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Ladislau Boloni wins Belgian title with Standard Liege

Standard Liege, a team coached by Ladislau Boloni, has won the Belgium championship after defeating Anderlecht Brussels on Sunday evening, score 1-0. The game was the return leg of the playoff for the Belgian title. The first leg ended in a draw, score 1-1. Witsel scored the game’s only goal in the 39th minute, from a penalty kick. Standard has won the Belgian title for the second consecutive time and will qualify directly to the Champions League groups, being set to win a minimum of EUR 15 M for that feat. Anderlecht will play in the second preliminary round of the Champions League.

This is Boloni’s second title won as a coach. He previously won the Portuguese title with Sporting Lisbon in the 2001/2002 season. As a player he won three championship titles with Steaua.

Ladislau Boloni, born on March 11, 1953 in Targu Mures, has previously coached the Romanian national team, but also clubs such as Nancy, Rennes, AS Monaco and Al Jazeera. He became Standard Liege’s head coach in June 2008, managing to win the Belgian Supercup at the start of the season and the Belgian title on Sunday evening.

Swiss Busacca to referee Champions League final

LONDON – Swiss Massimo Busacca will referee Wednesday’s Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona, UEFA said yesterday. The 40-year-old will be taking charge of his first Champions League final, having officiated at the 2007 UEFA Cup final and the Euro 2008 semi-final between Germany and Turkey.

He is no stranger to Manchester United, having been the referee for this season’s quarter-final, second leg against Porto. Busacca will be assisted by his fellow countrymen Matthias Arnet and Francesco Buragina. The fourth official will be Claudio Circhetta, also from Switzerland.

Williams F1 team submit entry for 2010

Former champions Williams have become the first current Formula One team to sign up for the 2010 championship despite an ongoing standoff over the regulations that has left Ferrari threatening to quit.
Responding to a tipoff to Reuters from another source, Williams chief executive Adam Parr confirmed the entry on Monday but stressed the team remained committed to the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA). “The unity of FOTA is of paramount importance to Williams,” he told Reuters. “Yesterday we joined the other members of FOTA in writing to the FIA (International Automobile Federation) to request a continuing effort to find a compromise concerning the regulations for 2010.”

Romanian Embassy: Linking the term ‘Romanian Gypsy’ with Mircea Lucescu reinforces the public’s confusion

The Romanian Embassy in Rome has issued at the end of last week a press release that points out that the term ‘Romanian Gypsy’ used in the article on Mircea Lucescu was unfavourable because that term could reinforce the public opinion’s confusion. ‘Regarding the article published by Milan’s ‘Il Giornale’ daily on May 21, 2009 and the position taken by the Romanian Embassy in Italy, we point out that the latter mainly targeted the daily’s frequently tendentious approach when it comes to Romanian citizens. The Embassy’s reaction came in support of Mircea Lucescu as a Romanian citizen, not as a football head coach. The article’s use of the term ‘Romanian Gypsy’ (‘zingaro romeno’) was not quite favourable, considering that this term can automatically reinforce the public opinion’s confusion’ reads a note released at the end of last week by the Romanian Embassy.

According to the quoted source, the previously used terms invoked in the reply published by ‘Il Giornale’ are irrelevant.

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Arges Prefect asks the Court to cancel District 4 mayor’s driving license

Bucharest District 4 Mayor Cristian Popescu-Piedone has to hand in his driving license. The Arges Prefect has informed that, yesterday, he had asked the Court to cancel Piedone’s driving license because there were suspicions that he obtained it illegally. The Prefect also said the driving license suspending order would be served to the mayor’s address, Agerpres informs. ‘He obtained his driving license in all possible categories on the same date. The procedure through which he had obtained the temporary domicile visa did not meet all the legal requirements,’ said the Prefect of Arges County. ‘I have signed the suspension order and posted it as registered mail. Mr. Cristian Popescu-Piedone will have five days as of the receipt of the letter to submit his driving license to the nearest police station’’ says Marcel Proca. C. P. Piedone on the other hand says he has received no formal notice and that, should receive any, he will consult his lawyer about suing the State.

Retezat Park granted award by Council of Europe

The Retezat Park was selected on Sunday, on European Parks’ Day, as one of the most important protected natural areas in Europe. The award was granted by the council of Europe, at the Academy House in Bucharest. According to Mediafax, the event was organized on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the first national parks in Europe, in Sweden, in 1909. In Romania, the first national park was the one of Retezat, in 1935, on the former hunting field of the Royal House. In 2008, the Canadian foundation New7Wonders launched a world campaign that granted all people of the world the chance to vote for locations that may be considered the new seven wonders of the world. After the preliminary round, that totalized over 100 million votes, Retezat was the only Romanian location that qualified for the second round. The voting for the second round will be opened until July 7, 2007. Those who want to vote for the Retezat National Park may access the website www.new7-wonders.com.

Bucharest mayoralty to invest EUR 10 M in modernization of tramlines

The Mayoralty of Bucharest (PMB) will invest approximately RON 43 million (EUR 10.1 million) in the modernization of Bucharest tramlines, works that were planned for the forthcoming 16 months, in 2009 and 2010, according to a draft resolution that will be submitted to the General Council of Bucharest (CGMB) on Wednesday. According to The Money Channel, 37 conventional pieces and 2,628 kilometres of tramlines will be replaced on the Bucurestii Noi Blvd., at the junction of Dristor and Camil Ressu Street, at the intersection of 11 Iunie Street and Pr. Istrate Street, at the Zetari final stop and at the Lacul Tei final stop.

Child dies in roma camp site fire in France

A Romanian roma child died on Saturday in a fire in a disused warehouse in Bobigny (Seine-Saint Denis) France, that had been a home to nearly 200 roma for a few weeks, ‘20minutes’ publication reports, Mediafax informed on Monday. The fire started at about 1 PM on Saturday. Several cabins and caravans caught fire and some gas cylinders exploded.

Traffic dispute leads to gunfire

The incident took place on May 23 in downtown Timisoara and was sparked by an overtaking. One of the drivers used a club, the other resorting to a gas pistol. The row that included two gunshots was eventually settled by the police. The two drivers involved in the incident have different versions on what happened. According to Realitatea TV, both drivers were taken to a police precinct.

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Nastase corruption file postponed until June 16

High Court magistrates decided yesterday to postpone until June 16 discussions on the “Quality Trophy” file, in which former PM Adrian Nastase is accused of illegal use of position while he was head of the Social-Democrat Party in order to raise funds for the 2004 election campaign. The file was deferred because the defence did not have enough time to view all the video recordings that are part of the prosecution’s evidence against Nastase. This was the fourth time the file was postponed. The case was first sent to court on February 26.

When leaving the court, Nastase showed reporters a document about the “Fleet” case which reportedly shows that President Traian Basescu brought over USD 80 M in losses to the state. Inquiries against Basescu in the case were suspended after he became president.

When asked to comment on the accusations against him, Nastase said the “Quality Trophy” is a political file and the only reason he was charged in the case is that he was the party’s runner for president in 2004. “My only guilt is that, at the time, PSD’s candidate for president was not George Bush but Adrian Nastase. If it had been George W. Bush, then he would be the one in court today.”

The court’s decision came as on Sunday, ex Justice Minister Monica Macovei, currently an MEP candidate for the Democrat-Liberal Party, criticised PSD and the Liberals for “blocking files and protecting their corrupt”.

Criminal and civil codes go today under public debate

The MPs members of the legal profession, the civil society and other empowered institutions will start the first consultations over the draft of the criminal and civil codes. Victor Ponta, the minister for Parliament liaison, announced yesterday that a first meeting takes place today in order to make some completions to the two projects. “Tomorrow (Tuesday – editor’s note) we have the first major meeting with all those who participated to the elaboration of the codes, public institutions, non-governmental organizations and professional associations. We shall separate into two categories, criminal and civil, and we shall see whether there are any things to remedy, we shall try it further. My great hope is that so far the public debate has been made through the media, which is the main vehicle, and hopefully what is written will be however correct,” Ponta declared, quoted by Antena 3.

Ponta avoided stressing whether a date was set for the Government to assume responsibility over the two projects. “It is the decision of Prime Minister,” the president of the sub-commission on the Criminal Code said.

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Romania’s car scrap program sees slow progress

Romanian authorities sold 10,948 out of total 20,000 cars available in the first stage of the national car scrap program by May 22, a week before the stage ends, the Environment Fund Administration, said Monday, according to Mediafax. More than half of the cars sold, namely 5,193 units, are Dacia made, followed by Renault and Nissan, which sold together 1,040 units. Through the “Junk Car” program, Romania aims to replace 60,000 old cars in its national fleet by the end of 2009, in a move to reduce pollution and boost the car industry. The authorities offer a scrap bonus of RON 3,800 per vehicle to car owners who wish to trade their old cars for new ones.

Allianz-Tiriac: Accusations made by ASSAI, unfounded

Romanian insurer Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari claims that the accusations made by the auto services association present no real elements pointing towards a law breach. The independent services company association (ASSAI) sent yesterday a press release announcing that several institutions received complaints from their members and accusing the insurer of breaking the law. Marius Onofrei, communications and PR director with Allianz, stressed that ASSAI has no right to ascertain irregularities in the activity of an insurer. ASSAI announced this morning that it informed the insurance market watchdog CSA about the illegal documents and operations performed by Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari.

Carrefour sales down by almost 20 pc

Sales in Carrefour sales are down up to 20 per cent January through May of 2009, against the year-earlier period, according to the management at the Arad-based hypermarket. According to the Carrefour Arad director, Nicolae Drimbu, the drop was more drastic in the non-foods departments, Mediafax reports, quoting Drimbu as saying that ‘At stake is not preeminently a decline in the number of overall customers, but in turnover. The flow of customers has remained the same in the Carrefour chain of stores yet the customers buy less. The average basket has fallen and customers are clearly leaning towards the low-priced products,’ Drimbu said.

ANRM negotiates inclusion of Romgaz to Black Sea oil agreement

Sterling Resources yesterday started negotiating with the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM) the inclusion of Romgaz to the agreement for the operation of the oil fields in the Black Sea that are currently the concession of the Canadian company, said ANRM President Gelu Maracineanu, according to the Money Channel TV. He noted that, the following week, he would write and send to the Government a draft government decision cancelling the provisions of Government Decision No. 1446/2008 sanctioning additional deed number 11 to the agreement with Sterling. According to him, the negotiation is not going to take more than a month, perhaps a month and a half. At the end of April, the president of the agency had said the additional deed number 11 to the agreement between Sterling and ANRM might be rescinded, meaning that the State could receive 45 per cent of the gas extracted by Sterling in the Black Sea through its future representative in the agreement – Romgaz.

CC investigates therapeutic mineral water market in Baile Olanesti

Following a complaint, the Competition Council (CC) has started an investigation into the market for the provision of therapeutic mineral water at Baile Olanesti, the object being a possible abuse of dominant position by the Olanesti Riviera company, according to a press release signed by the Council and quoted by HotNews. The Competition Council is trying to determine if the company’s refusal to give access to the therapeutic mineral water resources at Baile Olanesti could be the abusive conduct of a company in a dominant position. The abuse of the dominant position held by one or several economic operators on the Romanian market or on a substantial part of the Romanian market, by the resort to anti-competitive practices the object or possible effect of which is the disturbance of the economic activity or of the consumers is a violation under the competition law and is punished by fine representing up to 10 per cent of the total turnover of the company in the previous financial year, the communiqué further reads.

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Cugir Works to hire 100 persons next month

In full economic crisis, Uzina Mecanica from Cugir is hiring workers. Since it cannot cope with the orders, the managers of the plant decided, according to Realitatea TV, to hire back around 100 workers, both in the plant and the weapon factory. This happens, after 100 persons had been laid off last year for lack of contracts. Moreover, the employees will receive also bonuses, besides the salaries. The employees of Uzina Mecanica from Cugir, Alba County, will receive also meal vouchers. The decision was made by the special administrator of the plant, and will be applicable since June. Presently, 700 workers are still working at the plant from Cugir.

Metal products from Mechel Campia Turzii for Transylvania expressway

The American company Bechtel could use on the site of Transylvania expressway metal products supplied by the plant Mechel Campia Turzii, the prefect of Cluj County, Florin Stamatian, announced yesterday, after his meeting at the Prefecture with the representatives of the two firms. Florin Stamatian declared after the meeting with the representatives of the two firms, that he awaits an answer until Thursday, Mediafax correspondent reports.

Protest of Celrom Drobeta Turnu-Severin employees in front of AVAS Bucharest offices

The employees of the company Celrom Drobeta Turnu-Severin came yesterday to Bucharest, furious that the administration had not paid their salaries in the last five months. The mayor of Drobeta Turnu-Severin also attended the protest. The employees of Celrom, the former pulp and paper plant from Drobeta Turnu-Severin, protested also at the beginning of February, discontent that the restarting of the activity was postponed again and they had not received their salaries since September 2008. Celrom interrupted the operations on December 22, 2008, all the 800 employees being sent on holiday until January 12. On January 13, when they had to resume work, the people learnt that the operations could not be started for lack of money to buy the raw material. In November 2008, the paper and cardboard maker Celrom SA requested from the Authority for the State Assets Resolution (AVAS) an individual state aid for the continuation of the activity of the company, or a bank guarantee letter necessary to obtain a bank loan.

25 years since the official opening of the Danube – Black Sea canal

There are today 25 years since the official opening of the Danube – Black Sea canal, the third longest canal in the world, after Suez and Panama, which connects the ports of Cernavoda and Constanta Sud, reducing by around 400 km the route of the commodities from the Black Sea to the Center of Europe. The Danube – Black Sea canal connects the ports of Cernavoda, on the Danube, and Constanta Sud at the Black Sea, reducing by around 400 km the route of the commodities from the Black Sea to the center of Europe and by around 4,000 km the route covered by the commodities from Australia and the Far East destined to Central Europe, according to Mediafax. “During the festivities, there will be several events to which officials from Romania and abroad will be invited,” the general manager of the national company “Administratia Canalelor Navigabile” SA Constanta, Valentin Zaicu, stressed.

Interim chief at Euroins Romania, further to general manager’s death

The general manager of Euroins Romania (the former Asitrans), Bogdanel Petrisor Stan, who has been suffering from a serious disease, died last week, the interim chief of the company being now the deputy general manager Andrei Gluvacov. Stan started his activity at Euroins Romania in April 2002, two years later being appointed at the head of the company. The shareholders of the insurer are Euroins Insurance Group PLC (Bulgaria) – 84.87 per cent, and several natural and legal persons who control together titles representing 15.13 per cent of the share capital.

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Delta Air Lines and Air France launch Bucharest-New York flight

On June 2, 2009, Delta Air Lines and Air France are introducing a direct flight between the Henri Coanda Bucharest International Airport and the JFK New York Airport, the only direct flight currently connecting the two airports, according to a press release signed by the two airlines. The direct flight between the two destinations, operated by Delta Air Lines, is part of the joint venture agreement between Delta Air Lines and Air France – KLM. The passengers can benefit from a special Delta and Air France economy return fare of EUR 497.94 including taxes if the ticket is purchased before June 9, 2009, for flights between June 2 and 30. For passengers who wish to fly the BusinessElite class, delta offers a special price of EUR 2,192.94 including taxes, for flights between June 2 and September 30, 2009. The offer expires on June 9, the duration between the departure and the return date has to be over a week and tickets must be bought 14 days in advance. Fares can be booked with travel agents, Delta or Air France and online on delta.com or airfrance.ro. The Air France KLM group has over 100,000 employees, flies 74 million passengers to 248 destinations worldwide every year and operates a fleet of 621 aircraft.

Bucharest-Amsterdam Tarom flights to be resumed in June

After a five-year lull, Tarom will resume from June 6 daily flights on the route Bucharest-Amsterdam, the Romanian air carrier announced yesterday. Tarom and Dutch airline KLM signed a cooperation agreement to come into effect June 1, allowing the two air carriers to expand their offer to customers operating own flights on routes serviced by the other partner. Passengers will have available four daily flights from Bucharest to Amsterdam, as the Romanian offer will be augmented by three Dutch-operated flights.Under the Tarom-KLM cooperation agreement, flights operated the Dutch airline company may also cover Tarom routinely operated flights to Iasi, Timisoara, Cluj and Sibiu.

Udrea: It is a rather bad moment for privatisation

This period is rather inappropriate for privatisation, declared yesterday, at the opening of Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) the Tourism Minister Elena Udrea, but she said she was happy that the firms can obtain funds through their listing with the Stock Exchange, Mediafax informs. “Hopefully, the investors from Tourism will be listed with Bucharest Stock Exchange and their quotations will rise. For some companies from the portfolio of the Tourism Ministry we shall think to their privatization right through Bucharest Stock Exchange. We want to privatise these companies in this way if an analysis that we shall make in this respect shows that it is opportune. It is a bad moment for privatization, but the tourism companies can find such funding,” Elena Udrea said, Agerpres reports. “We would like to remain shareholders of some of them, while for others we are thinking to privatise them through the Stock Exchange. I am glad to learn that it is possible to obtain funds through their listing with the Stock Exchange because we need investments,” the tourism minister added, saying also that the institution which she manages has in its portfolio 12 companies in which it has participations, The BVB President Stere Farmache explained minister Udrea the advantages of the listing, especially in this period, in which the access to credits has become more difficult, and the Stock Exchange can be an alternative to the companies for obtaining funds.

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