ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Actor Florin Piersic turns 74


One of the most popular and appreciated Romanian actors, Florin Piersic, turned 74 yesterday. Born in 1936 in Cluj, Piersic has played in a wide range of movie and theatre productions, including drama, comedy, tragedy, historical movies, adventure flicks and many more. Piersic graduated from the Bucharest Theatre and Movie Art Institute in 1957 and performed in numerous plays before making his screen debut in 1957, in ‘Ciulinii Baraganului.’ He won public acclaim for his role as charming ‘outlaw’ Margelatu, in a series of films in the 1980s. Piersic is now focusing on his theatre career and is currently starring in Radu Beligan’s “Strangers in the Night”, together with actress Emilia Popescu. The play has been very successful since its premiere, being continuously sold-out.


Director Dan Pita – UNATC Dr. Honoris Causa


Film director Dan Pita will be awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the National University of Theatrical Art and Cinematography (UNATC) in Bucharest, Thursday, when the institution celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Faculty of Theatre and Film. University Professor Andrei Strihan, Doctor in Theatrical Aesthetics at the UNATC, will also receive a similar distinction granted by the UNATC Senate. The 60 year celebration will also be marked by a number of performances by the students with the institution. ‘The Pillowman’ by Martin McDonagh and ‘Time for love, time for death’ by Fritz Kater will be among the plays to be performed Saturday. The film ‘Outrageously Disco’, screened at last year’s CineMAiubit Festival, will also be shown.


Kelemen Hunor calls
for National Culture Pact



In an interview with Agerpres, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Kelemen Hunor, said under-funding is the major problem culture faces and sees a national Pact for Culture as the solution. ‘Here, culture does not live, it survives! And that not since yesterday, but for many years now! Obviously, the solution is a long-term strategy aimed at taking us out of this vicious circle: culture is not attractive since it lacks money and lacks money because is unattractive!,’ the minister said. Kelemen also spoke of a partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Development over some political tourism projects, reason for which he will meet next month with Tourism Minister Elena Udrea to discuss the issue.

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SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Dan Petrescu turns down offer from Italy


Aldo Spinelli, the owner of Italy’s Livorno (a club that is 16th in Serie A after 21 legs), has announced on the tuttomercato.web website that he has given an offer to Dan Petrescu and is waiting for a quick answer from him. Although he was tempted by Aldo Spinelli’s offer, head coach Dan Petrescu has decided to honour his contract with Kuban Krasnodar, a team that plays in Russia’s second league. ‘Dan has turned down the Italians. He barely started his work at Kuban and it wouldn’t have been fair for him to leave now,’ Dumitru Stangaciu, Kuban’s assistant coach, stated for ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ daily.


Contra returns
to Timisoara



Romanian right-flank fullback Cosmin Contra has left Spain’s Getafe in order to play for FC Timisoara, the Romanian club where he started playing football and with which he plans to win the Romanian title, Spain’s ‘Marca’ daily writes. ‘I go to Romania in order to win the title and to prove that I can still play football,’ Contra said. This season Contra played only 33 minutes in three games in Primera Division. Contra ended up playing for Getafe in 2005-2006. He played 88 games for the team in Primera Division, scoring three goals, two Spanish Cup finals and reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup.


Steaua 1 – Red Bull Salzburg 1 in friendly


Steaua Bucharest’s game against Austria’s FC Red Salzburg ended in a draw, score 1-1 (1-0 at half time). The game was part of a training tournament in Antalya. Bogdan Stancu opened the score for Steaua (22nd minute), with Rabiu Afolabi equalizing for Austria’s title holders in the 62nd minute. Steaua finished its first winter training stage on Wednesday and will return to the country. Nevertheless, the team will take part in a new training stage in Antalya from January 30 to February 12.


Romanian players breathe sigh of relief


The decision taken by the Romanian Football Federation’s Executive Committee in December 2009, a decision that took the financial crisis situation as a case of force majeure that would have allowed the clubs to unilaterally reduce their players’ contracts, has been cancelled by the Federation’s judicial department, Mediafax informs. The FRF’s Executive Committee had decided on December 21, 2009, in the absence of President Mircea Sandu, that the clubs can unilaterally reduce their players’ contracts by 50 per cent at most for a maximum period of one year because of the national and global economic crisis.


Ice Hockey: Romania in Challenge Cup


Romania’s hockey team was invited to take part in this year’s edition of the Challenge Cup, an event that will take place from February 12 to February 14 in Vilnius, a communiqué remitted by the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation (FRHG) to Agerpres informs. Romania will play on February 12 against Hungary, on February 13 against Belarus and on February 14 against Lithuania.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Philip Morris shuts down Otopeni plant
for two weeks



Cigarette producer Philip Morris Romania decided to shut down for two weeks its Bucharest plant as of February 19, and send the 450 employees home on partial unemployment, company sources announced recently, quoted by Mediafax. According to the sources, the decision follows a long period of declining sales on the Romanian market, with a similar increase in the sales of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes. The trend accelerated during the last 10 months, after a 48 pc hike of the excise duty, from EUR 50 per 1,000 cigarettes in April 2009 to EUR 74 per 1,000 cigarettes, in January 2010. According to Cornel Serbanescu, the trade union leader of Philip Morris, sales decreased last year by 30 pc under the forecast value. “We constantly lost market share to both competition and the black market, because police does nothing with this regard. On February 19, we will go on technical unemployment for 16 days,” he added.


Comarnic-Brasov expressway to go under Sinaia and Busteni


The expressway from Prahova Valley will start from DN1 in Comarnic area and will end in the locality of Cristian, Brasov County. It will have four toll stations in Comarnic, Sinaia, Predeal and Rasnov areas, with the option for a fifth one at Busteni, according to the daily ‘Romania Libera.’ If Vinci and Aktor, the companies which carried the auction, do not build this last station, it means that the local traffic on distances of up to 15 km on Prahova Valley, meaning between Busteni on the one hand, and Sinaia-Predeal on another hand, will not be taxed. The first pair of car parks and service spaces will be located 7 km after Comarnic. Another pair will also be located at km 149, between Predeal and Rasnov.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

MFP: Romania to pay RON 39 bln to
EU budget during 2007-2013



Romania will pay RON 38.99 bln to the budget of the European Union during 2007-2013, and will cash RON 153.66 bln, the Public Finance Ministry (MFP) announced on Wednesday, according to HotNews. The reaction of the ministry comes after the publication in ‘Ziarul Financiar’ of the article “The billions of Euro sidestep us.” We paid to the budget of the Union twice more money than we cashed. “For the year 2010 the contribution of Romania to the EU budget is estimated at RON 5.92 bln,” the press release also reads. The Ministry equally stresses that the deadline until which the sums allotted from the structural instruments in the period 2007-2013 can be spent is December 31, 2015. “In conclusion, from the point of view of the structural instruments, Romania did not lose any Euro from the EU funds which were allotted and, according to the estimates made subject to the funding contracts signed with the beneficiaries, there isn’t any risk of automatic disengagement even in 2010,” MFP press release also shows.


ANRE: Natural gas price maintained in 2010 in certain conditions


The price of natural gas could be maintained in 2010 in the absence of extremely low temperatures over a long period of time, and of problems with the transport system, according to the recent declaration of the president of the National Regulatory Authority in Energy (ANRE), Petru Lificiu, Mediafax reports. Lificiu says that the price of the natural gas paid by the users from Romania is the lowest in EU, namely 50 per cent of the average of the Union. This comes after the state secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Tudor Serban, declared on Monday that the price of natural gas will rise in April, and the persons with a difficult material situation will be supported to pay the invoice.


Joint MOL-Expert Petroleum cross-border project


The MOL Group and Expert Petroleum SRL, a Romanian enterprise specializing in the restoration of matured gas and petrol fields, signed today a cooperation agreement dealing with the rehabilitation of petrol fields at the border between the two countries, Sarkadkeresztur in the Pannonian Basin (Hungary) and Salonta (Romania), according to a press release to Nine O’ Clock. Attila Holoda, MOL E&P Eurasia General Director, said: ‘Magyar petrol industry has more than 70 years of experience, and its predecessors built over the past few decades a significant expertise in improving depleted gas and petrol fields. This project provides an excellent opportunity for bringing together our experience and that of our partners in the area of restoring hydrocarbon fields and using them with a view towards cooperation with one of the countries that hold strategic importance for us, Romania.

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

PSD leader: A change of Government at year end is plausible


Social-democrat President Mircea Geoana declared yesterday that the year 2010 will have “spectacular political mutations” in connection with the Government and the parliamentary majority, deeming it “plausible” to have a “change of Government” at the end of this year.


”For me, as PSD leader, 2010 is the year when the card for the elections from 2012 is played, leaving aside the variant that I consider increasingly plausible to have a change of Government and a political moment more agitated at the end of 2010, in the conditions in which the social and economic life becomes almost unbearable for a great mass of citizens,” Geoana declared.


Asked if he considers possible the scenario of the suspension of Traian Basescu and the return of a PSD+PNL Government, Geoana denied. “I am sure that the social pressure and the disappointment of the public opinion will conduct to spectacular changes of political equation before 2012, but this does not mean at all that we have the suspension variant in our scenario,” the PSD leader said. The Economist Intelligence Unit also analyzed PDL-UDMR coalition, saying yesterday in a report that this government is too fragile to resist four years.

NATO Secretary General hails Romania’s expanding troops in Afghanistan


NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed yesterday Romania and Germany’s decisions to send more troops to Afghanistan, informs a press release posted on NATO’S website. “I am pleased that, on the eve of the London conference, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan has been further strengthened. I welcome the announcement by Chancellor Merkel that Germany will add up to 850 soldiers, and make a very substantial contribution to the training mission. This decision, along with Romania’s recent announcement of 600 more soldiers and other new contributions likely to be announced in the coming days, will substantially strengthen the NATO-led mission. These troops, on top of the 37,000 new forces from 36 countries already flowing into Afghanistan, are a clear demonstration of NATO’s solidarity and determination to accomplish its mission”, said Rasmussen.

Tomac, chief of Department for Romanians Everywhere


PM Emil Boc signed the decisions for appointment of Democrat-Liberal Valentin Iliescu, presently state secretary with the Department for the Relation with Parliament, at the head of the institution with the rank of minister, and of the state secretary for the Romanian everywhere from MAE, Eugen Tomac, at the head of the relevant Department from the Government. During the electoral campaign, Eugen Tomac held the office of coordinator of the organisation of the elections for the Romanians everywhere in November 2009, being repeatedly charged with campaigning for Traian Basescu on public money. The Department for the Relation with the Romanians Everywhere had been shifted at the end of the past year from MAE within the staff of the Prime Minister and called Department for the Romanians Everywhere. The Executive also decided at that time that the Department for the Relation with Parliament would be headed by a state secretary with the rank of minister.

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