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November 14, 2019
ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Award season continues with SAGs


Quentin Tarantino’s World War Two movie “Inglourious Basterds” won its biggest award so far on Saturday, taking the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild awards. Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock were hailed as best movie actor and actress of 2009 on a night where no single movie dominated but which lined the two stars up for likely Oscar glory in March. “Inglourious Basterds,” a violent and darkly comic revenge fantasy, won for best ensemble for a multinational cast that included American Brad Pitt, Germany’s Diane Kruger and Austrian Christoph Waltz, who also added the SAG best supporting actor trophy to his slew of awards. The Tarantino movie had already won a string of film critics’ awards but none as prestigious as the award chosen by the 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild. Bullock, previously best known for romantic comedies, plays a wealthy white mother who takes a downtrodden black high school football player into her home in “The Blind Side.” Bridges’ performance as a drunken country singer in “Crazy Heart” has brought the best accolades of a career that started when he was a baby.


BAFTAs boost hopes of Oscars for ‘Avatar,’
‘An Education’



Two of the front-runners at this year’s Oscars – “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” as well as home-grown favorite “An Education” – lead the pack at the BAFTAs with eight nominations each, including best picture nods. Another two of the top Oscar contenders — “Up in the Air” and “Precious” – fared less well, though they count best picture nods among their six and four BAFTA bids, respectively. Another favorite at the Oscars — “Inglorious Basterds” – also earned six BAFTA nominations, including directing and screenplay nods for Quentin Tarantino, but was bumped from the best picture race. Among the other Oscar hopefuls, “District 9” landed seven nominations, including directing and screenplay bids while “Star Trek” earned just two tech nods. “Up” contends in four categories, including animated film and original screenplay. That latter category is also where “The Hangover” and “A Serious Man” each earned their only BAFTA bids. “Nine” was nominated only for hair and makeup while “Invictus” was shut out.


Though the BAFTA laurels have foreseen only three best-picture Oscar winners – Gladiator” (2000), “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) and “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) – since these kudos were moved up in 2000 to take place while academy members are still voting, they do far better at predicting the acting awards.


Born in the USSR, exhibition at Mora Gallery


‘Born in the USSR’, a painting exhibition by Valeriu Schiau was opened at the Mora gallery last week. The display can be seen through February 12. According to the author, the painting subject is the ‘Socialist period of the Soviet empire from its beginning and up to 1989, as the generations who were born and lived into a system different than today’s lacked the opportunity to express themselves freely’ . The Valeriu Schiau exhibit denounces the ‘process of killing people’s souls through direct blows applied to children,’ a fine arts statistics of a black period in human history: ‘the socialist period of the Soviet empire,’ as the author himself calls it. According to critics, ‘Schia’s works illustrate in a direct, tender and unexpected way Stalin’s words that a human’s death is a tragedy, yet the death of millions of people is but a statistics.’ ‘Schiau paints: his figurative art is an open wound. Schiau tests in silence, embraces the tragic, both he instability of the private memory and any future projection. His obsession with the embrionary structure motive triggers not only an army of spectral appearances, but also a deep, meditative mood focused on the balance between life and death’, according to art critic Aurelia Mocanu. ‘Born in the USSR’ is Mora Gallery’s first artistic project in the ‘MORA 2010’ exhibiting program part of which there will be shown art works by Romanian and foreign artists. It illustrates various techniques of painting, installations, photography, video and performances. The 11 projects by Romanian and foreign artists are developed based on topics chosen according to the ideas and desires of any artist, without being brokered by any curatorial element whatsoever. The projects were picked following a Projects Appeal Mora Foundation launched in 2009.


Romanian top artists vying for Eurovision entry


Some of the best known Romanian artists have expressed their wish to represent Romania in this year’s Oslo Eurovision contest, due in May. Among them, Marcel Pavel, Paula Seling, Rona Hartner or Anda Adam, in a competition that has already enlisted no more, no less than 111 artists for the March national competition selection. A jury was to decide yesterday who the 15 finalists are. This is also mainly due to the fact that Romania has been constantly occupying the lagging positions in the European contest over the past years, last year Elena Gheorghe came 19, while in 2008, Nico& Vlad Mirita came on 20th position. In 2005, singer Luminita Anghel and System had the best performance our country has had in Eurovision, the third place with “Let Me Try.” Another notable performance was Marcel Pavel’s in 2002, who came 9th with “Tell Me Why”. Whoever will get to perform this year in the Oslo best song competition, they will have to compete against Goran Bregovic, who was recently confirmed by Serbia as composer as their Eurovision entry.

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SPORTS

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Marica scores victory goal for Stuttgart


Romanian striker Ciprian Marica has scored the goal thanks to which VfB Stuttgart won its away game against SC Freiburg on Friday evening, score 1-0 (1-0). The game counted for leg 19 of the German football championship. Marica scored in the 44th minute, with that being his second goal in 12 games. Marica played the entire 90 minutes. Bayer Leverkusen tops the German championship with 38 points, followed by FC Schalke 04 with 37 points, Bayern Munich with 36 points, Hamburger SV with 34 points and Borussia Dortmund with 33 points. VfB Stuttgart is 11th with 22 points in 19 games.


World handball
champion loses struggle against cancer



Germany’s handball player Oleg Velyky, world title winner in 2007, lost his battle against cancer this week-end at the age of 32, Hotnews.ro informs. Born in Ukraine, Oleg was naturalized in Germany and won the world title in 2007. Starting chemotherapy in 2003, Oleg did not play a single minute during the World Championship in 2007 despite the fact that a lot of efforts were made in order for him to do it. Nevertheless, he was part of Germany’s roster when it won the world title. Oleg’s health worsened in March 2008 but he continued his struggle against the disease. He played handball until mid-2009, taking part in four games that Hamburg played in Germany’s first handball league. Velyky played 38 games for Germany’s national handball team and 59 for Ukraine’s. He was married and had a 6-year old child.


Olympic Games 2010: Blind skier to race
for Canada



Long-distance skier Brian McKeever, selected to be part of Canada’s team in the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver (February 12-28), will become the first skier in history to take part in both the Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Paralympic Games. McKeever, aged 30, has already won 7 medals in the Paralympic Games, 4 of which are Gold Medals. He won his medals from the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City (2002) until those in Turin (2006). McKeever started to ski while he was very young but caught the Stargardt malady at the age of 19, losing a significant part of his capacity to see. Despite becoming ‘legally blind,’ he continued to pursue his sports passion, being guided by his brother Robin.


FC Barcelona defeats Valladolid, 3-0


Spain’s title holders FC Barcelona continues its performance, finishing the first half of the championship undefeated. On Saturday Barcelona won its away-game against Valladolid, score 3-0, a game counting for leg 19, the last leg of the first half of the season. The goals were scored by Xavi (20th minute), Dani Alves (22nd minute) and Messi (56th minute). In another game on Saturday evening FC Sevilla defeated Almeria, score 1-0, with Negredo scoring the only goal in the 9th minute.

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Two Romanian
soldiers injured
in Afghanistan



Two Romanian soldiers were injured on Sunday around 7.30 PM Romanian time in a rocket attack against their army base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence informs.


According to a communiqué issued by the MoD on Monday, quarter masters Sergiu Hulpoi and Mihai Paduraru were taken to the army hospital in Kandahar where they were given medical assistance. Following preliminary investigations it was established that their health is stable. Mihai Paduraru left the hospital on Monday morning, while Sergiu Hulpoi remained hospitalized. The two soldiers, general staff NCOs, were just beginning their six-month deployment in Afghanistan, the MoD informs. Since 2003 Romania lost 11 soldiers in Afghanistan. Last Thursday the President announced that Romania will send an extra 600 soldiers to Afghanistan.

Launching of informal group of support
for R. of Moldova’s European bid



Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi has launched yesterday in Brussels the informal group of support for the Republic of Moldova’s European bid. The initiative took place within the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council. According to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event was presided by Pierre Lellouche, secretary for European Affairs within the French Foreign Ministry, and had Iurie Leanca, the Republic of Moldova’s Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration, as special guest.


The launch was attended by the Ministers, secretaries of state and ambassadors of the following countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and Hungary. The initiative is open to all EU member states interested in backing the Republic of Moldova’s democratic and European path.


The event took place the day before the visit that President Basescu will pay to Chisinau on January 27 and 28. During his visit to the Republic of Moldova the President will be accompanied by Ministers Vasile Blaga, Adriean Videanu, Teodor Baconschi, Elena Udrea, Radu Berceanu and Catalin Predoiu. The President’s agenda in Chisinau includes a meeting with Mihai Ghimpu, the interim President of the Republic, as well as with Premier Vladimir Filat, Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, leaders and representatives of Parliamentary parties.

Government to pass Education Law
by end-March



The Government will pass the draft Education Law by the end of March and send it to the Parliament for adoption, Premier Emil Boc announced at the conclusion of a meeting with the ambassadors of EU states in Bucharest, whom he presented the legislative calendar of his Cabinet. The premier also assured the EU diplomats that Romania will abide to all its international commitments, with a special mention to the accord with the IMF. “This was a useful discussion,” Boc said after the meeting with the European ambassadors.

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Iraqi govt bought fake bomb detectors
from Romania, media



Iraqi officials have been deceived by a company selling bomb detectors made in Great Britain and Romania, Realitatea TV quoted ‘The New York Times’ as reporting. Britain’s ATSC Company sold the devices worth USD 250 apiece for 10 times more money. Further more, tests showed their efficiency to be close to nil, ‘The New York Times” wrote, quoting military experts and engineers. The ATSC owner was arrested Friday for fraud and false statements only to be released on bail. British authorities banned the equipment from being exported to Iraq and Afghanistan.


President recalls Ambassador
to Peru, Ecuador



President Traian Basescu on Friday signed a decree for the early recalling of Stefan Costin, Romania’s extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to Peru and Ecuador. He was accredited ambassador in August 2007. The recall comes amid budgetary cutbacks. In June 2009, official sources told Mediafax that the Leadership Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs resolved to close 14 consular offices and diplomatic missions in Africa, South America and the Far East, among which the embassies to Ethiopia, Peru, Malaysia and the general consulate in Cape Town.


Romania honorary consulate
in Guatemala – opened



Romania’s honorary consulate in Guatemala was formally opened in Ciudad de Guatemala, Thursday, the Foreign Ministry (MAE) announced. Romania’s ambassador to Mexico, Manuela Vulpe, who is also ambassador to Guatemala, attended the event, along with Guatemala’s vice-minister. Romania’s honorary consul to Guatemala, Manuel Arturo Soto Aguirre, is a reputed Guatemalan lawyer and politician, former member of Guatemala’s Congress, its –president, former interior minister, judge with the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala and vice-president of the Latin American Parliament, Mediafax quoted MAE as stating. The consulate is aimed at boosting political, economic, trade and cultural relations with Guatemala, the largest and most populous country in Central America.


High school girl beaten by classmates


Petronela Mihalache, a girl aged 15, was savagely beaten by two of her girl classmates at the Energy Technical College of Bucharest, because she refused to smoke. The victim was rushed to the Marie Curie hospital of Bucharest, where she was diagnosed with brain trauma, writes the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper. Education Minister Daniel Funeriu warned the Bucharest School Inspectorate (ISMB) and the other local inspectorates throughout the country that they must reinforce the school discipline and security measures provided by regulations. The Minister also urged ISMB to start a probe into the latest case of violence and enforce the adequate measures, when the investigation is concluded.


Armed robbery targets pawnshop in Iasi


A masked man armed with an airgun walked Saturday morning into a pawnshop in the city of Iasi, threatened the saleswoman to give him the day’s earnings – RON 300 – and ran away with the money. The man did not use the gun during the incident, ad nobody was hurt. The robbery occurs just days after a failed robbery attempt at a money exchange house near the Iasi train station.

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Several injured
in minibus collision



Seven persons were injured yesterday morning in a car crash on National Road 1 after two minibuses frontally collided in Lugasu de Jos locality, Bihor County, Mediafax informs. According to the traffic police, the driver of a minibus with Italian license plates, a minibus that was carrying seven passengers and was heading to Italy, lost control of the steering wheel and entered the opposite lane where it frontally collided with another minibus that had Romanian license plates. Hadrian Borcea the head of the emergency ward within the county hospital in Oradea, stated that seven persons were injured in the crash, with one of them refusing to be hospitalized. According to him, a woman is more seriously injured, having an open leg fracture, with the other persons suffering minor head and face traumas and bruises.


Plane misses takeoff
in Bacau



A plane due to take off for Bucharest from the ‘George Enescu’ airport of Bacau was grounded Saturday morning, after it missed the takeoff and plowed into the field surrounding the runway. The incident was caused by throttling too much one engine, airport sources said. Nobody was injured in the incident, nor did the airplane suffer any damage, and the passengers eventually reached Bucharest aboard another aircraft. According to a press release issued by Tarom airline, the incident occurred when one of the plane’s two engines suffered from an uncontrolled increase in the number of rotations per minute (RPM). In this situation, the pilots acted rapidly and in accord with procedures, by cutting the power to both engines.


Man injured in explosion in Targoviste


A 34-year-old man suffered severe burns after an explosion took place yesterday morning in his apartment in Targoviste. The explosion took place in the kitchen, with the man’s wife and child, who were staying in another room, being unscathed. The man suffered second and third degree burns on his face, hands and stomach, as well as respiratory system burns. The apartment’s windows, door and part of its furniture were damaged; however the other apartments from the block of flats were undamaged. The explosion was likely caused by a gas pocket that had accumulated in the kitchen. The gas ignited when the man used a cigar lighter.


Fire at Faculty of Literature in Bucharest


A fire started at the semi-basement of the Faculty of Literature on Friday, being put out in approximately ten minutes. Nevertheless, five persons suffered from light smoke intoxication (two of them being taken to hospital) and several documents and diplomas were destroyed. Three of the five persons that suffered from smoke intoxication refused medical care. According to Ioan Panzaru, the dean of the Bucharest University, the fire erupted at a time when exams were taking place at the ground floor and at floors 1 and 2. The Bucharest University subsequently announced that the fire destroyed the archive that contained diplomas, with the damages estimated at RON 2,000. ‘The archive will be recovered. The Bucharest University has no reasons to believe that the fire was caused by anything other than a technical malfunction,’ the University pointed out in a press communiqué quoted by Mediafax.

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Bucharest `keen to
promote regional
relevance programmes, FM tells EU Ambassadors



Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi met the EU ambassadors on Friday, for a meeting organized by the Spanish Embassy in Bucharest, country that has undertaken the rotating presidency of the European Union. On this occasion the head of Romanian diplomacy said Romania is determined to strengthen its statute within EU and to actively promote ideas and projects with regional relevance. European issues were also on the agenda of the meeting. FM Baconschi presented Romania’s main directions for the time to come. Baconschi expressed his confidence in Spain’s ability to reach the ambitions targets set for its six-month mandate and in Spain’s capacity to coordinate the formulation of the Union’s responses to the current challenges at European and global level. He also stressed the wish of an efficient cooperation within the European institutional framework and the importance of preparing for taking part to the European External Action Service. ‘Romania has a lot to learn from Spain, and I am here to voice my country’s hope that we can join our forces, under the Spanish Presidency, in a renewed effort for ‘Innovative Europe,’ FM Baconschi said, adding to the need for EU to get more involved in R. of Moldova’s aspirations towards accession.


U.S. Embassy thanks Romania for additional troops to Afghanistan


The U.S. Embassy expressed on Friday its appreciation to Romania for contributing 600 additional troops to the already substantial contingent it has in Afghanistan. ‘With these additional troops, Romania will have nearly 1,800 soldiers in Afghanistan. We admire the professionalism, excellent performance, exceptional commitment to duty and the sacrifices of the Romanian forces. Romania has been one of the most dependable and staunchest allies in Afghanistan in NATO’S vital mission to stop the spread of terrorism and to help the Afghan people build a peaceful, democratic nation. We are very grateful to the Romanian people,’ the Embassy’s release reads. On the other hand US Ambassador Mark Henry Gitenstein also thanked the Romanian foreign minister Teodor Baconschi for the decision adopted by CSAT during a presentation visit on Friday. FM Baconschi stressed the importance of intensifying bilateral economic cooperation between the US and Romania and of American investments to our country. Baconschi also proposed a bilateral business forum in 2010. The Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) approved on Thursday de deployment of further 600 additional troops to Afghanistan.


Marius Lazurca, the new ambassador to Chisinau


Romania named on Friday a new ambassador to Chisinau, R. of Moldova. Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi announced on Friday Marius Lazurca is the proposal for the office. The announcement comes days before the expected visit of President Basescu to the neighbouring country (January 27-28). On the other hand Baconschi said Romania is rejecting any attempt of accrediting the idea of a Moldovan nation and a Moldovan language apart from the Romanian ones, offering historical data in this regard, according to Mediafax. Interim President of R. of Moldova Mihai Ghimpu announced his agreement for the naming of Lazurca as ambassador, Pro TV Chisinau reported. Lazurca is currently the Romanian Ambassador to the Holy Seat.

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BUSINESS

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OMD assumes Vodafone media account


One of the most disputed media accounts in the market, the one of Vodafone, shifts as of February 1 to OMD agency, after it was managed for 12 years by Bogdan Enoiu with McCann Erickson. The media agency is part of the portfolio of Omnicom Media Group Romania (OMG Romania), an entity belonging 100 per cent to Omnicom Group, and is managed by Cristian Mucichescu. “I want to thank the media team of McCann Erickson, our trustful partner during the last 12 years, for their professionalism and the involvement with which they supported us. Together, we innovated and we managed to create a model of leadership on the local market and bring Vodafone brand closer to the Romanians,” said Marco Kind, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Romania, in a press release.


Vodafone Romania stressed that it would continue its collaboration with McCann Erickson agency for the advertising creation services.


UMR, part of Sixt New Kopel, new Suzuki dealer


Union Motors Romania (UMR) – part of Sixt New Kopel Group – is the new dealer of Suzuki cars in Bucharest, a press release informs. The partnership will be implemented in the showroom from Otopeni, where new cars and parts will be put up for sale. The clients will benefit in the same place from car assistance services.“Being one of the biggest purchasers of Suzuki cars in Romania, for the fleet of the operational leasing and ‘rent a car’ divisions of Sixt New Kopel Group, we are the beneficiaries of a vast expertise with Suzuki brand that we trust very much. We are proud of being part now of Suzuki network as dealer,” declared Dudy Perry, General Manager Sixt New Kopel Group. In the summer 2009, Sixt New Kopel Group announced that it was the exclusive important of Chery Brand in Romania, Chery being the biggest car maker in China.


Rembrandt Hotel turns 5 on the hotel market from Bucharest


Rembrandt Hotel celebrates five years on the hotel market from Bucharest, a press release informs. The hotel boutique was officially opened in early January 2005, in the Old Center, further to an investment of EUR 900,000, much of the amount being used for the inside and outside rehabilitation of the building which dates from the ‘20s, being part of the historic patrimony of Bucharest. The hotel has registered a turnover of EUR 400,000 already in the first year, and since then the affair grew constantly to EUR 550,000 in 2008. Rembrandt Hotel received in these five years over 10,000 guests who reserved over 21,000 accommodation nights in the 16 rooms of the hotel. “2009 was not the best year in tourism, and we also felt a fall of demand. The turnover is 75-80 per cent of that from the previous year but finally we felt a slight revival of the market. I am confident that 2010 will be a better year and we shall successfully use the experience of the last year,” declared Alina Buzea, hotel’s manager.

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Draft act on forming new companies in the energy sector, ready to pass today


The draft regulation on forming the two national companies in the energy sector has been completed and can be passed in today’s meeting of the Government, Mediafax quotes official sources as saying. “The documents that forms the two companies, discussed in the CSAT meeting, was completed and can be approved by Government on Monday,” the sources explained. The Cabinet meets today in a session that has as main topic of discussion the ways to enforce the blanket salary system in the state sector. Tudor Serban, state secretary in the Ministry of the Economy recently declared that the draft act on forming the two national energy companies, Electra and Energetica was submitted to the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) and will enter Government debates this week.


Transferoviar Group to enter
the passenger rail transport market
this March



Railway freight transport operator Transferoviar Group, based in Cluj-Napoca and controlled by businessman Calin Mitica, will reach out to the passenger transport market this March, when it will start operating two routes in the Buzau and Bihor counties, Mediafax reports. Initially, the transport activity will we provided by Transferoviar Group, but later it will be transferred to a newly formed company. “There will be a public passenger’s transport service, which we will conduct first through Transferoviar Grup, because the new company still needs certain licenses from the Romanian Railway Authority, which will take a few more months. The decision was made because of the financial crisis, which limited the freight transport activity. The Group’s chairman and the Board of Administrators through such an activity would be opportune. We took part in a bid held by CRF SA and won two routes on non-interoperable railway segments,” Transferoviar Group CEO Kinga Madarasan recently declared.


Eurocopter attained business goals
in 2009



Eurocopter, the world leader of the helicopter industry, attained its business and output goals in 2009, maintaining its turnover at the record level registered in 2008, a communiqué remitted to the editorial office informs. The number of deliveries has remained stable, with 558 new civilian and military helicopters being delivered in 2009. That figure is very close to the one registered in 2008 and strengthens Eurocopter’s status as a major business division within EADS, consolidating the turnover with EUR 4.6 bln. The orders have suffered a decline in number of sold units, but not in value. 344 helicopters were sold, including 81 Super Puma/Cougar/EC225/EC725 helicopters worth EUR 5.8 bln. With gross orders for approximately 460 helicopters, Eurocopter has consolidated its top position on the civil and semi-public market. 55 per cent of the company’s turnover in 2009 comes from selling standard model helicopters (EUR 2.5 bln), 35 per cent comes from support and services activities, with the remaining 10 per cent coming from the development of other activities.

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Eurostat: Industrial orders’ drop


Last November, Romania ranked ninth in the EU based on the decline of new orders in industry, with a drop of 6.8 pc, over three times more severe than the 2 pc decrease registered across the 27 member states, Eurostat sources reveal, quoted by Mediafax.


Industrial orders dropped by 1.5 pc in the Euro zone, in November 2009 against a year ago, while at EU level the indicator rose in seven member states, fell in 14, and held steady in Italy. The most abrupt decreases were reported by Ireland (-26.5 pc), Lithuania (-24.8 pc) and Estonia (-16.3 pc), while the best performing states were Slovenia (10.6 pc), the Czech Republic (7.9 pc), and Finland (6.9 pc). The only industrial sector that scored an increase last November was that of perishables, where the indicator rose by 4.8 pc. The manufacturers of durables saw orders drop by 0.2 pc across the EU, the sector of fundamental goods suffered a 3.5 pc decline, while the new orders received by intermediary goods producers went down by 2.2 pc.


Romania, second in Europe in terms of tax evasion


Romania ranks second in Europe, after Italy, with regard to tax evasion, according to data released by the fiscal institutions of the European Union, quoted by Libertatea online. According to the survey, conducted at the request of an Italian association of citizens, over 42 pc of taxable incomes are not declared in Romania, while in Italy the percentage reaches 51 pc. Bulgaria ranks third, followed by Estonia and Slovakia. “Tax evasion has become the most popular sport in Italy,” commented the president of the association that ordered the survey. Apparently, Romania is in a rather similar situation, one might say.


Domestic steel output dropped
by half in 2009



Romania’s steel output dropped by 46.4 pc in 2009, to 2.7 million metric tons, from 5.03 million metric tons in 2008, according to data released Friday by the World Steel Association (WSO), Mediafax reports. In December, steel output amounted 54.1 pc less year-on-year, WSO finds in its report. According to the document, in 2009, Romania ranked 37 in the global top of steel producers, based on volume figures, behind states like Poland (20th place) with 7.2 million metric tons, the Czech Republic (29) with 4.6 million tons and Slovakia (33) with 3.7 million tons. Global crude steel dropped 8 percent in 2009, in one of the worst downturns in its history, but analysts expect production to rise around 10 percent this year as the $500 billion industry slowly recovers. The world produced 1.22 billion tonnes of crude steel in 2009, its lowest level since 1.144 billion tonnes in 2005, figures from the Brussels-based World Steel Association, whose members represent 85 percent of steel ouput, showed on Friday. China strengthened its position as the world’s top producer, with its production rising to a record high at 567.8 million tonnes.


UTI has projects worth EUR 30 M abroad in 2010


The Romanian UTI group, with activities in security devices and hardware, IT, traffic management and constructions, recently won – or is in the final stage – tenders worth a total EUR 30 M abroad, the group president and majority shareholder, Tiberiu Urdareanu announced, quoted by Mediafax.UTI also envisages traffic management projects in Poland, Bulgaria and R. of Moldova, he added. In Romania too, the group signed a number of contracts for this year, allowing it to estimate its turnover at EUR 135 M in 2010.

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New Opel Astra – a new perspective in the compact class


Opel launches the new Astra – a completely redesigned hatchback with five doors, which aims at reviving this segment in Europe. In line with Opel’s tradition of compact cars, initiated in 1936 with the first Kadett, the Astra model has held, for decades, a podium position among the best sold compact vehicles in Europe. The new Opel Astra comes in four equipping variants: Essentia, Enjoy, Sport and Cosmo, the company writes in a press release. The range of engines lowers polluting emissions by 12 pc. The average fuel consumption tops 4.6 l / 100 km, for diesel engines, and only 6.1 l / 100 km for petrol engines. The new 5-door Opel Astra Essentia 1.4 (100 HP) is priced from EUR 12,750, VAT included, and will become available by the end of February. For the diesel versions, prices start from EUR 15,950, VAT included, for the 5-door CDTI 70 kW / 95 HP MT5.


Fly Taxi flies away from Otopeni


The passengers in transit through the Henri Coanda international airport of Bucharest will be able to use, starting February 1st, taxi services provided by 13 companies and 57 licensed individuals, writes the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper. This ends a long period of monopole held by Fly Taxi. “After evaluating the 76 files submitted in the tender, all the 250 permits for automobile access and services have been allocated – 57 of them to licensed individuals and 193 to a number of 13 companies,” the airport management writes in a press release.

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