also said in a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Brussels that the EU will not accept Romania to take steps back on the rule of law.
European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said in a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday that he did not believe "under any circumstances" that we can speak of the activation of Article 7 of the European Treaties in the case of Romania. Article 7, triggered in the case of Poland for the risk of a serious violation of the rule of law, may end up with the suspension of the country's voting right.