ARTS & LEISURE

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“Constantin si Elena” at Doclisboa film festival


The film “Constantin si Elena,” directed by Andrei Dascalescu, participates in the most important documentary film festival from Portugal – “Doclisboa,” event which takes place during October 15-25, the Romanian Cultural Institute from Lisbon, Portugal, informs, quoted by Agerpres. The Romanian documentary film will be presented in Lisbon, in the section “International competition,” and will be projected in three sessions: on October 17 and 21, at Cinema Londres, and on October 23, at Culturgest/Grande Auditorio, in the presence of the director.


“Bucharest Elegance” exhibition at National History Museum


The ‘Bucharest Elegance’ exhibition capturing the evolution of Bucharest fashion over the last 150 years is opening at the Romanian National History Museum today at 14:00, the museum informs according to Mediafax. The visitors will be able to admire a costume collection by Adina Nanu, as well as items from the collections of the National History Museum, including the beautiful dress Queen Maria wore for the party after the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1896. The exhibition which is totally devoted to ladies and gentlemen’s costumes follows the evolution of fashion by displaying over 60 different outfits. The visitor is given the opportunity of travelling back and forth in time, discovering the charm of both crinolines and jeans. The period covered by the exhibition is from 1850 to 2000. The clothing will be accompanied by many accessories such as shoes, hats, brush sets, handbags, gloves and lacework. The public will be greeted by a selection of photographs right in the centre of the lobby.


Kool & The Gang concert on October 31 at Bamboo Club


The American formation Kool & The Gang will play at Bamboo Club from Bucharest, as special guests of the Halloween night. One of the most successful bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Kool & The Gang sold over 70 million albums around the world and influenced the music of three generations. For the first time in Romania, the members of Kool & The Gang will play some of the hits that made them famous, and the newest tracks from the most recent album.


The event is produced by D&D East Entertainment. The tickets can be acquired both on the evening of the concert, at the entry to the club, and through Eventim network, in Germanos shops, Vodafone shops and Carturesti book shops. Online, the tickets are on the sites www.eventim.ro, www.bilete.ro and www.blt.ro. The price per ticket is RON 100.

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Inna – nominated for ‘Best Romanian Act’ at the MTV European Music Awards


Singer Inna was designated as winner of the ‘Best Romanian Act’ category of MTV Europe Music Awards 2009. Her song ‘Hot’ received most votes and sent her in the race for the ‘Best in Europe’ award, when she will face the winners of Europe’s 21 regions. Voting for the ‘Best European Act’ will start Thursday and will continue until November 2nd, when the top five places will be announced. The winner will be announced live on November 5, at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2009 gala in Berlin.


Ethnic minorities get their own Bah TV in December


The National Council of the Audiovisual (CNA) yesterday decided to award an audiovisual satellite license to Bah TV – a generalist TV station with countrywide coverage, dedicated to national minorities, which will start operating in December, upon an initial investment of about EUR 600,000. Bah TV is held by Centrum Consulting SRL Company of Targu Jiu, whose sole shareholder is Gabriela Radu, an ethnic Roma.

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Boxing: Adrian Diaconu – Jean Pascal, on December 11 at Montreal


The return match between the Romanian fighter Adrian Diaconu and the Canadian boxer Jean Pascal, world champion of the light heavyweight category (WBC version), will take place on December 11, at Centre Bell arena from Montreal, announced the Canadian club InterBox. Pascal (24 victories – 16 through KO – and a defeat), dispossessed Diaconu (26 victories – 15 through KO – one defeat) from the title this year, on June 19, when the Canadian out-pointed him. The details will be disclosed on October 20, the two boxers already starting the preparations in view of the match from December, the Canadian media states, quoted by Agerpres.


Is Chivu retiring?


Asked about his future at the national team after the failure with Serbia, Cristi Chivu (Inter Milano) avoided to give a firm answer, but hinted that he is also considering retiring. “I really don’t want to speak, because I will regret later. If I speak now, I will make a hasty decision and I don’t feel like that. I may regret tomorrow, the day after tomorrow,” Cristi Chivu said on sport.ro. The agent of the player from Internazionale Milano, Giovanni Becali, confirmed this hypothesis. “Chivu was one second away from renouncing the national team after this match,” Giovanni stressed. Cristi Chivu gathered 68 selections in the national team in the last ten years, scoring three times.


A small… victory


After the failure from Latvia, the national U21 football team defeated Faroe Islands by 3-0, still having chances to qualify. The Romanians opened the sore in minute 5, when Bickfalvi sent a strong hit from 25 m. Minute 38 brought the increase of the score. Ionita and Ganea checkmated Faroe’s defence, and the latter executed Jorgensen with a shot into the long corner. After the break, Ionescu closed the score board by a ball which hit the bar before getting into the net. “I am satisfied with the result, but less with the game. The Faroese have created many occasions for themselves,” said FRF general manager, Ionut Lupescu, present at the match. Romania is on the first place in the standings of the group, with 15 points, followed by Russia with 12 points.


Andone – not coming to Dinamo


Coach Ioan Andone declared that the officials of Al-Ahli club, where he coaches now, transmitted him that he must observe the contract signed in summer with the Arab team, so his return on the technical bench of Dinamo is not possible. “I met with Al-Ahli president, who told me clearly that I must observe the contract. I told also Dinamo managers that I cannot come, it’s useless to say that I am sorry, the understanding is signed by me and there is nothing to do. I don’t know if I can come next year to Dinamo, I have a contract with Al-Ahli until May 15, and I don’t know which will be the situation until then,” Andone said.

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Winner of biggest Noroc prize ever got his money yesterday


The winner of the biggest prize in the history of public lottery game Noroc went to the Lottery yesterday to receive the sum, worth over EUR 950,000, which he won with a ticket he bought in Comanesti town, Bacau County.


The prize is worth precisely RON 4,096,830.38 (over EUR 950,000), Mediafax reports. The winning ticket, which cost a mere RON 13.7, featured two simple variants for the Loto 6/49 draw and two variants for Noroc. The winner – aged over 50 – lives in Comanesti. After paying the due tax, he will receive a net sum of RON 3,073,242 (over EUR 716,000).


ICCJ will pronounce verdict in Tiriac Jr. case on October 28


The High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) will pronounce on October 28 over the appeal filed by prosecutors against a decision made by the Bucharest Court of Appeals, which cleared Ion Alexandru Tiriac from all charges of drug consumption and tolerating the consumption of high-risk drugs in his house. According to Agerpres, Ion Tiriac Jr. once again claimed his innocence yesterday, in front of ICCJ judges.

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Taxi driver and Romanian man killed in car crash in Malta


A taxi driver and a young Romanian man died in a car crash yesterday morning. The taxi driver, 60, was driving his taxi in the direction towards Bahar Ic-Caghaq on St. Andrew’s Road, when a 26-year-old Romanian who was driving an Audi drove onto the wrong side of the road and crashed head on into the taxi. The Romanian lost his life on the spot and the taxi driver was taken to hospital where he later died, too.


Pandemic flu virus hotbed in Iasi


The Transmissible Disease Prevention and Control Centre on Monday informed the Healthcare Ministry that a hotbed of 13 confirmed pandemic AH1N1 flu virus infections had been found at the Iasi-based ‘Gaudeamus’ Centre for International Mobility. According to Agerpres, the disease has spread from a Portuguese student confirmed to have the virus on October 7. In his case, the Iasi County Public Health Department that conducted the epidemiological investigation on Monday traced down 21 symptomatic contacts (out of a total of 241 contacts on the centre), from whom they took respiratory samples. The ‘Cantacuzino’ National Research and Development Centre ran lab tests on the samples and confirmed the 12 new cases. The clinical forms of the illness are mild, without any special issues. The treatment will be administered at the Iasi Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases if the patients give their consent to be admitted to hospital, or at the ‘Gaudeamus’ International Mobility Centre, under medical monitoring. All 21 contacts have been isolated on the fifth floor of the building and kept under medical supervision day and night since October 12.

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CCR postpones talks on agency restructuring law


The Constitutional Court yesterday postponed until October 28 discussions on a complaint filed against the government agency restructuring law for which the outgoing government assumed responsibility in Parliament, Agerpres reported. The complaint was filed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and charges that the law is unconstitutional. The law also provides cuts in public expenditures and measures to support the business environment and to respect the loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.


The complaint is meant to draw attention on the abuses committed by the government led by Emil Boc, which was “quick and shallow” to assume responsibility for the law, according to PNL Deputy Eugen Nicolaescu. He explained that the law also includes a provision already declared unconstitutional by the CCR – the accumulation of pension and salary for budget employees. Another provision slammed by the opposition is one virtually forcing state employees to go on a ten-day unpaid leave. Under the restructuring process detailed in the legislation, the number of agencies will be lowered from 223 to 112, which will have a total of about 33,900 employees, down from the current 43,268. The law allows pensioners to work for the state and get both incomes only if their pension is smaller than the average wage.


SOV’s fate to be decided next week


Sorin Ovidiu Vintu will learn next week if he remains with the decision to be acquitted in the case regarding the establishment of the Investment and Development Bank (BID). This happens after the magistrates of Bucharest Court of Appeal decided on Tuesday to postpone the final decision in this case for October 20. According to the daily “Evenimentul Zilei,” at the hearing of Tuesday SOV’s lawyers challenged one of the magistrates who invoked the possibility to scrap the decision given by the lower court and send the case for re-judgment.


At the previous hearing the same magistrate had the “insolence,” as Vantu’s defenders said at that time, to request the sending of the notice to Bucharest Tribunal – the court which acquitted the businessman last year – through which would be requested the list of the panels on duty during February 26, 2007 – October 7, 2008 period in which it was decided which panel would judge “BID” case. But her request was turned down.


President’s mother to have cytostatic treatment


President Traian Basescu’s mother, Elena, was released on Tuesday from the Oncological Institute from Bucharest, where she had an intervention in the surgical section. Aged 81, Elena Basescu suffers from breast cancer which will only be treated with cytostatic drugs, not with surgery, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ reads. “Actually, the respective intervention is a puncture, which is made under general anesthesia, in the surgery room. Through the puncture-biopsy a fragment from the cancerous tumor is taken, and then analyzed in the laboratory, further to which the treatment to be applied is established. The treatment with cytostatic drugs cannot take place without such a puncture,” specialists in this domain explained.

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Rompetrol hikes fuel prices by RON 0.07 per liter


Rompetrol has announced that it will hike the reference price of fuels sold in its own network of gas stations by RON 0.07 per liter, HotNews informs. Thus, a liter of Efix 95 gasoline will cost RON 3.85, while a liter of Alto 101 gasoline will cost RON 3.72. The Diesel Alto 55 will cost RON 4.01 per liter. Rompetrol conducted the previous price hike on October 9, back when the price of gasoline was hiked by RON 0.03 per liter, while the price of diesel oil was hiked by RON 0.04 per liter. The prices of fuels sold in Rompetrol Downstream gas stations could vary by +/- 5 per cent from the reference prices.


Ford switch recall expanded by 4.5 million vehicles


Ford Motor Co is expanding its largest ever recall — involving faulty cruise control deactivation switches that have caused fires – by 4.5 million vehicles, regulators and company officials said on Tuesday. The action effectively closes out a 10-year saga over the switches made by Texas Instruments that has led to more than a half-dozen recalls at Ford covering 14 million registered vehicles, the automaker said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The government added two million vehicles to the Ford total, factoring in models not believed to be on the road. Affected vehicles should be taken to Ford dealers to be fixed. “While the data show the majority of the vehicles being recalled do not pose a significant safety risk, we are recalling the vehicles to reassure consumers and eliminate any future concerns,” Ford said in a statement. Ford did not provide information on how much the latest recall would cost the company. It stopped using Texas Instrument switches in 2003. Texas Instruments said in a statement that a former business unit designed and manufactured the switch to “meet and exceed” Ford specifications, and is not the “root cause” of fires. A 2006 NHTSA investigation, Texas Instruments said, concluded that multiple factors contributed to the fires. It was the second major recall in as many weeks for the auto industry.

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Erste Bank: Romania lags 1-2 quarters behind regional countries


Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia are lagging behind regional countries by approximately 1-2 quarters and will stagnate in 2010. According to Juraj Kotian, Erste Bank’s chief-economist in Eastern Europe, Poland has avoided the recession, while the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine reached the lowest levels in Q1 of 2009 and will grow by 2-3 per cent in 2010 compared to the level registered this year, HotNews informs. According to the report, the adjustment of current account imbalances, an adjustment that affected the internal demand, is reaching its end. The investments will stabilize at lower levels and Romania’s economic growth won’t surpass 1 per cent, Kotian adds. A stronger contraction is expected in the case of some countries (Ukraine, Romania, Hungary), a lower one in the case of others (Czech Republic), while a country (Poland) completely avoided the recession. This year’s contraction is caused by a series of factors: the significant adjustment of current account deficits (Romania, Serbia, Ukraine), the drop in exports (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) and the ongoing fiscal consolidation (this year registered in Hungary alone).


BCR cuts RON personal loan insurance premium by 25 per cent


From October 12 through December 12, 2008 Banca Comerciala Romana is promotionally cutting by 25 per cent its complex insurance premium associated with its DIVERS EXTRA BCR unsecured, fixed interest rate personal loans in the local currency (RON), the bank’s spokesman Corneliu Cojocaru announced yesterday, Agerpres reports. The insurance policy covers the risk of involuntary unemployment, temporary incapacity, as well as total and permanent invalidity. The complex insurance does not exclude the borrower’s life insurance which is still offered free of charge. The loan may be granted for a maximum period of 10 years, the maximum lent amount being the equivalent in RON of EUR 20,000. Some of the many advantages of this particular loan are the protection against interest rate fluctuations, as the interest rate remains the same for the entire duration of the loan, the fast (one hour maximum) pre-approval of the loan application at any BCR branch or on the telephone, via the InfoBCR service, as well as the broad range of eligible applicant’s and co-payers’ income.


Brussels warns Romania, other EU countries to cut debt


The European Commission has warned Romania and some other EU member states about the risks their respective economies were facing as increasing public debt would not allow them to meet further public expenditure demands, Agerpres informs. The Commission has warned all the EU member states that they should not count on a fast economic growth to help them reduce debt, because Europe had a problem that would make ‘the effects of the crisis look smaller for a long time’ – an aging population where fewer workers will have to make higher social security and health insurance subscriptions for more retired people. The European Commission names 13 countries that are at high risk and that need to present ‘ambitious’ budget programmes to cut debts and to achieve deep reforms with regard to their state aid policies: Great Britain, Spain, The Hellenic Republic, Ireland, Latvia, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, The Czech Republic and Cyprus.


Gantois leaves Romania


Gantois, the French group specialized in metal processing, will close the subsidiary from Romania until the end of this year and will fire 170 employees, according to the daily ‘Evenimentul Zilei.’ The move is part of an extensive programme of reorganization. “In spite of all the industrial and commercial efforts, the subsidiary from Romania could not be brought to an acceptable level of profitability. Therefore, the group decided to give up progressively the activities from the region,” reads the financial report of the company for the first six months. Gantois Romania had in the first half of the year losses of EUR 664,000.

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Stefan Vancek – the new commercial manager of Generali Asigurari


Stefan Vancek is the new commercial manager of Generali Asigurari, replacing Dragos Calin, Mediafax informs. Thus, Calin assumed the management of the network of sales agents of the insurer. “Stefan Vancek was appointed officially commercial manager and member of Generali Asigurari Directorate, and will deal with the development and administration of the distribution channels of the company. Previously, Vancek had coordinated the commercial teams of Generali PPF Holding, Ceska Poistovna Slovakia and QBE Slovakia. Vancek, aged 42 and with Slovak citizenship, has been since May 2008 business development manager with PPF Holding in the Czech Republic, while between 2005 and 2008 he was deputy general manager in charge with sales at Ceska Poistovna, Bratislava, Slovakia.


Fewer employees in private sector


The number of employees in the private companies from Romania decreased by 25 per cent, to the level from August 2009, vs. the beginning of the crisis, in June 2008, according to a survey submitted yesterday by the salary and employee management externalization company Paylogic, according to Agerpres. In the above-mentioned period, the gross salary fund decreased by 18 per cent, while the medical leave hours decreased by 30 per cent. A fall of 47 per cent was also registered by the gross bonuses per employee and of 74 per cent of the overtime hours. Compared to the beginning of 2009, in August the number of employees in the private companies was 13 per cent smaller. The gross bonuses per employee decreased by 24 per cent, while the gross salary fund declined by 10 per cent. “It arises from the same comparison that in August 2009 was registered a growth of the overtime by 82 per cent, and of the medical leaves by 12 per cent,” reads Paylogic survey. Compared to January 2009, the average salary per employee registered a growth of 4 per cent in August.


RON 450,000 worth of funding for developing power entrepreneurship in 2009


The employees or students to work in the power field will receive funding equal to RON 11.2 M for developing entrepreneurial and managerial skills via the RON 450,000 program Development of entrepreneurial abilities in the power sector in 2009, Gheorghe Balan, executive director of the National Romanian Committee (CNR) of the World Energy Council (WEC), said.


The project, which began in November 2008 and will unfold until October 2011, receives 94 per cent of its funding from the European Social Fund and 6 per cent from the national budget, according to a CNR-WEC release.


Romanian companies duck carbon emission reports


Large companies have to periodically measure the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere and publish the figures, yet their failing to issue such social accountability reports is puzzling, Agerpres quoted Dragos Dehelean, general director of Selenis, a communications consultancy agency on environment, as saying yesterday. Dehelean said there is an acute need of ‘green’ advice to everybody’s understanding in Romania. The Selenis top executive also emphasized the use of ecological marketing materials. ‘It is quite important for marketing materials, ecological greeting cards to be made either of recyclable material, or other type of materials, even from sugar cane as I found out a company in Romania does,’ Dehelean also said.

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InterContinental launches the ‘Meeting Options’ package


InterContinental Hotels & Resorts launched the package named ‘Meeting Options,’ a unique package of benefits aimed at event organizers, which includes the possibility of making a donation to National Geographic – Center for Sustainable Destinations, writes a press release. Thus, when organizing an event with a minimum 10 rooms per night and the special ‘Daily Delegate’ package, organizers may choose a benefice out of 3 categories of options. To the benefices provided by the 3 categories adds the ‘Daily Delegate’ package: meeting rooms rental, 2 coffee breaks, lunch with 3 courses, projector and LCD screen, internet for the organizers. The offer runs until August 31, 2010 for events that include accommodation – a minimum 10 rooms per night. The 1 pc donation to National Geographic – Center for Sustainable Destinations will be deducted from the net accommodation income and will be sent by the hotel to National Geographic within a maximum 90 days from the event’s payment.


IndAgra Farm fair reaches 14th edition


The 14th edition of the international exhibition of agricultural products and equipment ‘IndAgra Farm’ will bring together, this year, a total 475 companies, almost half of them (184) coming from abroad, announces the event organizer Romexpo, quoted by Agerpres. IndAgra Farm is organized jointly with the Commerce and Industry Chambers of Romania. The 475 exhibitors represent 21 countries and the organizers emphasized the collective participation of France, through Ubifrance, of the United Kingdom through ‘British Pig Association,’ and of Spain, Agerpres reports. This year’s edition will run until October 18, on a surface of 21,600 square meters, of which 13,600 sq m of in-built areas and 8,000 sq m outside.


Also during October 15-18, Romexpo organizes the autumn edition of the Romanian Tourism Fair, under the patronage of the Tourism Ministry, in partnership with the Romanian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The ticket to the fair costs RON 5 and allows access to all events staged during this interval.


Capital top 300: Tiriac, Patriciu and Voiculescu family – the richest Romanians


Ion Tiriac – EUR 1.8–2 bln, Dinu Patriciu – EUR 1.5–1.6 bln and the Voiculescu family – EUR 1.5–1.6 bln, are Romania’s richest 300 people this year, according to the rankings compiled by the ‘Capital’ magazine, Mediafax reports. The 2008 rich-list was opened by Gigi Becali – EUR 2.5 bln, followed by Ion Tiriac – EUR 2.2–2.4 bln and Patriciu – EUR 2–2.1 bln. The forth richest man in Romania according to the Capital top 300 rich-list 2009 is Sorin Oviciu Vantu who has EUR 1.2–1.25 bln, the fifth position is taken by a family – Adamescu – , who has a wealth of EUR 1.1–1.2 bln, the sixth is Ioan Niculae – EUR 1.1–1.15 bln and the seventh is the Paunescu family with EUR 900–950 M. The Cristescu brothers came in eight – EUR 820–850 M, Gabriel Comanescu is number nine – EUR 700–750 M, the Micula brothers are number ten, with the same wealth as number nine and Gigi Becali is number 11, with EUR 650–700 M.


Public employees put announced protests on hold


The Executive Bureau of the National Public Employees Trade Union (SNFP) yesterday decided to suspend the protest actions announced previously, the work to rule strike October 16 and the general strike October 25 namely, after the passage of the PNL-UDMR motion of censure, Mediafax reports. The SNFP National Council November 17-18 will look into the condition of public administration employees, how they are impacted by the blanket salary law and the date on which protest actions could resume, according to yesterday’s SNFP release. ‘For now, the issue changes drastically. We wait for the new government to get installed, and also the Constitutional Court ruling ,’ the vice-president of the Federation of Free Trade Unions in Education, Simion Hancescu, said.

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European Commission – No comment


The European Commission does not comment the political situation from Romania, estimating that it is an internal issue of a member state about which it does not take any stance. “We don’t have any comment. This is an internal political situation of a member state and we don’t comment it,” Mark Gray, spokesman EC said, quoted by Mediafax.


EPP president praises Boc cabinet


Joseph Daul, president of the European Popular Party (EPP) group from the European Parliament (EP), considers that “Boc Government has started the reform of the state, has maintained the economic stability and has balanced the budgetary salary and pension system” and should have been maintained in order to continue “reforms essential for the modernization of Romania.” “A brave Government like Boc Government should have been maintained. Only so reforms essential for the modernization of Romania and the protection of the population can continue,” commented Joseph Daul in a declaration made on Tuesday, quoted by Mediafax. PDL is member of the EPP group from the European Parliament.


Swoboda slams Basescu’s call for consultations as late


Hannes Swoboda, vice president of the group of the socialists and democrats from EP (S&D), said the fall of Boc Government is the natural consequence of PSD’s removal from cabinet, and the move of President to call the parties to consultations is “good but late.” He cautioned that it is necessary to have a powerful and stable government, in the context “of the need for stability of EU, of the need to nominate a commissioner, attribute of the Government, and also on the background of the accusations of corruption.”


Foreign media reactions


The international media notes that the new political turmoil from Bucharest, which could continue until after the second round of the presidential elections, may endanger the agreement with IMF. “Romania plunges in uncertainty after the fall of the government,” is the title used by Agence France Presse.


Associated Press also writes that the vote was only apparently directed towards penalizing Boc for the weak performances as premier, it is actually meant to curtail the chances of President Basescu in the coming elections.


Deutsche Presse Agentur says that the former coalition partner of the Democrat-Liberals, PSD, accused Boc of having tried to manipulate the presidential elections in favour of Basescu who “has close connections with PDL.”


Der Spiegel writes that Premier Boc was accused that the interim ministerial seats in his minority cabinet were occupied illegally further to the dismantling of the coalition.


RaiNews24 announces the no confidence motion was voted also by the Social-Democrats, retired from government in October, in sign of solidarity with the former Social-Democrat vice premier and minister of interior Dan Nica, removed by Basescu at the proposal of Premier.

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