BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s prime minister is heading for victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday that could set off another round of a power struggle with the rightist president and complicate talks for a new IMF deal.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s leftist Social Liberal Union (USL) will win most votes and possibly a clear majority, according to opinion polls. But analysts say President Traian Basescu may use his powers to ask one of his own allies to try to form a government.
BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s leftist coalition government is on course for a comfortable election victory on Sunday, an outcome likely to prolong a political standoff that has delayed policy-making, alarmed the European Union, and worried investors.
The vote is being closely watched because Romania hopes to negotiate a new loan deal from the International Monetary Fund once its current 5-billion-euro funding package expires early next year and investors are keen to see it succeed.
SARNITSA, Bulgaria, 27 (Reuters) – A bucolic painting of
snowy mountains and traditional Bulgarian craftwork mingle in
Said Mutlu’s office with Arabic books and a calendar depicting
The room reflects the mixed identity of Mutlu and Sarnitsa,
a lakeside town in Bulgaria’s remote south where women wear
headscarves, men chat over coffee on the square and houses
cluster around a mosque rather than a church. Bulgaria is an EU
country where Muslims are a centuries-old community, not recent
immigrants; but some feel that long co-existence is in peril.
BUCHAREST (Reuters) – On a sunny October day, Dan Diaconescu arrived at Romania’s economy ministry with seven bags stuffed with 3 million euros in cash to pay workers’ overdue wages at a chemical plant.
The government turned down the money but the stunt served its purpose for the media tycoon, raising his electoral profile along with nightly self-promoting appearances on his own television channel, calling himself “Romania’s next president”.
BUCHAREST/BRUSSELS/DUBAI (Reuters) – Two months into anti-government protests in Syria last year, as the military crackdown grew more vicious, the European Union and United States introduced sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad, his security chiefs and members of his family.
The sanctions were designed to freeze property and bank accounts, make it harder to access money and move assets around, and, ultimately, bring about an end to the violence. Eighteen months on, though, the fighting is worse and Brussels and Washington are struggling to make these sanctions bite.
BUCHAREST/BRUSSELS/DUBAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Two months into
anti-government protests in Syria last year, as the military
crackdown grew more vicious, the European Union and United
States introduced sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad,
his security chiefs and members of his family.
The sanctions were designed to freeze property and bank
accounts, make it harder to access money and move assets around,
and, ultimately, bring about an end to the violence. Eighteen
months on, though, the fighting is worse and Brussels and
Washington are struggling to make these sanctions bite.
BUCHAREST (Reuters) – A bitter dispute between Romania’s president and prime minister resurfaced on Wednesday, raising doubts over the running of the country with an election due in December.
Leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta tried to remove Traian Basescu from office in the summer in a spat which angered the EU and raised questions over policy and an International Monetary Fund deal that shores up investor confidence.
BUCHAREST, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Romania’s Constitutional Court
on Thursday delayed ruling on whether a referendum to impeach
the president was valid, an unexpected twist that extends a
damaging political crisis.
The court had been expected to invalidate Sunday’s
referendum after official data showed that while a majority of
those voting wanted to dismiss the president, turnout did not
reach a required 50 percent threshold.
BUCHAREST, July 30 (Reuters) – Romanian Prime Minister
Victor Ponta demanded the president resign on Monday, saying he
had lost all credibility, but Traian Basescu refused, indicating
Sunday’s referendum had not ended a feud which has delayed vital
The election bureau said turnout in the referendum, called
by Ponta to seek support for Basescu’s impeachment, was 46
percent – below the 50 percent needed to make it valid – though
88 percent of those who did vote, backed Basescu’s removal.
BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian President Traian Basescu survived a referendum on his impeachment on Sunday after the voter turnout fell short of the required level and derailed an effort by his opponents to oust him from office.
Leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s efforts to unseat the conservative Basescu have brought a stern dressing-down from the European Union, which accused him of undermining the rule of law and intimidating judges.