Press Review - November 6, 2018

11.06.2018 By Oana Gavrila

Leu Firms Vs Euro

The Romanian leu continued to firm against the euro for the third day running, standing at 4.6612 units/euro at midday Monday.

On Thursday, the leu firmed to 4.6639 units against the euro and on Friday it grew further to 4.6621 units.


Social Democrat Party Backs Justice Minister

Social Democrat Party (PSD) chairman Liviu Dragnea said the party continues to back justice minister Tudorel Toader in his move to have the country's general prosecutor dismissed.

Dragnea said he and the party continue to support Toader even though he may have mistaken the identity of the prosecutor who closed a file regarding president Klaus Iohannis.

Toader announced on October 24 he would launch the procedure to dismiss General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar from office, after criticizing his activity in a 20-point assessment.

Among the 20 points, Toader said Augustin Lazar had signed an ordinance to close a case regarding Iohannis but it later emerged that the document in question had been signed by a different prosecutor with the same last name.


Liberal Senators' Leader Resigns

Iulian Dumitrescu resigned from the position of leader of liberal senators and will be replaced by Florin Citu.

Liberal Party leader Ludovic Orban said differences of opinion are not the same as conflicts and it was Dumitrescu's choice to resign. He will continue as head of the party's Prahova branch and as party vice-president.


Ruling Party Leader Mocks #Teleormanleaks, Shows Up With Two Suitcases At Party Meeting

Social Democrat Party (PSD) chairman Liviu Dragnea carried two suitcases at a party top brass meeting on Monday, mocking a recent announcement by investigative news outlet RISE Project about the discovery of a suitcase with documents regarding Tel Drum.

 Regarding the actual leak, the ruling party leader called it “nonsense” and an attempt to “cover up” another current scandal on the 2016 appointment of General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar.

Investigative news outlet RISE Project announced on Saturday that it received a suitcase containing important documents related to Teleorman constructions company Tel Drum, famously linked to Dragnea and the target of an OLAF-initiated corruption case.

According to RISE Project, the briefcase contains “essential information from within Tel Drum, which was not found by anticorruption prosecutors when they raided the company last year”. This includes a 63 GB hard-drive with thousands of company bills, bank statements, documents which establish false companies, and tens of thousands of emails from a high-ranked company official.

The company has been linked for a long time with Social Democrat Party leader Liviu Dragnea, although he never officially held any office within it. It held near monopoly over public construction works in the county during Dragnea’s stint as Teleorman county council chairman, between 2000 and 2012.

Tel Drum is currently investigated by anticorruption prosecutors following a notification by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), under the suspicion of having been illegally assigned an EU-funded public road restoration contract in the county.

Dragnea himself was officially indicted in the case by National Anticorruption Directorate in November 2017, being accused of multiple offenses such as forming an organized criminal group, fraudulently using documents or statements to obtain EU funds and abuse of office for favoring Tel Drum when granting the contract.

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