US entry ban for Romanian politician imprisoned for graft
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The U.S. State Department says it is banning an imprisoned Romanian politician from entering the country because of his involvement in "significant corruption."
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's government has survived a no-confidence vote by lawmakers, as opposition parties did not gather enough support in parliament for their motion to oust Prime...
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's most powerful politician was sentenced Monday to 3½ years in prison for official misconduct in a graft case.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's justice minister says he is resigning after losing the support of the governing Social Democratic Party.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has postponed until May 20 its decision on an appeal by the country's most powerful politician against his 3 ½ year prison sentence for official...
Romania minister prepares decree to invalidate graft cases
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's justice minister said Monday that he has prepared an emergency decree that could invalidate hundreds of corruption cases involving the country's most senior officials.
5 things to know about Romania’s EU presidency before Jan. 1
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union on Jan. 1 from Austria. The role is partly symbolic but does involve setting the EU agenda and being a diplomatic go-between to reach consensus among the 28 members on issues ranging from Brexit to fishing rights.
Here are five things you should know about the East European country's first ever EU presidency.
Romania gov’t survives censure vote over judicial overhaul
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's Social Democrat government on Thursday easily survived a no-confidence vote over a contentious judicial overhaul that opposition politicians say has harmed the rule of law and democracy in this European Union member nation.
Romania leader asks for govt agenda, fearing graft amnesty
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president wants to be sent the government agenda in advance amid concerns it will pass an amnesty for people imprisoned on corruption charges.
President Klaus Iohannis Monday asked Premier Viorica Dancila to send him the details 24 hours before government meetings.
The move came after Social Democratic Party chief Liviu Dragnea on Sunday asked for an amnesty for "thousands of people" he claims were wrongly imprisoned by anti-corruption prosecutors.
Romania party boss calls rival’s comment on EU post treason
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The leader of Romania's ruling party has asked a party colleague to press charges against the country's president for saying Romania wasn't prepared to assume the European Union's rotating presidency.
Social Democratic Party chairman Liviu Dragnea alleged Sunday that President Klaus Iohannis committed treason when he questioned Romania's readiness for the EU presidency that starts Jan. 1
Romanian president calls for a democratic, European country
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president has called on citizens to build a "democratic and European" future for the country on the eve of its centenary.
6 Romanian ministers fired as party leader seeks more power
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party fired six ministers on Monday as the beleaguered party chairman sought to tighten his grip on the government.
Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea has come under fire for his management style and corruption convictions, but has vowed to continue as party leader even though he can't be prime minister because of a conviction in 2016 for vote-rigging.
Romanian leader says country not ready for EU presidency
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president said Monday his country isn't ready to take over the European Union's rotating presidency on Jan. 1 and called for the government to step down.
President Klaus Iohannis said "things have gone off the rails," and that there was "a political necessity to replace the government," which he called "an accident of Romanian democracy."
Romanian president: Criminals trying to seize justice system
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president on Tuesday blasted the ruling party's leader as a "criminal at the top of the state apparatus," saying politicians with criminal convictions are trying to take over the country's justice system and undermine efforts to fight corruption.
Romania’s govt decree against prosecutors ignites fresh ire
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's government has published an ordinance requiring prosecutors in key agencies to have more years of experience, igniting fresh criticism that it could wreak havoc on current investigations.
Romania ruling party endorses embattled party chief
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party on Friday endorsed its chairman despite his recent conviction for abuse of power.
Colleagues had called for Liviu Dragnea to step down, but party members voted in support of Dragnea, who is barred from becoming prime minister because of a 2016 conviction for electoral fraud.
There were conflicting figures about the vote tally Friday, which came after an eight-hour meeting.
Romania: Party colleagues want leader out over graft trial
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Three senior members of Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party on Wednesday urged the party's powerful chairman to resign, saying he's a liability due to a conviction for abuse of power.
Signatories of the nine-point letter, including Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, claimed that under Liviu Dragnea the party's reputation and popularity had suffered over a contentious judicial overhaul, criticized by the European Union and the U.S.
Romania parliament votes in favor of man/woman marriage only
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian Senators approved a measure that could pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.
Senators on Tuesday voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum that could change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a union between "spouses." The vote comes after Parliament's Chamber of Deputies last year overwhelmingly approved the same measure.
Romania parliament votes in favor of man/woman marriage only
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian Senators on Tuesday approved a measure that would pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.
Senators voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum that could change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a union between "spouses." The vote comes after Parliament's Chamber of Deputies last year overwhelmingly approved the same measure.
Romania: mayor urges powerful party leader to resign
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The mayor of Bucharest launched an attack on the powerful leader of Romania's ruling party, saying he should resign for the good of "the party and country."
Mayor Gabriela Firea accused Social Democratic Party chairman Liviu Dragnea of running the party in an underhand way, and of indirectly blocking city hall projects. Firea is also a member of the party
Tensions in Romania’s ruling party over violent protest
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The mayor of Bucharest claimed Tuesday party colleagues are trying to indirectly blame her for the police response to an anti-corruption protest that left 450 people injured.
Fallout over the Aug. 10 protest has led to tensions in Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party, after 750 people filed legal complaints against riot police alleging mistreatment.
Romania leader’s claim of assassination attempt debated
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Claims by the leader of Romania's ruling party that he was the target of a failed assassination attempt have sparked wide debate in the country.
Liviu Dragnea told Antena 3 late Tuesday that four foreigners had come to Bucharest for the April 2017 assignment, but had been thwarted. He suggested that billionaire philanthropist George Soros was behind the attempt.
Romania leader says recent protest was attempted coup d’etat
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The chairman of Romania's ruling party has called a recent anti-corruption protest that left 450 people injured an attempted coup d'etat.
Speaking for the first time since the Aug. 10 protest, Liviu Dragnea told Antena 3 channel late Tuesday: "I saw an attempted coup to overthrow the government."
Riot police used tear gas and water cannons to repel what Dragnea called a "paramilitary organization," among tens of thousands of protesters.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's left-wing government easily survived a no-confidence vote Wednesday that was submitted by the opposition in Parliament, which claimed it has weakened democracy and the rule of law.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Thousands of anti-corruption protesters demonstrated in cities around Romania for a fifth day Sunday after a court sentenced the country's most powerful politician for official misconduct.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president said Saturday he would seek a new term in office, pledging to fight corruption after the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party was convicted for abuse of power in office.
President Klaus Iohannis said he decided to make the announcement after Social Democratic leader Liviu Dragnea was given a 3½-year jail sentence this week. The president, whose mandate expires in 2019, said public confidence in the Romanian government is very low.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The leader of Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party vowed Friday to implement new laws that critics say will dilute the fight against corruption — a move that came a day after he got a 3½-year jail sentence for abuse of office.
The Social Democrats reiterated their support for Liviu Dragnea, Romania's most powerful politician, saying he should be considered innocent pending a final verdict.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's most powerful politician was convicted Thursday of official misconduct and sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison, a verdict cautiously cheered by anti-government protesters who have spent months decrying high-level corruption in the European country.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has postponed for the third time a verdict in the trial of the country's most powerful politician on misconduct charges.
The High Court for Cassation and Justice said Friday it would issue a ruling June 21 for Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's ruling party says it will stage a huge rally in the capital to protest against what it calls abuses of the justice system.
Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, said Monday the party will bus in hundreds of thousands of supporters from all over Romania for the Saturday demonstration.
Dragnea himself can't be prime minister due to a conviction for vote-rigging. He is on trial in two other corruption cases. He denies wrongdoing.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court said Tuesday it was postponing its verdict in the trial of the country's most powerful politician on misconduct charges, saying it needed more time to study arguments submitted by lawyers for Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian prosecutors have called for the country's most powerful politician to be imprisoned over misconduct charges.
At a trial of Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party, anti-corruption prosecutors asked for a 7 1/2 year sentence.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's most powerful politician, barred from becoming prime minister due to a corruption conviction, accused anti-corruption prosecutors Thursday of indiscriminately targeting high-level officials and ruining careers in the process.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president said Friday that the country's first female prime minister was unfit for the job and should resign, a call she rejected hours later.
President Klaus Iohannis said that Viorica Dancila, who became premier in January, "is not up for the job of Romanian prime minister" and represented "a vulnerability" for the country.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's most powerful politician has missed a hearing on corruption charges — by going on a surprise visit to Israel.
Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party, is charged with official misconduct. He was expected to attend court Wednesday, but Parliament confirmed just as the hearing began that he was in Israel at the invitation of Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
Premier Viorica Dancila also began a visit to Israel Wednesday.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's most powerful politician is preparing to defend himself against corruption charges, days after the U.S. State Department said graft remains widespread at every level of the country's government.
In the run-up to Wednesday's hearing, Liviu Dragnea, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, has dismissed the charges of official misconduct as "mere statements, gossip and rumors."
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president and the country's foreign minister on Friday downplayed a statement from the leader of Romania's ruling party that the country was ready to soon join the U.S. and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Liviu Dragnea, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party who effectively runs the Romanian government, said in a television interview late Thursday that the government had decided to move the embassy from Tel Aviv.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A top Romanian politician Monday said the country's ruling party was considering legalizing civil partnerships between same-sex couples.
Liviu Dragnea, leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party, said the country shouldn't "fail to examine the situation of a minority in Romania," adding "we can't pretend we don't see it or it doesn't exist," without explicitly mentioning same-sex unions.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The chairman of Romania's ruling party consolidated his grip on power Saturday after an ally was promoted to a key position amid criticism of his leadership.
Social Democracy Party Chairman Liviu Dragnea, who's been party leader since 2015, initially planned to seek a vote of support at the congress, but gave up the idea after some members claimed he had arbitrarily changed party rules.
Romanian president backs having 1st female prime minister
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president on Wednesday proposed that a European member of Parliament be country's the next prime minister and potentially its first female leader.
President Klaus Iohannis named Viorica Dancila, a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party and an ally of party chairman Liviu Dragnea. The decision must be approved by Parliament for her to get the job.
Japanese PM lands in Romania as leader he is to meet resigns
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Bucharest on Tuesday for key talks on North Korea and investment, but landed in a Romanian political crisis prompted by the prime minister's unexpected resignation.
Just as Abe was arriving in Romania at the end of his six-nation European tour, President Klaus Iohannis named Defense Minister Mihai Fifor as the country's interim prime minister.
Romania’s PM resigns after he loses support from party
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister resigned Monday after his party withdrew its support for him amid a power struggle with the party chairman.
The ruling left-wing Social Democratic Party revoked its backing of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose after a meeting lasting more than five hours.
Tudose, 50, said he was quitting after a little more than six months in office "with my head high" and would clear out his office immediately.
Romanian prime minister thwarted in reshuffle attempt
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister failed Monday to deliver the government reshuffle he planned as the powerful leader of his party ruled that any changes would have to wait until the end of the month.
There has been mounting speculation in Bucharest that Premier Mihai Tudose wants to replace Liviu Dragnea, the current chairman of the Social Democratic Party who is facing corruption charges, with a committee of regional leaders.
Romania: Ruling party plans counter-protests of critics
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Hundreds of people staged another protest Sunday in the Romanian capital to pressure the government into scrapping a proposed restructuring of the justice system that critics say would make it hard to punish high-level corruption.
The protesters waved flags and shouted "Resign!" and "Justice, not corruption!" outside the government offices.
Romania’s national day exposes divisions over justice system
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Key Romanian politicians did not attend a military parade featuring thousands of troops to mark the country's national day, reflecting tensions between the president and the ruling left-wing coalition over plans to revamp the justice system.
Romanian leaders reject US criticism of legal proposals
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Leaders of Romania's governing left-wing coalition on Tuesday brushed off U.S. concerns that planned legal changes could weaken efforts to punish high-level corruption.
Senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu and speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea said in a statement that Washington "should trust Romania's Parliament, which is seeking to consolidate the independence of the justice system."
Romanian party boss has assets frozen over alleged EU fraud
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's anti-corruption prosecutors' agency on Tuesday froze the assets of the powerful leader of the ruling party amid a probe into misusing European Union funds and setting up an organized crime group.
The anti-corruption office said in a statement that the assets of Liviu Dragnea, who heads the Social Democratic Party, worth up to $32.2 million have been sequestered. Eight others are also being investigated, and four of those had their assets sequestered Tuesday.
Romania: Ruling party leader faces new corruption probe
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors on Monday opened a new criminal investigation into the chairman of the ruling party on suspicion that he misused European Union funds.
The prosecutors' office said in a statement that Liviu Dragnea is suspected of official misconduct for setting up an organized crime group and forging documents to illicitly obtain EU funds. Eight others are being investigated in the same case.
Romanian lawmaker named in corruption probe keeps immunity
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's parliament has voted to let a former minister named in a corruption probe keep her parliamentary privilege against prosecution.
Lawmakers opposed lifting the immunity of Rovana Plumb in a 184-99 vote Tuesday.
Romania: Ministers named in land transfer probe resign
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister says two ministers named in a land transfer criminal inquiry have resigned after weeks of tensions within the government's ruling party.
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said late Thursday he had accepted the resignations of Deputy Prime Minister Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, minister for European funds, following a six-hour meeting of the Social Democratic Party.