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November 18, 2019
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NEWS IN BRIEF

Basescu attended Peony Festival in Sibiu


President Traian Basescu, his wife Maria Basescu and the Liberal – Democrat Deputy of Sibiu, Raluca Turcan arrived on Sunday at noon at Gura Raului, where the Peony Festival was organized. The Head of the State and his wife were offered a bouquet of peonies and a traditional Romanian costume from Marginimea Sibiului. Basescu refused to taste tuica (plum brandy) from Gura Raului, and preferred to make pictures with the inhabitants of Sibiu, who had gathered in front of the church.


Pope Benedict XVI wants to visit Romania


Marius Gabriel Lazurca, the Romanian Ambassador to the Vatican, has stated in an interview for theepochtimes.com, that Pope Benedict XVI wants to visit Romania and plans to honour the invitation that President Traian Basescu gave to him, Agerpres informs. On May 7, 1999 Pope John Paul II paid a historical visit to Romania, with that visit being the first time in a thousand years when a Pope visited a predominantly-Orthodox country. A decade later, Pop Benedict XVI expressed his desire to visit Romania. However, that will be possible only after the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church visits Italy. The Romanian Orthodox Church has to visit the Vatican first and to invite the Pope.


Government employee, shot by boyfriend


Roxana Lupu, aged 28, referent with the Prognosis Committee to the Romanian Government, lost her right eye after she was shot by her boyfriend Constantin Stoica, aged 32. The incident occurred in the night of Thursday to Friday, in the Militari neighbourhood of Bucharest, according to the daily paper ‘Adevarul.’ At approximately 23.30, after a fight, Stoica hit Lupu, who fell on the bed, tried to asphyxiate her with a pillow then shot her in the head with a non-lethal pistol. The young woman was immediately carried to the Ophthalmology Clinical Hospital, but the doctors could not save her right eye. Stoica declared to police officers that all he wanted was to scare the girl, and the whole thing was an accident.


Supreme Court rules Popoviciu can leave the country


The Supreme Court decided on Friday that the businessman Gabriel Popoviciu can leave the country. Popoviciu is investigated by the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Division (DNA) in a case in which he had allegedly taken over, in 2000, through association, an under-assessed land, from the University of Agronomy. The solution is final, the Supreme Court rejecting DNA’s recourse.


Romanian drug trafficker sentenced to death in China


Three Romanian citizens were allegedly arrested in China for possession of drugs, with one of them being allegedly sentenced to death. The information was published on Friday by the ‘Monitorul de Suceava’ daily that quotes sources from within the structures that fight against organized crime. The journalists claim that three young Romanians were arrested in China, with one of them being already sentenced to death. The latter allegedly wrote a letter to his parents in Suceava, asking them to forgive him and to collect money in order to repatriate his body after the execution.

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Basescu got angry with Americans?


President Traian Basescu turned down the invitation of the Embassy of the United States of America to Romania at the festivity for the celebration of the National Day. The Head of State blamed the full agenda, but, according to diplomatic sources quoted by “Cotidianul,” through his absence Traian Basescu would like to convey a signal a discontent to Washington with the delayed sending of an appointed ambassador after the departure, almost a year ago, of the former chief of the diplomatic mission of the United States of American to Bucharest, Nicholas Taubman. The new American Ambassador, Mark Gitenstein, is expected to assume the position after the diplomatic holiday, which closes on September 1.


According to the same daily, the President of Romania did not have on Thursday, at 19.00 h, the time for the ceremony organized by the US Embassy, the official agenda transmitted to the media already on Wednesday evening and posted subsequently on the Internet page of the Presidential Administration informed. At 20.00 h., the same official agenda of the Head of State stipulated the strictly protocol reception of the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu.


The daily ‘7 plus’ found another explanation for the refusal of President to participated to the celebration of the National Day of the United States, namely that the “change” proposed by Barack Obama has changed also the way in which America regards Romania through the eyes of President Basescu. The journalists from ‘7 plus’ also believe that Basescu feels this and reacts in his personal style.


SPP deals with… health too


The preventive medicine component of the Center for Diagnosis, Ambulatory Treatment and Preventive Medicine, a center subordinated to the Ministry of National Defense and the Romanian Academy, will be transferred to the MoD, with the medical assistance offered to Romanian and foreign officials set to be organized and coordinated by the Protection and Security Service (SPP) and offered by the ‘Carol Davila’ Military Hospital, Mediafax informs.


The provisions are included in an emergency ordinance approved by the Government. The MoD’s budget will finance emergency medical services and equipment for dignitaries, for the members of their delegations, in the country and abroad, as well as for the Romanian officials’ ‘compulsory medical checks’ other than those provisioned by the framework-contract or the norms of the health insurance companies.


It is worth pointing out that this is the first time when the SPP assumes such a mission, a mission that had always belonged to the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment set up in 1990. According to some sources the adoption of the emergency ordinance was caused by the SPP’s current leadership’s preoccupation with being informed with the state of health of all officials. According to the Center of Diagnosis, such a thing would not be possible without their agreement.

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Patriarch Daniel, honourary citizen of Timisoara


Patriarch Daniel received on Saturday the title of honourary citizen of Timisoara, from the mayor of the city, Gheorghe Ciuhandu, to whom he said that besides the honour of receiving this title, he accepts also its “responsibility.”


“I thank you for this honourary title that must be understood not only as an honour, but also as a responsibility. For us (the Church – editor’s note), this honour means also a call to responsibility, to helping this region. We haven’t received so far any letter to inform us about the problems of this place, but if we are ever requested to help we shall answer that we shall work here,” Patriarch Daniel said. The Patriarch stated that the country must be united in these moments of crisis that can be exceeded only through collaboration, communication, but especially solidarity. In his turn, the mayor of Timisoara, Gheorghe Ciuhandu, declared that Daniel received the title of honorary citizen of Timisoara because he is the first patriarch given by Banat. “However, through this title, the Romanian Orthodox Church will hopefully support to a greater extent this area, because the national authorities deprive Banat of very many rights,” Ciuhandu said.


Gheorghe Pogea and Gheorghe Stefan sack PD-L Vaslui leadership.


The leadership of PD-L Vaslui has been sacked on Saturday in the presence of Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea as a consequence of the poor results it registered in the EP elections, with MP Dragos Iftimie being appointed the new president. Corneliu Mihalache, the former president of PD-L Vaslui, was revoked during a meeting attended by Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea, who was appointed in charge of the party branch, and by Gheorghe Stefan, the PD-L’s regional coordinator. ‘The responsibilities are significant. We have to regroup our forces and to try to rebuild a team. I have set the obtaining of a better result during the Presidential elections as an immediate goal. In fact I could state that this is the top priority. We could consider that we are already in the midst of the campaign. Time is short, we are part of the government during a time of crisis and, in this context, our efforts have to be doubled,’ Iftimie stated on Saturday.


Ombudsman allows Gov’t to modify laws before they go into effect


The Ombudsman rejected PNL’s request to notify the Constitutional Court over the disagreement with the fundamental law of the ordinance which confers Government the right to abrogate laws. According to ‘Cotidianul,’ the Ombudsman, Ioan Muraru, declared on Friday, at the symposium organized by the Lawmen’s Guild from Romania – “Relations of the European jurisdictions with the national jurisdictions” – that he had already conveyed to PNL an answer to the notice submitted by Crin Antonescu, in which he shows that “a conflict of non-constitutionality is out of question.” PNL had notified on June 16 the Ombudsman in connection with the Governmental Emergency Ordinance no. 61/2009 which allows Government to abrogate laws.

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Eurostat: Romania ranks the 3rd within EU on retail advance.


The retail volume dropped, in May 2009, compared to the previous month, by 0.4 per cent within the EUR zone (EA 16) and by 0.5 per cent within the European Union (EU 27), only four Member States (Romania, Latvia, Germany and Belgium) posing an advance in retail, according to the data presented on Friday by the European Statistics Office (Eurostat). In May 2009, compared to the previous month, retail dropped in 12 EU Member States and it advanced in only four countries. The most significant drops were registered in Lithuania and Austria (both with minus 1.8 per cent), Slovakia (minus 1.7 per cent), Bulgaria, Denmark and Sweden (all three with minus 1.1 per cent). At the opposite side, the most significant advances were registered in Latvia (0.9 per cent), Belgium (0.6 per cent), Germany and Romania (both with 0.4 per cent). Within Member States, retail dropped in 14 countries, Romania included, and it advanced only in Sweden (2.2 per cent) and in Poland (0.4 per cent). The most significant drops were registered in Latvia (minus 24.6 per cent), Lithuania (minus 19.9 per cent), Slovenia (minus 13.4 per cent), Slovakia (minus 12.6 per cent) and Romania (minus 11.7 per cent).


.Blue Air to buy 15 Boeing aircraft


The Romanian fully owned lo cost air carrier Blue Air shall buy 15 Boeing 737 – 800 and 737 – 900 aircraft, worth USD 1 bln, catalogue value, in order to consolidate their position in Europe, as recently declared by Gheorghe Racaru, strategy manager of the holding that Blue Air is part of, owned by the businessman Nelu Iordache, Agerpres informs. “We started talks with Boeing on the acquisition of 15 aircraft, Boeing 737 – 800 and 737 – 900, with five options, depending on capacity, from 189 to 213 seats, the catalogue value being USD 1 bln, but we shall pay slightly less. This is an action meant to consolidate our position in Europe. We shall probably have to pay EUR 10 M down payment when we sign the contract, which happens in one month or one month and a half, and the deliveries are made within three to five years,” Gheorghe Racaru said.


He said that the downpayment would be paid from Blue Air own funds, and the company shall subsequently approach financial institutions for loans.


MT: Romania and Cyprus to establish tourism cooperation committee


Tourism Minister Elena Udrea and Antonis Paschalides, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Republic of Cyprus, agreed on Friday, in Bucharest, on the establishment of a Romanian – Cypriote committee of cooperation in tourism, in order to boost the development of bilateral relations in this sector, Ministry of Tourism informs, cited by Agerpres. Elena Udrea indicated that Romania has several things to offer to potential tourists from Republic of Cyprus, mainly in the field of spa tourism, and hunting and fishing tourism respectively. Antonis Paschalides said that the Government he represented regards Romania as a strategic partner for Republic of Cyprus and there is a special interest towards the identification of a joint development framework of tourism, meant to be advantageous for both countries. On the same occasion, Elena Udrea was assured that Romania could count on the support of Republic of Cyprus as to the accession of our country into the World Tourism Organization.

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2,000 employees from the mining sector to be laid off


Nearly 2,000 employees of the mining sector, as well as from electric energy companies active in mining, namely energy plants from Oltenia, could be made redundant in 2009–2010, according to the estimations of Alexandru Patruti, State Secretary with the Ministry of Economy, Agerpres informs. Each company active in the field, such as Oltenia National Lignite Company (SNLO), Rovinari, Turceni energy plants, shall present a restructuring program providing for the redundancies. “Each plan shall be adopted separately by government decision,” Alexandru Patruti said. The employees laid off shall receive severance payments until the end of 2012, on the basis of the normative act approved by the Executive. In addition, the union members from CFR Marfa Company believe that a solution to settle the difficulties experienced by the sector would be to have the heavy commodity transport switched from public roads to the railways, based on the pattern from other EU countries. CFR Marfa made redundant, on temporary basis, for three months, 7,000 employees in order to reduce company expenditures, which is affected by the financial crisis, said Calin Gratian, general manager.


Sarbu: No fears as to the payment of salaries until end of the year


Labour Minister, Marian Sarbu, reiterated, within a media conference held this Friday, in Iasi, he had no fears currently, starting from concrete facts that problems might appear, until end of the year as t the payment of salaries and pensions. “I hope we manage to pay, until the end of the year, on regular basis, pensions, salaries and state allowances and anything else under the general name of state expenditures. These ones, based on a preference ranking unanimously accepted, are first to be paid or, in any case, the last ones when there is a talk as to cuts or reductions of budget allowances,” Marian Sarbu said. He specified that each credit coordinator has, at its disposal, in relation to salaries, a legal tool which enables payment of some of the bonuses within maximal limits, thus providing the possibility to fit into the budgets approved.

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