“Queen Mother” –
250 performances at TNB

The play “Regina Mama” (“Regina/ Queen Mother), starring the actress Olga Tudorache, will be presented tomorrow, April 8, for the 250th time on the stage of the Bucharest National Theatre (TNB). The play by Manlio Santanelli, one of the major contemporary Italian playwrights, brings to the foreground two characters, side by side, but also in conflict – Regina, au authoritarian and possessive mother, and her son, Alfredo, a failed, neurotic journalist (played by the well-known actor Marius Bodochi). Directed by Gelu Colceag, with a scene setting signed by Stefania Cenean, the play “Regina Mama”, by Manlio Santanelli, reveals a moving life story, ending with a dramatic turn of plot. The play won the Honorary Award at the Brasov Festival of Contemporary Drama (1997), and Olga Tudorache’s performance brought her the 1997 AICT Best Actress Award and the Tofan Award for the most influential theatrical personality of the same year. “A true theatrical feast, this performance, boasting an amazing longevity, transforms Santanelli’s ‘Queen Mother’, as interpreted by the unrivalled Olga Tudorache, into a Queen of the Stage,” representatives of TNB claim.

Grigorescu painting p to be
auctioned for over EUR 40 000

The painting “Red Apples”, signed by Nicolae Grigorescu, will be auctioned, on Saturday, by Casa Alis, at the initial price of RON 180 000. The painting “Red Apples”, dedicated to the artist’s wife, Maria Danciu, is the highest rated in this weekend’s auctions, organized by Alis and GoldArt. According to the auction catalogue, Alis auctions on Saturday, at the “Ion Dacian” National Operetta Theatre, 70 paintings, and the highest rated ones include “The Mad King” by Corneliu Baba, starting at RON

100 000, “Poissons” by Jules Perahim, at RON 20 000, “Odalisque” by Iosif Iser, at RON 16 000, “Rocks with orchids on the seaside” by Sabin Balasa, at RON 12 000. Paintings by Constantin Piliuta, Constantin Artachino. Adam Baltatu, Ion Musceleanu, Margareta Sterian, Ion Pacea or Dimitrie Bernea will be put on auction starting below the price of RON 10 000.

Films from the Festival Friends selection at NexT

The film “Lord” by Adrian Sitaru is among the four short and medium-length feature films, to be shown in world premiere, in the “Festival Friends” selection within the NexT International Film Festival, event that will take place in Bucharest, between April 13 and 18. Traditionally addressed to filmmakers that are close to the NexT Festival and Cultural Society and presented by HBO, the “Festival Friends” selection will also benefit, this year, from a marathon-projection, on Saturday, April 17, from 15:00, at the Scala Theatre. The latest short feature signed by Adrian Sitaru, “Lord” (Romania, 2010), the documentary directed by Vlad Ilicevici and Andrei Tanase, “Zmeii”/ “Kings of the Castle” (Romania-Turkey, 2010), the animation short feature “Vara ’99 Mega-Hits”/ “Summer ’99 Mega-Hits” (directed by LiviuBarbulescu, Alina Manolache/ Romania, 2010) and a work in progress version of the long-awaited medium-length feature film directed by Iulia Rugina “Captivi de Craciun”/ “Stuck on Christmas” (Romania, 2010) are the four titles to be presented for the first time before an audience at Next 2010. The Bucharest audience will be able to watch other long-awaited productions, presented at major festivals abroad, as well as Adrian Sitaru’s short feature, recently acknowledged within the official competition of the Berlin International Film Festival, “Colivia”/ “The Birdcage” (Romania, 2010).

Four Romanian short-feature films at Cannes 2010

The short feature films 10, by Dorian Boguta, “Clopotul”/ “The Bell”, by Sabin Dorohoi, “Ploaie in desert”/ “Rain in the desert”, by Ilinca Neagu, and “Trupul de coarde”/ “String Body”, by Dinu Margarit were selected within this year’s Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner selection, according to The event will take place between May 12 and 22. “10” tells the story of two illicit lovers. Around the winter holidays, the two realize they commit a serious error and decide to separate. The cast includes Andrei Aradits, Mirela Oprisor and Irina Teodorescu. The film is produced by Mihaela Stoian and Daniel Parvulescu. “Clopotul” presents the adventures some young people have to undergo so as to bring a new church bell in the village, so that all traditions can be kept. Ionel loves Ionela and they plan to get married. Except that another suitor of the girl, angry to have lost her, breaks the bell. “Ploaie in desert” tells the tale of Henry Baftimede, an African businessman who leaves Paris in order to move to Bucharest. In “Trupul de coarde”, the war, as a concept, is ended by the music all people involved in the war can hear simultaneously. Because of the love Ioana and Stefan share, she can hear the music, which she then sets down in writing. The music completes them, beyond war, life and death.

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Medals won at Ashihara Karate World Cup

Romania’s delegation has won seven medals, two of them Gold, at the 16th edition of Ashihara Karate World Cup in Viborg, Denmark. 120 athletes from 19 countries took part in the tournament, with Romania finishing on second place in the nations’ standings topped by Russia. Cristina Toader won the Gold medal in the lightweight category (below 55 kg) and Alexander Babia won the Gold in the super heavy category (over 85 kg). Flavius Predoi (-60 kg) and Cristian Toderici (-85 kg) won Silver medals, with Marina Mardare (-55 kg), Vlad Bucsa (-65 kg) and Florin Caldarusa (-80 kg) winning Bronze medals. Ashihara is a full contact martial arts style originating in Japan where it was founded by Hideyuki Ashihara in 1980.

League I: FC Brasov 3 – Otelul Galati 0

FC Brasov won its home-side game against Otelul Galati on Tuesday evening, score 3-0 (2-0 at half time), in a match counting for leg 26 of League I, according to The team coached by Viorel Moldovan chalked its first win after 5 consecutive losses thanks to goals scored by Octavian Abrudan (2nd minute), Sabrin Sburlea (18th minute) and Mihai Roman (81st minute). Otelul finished the game one man down after Perendija was sent off. Other games yesterday: Unirea Urziceni – Gaz Metan Medias 1-1 (1-0); Unirea Alba Iulia – U. Craiova 2-0.

Sorana Cirstea wins
in Marbella

Sorana Cirstea has defeated Russia’s Maria Kirilenko in the first round of the tennis tournament in Marbella, Spain, score 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4. The Romanian tennis player reached the tournament’s semifinals last year. In the last-16 stage Cirstea will play against fellow national Simona Halep. The latter qualified after defeating Iveta Benesova (Czech Republic), score 6-4, 6-1. At the end of an extremely disputed game Cirstea managed to defeat the 23-year-old Russian player. This is the second time Cirstea defeats her following the victory obtained in 2008 at Hertogenbosch (Netherlands). Ioana Raluca Olaru was defeated by Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, score 3-6, 4-6.

Horia Tecau reaches quarterfinals in Casablanca

Horia Tecau (Romania) and Robert Lindstedt (Sweden) have qualified for the quarterfinals of the doubles event of the ATP tournament in Casablanca after defeating Switzerland’s Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka, score 7-6 (9), 7-5. In the quarterfinals Tecau and Lindstedt (top seeds 3) will play against Britain’s Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski. The tournament has overall prizes of EUR 398,250.

Illness hits Armstrong’s tour preparations

Lance Armstrong’s preparations for the Tour de France were interrupted on Wednesday when the American was forced out of a low-key race in western France. Seven-times Tour champion Armstrong pulled out of the Circuit de la Sarthe with gastro-enteritis after he missed the Milan-San Remo classic last month for the same reasons. Armstrong, who had an indifferent start to the season, showed signs of improvement in last weekend’s Tour of Flanders, finishing the 262-kms one-day race in the favorites’ group. The 38-year-old Texan, however, is now due to fly back to the United States, missing three much-needed days of racing in France and the April 18 Amstel Gold Race.

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Romania’s IPP growth, eight-largest in the EU

Romania’s month-on-month industrial production price growth (minus energy sector) stood at 0.4 per cent in February and was the eight-largest in the EU where the IPP growth stood at 0.1 per cent, a Eurostat release informs. Industrial production prices remained stable in December 2009 in Romania and grew in January. The highest growths were reported in Lithuania (1.7 per cent), Finland (1.6 per cent) and Sweden (1.4 per cent). Industrial production price drops were reported in Slovakia (1.7 per cent), Czech Republic (0.3 per cent), Bulgaria (0.2 per cent), Germany (0.2 per cent), Cyprus (0.2 per cent) and Great Britain (0.2 per cent). At the same time, the year-on-year IPP growth that Romania recorded in February (3.3 per cent) placed it on sixth place in the EU. The indicator climbed 0.4 per cent at EU level.

Renault, Nissan, Daimler in small car,
engine deal

Carmakers Renault, Nissan Motor and Daimler said they would swap stakes and jointly develop cars in a tie up to gain scale and share costs. Daimler will take 3.1 percent shareholdings in Renault and Nissan, who will both hold 1.55 percent of the German carmaker under the deal, the companies said on Wednesday. Renault’s Nissan stake would slip to 43.2 percent from 44.3 percent. The French government pledged to support the partnership, and said the state would buy 0.55 percent of Renault to maintain its holding at 15.01 percent. Renault and Daimler have been discussing cooperation plans as carmakers worldwide seek to become more competitive by sharing technology investment costs and gaining scale. The automobile sector is scrambling to meet tightening emission rules as it emerges from a savage downturn that has highlighted the need for profit-chasing carmakers to boost scale, conquer new markets and increase efficiency. Daimler, which along with the luxury Mercedes-Benz brand owns struggling Smart, is set to benefit from Clio-maker Renault’s small-car expertise, while Renault and Nissan will be able to make use of Daimler’s engine know-how. The three carmakers said they plan to cooperate on electric cars, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, as well as jointly developing and sharing diesel and gasoline engines.

Basescu to visit Dacia plant and leave with
a Duster

President Traian Basescu is set to visit the Dacia plant in Mioveni and receive a Duster today, by that becoming the first owner of a Dacia SUV, car manufacturer announces according to Mediafax. Customers who have ordered the new Dacia model can expect to drive their cars after April 18, following the showroom ‘Open Doors’ event introducing the vehicle. Dacia dealerships had taken a total of 400 orders for the Duster SUV, with three quarters of customers choosing the 4X4 version. Duster was unveiled on March 18 and can be ordered through the entire Dacia dealership network for prices from EUR 10,500 to EUR 15,600 including VAT, according to version.

Dacia and Renault Nissan partner with Groupama Asigurari

Automobile Dacia, Renault-Nissan and Groupama Asigurari have concluded a strategic partnership to cut insurance claim processing waiting times for Dacia, Renault and Nissan owners, the Pitesti-based carmaker said yesterday, according to Mediafax. “Thanks to a computerized data exchange protocol working between authorized garages repairing the three brands and the insurer, the partnership will allow for damage payments to be authorised within 48 hours of submitting the claim. The benefits (…) are shorter claim processing waiting times as well as a shorter period of immobilisation of the vehicle pending repairs,” a release by Automobile Dacia says. The partnership is effective as of March and applies to both compulsory third party liability motor insurance and for voluntary vehicle CASCO insurance.

Civil servants employed to manage EU funds

Under an emergency ordinance passed yesterday, Government will hire additional personnel for the structures involved in the drawing of management of community funds, within the limit of the 15 per cent of vacancies that can be filled in the public sector and through post redistributions from other institutions. Government spokeswoman Ioana Muntean said vacancies will be government-authorized after jobs will be allotted through redistributions of priority positions to institutions involved in the management of EU funds. Vacancies will have been centralized at the Finance Ministry by the 15 of each month.

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EU banks tax might generate
over EUR 50 bln

The tax levied EU-wide on banks, aimed at their bearing some of the costs incurred by financial crisis, might yield over EUR 50 bln, and would improve the condition of the system, according to a European Commission study, Antena3 reports. Charging EU banks a tax ‘will generate substantial amounts, at the same time restricting improper conduct by financial institutions.’ The study examines various tax bills being discussed throughout Europe seeking that banks bear a portion of the costs required by the bailout program or the programs aimed at adjustments to climate changes. EU finance ministers will be debating a common stand on the issue at their April 16-17 meeting, before the G20 June summit in Toronto. The EU survey includes both European and US models of such tax to banks.

Romania and Serbia cooperation
programme approved

The Government approved, yesterday, the IPA Trans-border Cooperation Programme between Romania and Serbia, revised after receiving financial subsidies for 2010-2011 from the European Commission, Mediafax informs. The programme budget is EUR 19.34 M; it finances projects regarding economic and social development, environment protection and preparation for emergencies, actions by local communities for developing civil society, providing services for border communities, educational, cultural and athletic exchanges, as well as enhancing social and cultural integration of border regions. Eligible beneficiaries include public authorities, NGOs, representative associations and organizations, universities, research institutions, educational and training organizations.

Cigarette production at Sfantu Gheorghe factory resumes next week

Production at the Sfantu Gheorghe Cigarette Factory, where staff has been in technical redundancy, resumes as of Monday, after a court suspended a National Agency for Fiscal Administration decision to take away its tax warehouse authorisation, according to Mediafax. Sandor Csaba, deputy-leader of the factory’s trade union, said he did not know yet how many of the 103 employees will be called back to work, because the factory lost some of its clients while production was stalled. According to the same source, some of the staff will, most likely, be sacked, negotiations being conducted at the moment about the number of those who will lose their jobs. According to Csaba, 15 to 20 employees may be made redundant, but discussions are still in progress. The Sfantu Gheorghe Cigarette Factory is one of the oldest factories in Covasna County, having been founded more than 110 years ago.

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Average price of new flats in Bucharest rose by 3.5 pc

The average price required for new apartments in Bucharest reached EUR 1.506/ sq m. net area at the end of the first quarter, Realitatea.Net informs. Practically, this represents a 3.5 per cent rise compared to the previous month, namely, 3 per cent higher than the price required at the beginning of January, EUR 1.461/ sq m., according to The index shows that, compared to the same time last year, prices are 11.9 per cent lower. The most interesting dynamics was exhibited by two- and three-room apartments, the price of which rose in March with 4.9, respectively 4.1, per cent, compared to February. Except for four-room apartments, the prices of which slumped with 4.5 per cent in the first quarter, all the other categories show, for this interval, higher figures than at the end of last year.

Ministry of Development expects RON 10 M
revenues from

The Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism estimates RON 10.05 M revenues from privatisations for this year, Mediafax reports. From this amount, RON 10 M are to be derived from the use of assets, according to the institution’s revenue and expenditure budget regarding privatisation. The difference between RON 10.05 M and RON 10 M is represented by revenues from dividends. Moreover, total expenditure is estimated at RON 10.05 M, out of which RON 10.02 represent normal expenses. Staff expenses add up to RON 30,000, whereas goods and services add up to RON 484,000.

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Driver who beat
pedestrian to death, arrested

The Craiova driver who has beaten an old man to death, for being to slow while crossing the street was put under preventive arrest yesterday, Mediafax reports. The driver is a felon who was handed a suspended sentence in 2009 for complicity to aggravated theft. Cosmin Dragan, 22, is under preventive arrest for 29 days for outrage and disturbance of public order, at prosecutors’ request. Craiova Tribunal spokeswoman Cristina Craciunoiu said the resolution by prosecutors with the Craiova Tribunal demanding that Dragan be kept under preventive arrest is grounded in his being a repeat offender, given the April 8, 2009 two-year suspended sentence passed by the Targu Jiu Court of Law for complicity to aggravated theft.

Mogosoaia Palace Estate, claimed by Princess Bibescu’s heirs

The park, orchard and conservatories around Mogosoaia Palace, currently under the administration of the Brancovenian Palaces Cultural Centre, were claimed by Martha Bibescu’s heirs, Jean Valentine Louise Ghika and Cristopher John Ghika. The trial will start on April 26 at the Bucharest Court, Mediafax informs. Jean Valentine Louise Ghika and Cristopher John Ghika are the children of John Nicholas Ghika – son of Prince Dimitry Ghika-Comanesti (Dede Ghica), the husband of Martha Bibescu’s daughter. They made a claim and sued the Brancovenian Palaces Cultural Centre, the Mogosoaia Township, the Romanian state, Bucharest City Hall, Bucharest City Council and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Publika TV starts
broadcasting in R. Moldova

Publika TV was launched in Chisinau Tuesday night. The new news TV channel is one hundred percent Romanian investment by the Realitatea-Catavencu Group. According to Realitatea TV, Publika TV is a replica of Realitatea TV, with hourly news bulletins in Romanian and Russian. Publika TV was launched a year after the April 7, 2009 events that turned R. Moldova back to the West. Businesspersons, artists, people of culture as well as politicians attended the Publika TV inauguration festivities. Interim President Mihai Ghimpu and PM Vlad Filat were also there.

Hunger strike to pass
law on compulsory dog sterilisation

Anca Hertea, a teacher at the “Dinu Lipatti” Music School, together with representatives of the “Cutu Cutu” Association, embarked on a hunger strike yesterday, in front of the Chamber of Deputies, protesting against the failure to take measures for animal protection and the delay in passing a law on compulsory sterilisation of dogs, Agerpres reports. As early as last year, animal protection organisations staged protests in front of Parliament, urging MPs to pass animal protection legislation. The law stipulates that stray animals should be taken to a shelter and sterilised, which will prevent an early death, in dramatic circumstances. The bill has been waiting lawmakers’ vote for almost two years.

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