SPORTS

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Four Romanian teams in Europa League group openers today


FC Timisoara, CFR Cluj, Dinamo and Steaua will play today in the first round of Europa League group games. Romanian runners-up FC Timisoara will play an away game against Dutch team Ajax Amsterdam in group A at 8 PM (Romanian time). The game will be broadcast by sport.ro. On the same channel but at 10 PM CFR Cluj will play against FC Copenhagen in group K. Dinamo Bucharest will play an away game against Sturm Graz in group F at 8 PM, with the game set to be broadcast by ProTV. Steaua Bucharest will play at home against FC Sheriff Tiraspol. The game, counting for group H will start at 10 PM and will be broadcast by ProTV.


Romanian men’s table tennis team fails to qualify for EC final


The Romanian men’s table tennis team has failed to qualify for the final of the European Championship in Stuttgart after losing its semifinal game against Germany, score 0-3, the competition’s official website informs. The results registered were the following: Adrian Crisan – Dmitri Ovtcharov 2-3, Constantin Cioti – Timo Boll 2-3 and Andrei Filimon – Christian Seuss 0-3. Yesterday evening at 8.30 PM Romania played against the winner of the Denmark vs. Austria game. The game counted for the 3rd place.


Platini’s financial reforms approved by UEFA


UEFA president Michel Platini’s plan to make clubs live within their means was approved by European soccer’s governing body on Tuesday. The new rules, dubbed “financial fair play” and due to be introduced in 2012, will in principle ban clubs from spending more than their revenue. They are aimed at ending the trend of rich owners buying into the game and transforming the fortunes of a club. “We don’t want to kill or hurt the clubs, on the contrary we want to help them in the market,” said Platini after a UEFA executive committee meeting had rubber-stamped the rules.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

HIV-infected student accuses Iasi doctor of discrimination


A doctor working at the Copou Student Medical Centre in Iasi is under investigation by the College of Medical Doctors for abuse and discrimination after refusing to issue an HIV-infected student a paper he needed on his accommodation file, Mediafax informs. The co-ordinator of the Iasi ‘By Your Side’ Foundation, Mihaela Munteanu, says what the student requested was pure formality. ‘The doctor refused to issue the requested document, explaining that he couldn’t take any risks as the student was going to share the dormitory with other people who would be thus put at a risk of catching HIV infection’, Munteanu said. Dr. Paraschiva Gasca in turn says she does not feel guilty at all because she meant well. Petitions in the same case have been made to the Public Health Department and to the National Council against Discrimination.


Man tries to set town mayor on fire


A man from Racari, Dambovita County, tried to set the town mayor on fire, Tuesday evening, in his office, soaking him with diesel, because the mayor did not approve his request to be exempted from paying the housing tax.


According to Police sources, Florea Tecu, aged 46, came to the Racari town hall carrying a bag with a bottle of diesel. After he discussed a few minutes with the mayor, he grabbed the bottle and spilled the fuel on the mayor, then reached for a lighter. Alarmed by the mayor’s screams, secretaries rushed in the office and the official was able to run away.

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Former deputy chief-prosecutor of DIICOT expelled from magistracy


The prosecutors’ department of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) yesterday ruled to expel from magistracy Angela Ciurea, former deputy chief-prosecutor of DIICOT, because of regulation infringements she made while she was still in office. A disciplinary investigation was started against Angela Ciurea, who is accused that, while she was in Nice, France, she met Stamen Stanchev – a defendant in the affair of strategic privatizations, under charges of espionage – without announcing her superiors. The CSM decision may be challenged at the Supreme Court, within 15 days since it is acknowledged.


Law on accumulated incomes adopted tacitly by Senate


The bill which forbids the state employees to have simultaneously pension and salary, if the pension is bigger than the average gross salary, was passed yesterday by Senate being adopted tacitly. The bill had been discussed in the previous session by the plenum of Senate, and sent back to the Commission on labour for an additional report. The Senators had declared themselves at that time discontent with the amendments proposed by the Commission to the plenum. The draft targets the beneficiaries of the right to pension for age limit belonging to the public system of pension and the systems which are not integrated to the public system, who obtain salary revenues or, as the case may be, assimilated to them, from the exercise of an activity subject to individual labour contract or occupational relation.


Hundreds of policemen looking for Gutai robbers


Hundreds of policemen, gendarmes and border policemen are searching the Gutai mountain pass area for the six masked men that robbed a bank’s armored car on Tuesday morning. The robbers left with RON 240,000 (approximately EUR 60,000), the money belonging to the Romanian Post Office. Apart from the three abandoned cars already found in the area, a fourth one was found on Wednesday morning. The police officers are investigating the car, suspecting it of having been used in the robbery. Maramures Police spokesperson Voichita Zehan stated that the attackers used Volkswagen, Fiat and Mitsubishi vehicles that later turned out to be stolen and Kalashnikov weapons. Checkpoints were set up on all national and county road chokepoints in Maramures and also in the neighboring counties of Cluj, Salaj and Bistrita Nasaud. The action mainly focuses on the access routes running towards the border with Ukraine because it is alleged that the attackers were Ukrainian citizens. Meanwhile the police and the security company that handled the transport are blaming each other. The police have announced that the security agents will be investigated for negligence because they stopped the car at the attackers’ signal, but the security company claims that there was no other option because the attackers were dressed as policemen. Alice Tirsea, general director of the G4S security company, claims that her employees “could use a Carpati pistol to defend against a Kalashnikov attack.’ The regulations currently in force allow the security agents to use only the ‘Carpati’ pistols borrowed from the Romanian Police.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Patriciu acquires majority stake in People’s Bank of Georgia, media


Georgian press reports Dinu Patriciu and ex-PM Vladimir Lado Gurgenidze have bought together the majority stake in the People’s Bank of Georgia. According to Hotnews.ro, Georgian ‘Commersant’ newspaper quoted sources close to the transaction saying that Dinu Patriciu had paid USD 7 M for his new holding. Patriciu is one of the biggest cash holders in Romania, after selling his remaining 25 per cent shares in The Rompetrol Group (TRG) to KazMunaiGaz on June 26, 2009. Since he had sold his first stake in TRG, Dinu Patriciu has been investing in real estate and in mass-media.


Basescu appreciates RAFO investment during crisis


At a meeting with the Rafo Onesti management, yesterday, President Traian Basescu appreciated the fact that Rafo had paid up its debts to the state and continued investing in upgrading the plant even during a period of economic crisis, Mediafax reports. The president said the ‘approach’ the new Rafo management had taken was the correct one because the company had paid all its debts towards the state. ‘In my history as a politician, I have been a friend, an opponent of this company, and, now, I am ready to become its friend again. It seems to me that the new Rafo management’s approach was correct, because they paid up the entire debt totalling over EUR 200 M. This is a good starting point for the discussion and I can perfectly understand the kind of moment Rafo is going through. It is a good thing that, even in crisis, you continue investing in modernisation’, Basescu told the heads of the refinery.


Rafo Managing Director Iacov Goldovskiy told the president that the investment in the petrochemical facility would continue and that, on his following visit there, he would see a new refinery. ‘We believe the modernisation of Rafo will become a basis for the development of the Romanian petrochemical industry. We are confident that you will give us your entire support. Despite the fact that we are re-organising ourselves, we have successfully paid all historical debts. Now we even have a certificate stating that we are no longer the state’s debtors. At the same time, we have continued to invest, and we have achieved important developments on the Rafo platform. We will keep on investing and, on your next visit to Rafo, you will find an entirely new refinery’, Iacov Goldovskiy said. Traian Basescu also visited Aerostar Bacau, where he met the factory’s management.

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Romania’s CPI drop – 5th in the EU


The 0.2 per cent drop registered by Romania’s consumer price index (CPI) in August compared to its level in July was the 5th highest in the EU, Eurostat informs. The steepest average monthly drop of the consumer price index was registered by Latvia (-1 per cent), Greece (-0.8 per cent), Hungary (-0.5 per cent) and Poland (-0.4 per cent). In Romania, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Portugal – the last two being members of the Euro Area – the monthly inflation rate in August stood at -0.2 per cent. The highest monthly inflation rates were registered in Belgium (2.1 per cent) and Luxembourg (1.3 per cent). Euro area1 annual inflation was -0.2% in August 20092, up from -0.7% in July. A year earlier the rate was 3.8%. Monthly inflation was 0.3% in August 2009.EU3 annual inflation was 0.6% in August 2009, up from 0.2% in July. A year earlier the rate was 4.3%.


Downturn may cost 25 million jobs in OECD countries


PARIS – The economic downturn will likely cost as many as 25 million people their jobs by end-2010 as the unemployment rate nears a record 10 percent in the OECD group of countries, according to a report released on Wednesday. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said 15 million jobs were lost between end-2007 and July 2009 and 10 million more could go by the end of next year despite signs the economy is picking up.


The OECD-wide unemployment rate has already hit the highest on records going back to World War Two, surging to 8.3 percent by June 2009 from 5.6 percent at the end of 2007, the annual report from the Paris-based OECD said. Spain, Ireland and the United States were worst hit, with unemployment rates rising by 9.7 percentage points, 7.8 percentage points and 4.5 percentage points respectively between the start of 2007 and mid-2009, it said. This downturn is destroying considerably more jobs than other recessions since the early 1970s, the report says. Most of the world’s high-income countries and a few others are members of the OECD but others such as China and India are not.

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POLITICS

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UDMR conditions its backing on entering the Gov’t


UDMR has revealed its demands from the Presidential candidates that will make it into the runoffs: the votes of the Hungarian community will go towards the person that will guarantee UDMR’s Government membership. According to UDMR leader Marko Bela, the condition set in return for the party’s support in the runoffs ‘is not set for the sake of power but in order to make sure that certain programs relevant for the community it represents will be applied.’ Marko underlined yesterday in a press conference that UDMR has not decided which candidate to back in the Presidential runoffs and that he would not like ‘to see a situation in which UDMR will have to decide who it backs.’


Preda: National security laws ready a year from now


The Chairman of the Commission working on the National Security legislative package, Cezar Preda (PDL) yesterday stated the Commission’s principal objective was to complete and table a viable legal package in Parliament on September 1, 2010, without any major political connotations and influences. ‘Our deadline is 18 months, but we trust that we shall take a legislative package into the Romanian Parliament on September 1, 2008 when it can follow the normal course of parliamentary debate’, Preda said. The Liberal-Democrat said the ‘applied’ work on the security draft laws would actually start on January 1. At the end of March, President Basescu participated in the SRI 2008 work report meeting, where he noted that, in order to start implementing a number of elements related to the modernisation of the intelligence service, the national security legal package would need to be adopted in Parliament first.

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