ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Chris Rea Bucharest show sold out


All the tickets for the concert that Chris Rea will give on February 6 at the Palace Hall were sold, the organizer of the event, Emagic, announces. Part of the tour “The Very Best Of Chris Rea: Still So Far To Go,” the February 6 concert will have as special guest the young composer and guitarist Paul Casey. Promoting his latest album, a genuine collection of “great hits,” Chris Rea will arrive to Romania for a concert that will bear the mark of an over 30 year-career, all the tickets for this show being already sold out.


Chris Rea’s European tour is set to kick off on January 25 in Germany. After the Bucharest show the British artist will go to Moscow, Kiev, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam, closing with several shows on the most important stages in UK.


“Elling,” directed
by Vlad Massaci,
at Comedy Theatre



“Elling,” performance directed by Vlad Massaci, will be premiered on Thursday at 19.00 h., in the Great Hall of Teatrul de Comedie from Bucharest. The show is made after the novel “Blood brothers” by Ingvar Ambjornsen, dramatized by Axel Hellstenius and Petter Naess. The scenography of the most recent production of the theatre is signed by Andu Dumitrescu, and the cast includes Marius Florea Vizante, Sandu Pop, Mihaela Macelaru, Serban Georgevici. In their daily attempt to adapt themselves to the society, the two anti-heroes of the show, Elling and Kjell Bjarne, are the new “weird couple” which tries to function in a dysfunctional world. Ingvar Ambjornsen is a Norwegian playwright born on May 20, 1956. He became known especially after the publication of the tetralogy “Elling,” to which the novel “Blood brothers” belongs (1996).


Milen Nachev conducts National Radio Orchestra


Bulgarian conductor Milen Nachev will conduct the National Radio Orchestra in two concerts at the Radio Hall, January 22 and 29, respectively. The Friday January 22 concert features all the works by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: the festive overture Year 1812 op. 49, Concerto no 1 in B-flat minor for Piano and Orchestra Op. 23 (Daniel Goiti – piano) and Symphony no 4 in F minor Op.36. The first part of the Friday January 29 concert will feature Suite from ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ ballet by Tchaikovsky, and the second, Te Deum Op. 22 by Hector Berlioz, featuring the Radio Academic Choir prepared by Conductor Dan Mihai Goia and the Radio Children’s Choir prepared by Conductor Voicu Popescu. Tenor Marius Vlad Budoiu will be the evening’s soloist. A graduate of the opera and symphonic conducting class of Maestro Ilia Musin at the ‘Rimsky-Korsakov’ Conservatory in Petersburg (1983), Milen Nachev is currently the Chief Guest Conductor of the San Francisco ‘Simfonietta’ Orchestra, Permanent Guest Conductor of the St. Petersburg Academic Symphonic Orchestra, and musical director and First Conductor of the Saginaw Bay Symphonic Orchestra.

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SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Greece’s Olympiakos ditch Zico as coach


Olympiakos have sacked their Brazilian coach Zico following a string of poor results, the Greek club confirmed on Tuesday. The 56-year-old former Brazil international took charge of the Greek Champions just fourth months ago, replacing Temuri Ketsbaia on Sept. 16. Olympiakos drew 0-0 with Kavala on Sunday to fall seven points behind league leaders Panathinaikos, having suffered two defeats in their last four Super League matches. The Piraeus-based team also exited the Greek Cup at the fourth round stage after losing to a second division side. The Greek titleholders are, however, through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they face French club Girondins Bordeaux.


“Olympiakos announces the termination of their co-operation with the coach (Zico),” said a brief statement on the club website. “The technical leadership of the team will be undertaken by Bozidar Bandovic and Andreas Niniadis.” Bandovic, 40, works for the club as a scout and also temporarily took control of the team before Zico’s arrival.

Hanover 96 sack Bergmann after three defeats


Relegation-threatened Hanover 96 have sacked coach Andreas Bergmann following a 3-0 loss to Hertha Berlin at the weekend, the club said on Tuesday. Hanover are 16th in the Bundesliga on 17 points after 18 games -ahead only of Nuremberg and Hertha – following three straight defeats and seven league games without a win. “After this negative run, those in charge felt that Andreas Bergmann could not give the team the necessary impulses to remain in the Bundesliga,” sporting director Joerg Schmadtke said on the club website. Bergmann, 50, replaced Dieter Hecking after three matches of this season but could not sustain the good form of his first two months in charge. It has been a difficult season for the club after the suicide of goalkeeper Robert Enke in November.

Rubin Kazan offers
EUR 6 M for Mutu



Adrian Mutu’s thirst for goals, a thirst that he has exhibited in every game this year, has determined Russia’s Rubin Kazan to file an offer to Fiorentina. According to Italy’s firenzeviola.it website, Fiorentina has received an offer of EUR 6 M from Rubin Kazan. According to the aforementioned source, the Russian title holders’ main contender in the race to buy Mutu is not Zenit Sankt Petersburg as initially thought but Shakhtar Donetsk, a team coached by Romania’s Mircea Lucescu. Adrian Mutu repeatedly stated that he does not consider leaving Fiorentina this winter, however neither he nor the club officials have ruled out the possibility of a transfer in the summer.


Rugby player Mihai Adascalitei suspended after punching teammate


The Romanian Rugby Federation has decided to suspend Mihai Adascalitei for an undetermined period after the player punched his teammate Andrei Radoi on Monday evening and broke his nose. According to Mediafax, the decision of the body consisting of the president and vice presidents of the Federation will remain in force until the special commissions take a decision. Alin Petrache, the president of the Romanian Rugby Federation, stated that he will not tolerate a national team player punching a teammate. ‘The manner in which Adascalitei behaved runs against the spirit of this sport. He will bear the consequences,’ Petrache stated. The incident in which Mihai Adascalitei and Andrei Radoi were involved took place in the training camp of the Stejarii Bucharest team.


French prop Attoub gets 70-week ban for gouging


Stade Francais prop David Attoub was handed a 70-week ban for gouging in a Heineken Cup match against Ulster last month, his club said on Tuesday. The 28-year-old Attoub, who played for France in 2006, was suspended by competition organisers ERC for gouging flanker Stephen Ferris’s eyes in an ill-tempered game won 23-13 by Ulster in Belfast. “We will appeal,” Stade Francais coach Jacques Delmas told Reuters. “Everybody in the team is very affected by this,” he added. “They (ERC) judged an intention rather than a gesture. With them (ERC), it’s still the Hundred Years War.” France scrumhalf Julien Dupuy, also a Stade Francais player, was suspended for 24 weeks for gouging Ferris in the same match. His ban was reduced to 23 weeks last week following an appeal.


Robben, trouble with Philipp Lahm


Arjen Robben has played down a training ground incident with Philipp Lahm. He claimed the disagreement was resolved immediately afterwards, Mediafax informs. Robben took exception to a tackle from behind by Lahm, who took the ball cleanly. The Dutch winger would not let Lahm stand up and put his hand on the Germany full-back’s throat as his temper flared at Bayern Munich’s training ground. He had to be pulled away by his team-mates and then he acted as though nothing strange had actually happened. g an appeal. The ban rules Dupuy, who has won six caps for France, out of the Six Nations championship and effectively means his season is over. He will be eligible to play again on May 27.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

UDMR opposes cutting
the MPs number



UDMR opposed the initiative to lower the number of parliamentarians, because the representation level of minorities would be damaged, the leader of the Union, Marko Bela declared for Mdiafax.


According to the ethnic Hungarian leader, UDMR does not rush in this process and debates over the matter in Parliament must not be carried only between the representatives of the Government and those of the opposition. “Long discussions will probably follow, and here I do not believe the line will be drawn between opposition and ruling majority. I believe most parties will join the efforts to reorganize the parliamentary system, but the question is who will think what about this reorganization. I was honest each time and now I am saying: we will not rush,” the UDMR leader said. In his opinion, the fact that the ethnic minorities other than Hungarians are subject to positive discrimination and are represented each by a deputy in Parliament is an earned advantage that is beneficial to Romania, and should be preserved in the future formula of Parliament. At the moment of the referendum for a unicameral Parliament, the executive president of UDMR, Laszlo Borbely declared he voted against this process, because Romania needs a bi-cameral legislative. “Only the communists disbanded the Senate,” in 1946, he added.


Senator Voicu questioned
by DNA prosecutors



PSD Senator Catalin Voicu – investigated by DNA prosecutors for having claimed and received money from several businessmen for the favourable settlement of some civil and criminal cases pending with the judicial authorities – was questioned yesterday at DNA in the file in which he is charged. Voicu was questioned also in December 2009 by the anti-corruption prosecutors who forbid him to leave Bucharest. “The prosecutors from the National Anticorruption Division (DNA) carry out criminal investigations in connection with the defendant Catalin Voicu, Senator, who is charged in two cases of influence peddling,” a DNA press release informs. The prosecutors forbid Voicu to get in contact with several persons. According to judicial sources, these are several PSD members, a lawyer and several judges from the High Court of Appeals and Justice and Bucharest Court of Appeal. Florin Costiniu is suspected of having interceded with judges from the administrative litigation section of the High Court of Appeals and Justice for the settlement of a file in favour of the businessman Costel Casuneanu, who is also investigated in this case.


No criminal proceedings
against Nemirschi



Former Environment Minister Nicolae Nemnirschi will not be opened criminal proceedings against in a case regarding alleged false assertions on his wealth statement. The National Agency for Integrity (ANI), which lodged the complaint, announced it would appeal the ruling. ‘It was natural for that to happen, I only presented the prosecutor with the documents I brought from home, and I would have done the same to the ANI people too, and the issue would have been settled even seven months ago,’ Nemirschi said.


The ANI Press Office replied the standard procedure will be applied in this case too, namely an appeal will be filed against the ruling. On June 23, 2009, ANI called on prosecutors with the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ) to inquire Nicolae Nemirschi, a Social-Democrat environment minister at the time, over alleged false statements in his wealth statement submitted on June 15 the same year. Integrity inspectors took note June 16, 2009 of the Nemirschi case from press articles and ‘verified a series of inadvertences’ in the dignitary’s wealth statement.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

CFR Marfa turned bankrupt from within


The management of CFR Marfa, a state owned company specialized in the rail transport of commodities, admits in an official document that the painful condition of the company is determined by inflexible tariff policies and the consolidation of the private operators, according to ‘Evenimentul Zilei.’


Because of the flawed management, sometimes bordering sabotage, the company announced that it would turn redundant 6,380 employees, in order to recover financially, the union leaders say. Another cause claimed by the unionists, which led to the present disastrous situation, is that the former managers were “recruited,” sometimes together with the CFR contracts, by the relevant private companies. “Most of the contract went to GFR (Grup Feroviar Roman – editor’s note), among them Petrom or Conpet,” says the leader of the Federation of Locomotive Mechanics, Iulian Mantescu, said. He gave two concrete examples: the last director of CFR Marfa, Calin Gratian, who resigned and assumed the management of Rail Cargo Austria, an Austrian state company, and the former chief of the sales office from CFR Marfa, Madalin Ionescu. “After they left, the two tried to take from CFR Marfa the contracts for the transport of plate from Port Constanta to the car plants from Pitesti,” Mantescu said.

Kraft snares Cadbury for USD 19.6 bln


Kraft Foods agreed a deal to buy Cadbury for around 11.9 billion pounds (USD 19.6 billion), creating the world’s top confectioner after frantic last-minute talks broke an impasse over price. Kraft’s CEO Irene Rosenfeld had to inject more cash into her bid and cut the number of new Kraft shares in the offer to win over Roger Carr, chairman of the 186-year-old Cadbury, and mollify her top shareholder, billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The enlarged group will pip privately owned Mars-Wrigley to the title of the world’s top sweet maker, bringing under one roof Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate and Trident gum and Kraft’s Milka, Toblerone and Terry’s chocolate brands. Cadbury is attractive to Kraft because of its strong growth in emerging markets such as India and Latin America, whereas Kraft, famed for its Oreo biscuits and Philadelphia cheese, has well over half its sales in the mature North American market. Cadbury shares hit a record high of 838 pence in early trade and were up 3.3 percent 834p by 13:20 GMT. The new bid, which won unanimous recommendation from the Cadbury board, consists of 500p of cash and 0.1874 new Kraft shares, compared to Kraft’s original offer of 300p cash and 0.2589 new Kraft shares, which valued the shares at 745p in September, when the deal was first proposed Cadbury shareholders now have until Feb. 2 to decide whether to accept a deal that values the shares at 13 times the group’s estimated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2009. Analysts say a counter bid for Cadbury is unlikely.

JAL files for bankruptcy


Japan Airlines Corp filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, owing more than USD 25 billion, and vowed to slash 15,700 jobs and unprofitable routes as it tries to survive volatile fuel costs and fickle flyers. JAL, Asia’s largest airline by revenues, will remain in the skies thanks to nearly 1 trillion yen (USD 11 billion) in state-backed support and must go through a sweeping restructuring under a new board and management. Shareholders will be wiped out and creditors will forgive 730 billion yen in debt, including a 350 billion yen debt waiver from banks, as part of the deal with the fund, the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp of Japan (ETIC). Bankruptcy will only be the beginning for an airline with depleted capital, facing headwinds such as rising fuel prices and shrinking passenger numbers, on top of hefty restructuring costs. JAL, which has now been bailed out by the Japanese government four times in the past 10 years, will replace many of its older and less fuel-efficient planes. It also faces tough decisions about foreign capital and alliances. JAL’s 2.3 trillion yen bankruptcy ranks as Japan’s fourth-largest ever and its biggest by a non-financial firm. The airline’s debt figure was as of the end of September, meaning the actual number could be higher. Its core airline business had at least 1.5 trillion yen in debt as of the same period.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Flamingo debt – EUR 52 M


Flamingo’s debts amount to EUR 52 M. Insolvency houses will prepare a reorganization plan by the end of Q1 in order to pay the debts to banks and suppliers, company officials say. The main banks to which the electro-IT retails owes money to – a total of EUR 33 M – are Unicredit, ING and BRD. The remaining EUR 20 M are debts to suppliers. The Flamingo group of companies (FLA) needs a capital injection of EUR 4 – 5 M to step up business, grow revenue and start making operating profit, Flamingo International Deputy General Manager Adrian Olteanu said yesterday, according to Mediafax.


Authorities want to tax major wealth, calls on IMF for assistance


The fiscal authorities want to tax the wealth of very rich individuals who are unable to account for their income and who are suspected of tax evasion. The National Tax Administration Authority (ANAF) has already asked the IMF for assistance in the preparation of the needed legislation, government sources have told Mediafax. ‘We want to tax those very rich people who are totally unable to justify their wealth by their income but who have a villa in the Dorobanti area of Bucharest, for example. We want to identify the best ways to collect the taxes and other fees from such individuals. For now, there is no legal framework in place to do it’ said the quoted sources. According to the sources, an IMF technical assistance team – different to the stand-by agreement evaluation mission, in a first stage will assess the existing legislation. In a second stage, the IMF will make its legislative recommendations. An IMF technical assistance team will most likely arrive to Bucharest in February, the sources added.


Marriott management forecasts occupancy rate 5-6 pc higher than in 2009


The five-star Marriott Hotel of Bucharest registers a stable average occupancy rate that will increase by up to 6 pc during Q1 this year, against the same period of 2009, JW Marriott general manager Igael Porecki told Money.ro. The hotel provided in its budget a significant turnover increase in 2010, against the target of 2009. Porecki also announced an investment worth EUR 1.5 M in revamping the hotel. The Bucharest market of five-star hotels registered an occupancy rate of about 60 pc in 2009, Porecki added. The Marriott manager bets on leisure travel to counter the collapse suffered by the business travel segment, caused by the economic downturn – a decline that is even more acutely felt during summer. Igael Porecki says he did not resort to layoffs in 2009, but he froze the recruitment process.


Digitalization urges the media to reinvent itself


Global recession and digitalization are the main challenges facing media players, with new trends and expected developments changing the balance of power within the industry and even resetting the scope of other sectors, according to the latest Media Predictions report issued yesterday by the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte, a press release informs. “The more or less controversial developments at the end of 2009 and the uncertainty that followed laid a grim perspective for the Romanian media industry in the beginning of the year,” said Andreea Zoescu, Audit Manager with Deloitte Romania. She assures that no matter how unsettling these changes might have been it is obvious that the local industry needs and will undergo restructuring based on new realities. In 2010 most video and audio content will continue to be consumed linearly. Over 90 pc of all television watched and over 80 pc of all audio content consumed will be via traditional broadcast. Online advertising spending will not only grow in value but is also likely to grow substantially faster than the total advertising market.

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