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Tennis: Three Romanian players on main tournament table in Monzon

Simona Halep, Elora Dabija and Alexandra Dulgheru have qualified for the main table of the tennis tournament in Monzon (Spain).

Elora Dabija defeated Rebeca Bou-Nogueiro (Spain) in the decisive fixture, score 6-3, 6-4, and will play against Aniko Kapros (Hungary) in the first round. Alexandra Dulgheru defeated Poland’s Katarzyna Piter in the qualification fixture, score 6-3, 6-4, and will play against Yera Campos-Molina (Spain). Simona Halep defeated Netherlands’s Leonie Mekel, score 6-2, 6-1, and will play against Tatjana Malek (Germany).

MTS vehemently condemns HC Csikszereda’s attitude

The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MTS) has vehemently condemned HC Csikszereda’s attitude. The club’s refusal to allow its players to answer the call-up to the national team endangers the goal that the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation had set for the world cup: Romania’s presence in the second heat. Following the unjustified refusal of HC Csikszereda Miercurea Ciuc players to answer the call-up to the national ice hockey team that takes part in the World Cup in Torun, Minister Monica Iacob-Ridzi reacted to the club leaders’ unexplainable decision, a communiqué reads. The Ministry of Youth and Sport (MTS) has asked the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation to initiate the procedures for sanctioning the players and leaders of HC Csikszereda. A day before the players were scheduled to come to the national team, HC Csikszereda’s leadership raised several conditions in return for allowing the 12 players to take part in the competition. The conditions consisted of the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation offering the players wages equal to those received at the club during the training stages and the final tournament and of insuring them against injuries at a value set by the club.

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Bazac: Less than 20 pc of Romanian hospitals would cope with a natural disaster

The medics had a day off yesterday, to mark the World Day of Health, being the second year in a row when the employees from the Romanian health system celebrate through a day off this world event. Present at the press conference dedicated to the world day of health, the minister of health Ioan Bazac declared that less than 20 per cent of the hospitals from Romania are consolidated in order to cope with a disaster, while the remaining 80 per cent do not have emergency units. The declaration of the minister comes in the context in which the Health Day is marked this year under the slogan “We save lives, we prepare hospitals for emergencies,” but also in the context of the quake from Italy. According to Mediafax, the minister stressed that there are many emergency hospitals which would not meet the requirements in case of a natural disaster, adding that according to some statistics of the World Bank from 2002, half of the medical units from Romania would be affected by the earthquake. According to Bazac, the Ministry of Health has funds for the consolidation of 30 hospitals.

Kerry Kennedy launched “Speak truth to power” project in Bucharest

Over 200 children who study in Italy will benefit from elements of the international programme “Speak truth to power” of Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, declared yesterday Kerry Kennedy, official of the Foundation, quoted by Mediafax. “We discussed about the cooperation between the Foreign Ministry and the Foundation for the support of the programmes that will be run under this framework-programme. We support this programme because it is a very complex cultural and educational programme which promotes the respect for the human rights, the awareness of the value of the human rights and, not least, the promotion of the promoters of the human rights,” said Bogdan Aurescu, state secretary in the Foreign Ministry, at the meeting with Kerry Kennedy. She also stressed that she discussed with Aurescu about a pilot programme that will develop in Romania starting in September, which will target 5,000 high school pupils. She also said that the educational programme of the Foundation will be put at the disposal of the inmates of penitentiaries.

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BUSINESS

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Alpha Bank launches merchant accounts

Alpha Bank has launched the merchant accounts allowing businesses to accept credit card payments through POSs. The service is for all businesses irrespective of the volume of their daily transactions, the credit institution announced yesterday. The service also allows the acceptance of cards equipped with chips and payments can be made in RON, EUR and USD, by any card issued under the Visa or MasterCard brand, reads a bank press release. Transactions in RON made through Alpha Bank POSs are settled within one day. The merchant account allowing the acceptance of card payments through POSs has zero installation and maintenance commission, free training of the staff who will be working with the POSs and online transaction authorization systems, enabling the free verification of card validity.

Pillar II assets up 11.68 pc

Over 4.2 M people had joined the 14 active compulsory private pension funds (pillar II) by the end of March 2009, more than 65,000 than in the previous month, according to the data of the Private Pensions System Overseeing Commission (CSSPP), Agerpres informs. The value of their assets also went up 11.68 per cent compared to the previous month, to over RON 1.2 bn. On the other hand, the CSSPP statistics show that the number of participants on the facultative private pensions market (pillar III), has exceeded 160,000 and the value of assets went up by 10.2 per cent to about RON 110 M. Recent data places ING on the first position, followed by Allianz and Generali in terms of number of participants and value of assets.

Tourism contributes 5.8 pc to Romanian GDP

European countries expect smaller revenues from tourism in 2009, under conditions of deepening crisis. Data supplied by the World Tourism and Travelers Council (WTTC) places Romania on the one before last position in Europe (ahead of Serbia) regarding the tourism’s contribution to the national gross domestic product. In 2008, tourism only accounted for 5.8 per cent of the GDP in Romania, while in Croatia (European leader) it contributed 25.5 per cent of the GDP.

Rulmentul Brasov put up for sale again on April 16 and 24

The creditors of the company Rulmentul Brasov established the organization of two auctions for the sale of the plant, on April 16 and 24, following the same strategy as the past year, and maintaining the minimum price of EUR 35 M, Mediafax correspondent transmits. Teodor Nicolae, specialist from RVA Insolvency, declared yesterday that two other auctions will be organized at the request of the Finance Ministry, preserving the structure of the previous auctions, at the minimum price of EUR 35 M. The liquidators cancelled on March 18 the auction adjudicated in December 2008 by the company Tampa Resort SRL, because of the latter’s failure to pay the EUR 35 M for which it had adjudicated Rulmentul.

Continental to cut production

Continental produces in Romania less than mentioned in the budget, in order to correlate the manufacturing level with the low demand, but rules out the possibility to resort to layoffs, the representatives of the German group declared for Mediafax. “Continental is a company from the automotive industry. The automotive industry is affected by the world economic crisis and therefore Continental is also affected. How not to be affected if our clients cut their orders by 20 or 30 per cent? In order to correlate ourselves with these lower orders, we also produce less than we stipulated in our budget,” according to Continental officials. However, the company excludes the possibility to resort to layoffs and stresses that it does not intend to stop any activity.

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Dacia orders assure production ’til end August

Dacia has orders which assure the production at maximum capacity until the end of August. The general manager of the plant, Francois Fourmont, declared at Mioveni that the situation is much better than three months ago, when the activity was reduced, Realitatea TV informs. Currently, Dacia works in a proportion of 70 per cent for export, most of the orders coming from Germany. Other countries in which the Romanian cars are sought are France and Italy. In the coming period the plant will start manufacturing also for the orders coming under the Junk Programme. “We do not intend to proceed to layoffs until September. We have just turned 170 contracts with determined duration into contracts with undetermined duration,” the general manager of Dacia, Francois Fourmont, said.

Renault Laguna Coupe, launched in Romania

The launching of the third Renault Megane generation is now followed by the launching of the Laguna Coupe model. The model with diesel engine costs EUR 27,700, VAT included, while the one with gasoline engine costs EUR 28,500, VAT included. The 1.9-liter diesel engine has 150 HP and a six-stage manual gearbox, while the 2-liter gasoline engine has 170 HP and a six-stage automatic gearbox, a communiqué issued by Renault Romania reads. The car, available in Romania only in the Dinamique equipping option, is 4.64-meters long and 1.81-meters high. In May Renault will also bring on the local market the facelift version of Clio 3, as well as the vehicle’s wagon variant that is yet to be sold in Romania. This year four more models belonging to the Megane family will be introduced on the local market: Scenic, Grand Scenic, Megane Estate and Megane Sedan.

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POLITICS

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Nastase: “Four-five important builders to be arrested”

The president of PSD National Council, Adrian Nastase, told Realitatea TV that the list of possible arrests in the coming period includes, besides three journalists, four or five builders. His assertion comes a few days after the PSD Bucharest leader, Marian Vanghelie, declared that the arrest of three persons from the media follows. “I know more than that, I know that besides that list, another list with four or five important builders circulates. I won’t give names, but I received from two sources such a list of people from the domain of constructions, to show that Basescu is objective,” Nastase stated. He referred also to the most recent scandals from Justice and the Romanian media, estimating that the scene of the bar from Pipera with Becali reminds him “the scene from the restaurant with Becali and Basescu, and this shows that presently it is dangerous to be a friend of Traian Basescu.” Nastase considers that Becali file is an “image campaign in favour of the Head of State. “This issue is conceived as an image strategy, as a smoke screen for the important problems of the country and to help certain persons involved in the campaign for the presidential elections, and here I think to Traian Basescu.”

EC Vice-President advises Romanians to go to polls

The Vice-President of the European Commission, Margot Wallstrom, yesterday made an appeal to Romanians in general and to young people in particular to become politically engaged and to vote in the European parliamentary election on June 7, Mediafax informs. Wallstrom also asked Romanian women ‘to also make their voice heard loud and clear’. According to Agerpres, Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana and Wallstrom met briefly at the Senate yesterday, to talk not only about the current context in Europe, but also about the progress Romania had made since it became an EU member state. Margot Wallstrom also said Romania should not use the pretext of the economic crisis to slow down reforms, and spoke of the importance of the EU enlargement both for the new members and for the Union as a whole, because it had become stronger economically and culturally, as well as more diverse.

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PSD files list for EP elections, with over 1.2 million signatures

PSD-PC electoral alliance submitted yesterday to the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC), in the presence of the presidents Mircea Geoana and Daniela Popa, the list of candidates to the EP elections for whom they collected 1,241,000 supportive signatures, and which is opened by Adrian Severin. The PSD leader showed that this vote is very important, not only from the point of view of the parties, but also from that of the respect that must be cultivated for Romania in the whole Europe. “It is the path of the opening through the Social-Democrats representatives to a renewed dignity of the Romanians who work and live abroad. The point is what we want to do with Romania,” Geoana stressed. Also yesterday, PNTCD submitted the list of candidates for the EP elections, which is opened by Marian Milut, president of the party.

MPs approve transfer of special unit under the Gendarmerie’s control

The MPs have adopted yesterday the Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) on the reorganization of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the ordinance, the ‘Eagle’ special unit will be transferred under the control of the Gendarmerie, Mediafax informs. Also yesterday the MPs have rejected the amendments brought by the Defence Commission to the OUG on the National Anti-drug Agency (ANA). Thus, the MPs have decided that ANA would be reorganized under the leadership of the IGPR. The final vote on Ordinance 20/2009 that modifies Article 13 of Ordinance 30/2007 that deals with the organization and functioning of the Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs and with the reorganization of units that the Ministry controls will be cast next week. The Lower Chamber is the first Parliamentary chamber notified with this ordinance.

PSD suggestion: Imprisonment for consenting incest between major persons

PSD Deputy Florin Iordache proposed yesterday at the debates from the Sub-commission on the Criminal Code, to incriminate the consenting incest between major persons. The punishment would be imprisonment from one to five years. The representatives of the Ministry of Justice requested the initiator to come with a text to be introduced in the section on “offences against the family.” Iordache pointed out that the new Criminal Code does not stipulate anything in this respect, and showed that the accepted incest between major persons must be incriminated, “taking into account a certain public debate that took place and a certain pressure from the Church.” “Our point of view is that incest must be incriminated (…) I am asking the initiator together with the ministry to come with a constructive proposal in compliance also with the punishments which are in the present text, but the signal should be very clear that we want the incrimination of incest,” Florin Iordache declared on Tuesday.

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