Calin Gratian resigned from the leadership of CFR Marfa

CFR Marfa managing director, Calin Gratian, resigned from office, as on August 1 he was appointed manager for development and strategy at the Romanian branch of the Austrian operator Rail Cargo, Mediafax informs. The deputy managing director of CFR Marfa, Mihai Frasinoi, provides the interim management of the company. “Until Transport Minister appoints a new managing director at CFR Marfa, Frasinoi secures the interim management of the company as of August 1,” sources from the railway market said on Friday. Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Radu Berceanu, appointed Gratian managing director of CFR Marfa in March. Previously, Gratian provided interim management of the company following Berceanu having dismissed, at the end of last year, the former head of the good transport carrier, Liviu Bobar.

BCR reduced deposit interests

Banca Comerciala Romana reduced, as of last Friday, the interests charged to saving products, both for individuals and for companies, based on a company press release, Agerpres informs. Thus, in case of RON deposits for individuals, the decrease is reaching 1.4 per cent, and in case of foreign currency down by 0.5 per cent, depending on the amount and time period. In case of EUR savings, the maximum interest is 3.50 per cent, for installments over EUR 10,000 maturing in 12 months. Starting August 1, BCR has two promotional offers over a limited period of time: for six month RON deposits, bearing a fix interest, the discounted interest is 10 per cent per year, regardless the installment, and for EUR six month deposits, bearing a fix interest, the discounted interest is 3.50 per cent per year, regardless the installments. It is also as of July 31 that the discounted interests at RON standard deposits for legal entities were adjusted in a range from 2 to 2.2 per cent, and in case of EUR standard deposits, the range was between 0.25 per cent and 0.50 per cent.

Competition Council pampers hypermarkets

Competition Council (CC) delays the investigation in hypermarkets to analyze the foodstuff trading, according to newspaper ‘Ziua’. Following Declaration 88 of the European Parliament which asked for measures to prevent the establishment of a monopoly of hypermarkets in relation to clients and suppliers, CC in Romania initiated, in its turn, its own investigation in the retail sector. Yet, the issue seems to be buried. CC investigation started in 2008 and it was scheduled to complete in 2009, but it extends at least until the fourth quarter of 2009. Thus, the suspicions of employers and unions in the agri-food industry are fed, based on the hypothesis that political pressures are put on officials not to upset hypermarkets and not to adopt the ‘Good Practice Code.’ The code is an agreement between suppliers and hypermarkets which had to become law and it reduces he market dominant position of hypermarkets, particularly by phasing out taxes and contract conditions by which they were ruining suppliers, such as the charge for opening a new store, the charge for packages for promotions, pre-paid discounts.

Hot weather announces record grape harvests

The warm weather of this summer resulted in grapes ripping by almost one month earlier, and the absence of precipitation made grapes sweet and nicely scented, so that producers estimate a record wine quantity, according to ‘Evenimentul Zilei.’ In addition, according to vineyard owners, the production of 2009 shall have a high quality. Recas wine producers expect a total grape production of 6,000 tones, and up to 5 million tones of wine. “This heat, 31–32 degree during day and 18–19 degrees during night has set excellent conditions for vineyard ripping and grapes could accumulate sugar, flavours and colored substances, in case of red wine assortments. We expect an average harvest of 10 tones per hectare, a peak production that we reached in the last five year period,” said Gheorghe Iova, managing director of DSC Cramele Recas prod.

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CCSB: More than one third of Romanians would vote Basescu

More than one third of Romanians (37 per cent) would cast their vote for Traian Basescu, on behalf of PDL, in case presidential elections are scheduled next Sunday and Sorin Oprescu would not be among candidates, according to an opinion poll conducted by Sociological and branding Research Company (CCSB), during July 23–27.

Based on the poll 24.2 per cent of those interviewed would vote for Mircea Geoana (PSD + PC Alliance), 20.7 per cent for Crin Antonescu (PNL), 8.6 per cent for Corneliu Vadim Tudor (PRM), 6.4 per cent for Prince Radu (independent), 1.5 per cent for Nati Meir (independent), 1.5 per cent for Kelemen Hunor (UDMR).

Should presidential elections be scheduled next Sunday and Sorin Oprescu would be among candidates, then 34.4 per cent of Romanians would vote for Traian Basescu, 22.1 per cent for Mircea Geoana, 18.2 per cent for Crin Antonescu. Sorin Oprescu (independent) may win 9 per cent of votes, Corneliu Vadim Tudor – 8.1 per cent, Prince Radu – 5.3 per cent, Nati Meir – 1.4 per cent, Kelemen Hunor – 1.4 per cent. A share of 34 per cent of Romanians would vote for PSD + PC Alliance, with PDL accounting for 33 per cent of the votes in case general elections for Parliament are held next Sunday.

Based on the survey, 19 per cent of those investigated would vote for PNL, 7 per cent for PRM, 4 per cent for UDMR. PNG – CD and PNT – CD would each score one per cent of the votes.

Vadim collected 100,000 signatures to run for president

Great Romania Party (PRM) leader, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, informed this Friday, during a press conference, that he has collected, in only a few days, 100,000 signatures for presenting his candidature for the presidential elections.

“The campaign to collect signatures for supporting my candidature to the Republic presidency is in progress these days. All those with a sound thinking and who love their country look forward to me winning the power, to put an end to chaos, anarchy and disaster and to restore the country. Nearly 100,000 signatures were collected in a few days only, namely half of those needed,” said the PRM leader, quoted by Agerpres.

On the other side, he commented the results of a sociological analysis based on which all candidates for presidential elections could be affected by Sorin Oprescu possibly running for presidency, PRM leader added.

Doina Melinte, officially appointed MTS State Secretary

Doina Melinte was officially appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MTS) last Friday. According to Agerpres, the new State Secretary of MTS wishes to serve Romanian sport with devotion and competence, as she did throughout her entire career.

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The Summer Music Academy in Sighisoara

The sixteenth edition of the Summer Music Academy started on Saturday evening in Sighisoara. The agenda of the event includes concerts, conferences, various instrument-playing classes and chamber music classes. The event is due to take place until August 11, and will be attended by teachers from Romania and abroad, such as Mihaela Ursuleasa (piano, Vienna), Vera Fischer (flute, Vienna), Aloise Baehler (baroque flute, Madrid), Patricia de la Vega (piano, Madrid), Jurg Lietha (organ, Bern), etc. Throughout this week, the Synagogue of Sighisoara and the festive hall of the Mayoralty will host a series of concerts, featuring works by some of the greatest composers, such as Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Handel or Hector Parra.

Over 4,000 viewers at the Opera Promenade

The third edition of the Opera Promenade took place on Saturday night, on the esplanade located in front of the institution, and was attended by over 4,000 viewers who watched an open-air performance of famous opera arias authored by Verdi, Mozart, Bizet, Lehar, Strauss or Rossini. At the end of the two-hour show that included 22 works, all soloists joined their voices in order to perform “Brindisi” from Verdi’s “Traviata,” accompanied by the frantic applauses of the audience.

Norman Manea, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters

The Romania-based writer Norman Manea was offered the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from behalf of the French Ministry of Culture, the official website of Bard College, where he is presently attending a writer residence, announces. According to the announcement, Norman Manea was offered this title as an acknowledgement “of a great talent” and of a work that “has no place for concessions, a vigilant and humanist one.”

Romania to attend International Arts and Crafts Fair in Jerusalem

Romania will have a national stand entitled “Once Upon a Time” at the International Arts and Crafts Fair in Jerusalem, due to take place during August 3–15. Romania will be represented by the artists Ema Hagiu and Monika Paduret, members of the Visual Artists’ Union, acknowledged for their works inspired by Romanian stories, legends and fairy tales.

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Another situation of news paid with public money at Constanta City Hall

Constanta City Hall having Radu Mazare as Mayor bought this year, based on contracts, publicity services worth more than EUR 800,000. The contracts were won by one company: Soti Cable Neptun. The shareholders of the company who own the local TV company in Neptun are business partners of Radu Mazare, reports.

The company also won advertising contracts from the local authorities in Constanta County, led by the party colleagues of Mayor Mazare, who is also the leader of PSD county branch. Asked how and why the EUR 800,000 was given to the company Soti Cable Neptun, Mazare said: “Whom else could I give this money, to Realitatea TV?”

PSD leaders do not see a problem in the fact that the Mayor of Constanta municipality spent EUR 800,000 to buy positive news and images from a TV channel owned by his business partners. PSD spokesman Bogdan Niculescu–Duvaz said Radu Mazare could also spent EUR 8 M on news, as well. Other PSD leaders, such as Liviu Dragnea, Mircea Dusa, Gheorghe Zoicas or Ioan Stan, refrained from comments, saying that they did not hear about the contracts concluded by Mazare.

His Holiness Teodosie, investigated by Prosecutors

The Archbishop of Tomis was interrogated on Thursday at the Prosecutors Office of the Supreme Court, as part of the investigation for charges of bribe and complicity to intellectual forgery. His Holiness Teodosie is the first high Orthodox hierarch under legal investigation in the history of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

According to the daily paper “Ziua,” the priest arrived to the Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday in order to be interviewed after the controversial article published by the newspaper “Romania Libera.” According to the article, the priest allegedly demanded money and presents in return for helping an undercover reporter to achieve admission to the Theology University and to become a priest. The file was sent to the High Court of Cassation and Justice after the Constanta County Prosecutors Office declined competence in this case, due to the fact that Teodosie is a high prelate.

In the same case, Father Emil Cosmin Braescu, the Inspector of the Catechism Office, is also investigated on complicity to bribe-taking and intellectual forgery charges.

Doctors threaten not to grant reimbursed medicines

Doctors of nine Romanian countries have ceased to grant reimbursed medicines because they were not paid due sums by the health insurance companies. According to the Saturday issue of the daily paper “Evenimentul Zilei,” in the counties Suceava, Galati, Braila, Dambovita, Ilfov, Giurgiu, Prahova, Calarasi and Bihor, family doctors were not paid in due time for their services in June, the representatives of the family doctors’ associations announced. If the situation will not be solved as soon as possible, the doctors will be forced to stop granting free medical services to their patients, which would also include ceasing the prescription of reimbursed medicines. Moreover, doctors intend to sue health insurance companies.

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Elena Basescu’s ex boy friend involved in a serious road accident

Two cars collided violently this Saturday on Kiseleff Street. Four persons were taken to Floreasca Emergency Hospital and to Elias Hospital. One of the drivers involved in the accident seems to be the ex boy friend of Elena Basescu, according to police sources, cited by Realitatea TV. The two cars involved in the accident on Kiseleff, a Renault and a Bentley limousine, were heading from Piata Presei to Triumph Arch, the two drivers trying to annoy each other while driving, according to Capital Police speaker, Christian Ciocan. As Ciocan said, the two cars collided, and then they turned upside down. The four passengers, two children and their parents, Canadian citizens, were taken to Floreasca Emergency Hospital and to Elias Hospital. Also, a lane of the avenue was blocked because of the accident. The driver of the Bentley involved in the accident appears to be Ionut Daniel Gheorghe, about whom media said that he was Elena Basescu’s boy friend, according to police sources.

Heat wave strikes back

Scorching hot with temperatures of 35 C-36 C in the afternoon during the next few days in the west, south and east, Realitatea TV reports. The tropical front is advancing towards the east today and tomorrow over the Balkan Peninsula and Romania. Temperatures will be on the rise, from 27 C to 35 C-36 C in the Danube meadow, on the verge of yet another heat wave in southern Romania.

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League 1, first leg results

International Curtea de Arges v/s. Otelul Galati 0-1; Rapid Bucharest vs. Poli Iasi 4–1, Unirea Alba Iulia vs. FC Brasov 0–1, FC Timisoara vs. Gloria Bistrita 1–0, CFR Cluj vs. Unirea Urziceni 2–0, Universitatea Craiova vs. Dinamo Bucharest 0–0, Astra Ploiesti vs. Pandurii Tg. Jiu and Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt – Steaua Bucharest were played after the closing of our edition. The game FC Vaslui – Gaz Metan Medias was postponed for August 12.

Lucian Rasnita, suspended as Manager of CNOE Ramnicu Valcea

Coach Lucian Rasnita was suspended as Technical Manager of the National Olympic Centre of Excellence (CNOE) in Ladies Handball after the sexual scandal that occurred in Ramnicu Valcea, the President of the Romanian Handball Federation, Cristian Gatu declared. Several players accused Lucian Rasnita of sexual harassment, and the case was analyzed by the CNOE Administration Board on Friday. On this occasion, all persons involved, coaches, players and their parents were confronted. Lucian Rasnita announced on his turn that he would sue the players who accused him for defamation, as well as the newspapers involved in this case.

Camelia Potec, fifth at 800-metre freestyle

The Danish swimmer Lotte Friis won on Saturday the finals of the 800-metre freestyle competition at the 2009 Swimming Championship in Rome, Italy. Romania’s representative, Camelia Potec, reached the fifth position. At the 1,500-metre freestyle competition, Potec won the bronze medal, the only one achieved by the Romanian team at the 2009 Swimming Championship.

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