SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Dan Petrescu received enthusiastically in Russia


The former coach of Unirea Urziceni, Dan Petrescu, was received with enthusiasm by his new team, Kuban Krasnodar, which plays in League 2 of the national championship of Russia. “The dream has come true, the Romanian specialist Dan Petrescu has arrived at his team. The Romanian managed to win the title of champion with Unirea Urziceni, and also had a successful activity at clubs teams like Steaua, Sheffield and Chelsea, and as a coach he trained Rapid, Sportul, Wisla and Urziceni (…) The specialist Dan Petrescu has arrived, the team is now in good hands,” the official Russian site reads among others. Dan Petrescu signed with Kuban for a period of three years, with the option to continue another two seasons, for a salary of EUR 1.5 M per year. Although it plays in League 2, Krasnodar has great ambitions in connection with its promotion and participation in the European cups in the next seasons. The Romanian will debut as coach of the Russian team on January 10, 2010 when the team meets.


New coaches at Craiova and Urziceni


The Israeli Ronny Levy is the new coach of Unirea Urziceni, Romania’s football champion, the team where he replaces Dan Petrescu who has gone to Kuban Krasnodar, Russia. Levy, coach of Maccabi Petah Tikva until November, made a deal last week with Mihai Stoica, general manager of Urziceni club, for a one and a half year contract, being set to be paid USD 600,000 in this period, as Gazeta Sporturilor reports. Levy, aged 43, won three titles of champion of Israel with Maccabi Haifa during 2003-2006, and his objective for this season is to win the championship. On another hand, the Dutchman Mark Wotte will be the coach of Universitatea Craiova starting this winter, the Dutch media writes, quoted by hotnews.ro. Aged 49, the Dutch last coached Southampton in England.

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Romanian barge convoy blocks Danube traffic


A Romanian convoy of nine barges got out of control on Saturday and blocked a section of the Danube in Hungary. One of the barges hit the foot of a tree while other two got stuck. No casualties were reported, according to Hungarian TV channel Hir TV. The accident occurred near Beszedes Jozsef Bridge in the town of Dunafoldvar. It is not yet known what caused the accident. The Romanian convoy got separated before it reached the bridge. According to information received by the Hungarian Authority for Traffic Safety (KBSZ), one of the barges that separated from the convoy ended up crashing into the bridge and remained stuck. On the section near Dunafoldvar, boat traffic was only possible downstream.


Tourists rescued after being lost in Bucegi


Three tourists who were trying to reach Omu Peak in Bucegi were lost in the snow on Saturday afternoon, 2,200 meters altitude. All three were retrieved and lead to safe ground by Busteni mountain rescue teams. The three tourists on Saturday morning went up by funicular up to the highest point of access and then tried to reach Omu Peak, Gheorghe Haiduc, the head of Busteni rescue team said. According to Haiduc, the three temerary tourists were not equipped accordingly for the climb, and as fog was thick on the Bucegi plateau and wind was blowing with high intensity, they were stuck in the snow and managed to call the rescue teams. This is not the first Busteni rescue team operation for 2010. A large team of mountain rescuers spent the New Year Eve on the mountain, retrieving several tourists who had attempted to reach the Bucegi Crucea Peak.


Policeman attempts suicide after causing road havoc


A policeman in Olt County has put three bullets in head on Saturday night, after causing a traffic accident. Constantin Goncea, 49 years old, deputy officer in Brastavatu Village was driving his patrol car under influence on Saturday and ran over two people walking on the side of the road. Scared, the man allegedly tried to kill himself and shot three bullets in his head. He was transferred to hospital with severe wounds on his face. The medics say he apparently did not intend to kill himself, but rather wanted to “draw attention.”

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BUSINESS

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Dacia – third-most reliable car in France


For the first time ever, Dacia autos were ranked third in the most reliable car table in France, according to the UFC-Que Choisir publication, Mediafax reported Le Figaro as writing. Two brands made by Japanese groups Toyota and Daihatsu came first and second respectively, with a reliability index of 96.2 per cent, and 94.13 per cent, for Lexus, respectively. Dacia’s reliability index stood at 92.61 per cent. Dacia Logan MCV, a five or seven-seat hatchback, ranked second in the family car category, behind Honda Accord. Dacia took the 7th slot in the chart of the cars with the lowest maintenance and repair costs, at EUR 130/year, ahead of Mazda, EUR 229, and Ford, EUR 230.

Scrapping bonus for motor vehicles to be
RON 3,800 in 2010



The scrapping bonus for motor vehicles, valid in 2010 under the “Junk” programme, will be RON 3,800, the same value as in 2009, as announced by the Financing Guide published in Monitorul Oficial no. 921 from December 29, 2009, approved by the environment minister Laszlo Borbely, through Order no. 1683, Agerpres informs. According to the document, it is possible to use one, two or three vouchers at most for the acquisition of a new motor vehicle, as from January 1, 2010. The natural and legal persons can scrap three old vehicles, under the programme of renewal of the car stock, starting on January 1, 2010, Laszlo Borbely added, after the Government meeting.


The Financial Guide connected with the programme of stimulation of the renewal of the national tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines will be approved through order of the minister of environment and forests, Laszlo Borbely, in the first half of January, reads a press release of the relevant ministry. According to the Guide, published and elaborated by the Environmental Fund Administration, the scrapping bonus for the replacement of an old tractor of agricultural machinery with a new one will be RON 17,000 in 2010. The programme will cover two stages: the first until July 25, and the second between August 1 and November 25, 2010.

Residential buildings construction authorizations down 20.8 pc


During January-November 2009, authorities issued 45,324 authorizations for construction of residential buildings, down 20.8 per cent from the year-earlier figure, with 3,463 visas released last November, fewer by 15.6 per cent than in the previous month and 15.4 per cent respectively compared to November of 2008. The most significant drop was registered by the development regions of Bucharest-Ilfov (- 2,942 authorizations)’ Southern Muntenia (-1,847); Center (-1,802) and North-East (-1,790), according to a release by the National Institute of Statistics. November saw 3,463 authorizations being issued, of which 62.1 per cent in rural areas. Save for the Center, all the regions reported negative developments. The number of visas is lower by 632 compared to November 2008. The biggest drop was posted by the regions Bucharest-Ilfov (-156 authorizations), South-East (-132 authorizations), Southern Muntenia and South-Western Oltenia.

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BUSINESS

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Lump tax to be modified


PM Emil Boc declared on Thursday that he requested finance minister Sebastian Vladescu to reconsider the lump tax applied to the firms, and which “has exhausted its resources,” Mediafax informs. “The lump tax will be reconsidered. The first task that I assigned to the finance minister in our first meeting was to reconsider the present minimum tax. This must be now redirected and restricted only to the domains in which the tax evasion cannot be fought in another way, such as hotels, restaurants. What we have is the minimum tax which in my opinion has exhausted its resources,” Boc declared after the visit to Cluj Napoca Care and Assistance Center. The Premier stressed that the new variant of the lump tax will become applicable after the finance minister prepares the project of the new tax.


RON to depreciate slightly in 2010


Economy experts forecast a RON/EUR exchange rate of 4.15-4.2/1 at the end of 2010, slightly down the average rate of 2009, and believe the IMF accord going adrift might weaken the RON against the euro, Mediafax reports. The average reference exchange rate announced by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) for Wednesday, December 30, was of RON 4.2373/EUR.


Experts say BNR’s substantial hard currency reserves will rein the home currency in throughout this year. Most of the experts believe the first quarter of 2010 will see the RON’s highest depreciation against the euro this year, when the home currency will go slightly downward. ‘The RON’s problem remains one of a still-negative perception, owed to a difficult political situation resulting in risks tied to Romania’s ability to stick to the commitments in the IMF agreement,’ the chief analyst at Raiffeisen Bank Romania, Ionut Dumitru, said, according to whom the exchange rate will peak in March, at RON 4.4/EUR.


CFR to lay off 6,000 employees


Romanian National Freight Rail Authority – CFR Marfa SA – will make over 6,000 of its employees redundant, starting with the first quarter of this year. In December of last year, CFR Marfa notified unions of 6,380 company workers going to be sent home without any severance packages. The layoffs will follow ten days during which unions must express their viewpoint on the measure, adding to which is a 30-day notice period. Given the 2010 budget is yet to pass, the Labour Ministry has not yet answered the Transport Ministry’s request for severance packages to its employees.


The downsizing of the railway authority is quite likely to result in nearly 11,000 jobs being axed, of which 1,370 at the CFR Calatori division, 1,000 at CFR SA and 8,500 at CFR Marfa. In 2009, no less than 4,700 employees have been sent into retirement.

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POLITICS

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Basescu: I ‘insisted’ for the foreign and finance ministers


President Traian Basescu said last Tuesday in a show on OTV that he “insisted” to have Teodor Baconschi as foreign minister and Sebastian Vladescu as finance minister in the new government led by Emil Boc. He added however that the final decision as regards the government’s structure was made by Boc. “I insisted on behalf of the foreign minister. I suggested my option to the prime minister and he was the one to decide,” Basescu said, when asked whether he made any nominations for government jobs. Referring to Vladescu, Basescu said he cannot “forget” him since he was finance minister in the government run by Calin Popescu Tariceanu. The president explained that Vladescu “was very fair in the Supreme Defence Council” when it was discussed whether Romania should withdraw its troops from Iraq. From among the Liberals, Basescu said, Vladescu and former Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu were the only ones who said “it would be a political error to leave Iraq before we complete our mission.” On the other hand, when asked whether PDL member and District 3 Mayor Liviu Negoita gave up his prime minister bid at his request, Basescu replied that Negoita’s decision was dictated “by his political common sense,” as he was aware that the political deadlock could not continue. When asked whether he thinks Boc would be a better premier than Negoita, Basescu replied, “Boc is the correct solution.”


R. of Moldova acting president asks Romanian counterpart to visit


Mihai Ghimpu, acting president of the Republic of Moldova addressed to his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu an official visit invite to Chisinau, the Moldova presidential office informs. “Your Excellency, I wish to joyfully acknowledge the fact that 2009 has opened large perspectives for the mutual relations between Bucharest and Chisinau. In this context, and in view of identifying new opportunities for our cooperation and for finding new ways to efficiently put good use to this good cooperation, I have the unique pleasure of inviting you to officially pay the Republic of Moldova a visit, at any time convenient to you,” the invite reads. The acting president also mentioned that among the subjects of conversation there will be asking for Romanian support for Moldova’s EU accession.


Swedish ambassador
welcomes cooperation with authorities



Sweden’s ambassador to Romania, Mats Aberg, whose country just ended its term as EU president on December 31, welcomed the good cooperation with the Romanian government, the Foreign Ministry and other institutions. In a press release quoted by Mediafax, Aberg said Romanian institutions have supported the Swedish EU presidency by sharing its opinion on current issues. The diplomat also underlined that he was very satisfied with the excellent cooperation he and his embassy had with Romanian authorities. “The Foreign Ministry has been extremely cooperative and helpful. So were many other ministries, which shared our position on current issues,” the ambassador said in the release.

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