ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Ionesco event at National Theater Festival


This year, when there are 100 years since the birth of Eugene Ionesco, the National Theater Festival (FNT) tries to rebuild the universe of his plays, present in the theaters of the whole world. Thus, the Bucharesters can choose among the three productions of his theatrical play “La cantatrice chauve.” The production of Cie Les Intempestifs from Besancon, France, directed by Jean Luc Lagarce, takes place on the opening day of the National Theater Festival. The participation of this production in FNT 2009 was possible also thanks to the Embassy of France in Bucharest and to the French Institute. The show will be hosted by Odeon Theater and will take place on Saturday, 31.10, at 19.00 h., and on Sunday, 01.11, at 16.00 h. The other two shows with the famous play “La cantatrice chauve” are productions of the National Theater from Cluj, directed by Tompa Gabor, and the German State Theater from Timisoara, directed by Alexandru Dabija. The second performance comes to Bucharest with the support of the Embassy of Germany in Bucharest, and is to be presented during the Days of the German Culture.


Pianist Dan Grigore and conductor Jin Wang open National Radio Orchestra season


The pianist Dan Grigore and conductor Jin Wang are the stars of the opening performance of the new season of the National Radio Orchestra, the concert being scheduled on Saturday, at 19.00 h., at the Romanian Athenaeum from Bucharest, the institution informs. The first part of the programme includes “Festive Overture” by Dmitry Shostakovich and Concerto no. 2 for piano and orchestra op.18 by Serguei Rachmaninov. The second part of the programme includes fragments from the three suites from the ballet “Romeo and Juliet” by Sergey Prokofiev. The tickets for the concert are sold are the booking office from 60-64, General Berthelot Street, until Friday, and on the day of the concert at the Romanian Athenaeum. The price per ticket is RON 20.


Antiques Fair at the Romanian Peasant Museum


The Romanian Peasant Museum (MTR) will host, starting on Friday until Sunday, a Fair of Romanian Antiquities, where over 50 collectors from the whole country will come with all sorts of old objects compulsory in the peasant household, representatives of the museum, quoted by Agerpres, say. Carpets, napkins, folk clothing items, wood and glass icons, crosses, ceramics, pieces of carved or painted furniture, – dowry chests, tables, stools, cupboards, wooden pots, pitch forks, spindles, reels, lanterns, clocks, chandeliers – these are just a few of the objects that the desirous persons can buy from MTR.


The fair will be open between 10.00 and 18.00 h., the price of an entry ticket being RON 4 for the adult public, the school pupils, the students and the pensioners enjoying a discount of RON 2.

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SPORTS

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Corruption in European Cups?


UEFA is collaborating with Interpol and will start in November a wide-ranging investigation in what concerns 40 cases of fixed games in the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, with most of the clubs involved being from Eastern Europe. UEFA Commissioner Karl Doht has announced that enough evidence has been gathered and that ‘the greatest corruption case of all times’ will come to light. The UEFA Commissioner gave an interview to Netherlands’s ‘Het Algemeen Dagblad’ daily, stating that he gathered ‘solid evidence’ on various anomalies that took place in the last four years both in the national football leagues and in the Champions League and UEFA Cup qualifiers.


The UEFA Commissioner’s statement comes one week after FC Timisoara’s skipper Alexa stated that he was offered EUR 500,000 in order to stand down during his team’s Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb.


Romania’s U-21 team plays against Faeroe Islands today


Romania’s U-21 national football team lost to Latvia this week-end in Riga, score 1-5 (0-2 at half time). The game counted for Group 1 of UEFA’s European U-21 qualifiers. The players coached by Emil Sandoi had a very poor game in which they displayed lack of will-power and unbelievable errors in the defence, Agerpres informs. The host team stood out mostly because of its physical fitness rather than because of its technical prowess. Its goals were scored by Gauracs (31st, 62nd and 69th minutes) and Rudnevs (29th and 86th minutes). Torje scored for Romania in extra time. Despite this failure, Romania’s team continues to top Group 1. Romania’s will play against the Faeroe Islands today in Botosani. Two other group games will take place on Saturday: Russia vs. Faeroe Islands and Republic of Moldova vs. Andorra.


UCM Resita – victory in EHF Cup


UCM Resita won its home-side game against the Czech Republic’s HCB OKD Karvina last Saturday, score 40-32 (21-12). The game counted for the return leg of the EHF Cup’s second round. UCM Resita’s best goal-scorers were Piriianu (7 goals), Petrea (6 goals) and Tucanu (6 goals). UCM Resita dominated the game ever since the start, with the Czechs able to penetrate the Romanians’ defence on rare occasions in the first half. Since the goal difference was significant, towards the end of the first half Resita played for show for the fans, with the Czechs taking advantage and managing to reduce the difference to 8 goals. In the second half the goal difference went as high as 12 goals but the Czechs managed to cut that difference back to 8 goals. UCM Resita won the Challenge Cup three consecutive times, with this being its first season in the EHF Cup.


Rugby: Stejarii Bucharest – Parma, 21-9


Stejarii Bucharest rugby team defeated Italy’s Parma on Saturday in Bucharest’s ‘Arch of Triumph’ stadium, score 21-9 (11-6 at half time). The game counted for the 2009/2010 edition of the Challenge Cup. Parma ranks second in the Italian Rugby League. With the exception of the first ten minutes during which the Italians converted two penalty shots through Barry Irving (1st and 8th minutes), the Romanian players put up a stiff defense and launched attacks that varied more than they did during their previous games.

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Oltchim, Hayssam, Udrea and Eba – Basescu’s weak spots, media reveals


Several officers of the DGIPI – the intelligence unit of the Ministry of Administration and the Interior (MAI) – explained for the ‘Romania Libera’ newspaper what might be the weak points of Traian Basescu, which were mentioned recently by PSD Bucharest leader Marian Vanghelie.


Such an issue is the case of the Oltchim petrochemical plant, where Basescu’s weak spot is Theodor Stolojan, whose name was mentioned in relation with intermediating energy supplies and with talks for the privatization or capitalization of the plant. Another problem is that of Romanian-Syrian citizen Omar Hayssam (a PSD member and an important sponsor of this party). DGIPI has a rich archive on this subject: there are records about controversial Arab businessmen being involved in the freeing of the Romanian journalists abducted in Baghdad, as well as records on Hayssam’s escape from Romania, organized so that the Syrian can escape the accusations of terrorism. According to the officers, the name of President Traian Basescu appears frequently in these records. The DGIPI file on Elena Udrea’s conversations has newer records, after the moment when she became minister of Tourism. Coming to presidential daughter EBA, there is nothing about her in the DGIPI archive, but the sources quoted by Romania Libera don’t rule out the possibility of DGIPI officers having illegally investigated and taped her.


Romania, last in ranking for HIV care and support


The care and conditions for people living with HIV/AIDS in Romania need to improve radically, shows the Euro HIV Index (EHIVI) 2009 presented yesterday in Brussels.


This first survey of HIV policy and best practice ranked Romania last out of 29 countries, scoring 548 points from a potential 1000. Luxembourg wins the ranking with 857 points followed by Malta (791) and Switzerland (775).


“Romania has few reasons to be proud of the results in any discipline of the HIV Index. One of the main problems is the lack of national data availability; this counts as a penalty in the study. Access to HIV care needs most urgent improvement. There are also frequent discrimination problems facing PLWH (people living with HIV) in different aspects of life as schools, work or from doctors. The conditions in prison need go get better and harm reduction programs need to be implemented” stated Dr. Beatriz Cebolla, the Euro HIV Index Director, in a press release.


While the number of people living with HIV (PLWH) increases in every member state of the EU, budgets in several countries are reduced. Also, the study shows that sexual risk behavior is becoming more and more regular practice.

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294 voting centers to be opened abroad


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) will open 294 voting centers abroad in view of the Presidential elections, approximately 100 more than those registered during the previous elections, Catalin Predoiu, the interim Foreign Affairs Minister, stated on Monday. Thus, MAE has hiked the number of voting center in Spain to 38, in Italy to 55 and in the Republic of Moldova to 13. Social-Democrat Titus Corlatean, the President of the Senate’s Foreign Policy Commission, summoned interim Foreign Affairs Minister Catalin Predoiu and the MAE representatives for hearings in order for them to explain the existence of a draft law that raises the suspicion ‘on Premier Emil Boc, the PDL representatives abroad and the Head of State’s close collaborators stealing the elections.’


PSD threatens to file criminal complaint against Emil Boc


The spokesman of PSD’s presidential campaign, Victor Ponta declared on Monday, after a BPN meeting, that the Social-Democrats will resort to all legal actions – criminal complaints included – against the PDL ministers who sacked the directors of some deconcentrated services. According to Ponta, PSD will draft a legal report to include all cases of deconcentrated service chiefs who were abusively dismissed throughout Romania, after PSD left the government. PSD will even resort to criminal complaints against the PDL ministers who issued the decisions considered as abusive, starting with the “minister who proved the most abusive,” namely the ad-interim Education Minister Emil Boc.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Mitrea, warned


At the Standing Bureau (BPN) session of the Social-Democrat Party (PSD) Monday, Marian Vanghelie and Viorel Hrebenciuc conveyed Miron Mitrea via Marian Oprisan that unless he stops making harmful statements to PSD, he will be called for ‘an enlightening discussion.’ Sources with PSD told Mediafax that Viorel Hrebenciuc and Marian Vanghelie raised at Monday’s BPN session the issue of Senator Miron Mitrea’s latest statements about the aforementioned and the archive of the Interior Ministry Intelligence Agency (DGIPI). The same sources said that given Mitrea was absent from the meeting, the two conveyed him via the president of the PSD Vrancea County Council, Marian Oprisan, that they would no longer put up with such statements harmful not only to some of the Social-Democrats leaders, but to the party as well, given the former transports minister ‘plays into the PDL’s hands’.


PDL wants one million signatures for Basescu


PDL Vice-President Gheorghe Flutur said on Monday following the party’s Permanent National Bureau meeting that PDL has already gathered 600,000 signatures that back Traian Basescu’s race in the Presidential elections, with the party seeking to obtain one million signatures. ‘PDL is completely mobilized in order to win the Presidential elections. In five days’ time we have gathered 600,000 signatures that back Traian Basescu’s candidature for a second term, from all across the country. The campaign continues next Monday when we will centralize the signatures again,’ Flutur said.


Hrebenciuc: PDL recruits supporters from PSD


The leader of PSD deputies, Viorel Hrebenciuc told Realitatea FM on Monday that PDL started to recruit MPs from PSD and other parties, and claimed that Tiberiu Prodan left PNL for the Democrat-Liberals in exchange of EUR 100,000. “The Democrat-Liberals” began recruitments among PSD, as well as other parties,” Hrebenciuc said, adding that some of his fellow legislators received propositions to defect to PDL. Hrebenciuc stopped short from giving names, and only mentioned that PNL Senator Tiberiu Prodan left PNL for PDL against EUR 100,000 – an accusation that was, obviously, rejected by Prodan.


Court of Audits: Monica Ridzi has recklessly spent public money


The conclusions by the Court of Audits confirm the investigation commission Report: Monica Iacob-Ridzi has squandered public money. The Court finalized its verification requested by the Chamber of Deputies into the ‘Ridzi’ case. The findings by the inspectors tasked to look into how the public money was spent are unfavorable to the former minister of youth and sports. Everything that the press reported, and the conclusions of the parliamentary investigation Commission, too, have been confirmed by the Court of Audits report, judicial sources say. The document will be sent to both the Chamber of Deputies, as the legal requester of the verification, and the National Anti-corruption Directorate, where the criminal investigation has already begun.


Lawsuit against Romania over protected areas, stopped


The lawsuit initiated with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the protected areas will not continue because Romania will demonstrate that it has the necessary resources in order to designate and maintain all the sites for which it committed itself, declared the chief commissioner of the Environment Guard, Silvian Ionescu, quoted by Realitatea.net. The European Commission initiated a lawsuit with ECJ against Romania because it did not designate enough avifauna areas and spaces of community interest. ECJ will examine Brussels’ request and will request explanations from Romania. He added that presently 70 per cent of the protected areas from Romania are managed by Romsilva, and only 30 per cent by the NGOs. The EC has also approved for Romania the third project which targets the integrated management of waste in Vrancea County, the total value of the investment being over EUR 36 M, without VAT, the Environment Ministry also announced.

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BUSINESS

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Lupeni Mine protest caused by small wages


70 miners from the first work shift refused to leave the Lupeni Mine yesterday, Realitatea.net informs. The miners finished their work shift at noon but they decided to remain underground in protest. Another 200 miners from the second work shift refused to go underground, complaining that the wages dropped in September and that the production is low. Zoltan Lacatos, the leader of the League of Jiului Valley Miners’ Trade Unions, asked for an emergency meeting with Economy Minister Adriean Videanu in order to talk about the problems miners are facing.


Aurelian Popa – new AVAS president


Aurelian Popa was appointed president of the Authority for State Asset Resolution (AVAS), through decision of PM Emil Boc, reads an AVAS press release, Agerpres informs. Through the same decision, Mircea Ioan Pavelescu, who had assumed also the attributions of president, continues to exert only those of vice president. Ionela Bruchental-Pop and Daniel Florea were appointed AVAS vice presidents. Aurelian Popa, the new president of AVAS, is aged 50 and was governmental inspector with the General Secretariat of the Government (March 2008-October 2009), between December 2005 and March 2008 being prefect of Dambovita County.


Constantin Axinia assumed CFR Calatori Iasi management


The former state under secretary from the Transport Ministry, Constantin Axinia, dismissed last week from the office, declared yesterday that he assumed the position of manager of Regionala CFR Calatori Iasi, which he had held until his appointment in the Government, Mediafax informs. Constantin Axinia declared that in January 2009, when he was designated state under secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, he had only been suspended from the position of manager of Regionala CFR Calatori Iasi, adding that he has already assumed this position. He said that he does not regret the fact that he was dismissed from the Transport Ministry, saying that his salary at Iasi will be comparable with that which he had in the ministry.


BNR injected RON 11.02 bln in the market through two-day repo operation


BNR performed yesterday a repo operation, through which it injected RON 11.02 bln in the inter-bank market, with an interest rate of 8 per cent, equal to the monetary policy interest rate, the loans reaching maturity over two days. In the open-market operation 18 credit institutions received loans. The most recent transaction of this type was made last Wednesday, when BNR injected in the inter-bank market a record amount of RON 15 bln, with maturity over two days, through two repo operations.

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Maximum revenue admitted for heating aid lowered


The Government announced yesterday that it lowered, through an emergency ordinance, the maximum revenue admitted in order to obtain the social heating aid, according to a press release. Around the country, the people came early in the morning to submit their files, but they saw that they didn’t meet the conditions any longer. According to the older provisions, the maximum revenue admitted was RON 615 per family member, while the social aid was between RON 19 and 262. “The maximum revenue admitted to grant the subsidies, for the heating on wood and gas, is RON 425,” declared Radu Dreptate, adviser with Bistrita Social Service Division. The forms for obtaining the heating aid can be submitted until October 31. The social aid is valid for the period November 1, 2009-March 31, 2010. At the same time the Government transferred an extra RON 160 M from the state budget to the local budgets in order to cover the debts registered by the thermal energy power plants (CETs) that are administered by the local authorities. Two weeks ago the Government transferred RON 75 M for the same purpose. The CETs for which the funds were earmarked are located in Arad, Botosani, Brasov, Braila, Buzau, Resita, Targoviste, Gheorghieni, Deva, Iasi, Targu Mures, Caracal, Alexandria, Ramnicu Valcea, Focsani, Tulcea, Mizil, Turnu Magurele, Cluj-Napoca, Calafat and Videle.


Competition watchdog passes anti-crisis state aid scheme


The Competition Council (CC) Okayed a draft Government Decision that instates a temporary state aid scheme to support the companies hit by the present economic and financial crisis, and notified the European Commission over its decision, the institution writes in a press release.


The scheme will benefit from a total budget worth EUR 220 M, which may be awarded mainly as grants, loans with preferential conditions, interest subsidies, guarantees, tax incentives, rescheduling of claims held or taken over by public entities, which will be redeemed interest-free. The scheme will award aid worth a maximum EUR 500,000 to companies put at trouble by the economic and financial downturn, from all activity sectors, except for fishing and primary agricultural production. In order to qualify, solicitors should have had a sound financial situation on July 1, 2008 and they shouldn’t have benefited from an incompatible state aid that wasn’t redeemed yet. The scheme will come into effect after approval by the European Commission and will run until December 31, 2010.

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