Romanian minority government falls into vote of no confidence
In addition, the Moldovan prosecutor has been arrested, Turkey and Azerbaijan are organizing military exercises, and more.
The big story: Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu’s government falls into a vote of no confidence
What happened: Bucharest faces a political stalemate, and potentially even its first early parliamentary elections in its post-Communist history, after a vote of no-confidence toppled the coalition government yesterday, reports Euronews. President Klaus Iohannis has 45 days to nominate a candidate for the post of Prime Minister, which must then be approved by the Romanian legislator.
More context: “Florin Citu was fired for all the reforms that have been stalled in recent months, for the failure of the vaccination campaign, for using money and public office to buy votes for PNL [National Liberal Party] congress ”, the USSR Day, a former member of the ruling coalition, said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. PNL is the party of Citu and Iohannis.
To note: Iohannis said he would hold consultations with political parties next week, according to Reuters. “Romania must be ruled,” said Iohannis. “We are in a pandemic, an energy price crisis … and now a political crisis. We need a mature (political) position more than ever. “
News from the regions
Central Europe and Baltic States
- The staff of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland are investigating anti-Semitic graffiti in an incident that has been condemned by the international community, reports the BBC. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial, which preserves the Nazi extermination camp opened in 1940, said nine barracks in the compound were spray painted yesterday with anti-Semitic Holocaust-denying phrases and slogans. Israeli Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem said it was an attack “not only on the memory of the victims, but also on the survivors and anyone with a conscience”. The number of victims murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz is estimated at around 1.1 million people, including one million Jews.
- Slovaks hope that a future amendment to the Criminal Code could lead to changes in marijuana laws thus, reports BIRN. Those found in possession of drugs for their own use face up to three years in prison for the first offense, while those caught repeatedly with marijuana can serve 10 to 15 years behind bars, a sentence longer than for manslaughter. In addition, the law does not distinguish between marijuana and other illegal drugs, and for repeated offenses, it does not distinguish between user and dealer. According to research cited by BIRN, Slovak laws on illegal drugs are among the toughest in the EU.
South Eastern Europe
- High level Serbian politicians defended Serbian Minister of Finance Sinisa Mali after information was leaked about his alleged fortune, reports BIRN. The Serbian Crime and Corruption Information Network (KRIK) has uncovered evidence confirming the Mali allegations in the Pandora leaks, which indicates that the former mayor of Belgrade bought 24 luxury apartments on the Bulgarian coast. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic supported Mali and accused the KRIK of lying about it. Posted Sunday, Pandora Papers The investigation is the result of the efforts of around 600 journalists from media outlets such as The Washington Post, the BBC and The Guardian, and is based on a leak of 11.9 million documents from 14 financial companies around the world.
- Croatian politicians spoke out against a description in a Serbian school textbook considered to deny the existence of Croatian language, Euractiv reports. Croatian media quoted by Euractiv reported that a grammar book for eighth graders, says that Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian and Bulgarian are South Slavic languages, while “Croats, Bosnians and some Montenegrins call the Serbian language Croatian, Bosnian, Bosnian or Montenegrin” . Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said Serbia did not meet the same standard of care for its ethnic Croatian minority that Croatia offers to its ethnic Serbian minority, and added that Croatia “could start to think about reciprocal measures”.
Eastern Europe and Russia
- The Attorney General in Moldova was suspended and detained yesterday in a corruption case, Reuters reports. Attorney General Alexandru Stoianoglo was charged with abuse of power “in favor of criminal groups”, according to Victor Furtuna, a public prosecutor who opened the investigation. Stoianoglo said his arrest was a “settling of scores by Chairman Maia Sandu. “Sandu defeated former president Igor Dodon, who appointed Stoianoglo to the presidential election last year on an anti-corruption ticket. Dodon called the arrest “an irreparable political error caused by the authorities’ fear of what Stoianoglo might say”.
- The head of Ukrainian State Bank announced that he was resigning temporarily during an investigation into a assault on journalists which took place on Monday, reports RFE / RL. “The situation around the bank is unacceptable. My overly emotional reaction and frantic behavior towards journalists have no justification ”, Ukreximbank chief Yevhen Metsher said in a statement released today. The incident occurred when Metsher was interviewed by Kyrylo Ovsyaniy, a reporter from Skhemy, a joint investigative project conducted by RFE / RL and UA: Pershy television. When the reporter asked Metsher about a controversial loan given to a client, the team of reporters were ordered out of the office, and security personnel forcibly seized cameras and memory cards from a cameraman.
- Turkey and Azerbaijan jointly launched military exercises yesterday amid regional tensions, reports RFE / RL. The “Unshakable Brotherhood” exercise, which runs through October 8, comes after Iran also recently staged war games along its border with Azerbaijan. Relations between Tehran and Baku have been strained since last month’s joint military exercises involving Azerbaijani troops and their Turkish and Pakistani counterparts. Ties between Baku and Ankara, by contrast, deepened after a military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh last fall when Turkey sided with Azerbaijan against Armenia. The past few months have also led to a number of deadly outbreaks in the Yerevan-Baku conflict, leaving soldiers on both sides dead.
- A poet described as the longest serving prisoner in Kazakhstan was released from a prison hospital last Friday, reports Eurasianet. that of Aron Atabek his release came months after 2,500 people signed a petition for his freedom addressed to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The dissident, 68, served 15 years of an 18-year prison sentence for organizing unrest in riots that broke out in 2006 following house demolitions in a suburb of Almaty that resulted in death of a policeman. A court ruling subjected Atabek to one year of “restricted liberty”, which translates into parole-type restrictions. The dissident has refused to apply for parole in the past, which would have forced him to admit his guilt for the crimes he was convicted of.