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November 15, 2019
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Romanians dead in Italy quake, brought home

The bodies of three Romanians, members of the same family, who died during the earthquake in Italy, were brought to Timisoara yesterday afternoon, with a Carpatair plane that arrived from Rome. According to Mediafax, the Carpatair plane that brought the bodies of the three Romanians – Darinca Mirandolina Bobu, Laurentiu Ghiorceanu and their five-month old son Antonio – to their home country landed at approximately 2.00 PM on the International Airport “Traian Vuia,” where several relatives of the deceased were waiting for them. Moreover, the lifeless body of Adriana Enasoiu, aged 48, another Romanian woman who lost her life in the earthquake that occurred in Italy a week ago, was brought back to Romania in the early hours of Monday.

Serban Nicolae, new MAI secretary of state

Former Social-Democrat Senator Serban Nicolae has been appointed by PM Emil Boc as secretary of state at the head of the Schengen Department within the Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs. He will replace chief commissioner Tiberiu Trifan, Mediafax informs.

The Schengen Department is the national authority that coordinates the procedures for the gradual elimination of checkups at EU borders.

Serban Nicolae was Presidential adviser from 2001 to 2004 and subsequently the delegated Minister for the Relation with Parliament.

Revolutionists attend protest at the gates of PSD

Approximately 100 revolutionists gathered yesterday to the PSD residence, in order to protest against the appointment of Emilian Cutean in the leadership of the State Secretariat for Revolutionists, Agerpres reported. The protesters demanded the Social-Democrat leadership to dismiss Cutean from his position due to his involvement in a corruption-related trial. The protest was attended by several associations of revolutionists affliated to the National Block of Revolutionists. They yelled slogans such as “We want an offence-free Government” and “We want communication.” The representatives of the revolutionists submitted three proposals for the position of State Secretary, were Emilian Cutean to be dismissed: George Costin, Rudolf Schumutzer and Nicolae Banutoiu. The revolutionists also expressed their discontentment to the fact that the State Secretary is involved in a number of lawsuits, as he is tried for fraud worth ROL 12.5 billion, committed during his previous mandate at the State Secretariat for Revolutionists’ Issues.

Weather cools off

After two weeks of spring with warm weather and clear skies the clouds are starting to gather around and rainfalls will be registered in the southern half of the country where thunderstorms will also be registered, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ wrote yesterday. Moreover, sleet will be registered in the Southern Carpathians at altitudes higher than 1,800 meters. White frost will also be registered in isolated pockets. The maximum temperatures will range from 12 to 22 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperatures will range from 1 to 7 degrees Celsius. In Bucharest the weather cooled off considerably following a sunny weekend. The sky was variable yesterday and the meteorologists have forecast rainfalls and low temperatures for today, with a maximum temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

Tomorrow the weather will warm up slightly and the rainfalls will concentrate in the Carpathians’ outlying regions and in the mountainous areas. The maximum temperatures will range from 12 to 22 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperatures will range from 1 to 9 degrees Celsius.

Piranha IFV acquisition program on pause

The seven Piranhas delivered as part of the second batch of infantry fighting vehicles in October 2008 have technical problems and the MoD will not accept them until the problems will be remedied, Ionel Lascu, secretary of state within the MoD, stated for ‘Ziua’ daily yesterday. Mowag, the Swiss company that produces the Piranha IFVs, has been working on the technical problems identified by the MoD representatives for well over six months so the MoD was unable to complete the acquisition process for them. Thus, for the time being the IFVs cannot be used in any mission. Lascu pointed out that the IFVs ‘would certainly not be sent to foreign theatres of operations until the repairs, the tests and the evaluations included in the contract take place.’ At the same time he stated that in the future the MoD could consider introducing supplementary contractual clauses that would not exclude the possibility of negotiating with other producers if the supplier fails to respect its commitments.

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‘Stop the Codes’ coalition sues Govt, Justice Ministry

The NGO ‘Stop the Codes’ coalition yesterday sued the Executive and the Justice Ministry (MJ) in the Bucharest Court of Appeals. In the action filed, the coalition accused the two institutions of violating the transparency law over the passage of the bills of law concerning the four legal codes, Mediafax reports. In the legal action brought before the Administrative Court of the Bucharest Court of Appeals, the NGOs accuse the Executive of encroaching on the transparency law and Law 24/2000 regulating legislative technicalities, organisation delegates saying the code bills passed without the go-aheads required. Aside from the two laws, NGOs also condemned the infringement on several government resolutions containing technical stipulations.

Georgiana Iorgulescu, representative of the Centre for Juridical Resources, who submitted the action to court Monday, said she had not been informed about the first date in court, adding she would learn about it from the summons. Also, the ‘Stop the Codes’ coalition wrote a letter to President Traian Basescu yesterday, urging him to step up, asking clarifications on the May 15 deadline for the passage of the four bills of law.

Romanians’ coming home on Easter: passenger clearance up 40 pc at Arad customs

Romanians working abroad have begun coming home to spend Easter with their families, which led to passenger clearance to go up 40 per cent at Arad border checkpoints over the past 48 hours. Mediafax quoted the Border Police County Inspectorate as reporting that roughly 47,000 people went through Arad County border checkpoints during the past two days, of whom 31,000 Romanian citizens. In the upcoming days, authorities will open several traffic lanes into Romania, according to traffic flow volume. As in past years, Arad authorities recommend the Romanians coming home on Easter to also use Turnu and Varsand checkpoints, which are less busy than Nadlac.

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Romtelecom launches new internet platform

Romtelecom announces the launching of the first platform dedicated to Internet service suppliers, based on CDMA telecom license, Code Division Multiple Access, won last year in tender, based on a press release sent to the newspaper. Balcan – IX is distributed by Internet Exchange, has national coverage and secures easy and fast access to neutral inter-connection solutions and to data transport services. The operators to become members of Balcan-IX until June 1, 2009 shall have free services of local peering and collocation for equipment, until the end of the year. In addition, the clients who contribute to supporting Balcan-IX by attracting new members, shall be granted cumulated discounts up to 50 per cent of the national peering service (editor’s note – mutual traffic exchange among the IP clients of the partner and Romtelecom clients).

Stolojan : There are persons who have an interest for Romania not to join the EUR zone

Romania’s joining the EUR zone is a need, according to PD-L prime vice president, Theodor Stolojan, cited by Mediafax. According to Stolojan, this is not something to be entrusted for general opinion, since some may have interests that we do not join this zone too soon. “We would have experienced less pain during this time of crisis, an aspect already proved by the Member States which belong to EUR zone, and I would like to underline that joined the EU within the same wave with us, Slovakia namely, which was keen on pursuing its interest. It neither had better terms, nor had it experienced more difficult issues during transition and it joined EUR zone on January 1”, Stolojan said. He explained that Romania’s joining the EUR zone means “clarity in all economic aspects”. PD-L leader, Emil Boc, said one week ago, that the deadline until which Romania had to adopt EUR remained 2014, which may be advanced forward should this be the case.

Cluj-Napoca International Airport infrastructure upgrading

Cluj Napoca International Airport is closed for flights over May 2- 5, because works are in progress during this time period in relation to the airport infrastructure, Tarom company informed, cited by Realitatea.net Cluj County allotted, in 2009, RON 4,450,000 for the projects foreseen by Cluj Napoca International Airport. All the domestic flights shall be operated from Targu Mures International Airport, less RO650 Cluj – Bucharest on May 2, which is operated based on unchanged schedule. Also, on May 6, the flight RO650 Cluj – Bucharest is cancelled, and the passengers are rebooked to TAROM flight Targu Mures – Bucharest on the same day.All the international flights shall be operated on Targu Mures – Bucharest – external destination and return. On May 6, the flights Cluj – Bologna and Cluj – Madrid take off with a delay of one hour as against the normal schedule.

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Nemirschi: ‘Rabla’ programme may be expanded to companies

The ‘Rabla’ programme may be expanded to include legal entities in June, Environment Minister Nicolae Nemirschi has stated in Bistrita recently according to Agerpres. The minister noted that the results of the programme had not been satisfactory so far this year, for which reason he had thought to allow companies to renew their fleets with some limitations. Minister Nemirschi says the Ministry of Finance is now expected to give its opinion on the matter to see if the RON 3,800 subsidy an old car owner now receives is state aid or not. The scrapping premium this year is RON 800 bigger than last year, and, to be eligible, a vehicle needs to be at least ten years old. The Environment Ministry was expecting to scrap about 60,000 old cars through the ‘Rabla’ programme in 2009. The Government measure is designed to boost new vehicle sales and phase out old and polluting ones. The scrapping premium is paid one time and is deducted from the purchasing price of a new passenger vehicle bought from one of the accredited sellers.

Fiat 500- the best design in 2009

Fiat 500 was selected the winner of the best design category, within this year edition of World Car Design of the Year, which took place in New York, Agerpres informs. “Fiat style is an emotional, real and really impact oriented, in a world of cars dominated by cold features and by a very rigid design”, according to Tom Matano, manager of Industrial Design School within San Francisco Art Academy.

Fiat 500 was not the only Italian automotive model that received the attention of the American experts. In 2007, Fiat Grande Punto was among the three finalists in the same specialist show room.

Fiat 500 was nominated Car of the Year 2008 in Europe, after having acquired 385 points from a jury consisting of 58 automotive experts from 22 countries. Mazda 2 came second, followed by Ford Mondeo and by Kia C’eed.

GM Headed for the Chop Shop?

The clock is ticking down yet again on General Motors. The New York Times leads its business coverage today with an exclusive saying, “The Treasury Department is directing General Motors to lay the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing by a June 1 deadline,” even if the carmaker thinks it can reorganize outside of bankruptcy court. President Obama’s automotive task force is preparing the company for worst-a “surgical” bankruptcy, should it fail to resolve its negotiations with those carrying $28 billion in GM debt and with the unions, the newspaper writes, citing sources in the know. One scenario under discussion is to break GM up into two companies-a good one, purveying the most desirable brands, that would be acquired immediately after filing for bankruptcy, and a second with a junk pile of less beloved brands, plus debt, that would be wind down over time. Which GM brands could go? The speculation has been high in recent days that Pontiac and Buick “might not survive,” CNNMoney.com reports. Goldman Sachs is wrapping up a $5.5 billion fund to buy up private equity on the cheap from pension funds and endowments looking to reduce their exposure, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times report this morning. According to the WSJ, it would be the largest fund of its kind ever raised; Goldman had raised four previous funds of this kind with a cumulative value of USD6 billion in recent months. Goldman’s Vintage V fund, the FT explains, is designed to buy investors’ holdings in private-equity and buy-out funds. (Reuters)

Ford participation in Automobile Craiova is 96.51 pc currently

On Friday, Ford continued to buy shares in Automobile Craiova (AUCS), purchasing orders from the market accounting for 0.88 per cent of the company capital, against RON 2.9 M, so that the participation of the American automotive producer has reached 96.51 per cent. According to Mediafax, the company paid RON 17.5 (EUR 4.2) for each of the 167,861 shares of Automobile Craiova bought on Friday. The price is similar to the one paid on Thursday by Ford to SIF Oltenia (SIF 5) for a participation accounting for 22.85 per cent of Automobile Craiova equities. This quotation is close to the price that the State had received from Ford, which was EUR 4.16/share, when the major participation was sold.The American group Ford became a major shareholder in Automobile Craiova in September 2007, when they bought 72.4 per cent of the company capital, from the Romanian State, against EUR 57 M.

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Wider budgetary deficit in March to 1.54 pc of GDP

The preliminary data released by Finances indicate that the budgetary deficit widened to up to 1.54 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at the end of March, from 0.63 per cent of GDP after the first two months, The Money Channel informs. The rationale is that the revenues declined by 6.9 per cent. Thus, the general consolidated general budget deficit amounted to RON 8.2 bln. (EUR 1.92 bln.), at the end of the first quarter, which accounts for 1.54 per cent of this year GDP, currently estimated at RON 531.25 bln. In April, the fiscal balance is expected to improve, as Finance Ministry estimates, which expect higher revenues from the profit tax. “

Hidrosind union unhappy with the restructuring of the electric energy production

The reorganization of the electricity production through the establishment of hydro – thermal entities result in higher prices for energy and entails bankruptcy, according to union leaders, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ informs. The intention of the authorities to restructure the electric energy production in Romania without prior information to people and to stakeholders led to Hidrosind union discontent – a union consisting of Hidroelectrica employees. According to Ilie Rosu, union leader, Ministry of Economy wishes to present, in the next session of Country Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) an energy strategy by which the electricity production is reorganized. The union members said that they would wait until an official document is produced to confirm this measure, and then protests and marches are foreseen. If the former government initiated one national energy company, within which Turceni, Rovinari, Hidroelectrica and Electrica plants are included, which has been recently rejected by Parliament, the new government wants to have two, four or several entities, which will be further on privatised, as Minister Videanu informed.

Baneasa Airport registered 18% passenger traffic growth

“Aurel Vlaicu” International Airport in Baneasa registered a 18% passenger traffic growth in the first quarter of this year, although, lately, the financial crisis has affected almost every airport in the country, Agerpres informs. Stefan Mladin, the manager of the airport, said that the airport taxes will not be raised this year, considering the fact that they had already been raised for 20%, at the close of the last year. In 2008, the airport registered 1,8 million passengers.

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