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May 26, 2022


Indian Wells: Djokovic exits, Nadal advance

Former champion Novak Djokovic tumbled out of the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Wednesday, upset 7-5 6-3 by big-serving Croat Ivan Ljubicic in the fourth round. While holder Rafa Nadal of Spain and fourth-seeded Briton Andy Murray both advanced, second seed Djokovic was eliminated in a match lasting one hour and 44 minutes. Nadal overcame towering American John Isner 7-5 3-6 6-3 and Murray advanced after Spaniard Nicolas Almagro retired hurt with a left ankle injury when trailing 6-2 1-0.

Fans win lawsuit
against Becali

Fans that were banned from attending Steaua’s games despite having subscriptions have won their lawsuit against the club on Wednesday. The District 6 Court ruled in favour of the fans and gave them the right to enter stands during Steaua’s home-side games. Steaua decided one week ago, at the order of club owner Gigi Becali, to close down the South Stands ‘out of organizational reasons’ after fans there chanted and displayed slogans against Becali. Fans consider him guilty for the team’s recent poor results. FC Steaua can appeal against the ruling.

Ice hockey: National Championship final

At the request of GSP TV, the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation has changed the day and hour that had been set for game 4 of the national championship’s final. The game pits SC Miercurea Ciuc against Steaua Rangers Bucharest. Initially scheduled on March 22 at 8.30 PM, game 4 of the final has been rescheduled on Sunday, March 21 at 6.30 PM. Sport Club Miercurea Ciuc leads Steaua Bucharest by 2 games to nil. Game 3 will take place on Friday at 8.30 PM.

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75 pc Romanians not up for paying bribe for a job

Three quarters of Romanians refuse to pay bribe to obtain a job and over 17 per cent are willing to do that in order to be hired, a Jobsinro.ro survey suggests, according to Mediafax. Those who are willing to pay for a job say would only do it if the position was ‘worth it’ and only 0.4 per cent have been in a situation where they tried paying out people and they were turned down. The poll questions tried to assess the fairness of the process of recruitment and employment in Romania from the employee’s point of view, the results showing that five per cent got their current job by bribing someone and two per cent got at least one job in their life in that way. ‘It is important to note that the percentage of people who would pay bribe is over two times bigger than the percentage of those who have bribed someone with good results or, in other words, employers are less receptive to the ‘bribe’ argument, polltaker says.

Two-thirds of registered cars breach road safety standards

The Romanian Auto Registry (RAR) announced that approximately 70 per cent of registered vehicles had problems with technical standards and paperwork last year, according to ‘Gandul’ daily. A total of 67 per cent, meaning over 52,000 of the 77,409 vehicles checked had such problems. Most problems were registered by passenger cars (72 per cent), followed by utility vehicles (66.4 per cent) and minibuses (51.4 per cent). Half of the vehicles that had problems, namely 26,423, failed to respect road safety standards. Of those, over 5,700 represented an imminent risk of road crash, having problems with their breaking systems and steering. At the same time, 36,234 fines were given by the RAR and Traffic Police crews.

Over 4,000 new cars in ‘cash for clunkers’ programme first month

In the first month of the ‘cash for clunkers’ programme, Romanians bought over 4,000 new cars, using more than 11,400 vouchers, according to data presented by Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely. “Of the 4,079 new cars, 2,477 are Romanian-made,” Borbely said, quoted by Mediafax. The minister announced that new vouchers for the ‘cash for clunkers’ programme will be printed ‘in the coming days,’ and will go to the Environment Fund Administration that will immediately start to distribute them to used-car collection centres across the country. The government has hiked the ‘cash for clunkers’ programme budget by RON 195 M in order to buy an extra 50,000 vouchers given to owners that bring in their used cars. The vouchers continue to have a value of RON 3,800. The program seeks to eliminate 50,000 to 60,000 used cars.

Romanian carrying cocaine
in underwear arrested in Rome

A 30 year-old Romanian woman has been caught transporting a kilogram of cocaine in her underwear at the Rome airport. She raised the authorities’ suspicion by the fact that, although she had flown from South America, she was only carrying a piece of hand luggage. Hotnews.ro quotes the Financial Guard saying that, apart from the Romanian lady, six other people carrying EUR 6 M worth of cocaine (35 kilos).were also arrested: a Turk, to Albanians and three South Americans. The method of hiding drugs in one’s underwear is no novelty to the Italian Police, but it was the first time that drug smugglers used a Romanian woman as a ‘courier’, a policeman said. He explained that female ‘couriers’ are regularly African.

Two children sexually abused
in orphanage

Two children aged 12 and 15 have been sexually abused by a 17 year-old colleague in a child placement centre in Buzau. The court issued an arrest warrant for the alleged perpetrator, valid for a maximum of 19 days. If he is found guilty, he may spend up to 12 years in prison. The Child Protection Services have already opened an official inquiry into the case. By the looks of it, the suspect has an offending history, having been under investigation for damaging some of the centre furniture and for being violent towards other children, all in the last four months. He will be psychiatrically evaluated to see if he acted with discernment.

20 young artists to be granted scholarships from ‘Princess Margareta’ Foundation

The ‘Princess Margareta of Romania’ Foundation has selected within its ‘Young Talent’ programme – the 2010 edition – a total of 20 young artists who will receive scholarships of up to EUR 2,000 for developing their talent. The ‘Young Talent’ programme has had two distinct sections this year: fine arts and music. The selection of the young artists took place at the begining of the week. The programme supports and promotes young artist with ages between 14 and 24, coming from low-income families and who cannot develop their talent because of economic shortcomings.

Gusa – Vantu’s adviser on media matters

Businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu told Mediafax on Thursday that Cozmin Gusa would be his media development adviser and will oversee Realitatea-Catavencu media trust’s international expansion. “Mr. Gusa will be my adviser on media development matters, with a focus on the international development of the trust. He will take up employment on April 1,” Vantu said. The businessman in control of the Realitatea-Catavencu media trust also said he had chosen Gusa to be his adviser because they were friends and because he knew Gusa is a very capable business professional. Journalist Catalin Tolontan’s blog tolo.ro reported that Vantu (as a natural person) and Gusa (representing his company Soco) sealed their agreement on Wednesday.

Vantu and Gusa have been business partners in the company Soco Dezvoltare & Management S.A. set up on February 5, 2009, which operates as a “business and management consultancy” firm.

Sebastian Lazaroiu:
I misread polls
in first round

In a Thursday debate discussing how opinion polls may influence voting intentions, presidential adviser Sebastian Lazaroiu disclosed the fact that, after the first round of the presidential election, he misread poll results, and added that the good thing about it was his mistake was replicated by political opponents during runoff. ‘(…) I was estimating a difference of approximately 5 per cent between Traian Basescu and Mircea Geoana, which was not the case. Probably, there was an error some of the first round campaign tactics hinged on, but I will be sure to cover all those things in my memoirs’, Lazaroiu said, quoted by Mediafax. A member of Traian Basescu’s campaign staff, Lazaroiu added that, fortunately, the opponents were also wrong in reading poll data in the presidential election runoff.

Constitutional Court
to rule on civil servants’ law on Tuesday

The Constitutional Court (CC) will decide on March 23 whether the civil servants’ law passed by the Chamber of Deputies in early March is unconstitutional. Several MPs brought the law to the CC’s attention. On March 2, PSD and PNL lawmakers filed with the CC a notification concerning the unconstitutional nature of several chamber amendments to the civil servants’ statute law. The government changed the law on civil servants’ statute after the CC rejected a previous government order on decentralised institutions, an order under which civil servants could still be replaced based on the mobility principle. The order also provided that employees who refused to switch jobs were to be sacked.

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Raids in Prahova:
18 people charged with property fraud

Several searches were conducted in Prahova yesterday morning and a total of 18 people were charged after deceiving old people into giving their houses away. Investigators claim they were targeting elderly citizens, would fake their documents and sell their homes. After the properties were sold, some of the victims would be taken by the members of the criminal network to various villages in Western Europe where they were abandoned with no papers or money. The total damage is of EUR 300,000.

businessman’ son
in violent car crash

Businessman Dorinel Umbrarescu’s son Alexandru was hurt in a car accident in Bacau Wednesday night. He is currently in the neurology hospital ward and doctors say he is in a good state. Five people were injured in the crash, but only one is in a critical condition. Alexandru and three passengers were in a limousine that collided head on with another passenger vehicle on National Road 85. Two electricity poles collapsed in the crash and the remains of the two vehicles scattered over nearly 200 metres. Dorinel Umbrarescu, dubbed the ‘asphalt king’ after his infrastructure contracts, is among top 300 richest Romanians.

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Romania’s trade deficit – 6th largest in the EU

The EUR 9.8 bln trade deficit Romania reported last year is the sixth largest in the EU and close to the one reported by Poland, Eurostat shows. Great Britain reported the largest trade deficit last year (EUR 92.6 bln), while Germany reported the highest trade surplus (EUR 135.8 bln). France reported the second-largest trade deficit (EUR 54.5 bln), followed by Spain (EUR 49.5 bln), Greece (EUR 28.5 bln) and Portugal (EUR 19 bln). Last year the EU registered a trade deficit of EUR 105.3 bln, down from EUR 258.5 bln in 2008. The difference reflects on one hand the fact that the drop of imports was steeper than that of exports, and on the other hand the significant drop in trade. EU’s trade dropped across the board with the exception of trade with China which grew by 4 per cent.

EC: Kronospan Sebes plant receives final notice

The European Commission yesterday sent a final warning to Romania in respect of the Kronospan Sebes formaldehyde plant, urging penalties against the company and adequate environment protection measures, Mediafax informs. The Commission notes in its notice that Romanian authorities have failed to take due measures in the Sebes plant case. ‘Unless adequate measures are taken further to second notice, Romania may be brought before the European Court of Justice’, reads an EC press release issued yesterday.

European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnick said ‘the mere existence of legislation is never enough; it must also be enforced in practice. Romania has to make sure that, in cases like that, impact upon environment is appraised and that any subsequent decision is observed’. The complaint is for illegally building a plant set to produce a total of 60,000 tons of formaldehyde per year. EC’s second warning sent yesterday is the last step before taking the matter before the European Court of Justice.

RON 500,000 Henri Coanda Airport liability insurance

Astra will provide the Henri Coanda Airport a third party liability insurance policy whose premium equals RON 490,057, according to a posting on the website www.e-licitatie.ro. Astra, which won the insurance contract in mid February, had one competitor in the tender. The contracting authority estimated the premium value at RON 844.640, the assignment announcement read. Astra is one of the major players in the aviation insurance segment, also providing insurance to the aircraft fleet of air companies BlueAir, Romavia and Romaero, and to Aurel Vlaicu (Baneasa) Airport as well.

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Catalin Voicu to be heard by Senate’s
legal committee
next Tuesday

Charged with claiming and demanding money from various businessmen in exchange for using his influence to solve their problems in court, Senator Catalin Voicu will go for a hearing in the Senate’s legal committee, to give explanations about the criminal case in which he is accused of taking bribe and forging documents. The legal committee yesterday analysed prosecutors’ demand Voicu’s arrest. “Legal committee members did not have their most comfortable day, because it is not easy to analyse a request from the Justice Ministry to take a tough measure against a fellow senator. As provided by the Constitution, the committee will continue to analyse the case on Monday and next Tuesday, at 10 a.m. “Mr. Voicu will come for a hearing in the legal committee, then we will complete a report that will be forwarded to the Permanent Bureau before the deadline provided by law and the Senate Regulation,” PSD Senator Toni Grebla, head of the committee, explained. Also yesterday, committee MPs removed the seal of the two boxes of documents sent by the Justice Ministry. They contain 11 volumes, a memo made by prosecutors, and the request for the Senate to approve Voicu’s preventive arrest. All these documents were analysed behind closed doors, in absence of the press.

Arrested Baia Mare mayor resigns
from PNL

Baia Mare Mayor Cristian Anghel, who was taken into police custody Wednesday night, resigned yesterday from PNL.His Liberal colleagues however did not seem too willing to come to his rescue, although Anghel was recently elected by the Congress as a member of the Central Political Bureau on Antonescu’s side. “We are convinced that Mr. Anghel will immediately resign from all his current positions in the party and as a member,” PNL vice-president in charge with communication Mihai Voicu said, quoted by Mediafax. He explained that the new party regulations contain an explicit provision stating that any member facing legal problems loses membership.

The arrested mayor only has the institution he had managed on his side. The Baia Mare City Council assembled Wednesday night to adopt a decision on asking the court to defer the mayor’s jail term by at least 60 days. As their initiative was of no avail, Baia Mare municipality employees started gathering signatures in support of the mayor Thursday morning, with the intention of holding a pro-Anghel rally on Sunday.

Craiova deputy mayor replaces Solomon

Craiova City Council on Thursday assigned Deputy Mayor Marinica Dinca (PDL) the mayor’s duties for the duration of the suspension of Antonie Solomon, currently remanded in custody awaiting trial for bribe-taking, forgery and uttering, Agerpres informs. While Dinca was voted by 19 of the 27 city councillors, the other candidate, Teodor Sas (PDL) gathered eight votes. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutors have accused Solomon of accepting a bribe of EUR 50,000 from a shareholder of Pitesti-based PIC company, whom he promised to help obtain various services in Craiova. On March 3, the Arges Tribunal issued an arrest warrant for Solomon for 29 days.

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U.S. ambassador Klemm: Election of convicted mayor sends dangerous message to Romania’s partners

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