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September 20, 2019
ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Graphic works by Theodor Pallady
at MNAR



The National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) presents this year at Theodor Pallady Museum, during July-October, the temporary exhibition “Volume and perspective in the graphic creation of Theodor Pallady.” The exhibition belongs to a cycle initiated in 2003 with the purpose to turn to account the graphic creation of Theodor Pallady coming from the generous stock of Serafina and Gheorghe Raut collection. The latter rallied 32 graphic works, remarkable through technical diversity – from pencil and water colour to China ink, pastels and etching. The theme is varied, the public having the possibility to admire portraits (“Dr. Ioan Cantacuzino,” “Man reading,” “Self-portrait,” “Young woman at the seaside”), nudes (“Clara Spida,” “Louise Cansot,” “Nude with apple – Zita Blondeau”), landscapes (“Place Dauphine,” “Port Le Havre,” “Close to Maudon,” “Countryside landscape,”) and still life. Sometimes, Pallady experiences subjects connected with the art world, which are materialized in new compositions: a working room of the well-known Academie de la Grande Chaumiere or the Model, which shows a nude that two artists are drawing. According to Angelica Iacob, chief of the education sector from MNAR, the graphic exhibitions are organized during limited periods of time because of the fragility of the works, a measure taken not only by MNAR, but by most of the museums.


AC/DC concert almost sold-out


The tickets for the May 16 concert of legendary rock band AC/DC in Bucharest, Constitutiei Square, are almost sold-out, Lenti Chiriac, production manager with D&D East Entertainment told Nine O’Clock. According to data provided by Denise Sandulescu, General Manager D&D East Entertainment, an approximate EUR 2 M were spent to bring AC/DC to Romania. The band will conclude its world tour in the summer of 2010, two years and a half since the beginning of the Black Ice World Tour. This is the first album of the band, after an 8-year break. ‘Black Ice’ features 15 new songs performed by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd. AC/DC is an iconic hard rock band, formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1973, by the brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. Though considered among the pioneers of hard rock, alongside other bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple or Black Sabbath, the AC/DC members always referred to their music as ‘rock’n’roll.’ They also accepted the label of hard rock band as they ranked fourth in the Top 100 VH1 of the greatest hard rock artists.

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Alexandru Piturca signs for Universitatea Craiova


Striker Alexandru Piturca, free of contract after he canceled his contract with FC Brasov this winter, has signed on Monday a three and a half years contract with Universitatea Craiova. Piturca (26) has previously played for Craiova during the 2005-2006, for Steaua Bucharest, FC Caracal, TSKA Sofia and Pandurii Targu Jiu.


Nicolae Dica on loan to CFR Cluj


Arpad Paszkany, the financier of CFR Cluj, has stated that striker Nicolae Dica will play for his club in the second half of the season after he was loaned from Italy’s Catania. ‘Dica is a player that I wanted very much. We wanted to bring him here during the summer too but we failed to agree with Catania and the player preferred to go to Greece instead. We resumed the negotiations this winter and we managed to borrow the player for the next six months. This summer we will discuss a permanent transfer. Dica is a player that will help us fulfill our goals – winning the Cup and the championship,’ Paszkany said. Dica (29) was bought by Catania from FC Steaua in the summer of 2008.


Iker Casillas, goalkeeper of the year in IFFHS 2009 table


Real Madrid’s Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas was the best goalkeeper of the year 2009 according to a table compiled by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). Casillas totaled 230 points, followed by Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus Torino) with 150 points and Brazil’s Julio Cesar (Internazionale Milano) with 124 points. Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United) was fourth.


Kapetanos demanded in Qatar and the Emirates


Striker Pantelis Kapetanos, Steaua’s top goal getter, is one step away from leaving his current club. As announced by club owner Gigi Becali, several teams are interested in securing the Greek striker’s services and are ready to pay EUR 2 M in order to transfer him. Taken by Steaua for free in the summer of 2008 after the player went through a difficult period playing for AEK Athens, Kapetanos quickly became an important player for the team, irrespective of whether its head coach was Marius Lacatus, Dorinel Munteanu, Cristiano Bergodi or Mihai Stoichita. According to the Greek press, Kapetanos has offers from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, a market for whom Steaua’s players have become increasingly attractive. After Rada ended up playing for Al Nasr in the UAE, Nicolita too is close to taking the same route this summer. ‘Kapetanos is sold in proportion of 80 per cent! A foreign club offers me EUR 2 M for him and I think I will accept the offer,’ Steaua owner Gigi Becali stated on Monday.

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Only one rival for
Mircea Sandu



The Football Federation’s judicial commission has rejected yesterday Sorin Victor Raducanu’s candidature for the Federation’s presidency. Consequently, only Mircea Sandu and Constantin Iacov have remained in the race for the January 25 elections. The Commission’s argument points out that ‘CS Petrolul 95 Ploiesti, the club that proposed his (Raducanu’s – editor’ note) candidature, is not a member of the Romanian Football Federation (FRF), consequently the condition provisioned by art.13, paragraph 1 of the FRF Statute is not met.’ Gheorghe Popescu and Octavian Popescu, two other candidates, withdrew from the race and did not file the necessary documents within the FRF before the January 8 deadline.


Mutu scores again
for Fiorentina



Adrian Mutu has scored his second goal for Fiorentina after he recovered from an injury. Mutu scored in the home-side game that Fiorentina won against Bari on Sunday, score 2-1. The game counted for round 19 of Serie A. Mutu was included in the start-up roster and was substituted in the 75th minute after scoring in the 38th minute. Castillo scored Fiorentina’s second goal in the 74th minute. Barreto opened the score for Bari in the 25th minute.


Sorana Cirstea,
45th in WTA standings



Sorana Cirstea continues to rank 45th with 1,147 points in the WTA standings published on Monday. Alexandra Dulgheru has dropped one place since last week, now ranking 53rd with 1,228 points. Here are the other Romanian tennis players included in the standings: Raluca Olaru – 69th (+3) with 922 points, Monica Niculescu – 102nd (+1) with 626 points and Edina Gallovits – 110th (-6) with 572 points.


Federer skips tournament in Melbourne


Switzerland’s Roger Federer, world number 1 in tennis, will no longer take part in the Kooyong Classic tournament scheduled in Melbourne this week, preferring to prepare for the Australian Open that will start next month, the tournament’s organizers announced. Federer, who reached the final of the first Grand Slam of the season last year, a tournament he previously won in 2004, 2006 and 2007, was eliminated from the semifinals of the Doha tournament by Russia’s Nikolai Davidenko.


Dakar Rally: Peterhansel wins stage 8


France’s Stephane Peterhansel (BMW) has won the 8th stage of the Dakar Rally 2010 in the cars section. The stage took place on Sunday and totaled 568 kilometers between Chile’s Antofagasta and Copiapo localities. Of those, 472 kilometers were clocked. Peterhansel finished the stage in 5 hours, 6 minutes and 5 seconds, being 45 seconds quicker than Spain’s Carlos Sainz and 1 minute and 7 seconds quicker than America’s Mark Miller, both of which drove Volkswagen cars. Sainz tops the overall standings, followed at a difference of 14 minutes and 35 seconds by Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah (Volkswagen) and at one of 22 minutes and 28 seconds by Mark Miller.

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Six children intoxicated with carbon monoxide at school


Six pupils of a gymnasium in the Dambovita locality of Tartasesti were intoxicated with carbon monoxide during classes Tuesday morning. All victims were taken to a local in Titu hospital and are now safe. Hospital manager Dr. Marinela Tarcolea reports the children were taken there by three ambulances and were subjected to a variety of medical checks. ‘Dambovita County Police spokesperson Ioana Preda says the six children aged from 8 to 11 are in different classes but were studying in the same room. Tuesday morning they began feeling sick during a class, so the teachers and the principals called the ambulance and the Police. Preda further said an investigation commission made up of policeman and military firemen went to the school in question. The first conclusions are that the children were intoxicated with carbon monoxide because of the obstructed chimney of a terracotta stove burning methane.


Romanian state sentenced by ECHR
in a Palestinian refugee case



The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) from Strasbourg sentenced on Tuesday the Government from Bucharest, in the case regarding the expulsion and the illegal detention of a Palestinian refugee from Bucharest, granting the latter damages of EUR 17,000. Akram Ahmed M. Al-Agha, aged 65, had left the Gaza Strip in 1962, and settled in Cairo for studies. Further to the Kippur war, from 1973, his right of stay was not extended, but the Egyptian authorities granted him an Iraqi passport for Palestinian refugees. Subject to this passport and to a visa he arrived in Romania in 1993, where he settled as a businessman. Through a decision from July 31, 1998, on the strength of Order 779, which dated from the time of communism, the Ministry of Interior withdrew Al-Agha’s right of stay in the country and declared him persona non grata. The plaintiff was not informed about this order. On February 15, 2000, he was arrested and taken to the detention center from Otopeni Airport. The man was hospitalized in February 2003, and in July he was released on the grounds that the five year period in which he had been declared persona non grata expired. He remained in Romania in a center for refugees. The European Court established that the Romanian authorities violated Art. 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights regarding the living conditions at the Otopeni Airport detention centre to which he was handed out by the employees of the Airport. The magistrates also decided that there was equally an infringement of Article 5 regarding the illegal depriving of freedom and of the right to recourse against detention, and that the Romanian Government had not granted damages.


Nearly 90 members of a human trafficking network under investigation


The Department for Investigations into Organized Crime and Terrorism Activities (DIICOT) announced on Tuesday that Alba County prosecutors are looking into the activity of nearly 90 people involved in human trafficking. The criminal network was operating in Romania and abroad, on German and Italian territory.


The 80 people suspected of human trafficking, procurement and prostitution were arraigned following over 60 home searches yesterday, in the towns of Simeria, Orastie and Deva – Hunedoara County, and Cugir – Alba County.


Over 150 police officers participated in Tuesday’s searches, of which 100 belonged to the structures specialized in fighting organized crime, MEDIAFAX quotes Police spokeswoman Cristina Goldis as saying.


The criminal activities of the group had come under investigation by the structures specialized in the fight against organized crime, for over a year. In this investigation, the Romanian police officers cooperated with their colleagues from Germany, Spain, Italy and France, Golis said.

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Princess Lia gives birth to a boy, at the age of 56


Princess Lia, wife of Prince Paul of Romania, yesterday gave birth to a 2.200-kilogram boy at ‘Regina Maria’ maternity clinic in Bucharest. The doctors involved in the birth said the birth was uneventful, and the mother, aged 56, and her baby boy, are healthy. Doctor Bogdanka Militescu, director at the Unirea Medical Center, told Hotnews.ro: ‘It was a score 10 birth, as we write in our register. She will be discharged when the obstetrician decides they are ready to do so.’ At a press conference, the spokeswoman for Prince Paul of Romania, Carmen Stefan, announced the boy’s name as Carol Ferdinand of Romania. She also said the princess wanted to give birth in Romania and have the boy christened Orthodox.


Three Bulgarians taken in custody in Romania for bank fraud


Three Bulgarian citizens were taken in custody, further to a control of the brigade combating organized crime from Bucharest and of the Romanian Police, for bank fraud through skimming in Bucharest and in Constanta, method through which they have allegedly prejudiced banks’ clients of RON 70,000.


The investigators established that in the last three months the suspects set up card copying equipment at several ATMs belonging to a commercial bank from Bucharest. The same have taken money from ATMs in Bucharest, Constanta, and the Bulgarian city of Kavarna. Dimitar D. (33 years), Nicolay I. (32 years) and Stefan H (34 years) were apprehended in the action on Sunday at noon, while they were trying to remove the skimming devices from an ATM from Bucharest.


Hunedoara pupil kills herself for the love of teacher


A 16-year-old from Hunedoara has committed suicide because of an obsession she had developed with her Mathematics teacher. The young girl’s parents and friends are quoted by Realitatea TV saying that her biggest wish was for her teacher to solve his alcoholism problem. Lorena was 16 and was a pupil in the 10th class at the ‘Avram Iancu’ National College in Brad. Those who knew her say she was a good, hard-working adolescent who had unfortunately developed an obsession with her Math teacher. Her parents say the girl was determined to help the man quit drinking. The Police found a note where she had writhen that Alin, her teacher, would give them all the explanations they needed. Two investigations have been opened into the case: one by the Police and one by the County School Inspectorate.


Three-number winning Loto 6/49 tickets


The measure, which is most likely to be put into practice this coming spring, is estimated to produce ten times more Loto 6/49 winners than now. Lottery officials said the measure is aimed at stimulating the game and increasing players’ interest. The Romanian Lottery officials said they would do their utmost to keep the price for one six-number variant unchanged. The Loto 6/49 and Noroc drawings are held twice a week, Thursday and Sunday namely.

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Orange code
on The Danube



Hydrologists issued an orange code alert for flooding on the Calafat-Zimnicea sector on The Danube, corresponding to the counties of Dolj, Olt and Teleorman. The code, which came into force yesterday at 6:00 am, in effect for seven days, through January 18, 6:00 a. m. The Giurgiu-Orsova sector and Tulcea are issued a yellow code alert for flooding while those at Gruia and Isaccea stay in place. An orange code alert for flooding was also issued on The Bega Veche River in Timis County, which was extended to the lower Crisul Negru and Crisul Alb Rivers (Arad County), middle Barzava and the lower Bega Veche and Bega (Timis County).

Suceava: A man died of cold


A man aged 50 from a commune from Suceava County died further to severe hypothermia, this being the fourth death because of cold registered in Suceava County since the debut of the cold season, Mediafax reports. Adrian Popescu, spokesman of Suceava Public Health Division, declared yesterday in a press conference that a man aged 50 from Stulpicani was brought on Sunday afternoon at the Emergency Unit of Suceava County Hospital in hypothermic shock, after he was found lying in the street in the city of Suceava.

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Romanians may travel
to Turkey without visa for up to 90 days



MAE yesterday informed that, beginning with January 7, 2010 Romanian citizens may enter Turkey and remain for up to 90 days without a visa. The Romanian Foreign Ministry specified the measure will be enforced after the Turkish customs authorities are informed. According to MAE, the measure applies to Romanian holders of regular passports. Entry clearance to Turkey is only granted based on a valid passport, MAE notes, also recommending Romanian visitors to Turkey to also take their ID card besides their passport, as it contains additional identity information. The decision had been published at the end of August 2009, during FM Cristian Diaconescu’s visit to Ankara.


Singapore police
conclude hit-and-run probe involving Romanian Embassy car



The police have concluded their investigations into the hit-and-run accident involving a Romanian Embassy car in Singapore, Channel News Asia website reports, according to Mediafax. A police spokeswoman said on Sunday that the investigation papers are now with the Attorney General’s Office ‘for their direction on the appropriate course of action to be taken’. On December 15, a vehicle registered to the Romanian Embassy to Singapore hit three pedestrians along Bukit Panjang Road. One victim suffered brain damage and died on Christmas Day, while two others suffered injuries. Diplomat Silviu Ionescu, the charge d’affaires at the Romanian Embassy there, reported later to the police that the vehicle had been stolen. He left for Romania shortly after the accident. Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Romanian High Court Prosecutor’s Office to launch an investigation into the incident and recalled Silviu Ionescu from his post.


Mayor Gheorghe Ciuhandru interviewed by DNA


Timisoara Mayor Gheorghe Ciuhandru was yesterday interviewed by the prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Directorate. Timisoara Mayor did not indicate the reason of his summoning to DNA’s, only disclosing the fact that he had arrived there without worries and was leaving the place with even less worries. Yesterday, DNA also heard the Director of the Timisoara Municipality Patrimony Directorate, Nicusor Miut. The lawyer who was accompanied the two of them said, according to Mediafax, that the prosecutors’ questions had not been about Ciuhandru, but about other people and that it was all he could say for the moment. Asked if Gheorghe Ciuhandru and Nicusor Miut had been put under criminal investigation, the lawyer said it was not the case. Judicial sources have said the interviewing of Mayor Ciuhandru had been in connection with the development of the Uzinei Park in Timisoara. The project should have cost RON 2.1 M, but, as long as contractor Garden Center Grup SRL Bucharest had not completed the work on time, upon opening, the Municipality said the company would be applied a penalty so the cost of the contract was going to be cut to RON 1.5 M.

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Raiffeisen Asset Management – assets worth RON 1,069 M in 2009


Raiffeisen Asset Management drew nearly 40 per cent of the net subscriptions in mutual funs in 2009 to increase its year-on-year share of the investment fund market in December 2009 from 8.5 per cent to 30.2 per cent, according to a press release. Raiffeisen reported an impressing rise in market share to over 30 per cent, up 20 per cent from the year-on-year figure, closing the last year with RON 1,069 M in assets. The assets managed by the company rose by RON 960 M in 2009, of which RON 880 M are net subscriptions by customers, or nearly 40 per cent of the net fund in-flows in 2009. The RON 80 M difference represents the rise in market value of the assets handled by the fund.


Citibank introduced the credit cards with chip


Citibank Romania introduced in December the credit cards with chip, based on EMV technology, increasing in this way the security of the transactions, because the microchip protects the card against forgery, the bank announced yesterday, a press release informs. “Starting in December 2009, the holder of Citi credit cards from Romania receive cards which include a chip based on EMV technology (payment system based on chip and PIN),” said the credit institution in the document. The microchip is incorporated in the credit card, allowing a very safe storage of the data, and an improved processing capacity.


Cristian Dragos will take over coordination of GE Money Romania’s operations


Starting with January 2010, Cristian Dragos will be appointed the new CEO of GE Money Romania, the consumer lending business unit of General Electric Company, a press release informs. He replaces Ron Malak, who has accepted a new leadership role within GE Capital Global Banking, outside Romania. Cristian Dragos has 11 years of experience in financial services. He joined GE Money Romania in 2006 and successfully coordinated the integration of the three consumer finance companies (mortgage, leasing, and unsecured lending) from a sales & marketing perspective. During the past two years he has led the mortgage business of GE Money in Romania, the largest mortgage specialized company in the market, Domenia Credit IFN SA, which operates under the GE Money brand. Cristian has a total of over 5 years’ experience within GE as he worked for the company previously between 1999 and 2000, when he graduated from the GE Capital’s Global Leadership Development Program. The key objectives of GE Money Romania in 2010 are to seize growth opportunities in market segments with sound potential and to further optimize the business’ operating model. “(…) I am confident we’ll achieve our objectives as we have a team of highly skilled professionals and I am sure that together we will be able to continue to successfully develop the company in 2010 and beyond”, says Cristian Dragos.


Edit Vesser to head BNP Paribas Real Estate in Romania


As of January 1st, Edit Vesser, BNP Paribas Real Estate Romania’s General Manager, takes over sole responsibility for the company’s domestic operations, a press release informs. A co-founder of the company, Vesser is assuming overall responsibility following the departure of Ioana Momiceanu in 2009. Vesser is now responsible for the organization’s business administration and the implementation of its strategy in Romania. Her main objective will be to strengthen BNP Paribas Real Estate’s role in Romania as a top 5 player, offering its local clients premium real estate advice at international standards. “In 2010 BNP Paribas Real Estate in Romania will be focused on the business lines in which we have the best expertise: office letting and sales, valuation and top residential brokerage”, said Edit Vesser, General Manager of BNP Paribas Real Estate in Romania.


New director at Timisoara International Airport


Cornel Sanmartinean is the new director of the ‘Traian Vuia’ International Airport in Timisoara, Mediafax informs. Sanmartinean was appointed direction through an order signed by the Transport Minister. According to Transport Ministry representatives, the order was signed on Monday by Minister Radu Berceanu. The office became vacant on January 4 following Alexandru Chirila’s resignation after approximately one month in office.


Hidroelectrica
to buy consultancy services



Hidroelectrica organizes on February 1 an auction for the acquisition of consultancy services, evaluated at EUR 185,000, in view of its splitting in order to be included into Energetica, one of the two national energy companies that the Government wants to set up, Mediafax informs. “It is intended to acquire consultancy services in view of the splitting of Hidroelectrica and the setting up of Compania Nationala Energetica SA,” reads the auction announcement of the electricity producer. The estimated value of the contract, without VAT, is EUR 185,000, the agreement running over a period of two months.


Over 130,000 firms suspended operations in 2009


Over 133,000 companies suspended their activity last year, 11 times more than in 2008, according to the data of the National Office of Trade Registry (ONRC), taken over by Mediafax. “Compared to 2008, when 12,019 were registered at the level of the whole country, last year 133,362 were registered, representing a growth of 1009.59 per cent,” reads an ONRC press release. The number of dissolutions rose almost five times, to 18,766, while those of the strike offs by 247 per cent, to 43,615. Around one million firms were active at the end of the year in Romania.


The firms pay, since May 1, 2009, an annual minimum tax between RON 2,200 (around EUR 500), if they have total revenues up to RON 52,000, and RON 43,000 (around EUR 10,000), for revenues above RON 129 M. The firms which make profit continue to pay a tax of 16 per cent, but not less than the minimum limit of the category of revenues in which they fall.

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Renault in eye of French
protectionist storm again



PARIS – The French government is putting pressure on the country’s second-biggest carmaker to safeguard jobs in France and buy French products as an economic crisis and unemployment fan deep-rooted protectionist feelings. Christian Estrosi, Industry Minister and mayor of the Mediterranean coastal town of Nice, has summoned the chief operating officer of Renault (RENA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) to his offices on Wednesday as the group considers producing a new small car in Turkey. The state has a 15.01 percent stake in Renault. “I tell you very clearly that we are shareholders of Renault … and so we have the right to say what we think. We have the right to affirm that when we sell a Renault car in France, and Renault is a French name, a French brand, we do not produce it abroad,” he told France 2 television on Tuesday. (Reuters)


Genii working to improve bid
for Saab



Luxembourg-based Genii Capital is working to improve its offer for ailing Swedish carmaker Saab, a spokesman for the investment firm said on Tuesday. “Genii is working on various improvements in its bid,” Lars Carlstrom, who is coordinating a joint bid for Saab from Genii Capital and Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone, told Reuters.


“Genii hopes to improve its bid so that it becomes more attractive for GM … one has to sweeten it to be a part of the bidding, that`s the message we`ve received (from GM).” Genii and Ecclestone submitted an 11th-hour bid for Saab last Thursday, joining Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker and a group of Swedish investors in trying to convince owner General Motors to sell instead of shutting it down. GM executives said on Monday none of the bids received so far had met the financial requirement for a deal and signaled they were moving ahead with plans to wind Saab down. Still, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the company was still open to offers from potential buyers, even though time was very limited. Carlstrom said Genii planned to contact GM advisor Deutsche Bank on Tuesday and would make a statement during the day.


Automobile Craiova delisted from the stock market


Ford Motor Company, the majority shareholder of Automobile Craiova (AUCS), has received yesterday the CNVM’s green-light to start delisting the car producer from the stock market, with the minority shareholders set to receive RON 17.65 per share, a price identical to the one included in the takeover offer, Mediafax informs. At the same time, the stock market transactions involving Automobile Craiova shares were suspended yesterday at 2.30 PM at CNVM’s order.

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Chery’s cracking of Romanian car market pushed back to September


The Chinese car brand Chery’s entrance on the Romanian auto market will be delayed to September, as the Euro 5 models and the homologation certificate attesting the car’s compatibility to European regulations are in the pipeline.


‘The import of the Cherry brand was scheduled for early this year, yet some delays appeared, during which the Euro 5 model versions came out and we decided to crack the market with these versions instead,’ Lavinia Bularca, director of Sixt New Copel, the importing company, told Mediafax.


Heineken to buy Mexico’s FEMSA
in USD 7.9 billion deal



AHeineken NV will buy the beer business of Mexico’s FEMSA in a USD 7.9 billion deal that boosts the Dutch brewer’s emerging-market presence and cements an alliance with Latin America’s biggest drinks firm. Heineken, the world’s third largest brewer, said on Monday the all-stock purchase of the brewing assets excluding debt – USD 5.5 billion based on Friday’s closing share price — would make FEMSA Heineken’s second largest shareholder with a 20 percent stake and give it a boardroom role. Chief Executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer told the deal would raise Heineken’s operating profit from faster-growing emerging markets to 40 percent from 32 percent. The deal includes a further USD 2.1 billion of net debt and pension obligations. Heineken said it expected the transaction to close in the second quarter, provide annual cost synergies of 150 million euros by 2013 .


UNTRR: The Hungarian state
collects money at the expense of Romanian transporters



The National Union of the Road Transporters from Romania (UNTRR) decided to complain about the discriminating treatment applied to the Romanian drivers on the territory of Hungary. “Under the pretext of routine controls regarding road traffic safety, the Hungarian authorities sanction abusively especially the Romanian transporters (…) We can even say that the Hungarian state finances itself at the expense of the road carriers from Romania, through the fines without legal coverage, two or even four times bigger, or illegal fines for imaginary motives, collected on place (the trucks are blocked until the payment of the fines),” reads a UNTRR press release. According to UNTRR, the Hungarian authorities tell the Romanians who consider themselves wronged to contest in court the respective fines which are in most of the cases between EUR 800 and 2,000.

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ZEW: Economic situation in Romania
to improve in next six months



According to the results of a survey conducted by Erste Bank and the ZEW institute among the Central and East European financial experts, the economic situation in Romania will improve in the next six months. The survey points to better perspectives both for the economy and for the RON and the stock market. ‘Romania’s economic expectations index has grown by 16.7 points to 38.7 points. This continues to be the last but one place (ahead of Croatia – editor’s note) in the table of countries included in the survey. ‘Nevertheless, more than half of the interviewed experts estimate the improvement of economic conditions in Romania in the next six months,’ an Erste/ZEW report that deals with the survey’s results reads. At the same time the indicator that refers to the economists’ expectations on inflation has risen to 0.1 points in December, up from -13.7 points in November. The RON’s exchange rate is seen in a better light by the analysts, its indicator climbing from 2.2 points to 18.6 points. The stock market will register a positive evolution in the next six months, its indicator going from 10 points to 31.6 points.


BRD to offer loans to farmers


BRD will offer loans for the financing of the current activities of farmers that benefit from financial support. The credits will go up to 90 per cent of the subsidy’s estimated value until the full payment of that sum from the state budget, the bank announced yesterday through a press communiqué. The credits will be offered on the basis of a convention signed by the BRD with the Agency for Agricultural Payments and Intervention (APIA) and the Rural Credit Guarantee Fund (FGCR) and are destined for the beneficiaries of financial support within the vegetal, zootechnical, land improvement, territorial reorganization and systematization sectors. The loans can be obtained on the basis of certificates issued by APIA and will be guaranteed in proportion of 50 per cent by the FGCR.


First “Romanian” EUR coins
to be produced in 2011 in Brasov



The first made in Romania EUR coins could enter production starting next year in Metrom Brasov, Titus Corlatean, Brasov Senator, stated for Hotnews. In order to prepare for that, in the near future Metrom will start to produce Romanian coins (RON), with the first test-discs being already prepared and awaiting BNR’s homologation. ‘We are holding advanced talks with the National Bank and our colleagues from within the State’s Mint in order to produce European coins at Metrom Brasov. Fortunately Metrom Brasov has the technical capacity of doing that and instead of resorting to foreign companies we’d better make the coins in our country,’ Corlatean stated. The Brasov Senator also explained that in order to have the EUR-denominated monetary mass prepared production of the EUR have to start three years before entering the Euro Zone.


Season of discounts soon


Starting on January 15 the stores will lower the prices of their autumn-winter products. The season of discounts will last until April 15, with the consumers able to buy products at prices as much as 50 per cent lower. This practice is regulated by law, with the season and manner of applying the discounts being mandatory although some stores ignore them. The discount seasons are limited to only two periods per year, each of them with a maximum span of 45 days, provided the products included in the discounts are paid by the seller to its supplier at least 30 days before the start of the discount season and are usually put up for sale before the discount season.


Shah Rouf quits Aviva Asigurari
management



Shah Rouf, CEO of Aviva – the forth largest life insurance company – is leaving the company at the middle of next month to become the CEO of the Aviva subsidiary in Sri Lanka, the company informed yesterday. Aged 39, Shah Rouf became the head of Aviva Asigurari three years ago.


‘Despite the adverse economic conditions, there is no doubt that Romania is one of Europe’s future development engines. In this context, Aviva Europe will continue to invest in growing Aviva operations in Romania,’ Rouf said. The company is controlled by British group Aviva and registered subscriptions of EUR 16.5 M in the first nine months of 2009, down 5 per cent as compared to the period of reference of 2008.

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

UDMR and PDL start negotiations to form majority in Transylvania


In the following days UDMR and PDL will negotiate in order to form the majority at County level in Transylvania, the two parties’ local and central leaders decided yesterday during the governing coalition’s weekly meeting. Adriean Videanu, PDL’s First Vice-President, stated that the two parties’ County branches will have to present their local collaboration protocols until January 20 ‘so that the national-level alliance will also be reflected at each County’s level.’ UDMR leader Marko Bela previously pointed out that he asked the party’s territorial branches to seek ways of tight collaboration in the Counties, including in what concerns the presence of UDMR representatives within decentralized institutions. Asked whether UDMR will give up its alliances with other parties at territorial level, Marko avoided a clear answer. The Democrat-Liberals have asked the UDMR members to give up their already existing local collaborations, for example with the Liberals, and to collaborate with the PDL within the County Councils. Sources within PDL, quoted by Antena 3, have stated that UDMR has conditioned the creation of new local-level majorities on the re-installation of its own people at the helm of decentralized bodies, offices from which they were eliminated during the PDL-PSD Government. The possible taking-over of the leadership of these bodies by UDMR is not on the liking of the PDL County branches. The leader of PDL Covasna, a County where the majority of the population is ethnic Hungarian, has pointed out yesterday that the offices already held by Democrat-Liberal directors within those institutions should not be negotiated with UDMR.


Fenechiu states that PDL’s offer to PNL to join governance did not exist


PNL vice president Relu Fenechiu requested yesterday President Basescu and PDL leader Emil Boc, through a letter posted on his blog, to present publicly the offer that he has allegedly made to PNL to join governance, saying that actually it did not exist.


“The declarations made lately in the national mass-media by some PDL leaders starting with you, Mr. President Traian Basescu, according to which PNL turned down the invitation of the Democrat-Liberals to participate in governance determined me to send you this open letter through which I ask you publicly to put an end to this demagogic populism,” the Liberal Relu Fenechiu writes. He reiterates that “in spite of the hypocritical assertions issued immediately after the presidential elections, there has never been a concrete institutional offer to form a right wing government.” Fenechiu also declared that he posted the letter on this blog, after he asked Crin Antonescu to allow him to publish it. PNL first vice president Ludovic Orban avoided commenting Fenechiu’s step, mentioning only that PNL takes action institutionally and has a very clear position in this respect.


Liberals will not withdraw Stroe from District I


Green Party President Remus Cernea yesterday asked PNL to withdraw Radu Stroe from the partial parliamentary election to be held in electoral District I until the Constitutional Court’s ruling, but PNL President Crin Antonescu said he doubted Stroe would pull out. ‘I doubt Mr. Stroe will do this. (…) I will raise the matter. It is a difficult decision, we will discuss it and I will let you know’ Antonescu said.

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