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Romanian teams in second round of Europa League games


Four Romanian teams will play in the second round of Europa League games today. Thus, at 8 PM Steaua will play an away game against Twente Enschende in Group G, while CFR Cluj will play an away game against PSV Eindhoven in Group K. In the first round Steaua registered a goalless draw against Sherif Tiraspol at home, while CFR defeated FC Copenhagen in Cluj by 2-0. At 10 PM Dinamo will play at home behind closed doors against Panathinaikos Athens in Group F, while FC Timisoara will play also at home against Dinamo Zagreb in Group A. In the first round Dinamo defeated Sturm Graz in an away game, score 1-0, while FC Timisoara drew against Ajax in Amsterdam, score 0-0.


Romanian Cup – Timisoreana: Dinamo vs. Otelul in last-16 stage


The draws for the last-16 stage fixtures of the Romanian Cup – Timisoareana took place within the House of Football on Tuesday. The draws have pitted Dinamo against Otelul Galati, Gloria Bistrita against Steaua and Unirea Urziceni against FC Brasov.


Here is the complete table of the last-16 stage:


Gaz Metan CFR Craiova vs. CFR Cluj; Astra Ploiesti vs. FC Timisoara; Dinamo vs. Otelul Galati; Gaz Metan Medias vs. FC Vaslui; Unirea Urziceni vs. FC Brasov; Gloria Bistrita vs. Steaua; Poli Iasi vs. Universitatea Craiova; International Curtea de Arges vs. Rapid


The last-16 stage games will be played in a single eliminatory leg.

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UDMR: Romanians should keep their word and vote Kelemen for president


Sfantu Gheorghe Mayor and member of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) Antal Arpad said yesterday that Romanians should keep their word and vote the Union’s candidate for president, Kelemen Hunor. Antal referred to a statement made in 1996, that Romania would have a Hungarian president only when the United States would have an Afro-American president. The statement was made when UDMR’s Gyorgy Frunda was running for president in 1996. Thus, “if Romanians respect their promises,” Kelemen will be elected president, Antal said.


Basescu meets members of Romanian community from the US


A strong and visible Romanian community in the United States is an important help in Romania’s foreign policy procedures, President Traian Basescu said on Wednesday evening, during a meeting with representatives of several Romanian community associations from the US, at Cotroceni Palace.


The meeting offered the opportunity of an exchange of opinions about ways of cooperation between Romanian authorities and associations of the Romanian communities in the US. During the talks, the president said Bucharest authorities are willing to support the Romanian community in maintaining their cultural, linguistic and religious identity, Agerpres reported. One of the problems reiterated by the US community’s representatives regarded the participation of this community’s members to Romania electoral processes.


Organised Crime officer goes on trial on corruption charges


The National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors have referred to court Elisabeta Camelia Nicolescu, judicial police officer with the Bucharest Organised Crime Brigade (BCCO), on bribery charges, Agerpres informs.


DNA states in a press release that, in August, as a police officer with the Romanian Police Service against Terrorism Funding and Money Laundering, Nicolescu allegedly demanded to be paid EUR 30,000 by the manager of a trading company, promising she would help him in a tax evasion case.


Nicolescu was arrested in September 9 for an initial period of 29 days. Her case is to go before the Bucharest Court of Appeal.


New rules for baccalaureate exam


This year’s 12th graders will sustain their baccalaureate examination between January and July, under the new methodology recently issued by the Education Ministry. They will pass oral and skill tests during the school year, while written examinations are scheduled after they finish school. High school pupils will be issued certificates to show how proficient they are in Romanian, a foreign language and in using the computer. Under the methodology published on the ministry’s web site, starting this year, graduates will pass the baccalaureate in a new formula, with oral, written and skill tests during school months, but also after the end of the 12th grade. During January-April, they will test their skills of Romanian language, foreign language and IT.

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Four soldiers injured in Afghanistan


Four soldiers from Manoeuvre Battalion 280 deployed to Afghanistan were injured on Wednesday, at about 19:00, Romanian time, in an IED attack, the National Defence Ministry informs, according to Agerpres. The soldiers were carrying out a patrol mission in a formula of four Humvee vehicles, in the Zabul province, on A1 motorway from Kandahar to Kabul. Approximately 70 km Borth-West of Qalat, one of the vehicles struck an improvised explosive device. Danut Buzatu, Ionut Bogdan Ciubotaru, Ionut Dumbrava and Emanuel Cornel Berdei were injured to the upper body regions and feet in the blast. Preliminary medical data shows they are stable. The victims were given first aid and then were flown by a medical extraction helicopter to the Lagman Base hospital. Manoeuvre Battalion 280 started its mission in Afghanistan in July. The Romanian Army currently has nearly 1,050 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, mainly in the Zabul province.


High Court judge appointed head of Electoral Bureau


Judge Hermina Ana Iancu from the Criminal Justice Department of the High Court of Cassation and Justice was yesterday named as the head of the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC), Mediafax informs. Judge Maura Olaru from the Commercial Department of the High Court was appointed as BEC Deputy President.


BEC is supposed to be completed today with the president and vice-president of the Permanent Electoral Authority and with a representative of each of the parliamentary political parties and with representatives of non-parliamentary parties with presidential candidates by November 1.


Marian Vanghelie re-elected PSD Bucharest President


Wednesday night, Marian Vanghelie was re-elected as President of the Bucharest Organisation of the Social-Democrat Party (PSD) in unanimity, having been the sole candidate for the position, according to Agerpres. Vanghelie promised to make PSD Bucharest an effective organisation not only from a political point of view, but also from a managerial one.


‘In a pragmatic register, I intend to lead Bucharest as Adrian Nastase once led the Government, borrowing some of Mircea Geoana’s diplomacy, I intend to act as I normally should, to be a living person, I want to call things by their right name,’ Vanghelie said. The leader of PSD Bucharest also said the party’s honourary President, Ion Iliescu, would also be a role model for him as he had always been respected exactly because he was close to people.

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New ambassadors present credentials to president


President Traian Basescu yesterday received at Cotroceni Palace several new ambassadors who presented their accreditation letters. Starting from 10 a.m., the president received the Ambassador of the Palestinian Authority, Ahmad Bader Aqel, the Ambassador of Japan, Natsuo Amemia, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Marta Caridad Fajardo Palet, the Kuwait Ambassador, Fahd Hajar Al-Mutairi, the Ambassador of the Korean Republic, Lee Kwang-Jae.


The president also had meetings with the Ambassador of Pakistan, Sanaullah, and the Ambassador of Algeria, Abdelhamid Senouci Bereksi, who came on a good bye visit as their term in Romania expires.


CCR to debate PNL complaint over blanket salary law on October 28


The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) will debate on October 28 the complaint filed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) regarding the unconstitutional character of the blanket salary law, Agerpres reports.


On September 26, the parliamentary groups of PNL filed with CCR an unconstitutionality challenge against the salary law, which the Government passed by assuming responsibility in front of the Parliament, in a joint session of the two Chambers, on September 15.


PNL claims the law infringes several articles of the Constitution and, by promoting it, the government proves to be irresponsible, as this comes against the fundamental rights of Romanian citizens and impoverishes the population, by diminishing its incomes.


Former Securitate General Plesita was buried yesterday


Nicolae Plesita, former general in the Securitate (Romanian secret service during the communist era), where he led the Foreign Intelligence Department (DIE), was buried yesterday in his hometown Curtea de Arges. The funeral ceremony was attended by relatives and by some of his former colleagues from the Securitate, Realitatea TV announces.


SRI Officers guarded the church and only allowed inside the close relatives and the late general’s colleagues from Cluj, Ramnicu Valcea or Pitesti. Then, the SRI Officers blocked the access to the cemetery, saying this is the wish of the family.


Plesita died Monday in a Bucharest hospital, where he was treated for several chronic diseases.

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Romania’s international reserves amount to over EUR 30 bln


BNR’s foreign currency reserves in September grew by EUR 596 M to a new record level of EUR 28.339 bln, Mediafax informs. The growth was possible after the entry of EUR 2.75 bln of which about EUR 1.85 bln represents the second batch of the stand-by loan agreement with the IMF. The total international reserves amounted to EUR 30.615 bln, against EUR 27.743 bln on August 31, 2009. BNR reserves set a new record in September for the third consecutive month, having stood at EUR 27.74 bln in August, up from EUR 27.326 bln in July. A total entry of EUR 2,577 bln was recorded in September, representing the second batch of the stand-by agreement with the IMF, the changed minimum requirements applicable to bank, the increase of Romania’s quota by the DST allocation by the IMF, crediting of the Finance Ministry’s accounts, revenue from the management of international reserves and so forth, according to a Romanian Central Bank (BNR) press release.


S&P: Political situation could downgrade Romania’s rating


Standard&Poor’s could downgrade Romania’s rating if the political situation will lead to the failure to fulfill the fiscal and economic consolidation program that the country committed to in its agreement with the IMF, a failure that would cause a deterioration in public finances, S&P analyst Marko Mrsnik stated for Mediafax.


These statements came after President Traian Basescu announced on Thursday morning that he signed the decree on the reshuffling of Dan Nica. The analyst pointed out that apart from the multilateral financial assistance program the Government also committed itself to a significant consolidation in what concerns both the expenditures and the revenues.


‘In our opinion this (the fiscal consolidation – editor’s note) is a challenge when it comes to fulfilling the commitments, considering the severity of the recession and the economic adjustment. Nevertheless, it was expected for the commitment on implementing the program negotiated with the IMF to be put to the test because of the disagreements within the coalition in the context of the Presidential elections,’ Mrsnik added.


Dacia registration in France up 32.4 pc in first nine months


The registration of Dacia passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles in France were up 20.8 per cent to 4,180 units in September and 32.4 per cent to 41,848 units after the first nine months of 2009, on a market that gown itself by 7.9 per cent in September, but which had fallen by 2.3 per cent this year, Mediafax reports. A total of 3,459 Dacia vehicles were registered in France in September 2008, compared to 31,619 in the first three quarters of this year. The Romanian carmaker’s market share was up 2 per cent in August 2009 from 1.7 per cent in August 2008, respectively to 2.2 per cent in January–September compared with 1.6 per cent in the period of reference in 2008, according to the French Automobile Manufacturers Committee (CCFA). Sales of Dacia passenger vehicles were up 8.4 per cent to 3,742 units in September and 21.3 per cent to 38,321 units after the first nine months of 2009. The total number of passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicle registration was 213,597 in September, and 1.88 M in the first nine months of the year.


One in three public sector workers is a driver, cashier or secretary


Approximately 500,000 of the total 1.37 M public sector employees are drivers, clerks, secretaries, referees or archivist, ‘Ziarul Financiar’ informs. Only half – that is 680,000 – are teachers, physicians, policemen, military or magistrates, people who actually deliver a service in this country, the rest offering support services. Over 36 per cent of the state employees are hired under contract, providing support services to the rest of the public sector workers, shows the data given by the Labour Ministry to ‘Ziarul Financiar’. Another 12 per cent are civil servants, meaning the superiors of the personnel under contract. This is the first statistic of the structure of the public sector staff ever made public, showing that, at the end of Q1 2009, Romania had 285,000 teachers, 75,000 auxiliary education staff, 76,000 policemen, 7,800 magistrates, 133,000 military, 136,000 civil servants and 175,000 medical staff, out of which approximately 50,000 were physicians, according to prior estimations. Over a third of the state workers – 485,000 – fall under the category of personnel hired under contract.

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Lower inflation in September in EU


The annual inflation rate in the Euro zone, which rallies the major economies of Europe, dropped from -0.2 per cent in August to -0.3 per cent in September, according to Eurostat estimates. Thus, in the European Union, the consumer prices rose 0.6 per cent in August vs. those from the same period 2008. The president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, has recently restated the availability of the European Central Bank to withdraw the instruments which support credit if inflationary risks arise. In August, he declared that the negative inflation period would be brief, being determined by the fact that the prices of oil and food reached record levels in the summer 2008.


FIAT: European auto sales in 2009, down 7.5 percent


Latest forecasts see European auto sales in 2009 at 13.5 million units, down 7.5 percent on last year and in 2010 at almost 12.5 million units, says Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne who also mentioned that industrial vehicle sales in the region for 2009 will be half the level of 2008. “Italian car sales would be under 2 million units in 2010 if government industry incentives are not extended beyond the end of this year, which would be down 600,000 versus 2007”, warns Marchionne. Fiat CEO said that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s apparent readiness to extend state incentives to the auto industry beyond the end of this year was “encouraging”. Italy is ready to extend vehicle buying incentives to help the auto industry beyond the end of this year if necessary, said Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday.


Yachts, perfumes, furs and jewelry possibly cheaper in 2010


Yachts, perfumes, furs, hunting rifles, jewelry and other luxury goods may become much cheaper next year after the abrogation of the current excise duty under a draft government ordinance amending the Fiscal Code in that respect, Mediafax reports. From the explanatory statement of the draft ordinance we learn that the measure is necessary in order to prevent an EC infringement procedure against Romania over the charging of excise duties applied as a percentage quota. Currently, the highest excise duties apply to hunting rifles – 100 per cent, followed by natural fur garments – 45 per cent. Substantial quotas are also charged for perfumes – from 25 to 35 per cent – and eau de toilette – from 10 to 15 per cent. In the case of yachts, boats and 25 HP + boat engines, the excise duty can be as high as 50 per cent of the tax base value.


14th KFC Romania restaurant opens in Bucharest after EUR 700,000 investment


KFC Romania has opened its 14th restaurant in Bucharest, in Dacia Boulevard, after an investment of EUR 700,000. The company expects the new unit to have an annual turnover of 1.5 M. Following the opening of the restaurant occupying 40 workers, the KFC now has 34 units at a national level, three of them opening this yea, reads a press release of the company.

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