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AFP
November 11, 2018

Romanian minister for Europe resigns

World

AFP
November 11, 2018

BUCHAREST: Romania’s Minister for European affairs has resigned just weeks before the country takes on the EU’s six-month rotating presidency in January, media reported on Saturday.

"From what I understand this resignation has happened," the news.ro agency quoted minister for European funds, Rovana Plumb, as saying.

Victor Negrescu, 33, would not confirm he had stepped down but according to news site HotNews.ro he elected to quit after his ruling Social Democratic Party found he had failed to win Brussels’ support for controversial judicial reforms.

In June, 12 western countries warned that some of Romania’s judicial reforms could "impede cooperation (with Romania) in international law enforcement."

The constitutional court’s nine judges unanimously rejected about 60 amendments to the penal code that had already come under fire from the European Commission in Brussels and Romanian president Klaus Iohannis.

Critics have argued that some of the changes will allow Social Democratic Party leader, Liviu Dragnea, to ask for a "review" of a two-year jail sentence he received in 2016 for electoral fraud.

And they suggest that the amendments will help him escape prosecution in two other cases.

The European parliament is on Tuesday due to adopt a resolution denouncing several laws passed in recent months by the Social Democrats in the belief they threaten the independence of the courts and the fight against corruption.