SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Verdict in Mutu case expected for April


Adrian Mutu, Fiorentina’s striker who twice tested positive for sibutramine, will find out the verdict in his case at the end of April, ‘Corriere Fiorentino’ daily writes, quoted by firenzeviola.it. ‘ The striker is currently under temporary suspension pending the verdict,’ the Italian daily writes. ‘Corriere Fiorentino’ adds that ‘the crucial factor’ that will determine the suspension length is the repeat offense issue. AC Fiorentina’s striker Adrian Mutu was heard for an hour and a half by CONI’s anti-doping prosecutor on March 3. He was accompanied at the hearing by lawyers Antonio D’Avirro and Michele Ducci.


Hanescu defeated by Federer in Indian Wells second round


Romanian tennis player Victor Hanescu was defeated on Monday by Switzerland’s Roger Federer (world’s number 1 player) in the second round at the Indian Wells, score 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1. The game lasted for two hours and, despite being extremely inspired in some moments, Federer nevertheless committed a lot of errors. After Hanescu won the second set, the world’s number 1 player took the third set in 23 minutes. Roger Federer returned to playing tennis after a six-week break. After winning the Australian Open the Swiss player missed the tournament in Dubai because of a pulmonary infection. Because he reached the second round Hanescu has won a check for USD 11,500 and 25 ATP points.


European Junior Chess Championship 2011
to be held in Iasi



Vlad Ungureanu, the head coach of CS Politehnica Iasi’s chess section, stated on Monday that the European Chess Union has decided that Iasi will host the European Junior Chess Championship in July 2011. The official also added that the decision was taken at the end of a visit that the secretary general of the ECU recently paid in Iasi, with the secretary general being impressed by the extent of the chess activities there.


Sixth place as good as it gets for Schumacher


Michael Schumacher strapped himself back into a Formula One car in the desert heat on Sunday to subject himself to the sort of ordeal that would wither men half his age. He said he enjoyed it. The seven times world champion, kicking off his comeback with Mercedes at the age of 41 and after three years away, laboured for one hour and 40 minutes to finish sixth in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix – a gain of one place from where he started. “It was a lot of fun, my start was quite good, everything worked well. I had some concerns before but the race was not very exhausting for me,” said the German. Mercedes F1 team managing director Nick Fry backed that up. “Michael is in great spirits. He’s obviously enjoyed himself and I think that’s the main thing,” he told reporters. Schumacher, who last raced with Ferrari in 2006, said plenty had changed since then with the ban on refuelling and the different tyres taking some time to get used to.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Strauss-Khan to address Parliament while in Bucharest


International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be visiting Romania on March 30, to meet with President Traian Basescu, Parliament Speakers, the finance minister and central bank’s governor Mugur Isarescu. The IMF official will also address the Romanian Parliament, Mediafax reports. Strauss-Kahn will be accompanied by IMF European Department Director Marek Bella, the head of the IMF Mission to Romania, Jeffrey Franks, and other officials. According to a Monday press release signed by the IMF regional delegate for Romania and Bulgaria, Tonny Lybek, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s visit to Romania is part of the official’s European tour.


Official exchange rate, lowest in the past six weeks


The RON was the only regional currency that appreciated slightly against the euro in the first half of Monday’s session, with the National Bank of Romania (BNR), announcing an exchange rate of RON 4.0898/euro, the lowest in the past six weeks. The February 2nd BNR RON/euro rate stood at 4.0877 per euro. The rate fell RON 0.0031 from Friday’s RON 4.0929/euro. BNR’s RON/USD rate came to RON 2.9819/USD, up RON 001.16 from the previous RON 2.9703/USD. The RON however appreciated right from the start of yesterday’s session, its quotations down to under RON 4.09/euro, while other regional currencies posted minors corrections to the euro, amid concerns over China’s toughened monetary policy.


UniCredit Tiriac Bank cuts unsecured personal loan interest


UniCredit Tiriac Bank has launched the campaign ’20 per cent off interest’ promoting the decrease of both fixed and floating interest rates for all five available versions of its unsecured personal loan until May 31, 2010, a release says. The unsecured personal loan has a cap of EUR 20,000 and maximum maturity of 10 years. Applicants can choose from fixed or floating interest (applicable to all varieties except Express). The floating interest for the Standard unsecured personal loan is 14.51 per cent (EUR) AND 12.24 per cent (RON) and for the Special loan is 12.91 per cent (EUR) and 11.44 (RON).

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Sherif Ussama becomes head of Blue Air


Blue Air Sales Director Sherif Ussama was yesterday promoted CEO of the air transport operator, replacing Adrian Ionascu, a company release informs. The latter will continue working for the company, Blue Air says. More details on the top management change within the company will be made public in a press conference on Wednesday, when the newly appointed CEO will present the airline’s future strategy. Ionascu was appointed Blue Air CEO in May 2009. Previously he had worked for Tarom from 1885 to 2007, after which he became Blue Air Maintenance Base Development Director.


Legal violations caused RON 240 M damages at Termoelectrica


The Court of Accounts has identified a number of irregularities at Termoelectrica, where legal violations caused a total damage of RON 240.4 M in 2008, HotNews reports. The Court of Accounts’ 2008 report suggests there are indications of criminal infringements. For example, the report mentions Termoelectrica’s acquisition of eight damaged tank wagons worth RON 407,000 from SC Unicom Tranzit – the lessee, to be scrapped. The non-recovered damage suffered by Termoelectrica SA in the operation was RON 257,400.


Gas stations without CCTV systems to lose license


Gas stations have to equip themselves with CCTV and stock management systems until the end of the month, otherwise the National Fiscal Administration Agency (ANAF) will cancel their licenses, HotNews reports. ANAF said that starting on April 1, licenses issued to gas stations will be canceled unless operators fulfill this requirement, as provided by an ANAF order with its subsequent amendments and additions. Under the order, gas stations have to have stock management systems connected to fuel reservoirs, systems that would monitor the movement of fuels and would determine at any moment the inflows and outflows. They also have to have a CCTV system that would keep an eye on reservoirs and loading/offloading areas. The recorded images have to be stored for a minimum of 20 days, while the CCTV system has to work permanently, including at times when the storage depot does not work and even if there is a blackout. Recording economic operators that sell energy products in bulk or in retail has the purpose of ensuring an adequate control that would lead to a cut in tax dodging and is not meant to block companies’ activity. The draft order’s provisions have been debated with representatives of main gas station operators in order to ensure decisional transparency and the timely fulfillment of provisioned conditions.


Ponta: PSD wants Rosia Montana issue settled through referendum


Victor Ponta, President of the Social Democrat Party, yesterday said the Social-Democrats will initiate procedures needed to settle the Rosia Montana issue through national referendum, Mediafax informs. Ponta stated that in his opinion the issue should be settled through national referendum ‘that would give Romanians the chance to settle it, instead of leaving it to be settled by a Minister such as Mr. Videanu, a person who sees only gold and money.’ When answering some questions he pointed out that in order to get the ball rolling PSD has the option of launching a national petition in order to collect one million signatures or that of organizing local referendums through its own mayors. ‘I am convinced that President Traian Basescu will be responsive to people’s demands just as he was to a PDL request,’ Ponta added. The Rosia Montana mining project, a development mulled ever since the 1990s, has generated numerous controversies in Romania, most of them having to do with its environment impact and the preservation of archaeological sites located in the Apuseni Mountains.


Road constructors taxed for high
profit margins



The Federation of Romanian Transport Operators (FORT) is asking the government to tax road construction companies for profit margins that surpass five per cent, considering that state orders ensure an efficiency of up to 40 per cent and the quality of the works is poor most of the times. “Following an analysis of most notorious “road workers” balance sheets, it is clearly obvious that they obtain profits as high as 40 per cent by doing business with the state, and that happens while all users of road infrastructure complain of roads’ extremely poor quality,” a FORT press release reads. At the same time, FORT is asking the government to immediately get involved in checking the violation of weight limits imposed by road infrastructure companies when it comes to transportation of construction materials.


RON 1.9 bln for e-Romania national strategy


From 2010 to 2013 the Government will earmark RON 1.9 bln in order to apply the e-Romania National Strategy. The strategy seeks to digitalize relations between public administration and taxpayers (citizens and companies), the Ministry of Communications and Informational Society (MCSI) announced, quoted by Mediafax. The initiative’s contribution to and effects on the GDP will translate to EUR 90 M in 2010 and EUR 190 M from 2011 to 2013. The new strategy would simplify the system of tax collection, thus reducing tax dodging. Likewise, it would enhance the contact between private companies and the state, with underground labor being reduced because of the enhanced transparency, reads a MCSI release.

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