Romania prosecutor backed for new EU job amid govt criticism
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian prosecutor has won backing from two European Union committees to head a new prosecutor's office fighting fraud, despite fierce opposition from her own...
Moldova parliamentary ballot: what’s at stake?
CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — More than three million Moldovans are eligible to vote in parliamentary elections Sunday in this former Soviet republic wedged between Romania and Ukraine. They will...
EU says it’s ready to hit back if US imposes car tariffs
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A European Union official says "there is full support" from member states to hit back if U.S. President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on cars and car parts.
EU slams Romanian govt for diluting anti-corruption fight
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The European Union is appealing to Romania to not to dilute efforts to fight high-level corruption after the government enacted a measure that critics say will exert more...
EU voices concern as Romania moves to block prosecutor
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Prosecutors applying for the post of European chief prosecutor must be treated fairly, the European Commission said Thursday, after Romania moved to block one of its own nationals.
Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Brussels is following the case closely adding it is crucial that candidates put forward by an independent selection panel are "treated fairly."
Romania upsets Czechs in Fed Cup, Australia beats US
Romania upset defending champion Czech Republic 3-2 to advance to the semifinals of the Fed Cup on Sunday, along with France, Belarus and Australia.
Romania reached the semifinals for the first time after its first victory against the Czechs, who won six titles in the last eight years.
Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu teamed up to clinch the best-of-five contest with a 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 win over Czech pair Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova in the doubles.
Fed Cup: France and Belarus lead 2-0; Czechs and US tied
France and Belarus were in command of their Fed Cup first-round ties while 2018 finalists the Czech Republic and the United States were level in their ties on Saturday.
Australian Open semifinalist Karolina Pliskova won the first point for the Czechs against Romania after easing past Mihaela Burzanescu 6-1, 6-4 on an indoor hard-court in Ostrava.
But Simona Halep won the second singles by routing Katerina Siniakova, the star of last year's final victory against the United States, 6-4, 6-0.
Romania detains Italian man who posed as plastic surgeon
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian police on Wednesday detained an Italian man who allegedly posed as a plastic surgeon in clinics around Bucharest, doing dozens of operations including breast implants.
Border police detained Matteo Politi on a train on the Romanian-Hungarian border early Wednesday after an alert went out and he was brought to Bucharest. A statement said he was being investigated for fraud.
Romania investigates man who posed as plastic surgeon
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Authorities in Romania are investigating an Italian citizen who allegedly posed as a plastic surgeon in clinics around Bucharest.
The College of Medics said Tuesday that it hadn't issued Matteo Politi, who used the alias Matthew Mode, with a license to practice.
Romanian health authorities, who must also issue a separate permit to doctors, say he was given one in March 2018 after submitting a fake diploma claiming he'd qualified as a doctor in Kosovo.
EU: Future member states must hold democratic elections
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The European Union's foreign policy chief says would-be member states from the former Soviet Union must hold free and fair elections to be eligible for future membership.
Federica Mogherini was referring to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia who signed association agreements with the EU in 2014, amid sharp criticism from Russia.
NATO chief: China must treat arrested Canadians fairly
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — NATO's chief on Thursday called on China to treat two Canadian citizens detained in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese Huawei executive in Canada "fairly and with due process."
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he was following the situation of the Canadians detained in China in December "with concern," in his first public comments about the case.
NATO chief urges Russia to comply with missile pact
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — NATO's secretary-general has urged Russia to respect a Cold War-era missile treaty saying its missiles are nuclear capable and could reach European cities.
Jens Stoltenberg said in Bucharest on Wednesday that Russia was violating the treaty and had "developed and deployed new intermediate range missiles," which were "hard to detect, mobile."
Pliskova to lead Czechs in Fed Cup after Kvitova pulls out
PRAGUE (AP) — Karolina Pliskova will be the top player for defending Fed Cup champion Czech Republic in its first-round meeting with Romania, after Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova pulled out.
Pliskova lost in the Australian Open semifinals this month to Naomi Osaka, who then defeated Kvitova in the final.
Romanian president blasts politicians at Holocaust ceremony
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president has blasted politicians that make scapegoats out of the European Union and foreign companies to consolidate their grip on power.
President Klaus Iohannis claimed some Romanian politicians "in their reckless efforts to save themselves," blame "cunning multinationals ... and demonize the European Union," in veiled criticism of the government which has embarked on a judicial overhaul that critics say will dilute efforts to fight corruption.
European Union presidency to back Macedonia accession talks
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The European Union presidency says it will back Macedonia to open accession talks after it reached a deal to change its name.
Romanian European Affairs Minister George Ciamba said Monday he wanted negotiations to start for Macedonia in June at a meeting of EU ministers.
Romania, which currently holds the bloc's rotating presidency, also supports Albania opening accession talks.
The Latest: Romania to give Holocaust survivors top honors
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (all times local):
Romania's president is giving one of the country's highest honors to eight Romanian Jews who survived the Holocaust and dedicated their lives to keeping the memory of Holocaust victims alive.
Freezing rain downs 800 trees, delays flights in Romania
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Authorities say freezing rain in Romania's capital has downed hundreds of trees and electricity lines, damaging cars and causing long flight delays.
Dozens of flights were late or canceled at Bucharest's Henry Coanda Airport due to icy conditions on Saturday. Power outages of several hours were reported in the capital from fallen electricity lines.
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Institute urges Romania not to rehabilitate war criminal
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Holocaust institute has called on Romanian authorities to not rehabilitate a war criminal convicted for his role in the slaying of Jews and Roma in the former Soviet Union.
The Elie Wiesel Institute for Holocaust Study said Friday it hoped authorities in the eastern county of Vrancea wouldn't move to restitute land to the family of Gheorghe Alexianu who was governor of the Trans-Dniester region during World War II.
Romanian Parliament asked to vote on contentious measures
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian opposition parties have asked Parliament to convene to strike down measures that could invalidate hundreds of corruption cases and levy extra taxes on banks and energy companies.
Some 114 lawmakers from the Liberal Party and other opposition parties on Wednesday asked Parliament to return from its winter recess next week to vote on the measures.
Romania president: plan to invalidate graft cases not legal
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president said on Tuesday that a government decree that could invalidate hundreds of corruption cases involving senior officials is "crassly unconstitutional," a development that also prompted concern from the European Union.
President Klaus Iohannis blasted the measure put forward this week by the justice minister, saying the ruling Social Democrats "don't care about Romania; they care about their own politicians with legal problems."
Soccer great Hagi’s club fires player for gambling issues
CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) — Gheorghe Hagi's soccer club in Romania says it has terminated a player's contract for gambling on games.
Viitorul Constanta, which is owned and coached by the former Romania great, had previously said it suspended Mihai Vodut while verifying media reports of his betting.
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.
Plane makes emergency landing in Black Sea port in Romania
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian authorities say an airplane flying from Cyprus to the Romanian capital has made an emergency landing in the Black Sea port of Constanta because of a problem with the wing flaps. Nobody has been reported injured.
Authorities said the Romanian airline Blue Air flight from Larnaca to Bucharest, carrying 109 passengers and crew, landed safely in Constanta on Sunday afternoon.
Ex-judge: Romania ruling could collapse murder trials
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A court ruling that Romanian prosecutors obtained evidence illegally could collapse murder and child pornography trials in the country, a top legal expert said Friday.
Romanian coal miners end strike after government hikes wages
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian coal miners have ended a weeklong strike after the energy minister offered them wage hikes and other perks.
Anton Anton met union leaders and miners at the Oltenia Energy Complex in southern Romania on Thursday and offered higher salaries, an Easter bonus and vacation vouchers.
Romania: Ruling on intelligence pact puts trials in doubt
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that secret protocols between prosecutors and the country's domestic intelligence agency were unconstitutional.
The decision, reached in a 6-3 vote, could cause murder and corruption trials in which prosecutors have relied on evidence that was obtained under the agreement to collapse.
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Romania official: No evidence prosecutor was communist spy
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — An official in charge of Romania's communist-era secret police files has brushed aside allegations that a top prosecutor collaborated with the Securitate.
On Monday a Romanian civic group filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors accusing Constantin Buchet, chairman of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives, of misconduct, saying he endorsed prosecutor Adina Florea without consulting other board members.
Romania group urges probe over ‘illegal’ prosecutor vetting
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian civic group has alleged that a top official illegally issued a certificate for a prosecutor saying that she hadn't collaborated with the communist-era secret police.
The Alliance for Fighting Abuses filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors Monday claiming Constantin Buchet, chairman of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives, had bypassed the council's board and issued a certificate himself.
Romania: Ruling party member quits over president Nazi jibe
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party says an adviser to a regional leader who published a manipulated image of the country's president dressed in Nazi uniform has quit over the matter.
The party's Vrancea county branch said Constantin Guguianu resigned his post and from the party on Monday, days after he posted a fake photo on social media of President Klaus Iohannis wearing a Nazi helmet emblazoned with a swastika.
Romanian govt scraps warships’ acquisition amid dispute
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's defense ministry has suspended the 1.6 billion euro ($1.83 billion) acquisition of four warships following a political dispute over which offer best serves the NATO member.
The ministry said it had informed military prosecutors there were "reasonable suspicions" about the legality of the procedure, saying it could harm national security. It didn't provide further details.
Juncker: Romania political feuding may mar its EU presidency
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A top European Union official on Friday warned Romania that rancorous political feuding could overshadow its presidency of the EU.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that domestically Romania needs "an atmosphere and spirit of consensus," because "pointless polemics could cause multiple problems internally and externally."
Pope to visit Romania in spring during busy 2019 travel
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is adding another trip to his busy 2019 travel schedule with a three-day visit to Romania May 31-June 2.
The Vatican press office announced Friday Francis would visit the capital, Bucharest, Iasi in northeastern Romania known for its Orthodox churches and monasteries, and Blaj, the seat of the Catholic Church. Also on the itinerary is a visit to the Marian shrine at Sumuleu Ciuc.
AP PHOTOS: Romanian village holds Epiphany horse race
PIETROSANI, Romania (AP) — Epiphany celebrations bring together hundreds of people in the Romanian village of Pietrosani for a day out in freezing temperatures that culminates in a bareback horse race across muddy, frozen or snowy fields.
The horse race tradition started in the area more than a century ago, according to residents, and it was banned during the years of Communist rule because of its association with a religious holiday.
Backstage drama accompanies Romania’s debut in EU presidency
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Backstage drama came to the fore Thursday as Romania assumed the presidency of the European Union for the first time, an international debut that was preceded by questions about the country's readiness for the role.
President bars Romanian prosecutor from job amid questions
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president says he won't name a regional prosecutor to the post of chief prosecutor at the National Anti-Corruption Directorate saying he there was no guarantee she didn't collaborate with the Communist-era Securitate police.
President Klaus Iohannis said Wednesday he hadn't received required proof that Adina Florea "didn't work for the intelligence services before 1990,"meaning he couldn't legally appoint her to the high-ranking position.
Winter storm blasts Europe; 13 dead amid heavy snow, gusts
BERLIN (AP) — Deadly winter weather blasted Europe for yet another day Tuesday, trapping hundreds of people in Alpine regions, whipping up high winds that caused flight cancellations and increasing the risks of more deadly avalanches.
At least 13 people have been killed in weather-related accidents in Europe over the last week, most of them from avalanches.
Former corruption prosecutor sues Romanian govt over firing
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A former chief anti-corruption prosecutor in Romania said Tuesday she has sued the country's government in the European Court of Human Rights over her firing.
The government forced the dismissal of National Anti-Corruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi in July, alleging mismanagement and overstepping her authority.
Romania insists it’s up to the EU presidency
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's government insists it is capable of handling the rotating presidency of the European Union, dismissing remarks made by the head of the bloc's executive branch.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently questioned whether Romania was ready for the political give-and-take of holding the presidency which began this month, adding it was "technically well-prepared" for the role.
Romanian engineer who saved churches from destruction dies
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Eugeniu Iordachescu, a Romanian civil engineer who devised an ingenious way to save 12 churches and many other historic buildings from being destroyed by the country's former Communist strongman, has died. He was 89.
He died Friday from a heart attack and his funeral was being held Sunday, his daughter-in-law, Ligia Iordachescu, told The Associated Press.
Passengers angry after flight to Greece diverted to Romania
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — For about 200 passengers, the flight from London to Thessaloniki in northern Greece took almost 24 hours.
Foggy conditions in Thessaloniki airport led Ryanair to divert the flight from London Stansted Airport to the city of Timisoara in western Romania, late Friday.
Despite pressure, Romanian president won’t fire prosecutor
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president on Friday refused a request from the justice minister to dismiss the county's top prosecutor, who has clashed with the government over its commitment to fight corruption.
President Klaus Iohannis said he wouldn't fire Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar, a critic of a governmental judicial overhaul that he and others say will make it harder to prosecute senior officials for corruption.
Romania: tax chief fired amid concerns about budget deficit
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister has fired the head of the country's tax agency amid concerns about the European country's spiraling budget deficit.
Premier Viorica Dancila dismissed Ionut Misa on Thursday. The finance minister in Dancila's government repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with tax collections under Misa.
Romania slams EU for treating it as ‘second-rate’ country
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian officials on Monday slammed European Union officials for treating it as "a second-rate" country as it prepares to take over the EU's rotating presidency.
Underlining the fractious mood between Romania and Brussels, a senior official of Romania's governing Social Democratic Party blasted top EU officials including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for alleged prejudices.
EU leader concerned about Romania holding bloc presidency
BERLIN (AP) — The head of the European Union's executive branch has questioned whether Romania is ready for the political give-and-take of holding the EU presidency, though he says the country is "technically well-prepared" for the role.
Romanian president keeps army chief amid warship debate
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president has extended the mandate of the army's chief of staff for a year against the wishes of the government, which is allegedly in a dispute with him over the acquisition of warships.
President Klaus Iohannis on Friday convened the country's top defense body to discuss the position of Gen. Nicolae Ciuca, whose mandate expires Dec. 31.
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: Govt wants prosecutor opposed to legal changes out
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's justice minister on Thursday asked the president to dismiss the country's top prosecutor, who has accused the government of undermining efforts to fight corruption.
The development puts Romania at odds with the European Union just before it assumes the EU's rotating presidency on Jan. 1.
Tudorel Toader said he was officially requesting that President Klaus Iohannis remove Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar from his post for mismanagement.
Modric wins Balkan award ahead of Djokovic and Halep
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Croatia soccer star Luka Modric has been chosen Balkan athlete of the year.
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July, where the midfielder was voted player of the tournament. He also won the prestigious Ballon d'Or for the first time earlier in December.
Tennis great Novak Djokovic of Serbia was second in the Balkan poll, and Romania's Simona Halep third.