Bute vs. Miranda, fight for title

Lucian Bute is confident ahead of his bout against Edison Miranda, a bout in which he puts his IBF super middleweight title on the line, pointing out that he is well trained and ready to fight. ‘Nothing was overseen; we’ve analyzed every aspect of this bout. I want to pull off an impeccable bout for all my fans,’ Bute stated for the Canadian press. The Romanian will box against Miranda on April 17 within Montreal’s Centre Bell. ‘Miranda is strong but I’ll be careful and I have a very good strategy. I’ve had exceptional training, the best in my career, I am in top shape and I am confident that I’ll successfully defend my world title,’ Lucian Bute stated for, being quoted by Mediafax.

Becali fined and
suspended for 6 months

Gigi Becali’s offensive statements against Dinamo general manager Florin Prunea earned him a six-month suspension. The Disciplinary Commission of the Professional Football League has ruled a RON 150,000 fine against Steaua’s financier. ‘Mr. Becali had to prove his statements. He didn’t and now he is paying for it. He said that I allegedly tinkered with the referees and I allegedly acted illegally but he was unable to prove anything.

Alexandra Dulgheru reaches quarterfinals
in Barcelona

Romanian tennis player Alexandra Dulgheru has qualified on Wednesday for the quarterfinals of the WTA tournament in Barcelona, a tournament with total prizes of USD 220,000, after defeating Italy’s Sara Errani in the last-16 stage, score 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5). The game lasted 2 hours and 57 minutes, with the result giving the Romanian player a check for USD 5,340 and 70 WTA points.

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investigated by Integrity Agency

The National Integrity Agency (ANI) started an investigation in the case of Liberal Senators Mircea Diaconu and Paul Ichim, and Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) Senator Mircea Cinteza, after taking note of their incompatible positions, according to sources from the institution quoted by Realitatea TV. The Integrity Agency initiated the investigation after press reports that the three MPs hold, at the same time, an office in Parliament and other executive positions, following derogations from norms on the regime of incompatibility granted to the three by the Senate’s legal committee.

Thus, according to daily “Curentul”, Diaconu is also manager at Nottara Theatre, Ichim – head of the surgery department at a Galati hospital, and Cinteza is head of department at the Capital’s University Hospital.

Massive truancy
at Chamber
of Deputies

Chamber of Deputies’ heads are worried by the negative public image that representatives of the lower chamber have acquired. Moreover, they admit this perception is legitimate, as deputies often play truant from committee debates. Chamber of Deputies Deputy Speaker Ioan Oltean, a member of the ruling Democrat Liberal Party, criticised MPs, in the last meeting of Chamber leaders, for attending Parliament meetings only on Monday and Tuesday. “If you go on Tuesday after-noon, at 5 PM, through the airports, you will find half of MPs there, waiting for a flight home,” Oltean said, according to transcripts of Tuesday’s Chamber of Deputies Permanent Bureau meeting. He added that the work schedule needs to be modified. Chamber of Deputies Speaker Roberta Anastase admitted, in her turn, that Parliament’s image cannot improve if deputies work only once a week.

Voicu’s litigation to be discussed today

The High Court adjourned for today the judging of Catalin Voicu’s litigation of a previous ruling against his request to be released from custody but remain subject to legal restrictions pending trial. The court made this decision at the request made by the senator’s new lawyer to be given a respite, in which to analyse the case. Yesterday, Voicu was assisted by a new lawyer, Ioan Cazacu. Earlier this week, a High Court panel ruled against Voicu’s petition for temporary release, in the case of his 30-day preventive arrest on charges of corruption.

In motivating the ruling, judge Livia Luminita Zglimbea argued that “actions attributed to the accused are extremely serious, if we measure his criminal activities against his quality as senator in the Parliament of Romania, against the purpose pursued and the nature of social relations that were affected by his actions.”

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Germans to make Ford and Dacia parts at Craiova

The automotive division of German group Rochling, specialising in plastic manufacturing, is opening 5,000 sq m production unit in Craiova to supply parts to Ford and probably Dacia carmakers, the investment amounting to more than EUR 5 M. “We are looking for a place to locate our 5,000 sq m production unit. We cannot give you the exact value of investment, but we know for a fact that the equipment alone will cost EUR 5 M,” Rochling Communication Director Ina Breitsprecher said, according to Mediafax. The new factory will deliver parts to the Ford plant in Craiova, and possibly also to Dacia. The two divisions of Rochling group – High Performance Plastics and Automotive Plastics – have a total of 5,400 employees and operated business worth over EUR 1 bln in 20 different countries combined.

Blue Air going to fly Timisoara-Constanta route

Blue Air airline company is going to fly direct flights on the Timisoara-Constanta route as of this summer, Mediafax reported the airline’s general director, Sherif Ussama, having told a press conference yesterday. According to the Blue Air official, there is high demand for such route during summer in order to make the link with the Black Sea. “We are thinking of developing our operations in Timisoara, since we have good reason for it. We are seriously considering opening a Timisoara-Constanta route. We extend our services based on market research,” the Blue Air general director said. He added that the airline has been operating 20 weekly ‘summer-time’ Timisoara-Bucharest flights a week, starting March 28 and through October 30.

Renault wants to make 320,000 Duster units per year

French automaker Renault plans to raise its production capacity for the Duster model to 320,000 units per year. Apart from Romania, the car will also be built in Russia, Brazil, Columbia and India, ‘Les Echos’ informs, quoted by Mediafax. In Romania, Dacia plant in Pitesti will have a production capacity of 150,000 Duster units per year. In Russia and Brazil that capacity will stand at 60,000. Renault estimates a production capacity of 20,000 units in Columbia and 30,000 units in India. In India, the model will be built within a new plant belonging to the Renault-Nissan alliance. ‘Les Echos’ characterises the model as being a ‘chameleon’ vehicle that has the lowest price on the 4×4 market, the same engines as the whole Logan family, its rear borrowed from some Nissan version, its roof borrowed from Megane 2 and its machine parts geared in view of the highest savings. Dacia’s sales were the highest on the French market in March, surpassing those registered by Volkswagen and Ford.

Taxi drivers get ready for strike

Two associations of transporters and taxi drivers will protest in Bucharest and Brussels, on April 22-27, against a decision made by Bucharest local authorities not to extend taxi licenses, and the legislation that prevents them from stopping in other localities than those they are registered in, Mediafax reports. Drivers also challenge the law that prohibits taxis registered in Bucharest to take clients to the Otopeni Airport, which is in Ilfov County, or to the commercial centres located in the same county. Protests will be staged in several locations of Bucharest – Piata Victoriei, Aviatorilor and Kiseleff Boulevards, and the ring road. Some will also leave for Brussels, aboard 20 cars, to picket the European Commission headquarters.

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InterAgro might buy Doljchim plant from OMV Petrom

Chemical fertilizers producer InterAgro, controlled by businessman Ioan Niculae, is interested in purchasing chemical works Doljchim Craiova from OMV Petrom, Mediafax reports. InterAgro is in exploratory talks with OMV Petrom over the possibility to purchase Doljchim, InterAgro official Marin Mitrea, who is also the president of the Nitrofosfor professional association, announced yesterday. He gave no detail of the transaction, only saying that, if the deal gets done, InterAgro will also take the employees of the Craiova-based plant. OMV Petrom, part of Austrian group OMV, wants to exit the chemical products market this year and announced that it set provisions worth EUR 18 M for closing down Doljchim.

Average M&A value to fall under EUR 5 M

Average value of mergers and acquisitions will fall under EUR 5 M within 2-3 years, and a recovery to the level of EUR 40 M that was reached at the peak of the privatisation process is only possible 30-40 years from now, say M&A experts. Valentin Stancescu, the president of Riff Holding International – a company specialised in financial service integration and fiscal and business consulting – does not rule out the possibility of Romanian companies being traded between Romanian entrepreneurs. “So far, 90 pc of acquisitions were made by foreigners. In a year and a half or two, transactions will pick up and forecasts say the growth will occur precisely in the segment of small transactions,” Stancescu said yesterday, quoted by Mediafax. According to the financial expert, the average value of deals will fall because companies operating in the private economy did not rise to very high values, as it was the case with privatised companies that took the average figure up to some EUR 40 M.

Louvre hotel chain – interested in Romanian market

Romania is a key market for the Louvre hotel chain, Louvre Hotels president Pierre-Frederic Roulot said yesterday. According to the source, the company plans to open over 20 two- and three-star units in the country, Mediafax reports. “Together with Poland, Romania is a reference market for Louvre, where we want to develop the brands of our portfolio. Within the next 3 to 4 years, we want to open 22 hotels on the Romanian market and reach a total 30 properties, together with the Golden Tulip units. For all our brands, we plan new projects that will strictly follow the concept we will provide, allowing us to come with prices expected by the market,” he explained. The new hotels will be rated at two- and three-stars and will belong to the budget&economy class, Roulot added. The official described the partnership with Golden Tulip as “a synergy useful to market and economy,” as only few such units operate in the Romanian hotel market.

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ATM robbery in Arges

A new armed robbery was perpetrated in Maracineni, Arges County, yesterday morning. A cash point installed on the premises of a company in Maracineni was robbed. Mediafax quoted legal sources as saying a total of RON 50,000 was stolen. The time of the robbery was 2 AM. The perpetrators beat and tied up the company’s security guard, cut the rear part of the cash dispenser open with an electric cutting tool, took the money and disappeared. “A few minutes later, the guard set himself free and alerted some workers on the night shift at a nearby factory, who called the emergency number 112,” an Arges police spokesperson said. The building was not equipped with any security alarm system or CCTV, which will make the identification of the robbers extremely difficult.

Tanker truck carrying Diesel oil overturns
on DN73

A tanker truck carrying 30 tonnes of Diesel oil overturned late Wednesday night on National Road 73 in Dambovicioara, Arges County. According to a spokesperson for the Arges County Police, the accident took place at kilometre 84. The tanker truck overturned on the side of the road, blocking half a lane, Mediafax informs. Police and Arges Emergency Situations Office crews were dispatched on the scene where they established that Diesel oil was leaking from the tanker. Firefighters used water and foam and threw anti-skidding material on the road.

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Ambassador Niculae Micu dies at 77

Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) announced yesterday that Ambassador Niculae Micu, the first permanent Romanian representative to the European Council, passed away, adding that those who wish may pay him a final homage today at Piata Amzei Church. According to MAE, Micu held the office of general consul of Romania to Strasbourg between 1992 and 1994, and, between 1994 and 1995, acted as ambassador to Romania’s Permanent Representation with the European Council, in Strasbourg. The diplomat also acted as head of the OSCE and UN direction within the Foreign Ministry, between 1990 and 1992.

Constantinescu: Presidential airplane used by Ceausescu
and for trade

Former Head of State Emil Constantinescu stated for Realitatea TV that the Presidential airplane that Traian Basescu uses was also used by Nicolae Ceausescu and for a time was used for trade too, transporting lambs. Constantinescu recounted some of the embarrassing moments he went through back when he was using a rented airplane while being head of state. “While I was in Ottawa a company that had to recover money from Tarom filed a suit. The judge decided to repossess the airplane so I found myself in a very awkward situation, being left without an airplane,” Constantinescu said. That is when he started to look into the issue of presidential airplanes and found the current airplane that had been used by Nicolae Ceausescu too. President Basescu also recounted early this week on B1 TV some of the incidents he had with the presidential airplane. The president nevertheless stated that the airplane is very safe despite being over 35 years old.

Directors Radu Muntean, Cristi Puiu in Cannes Film Festival line-up

Two Romanian directors, Radu Muntean and Cristi Puiu, have been officially selected in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. The press conference in which the official Cannes Film Festival line-up was announced took place yesterday morning, at the Paris Grand Hotel. Feature films directed by Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu and Nikita Mihalkov were included in the official selection of the festival. Stone is nominated for his sequel to Wall Street, Woody Allen – for the film You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger and Stephen Frears is present with the film Tamara Drewe. The festival will be opened by a ‘hors concours’ screening of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, while the film that will close the festival is yet to be announced. The jury will include Tim Burton (chairman), Alberto Barbera, Kate Beckinsale, Emmanuel Barrere, Benicio del Toro, Victor Erice, Shekhar Kapur and Giovanna Mezzogiorno. The Cannes International Film Festival will take place between May 12 and 23.

Ozzy Osbourne
to perform in Romania

Ozzy Osbourne will perform live at Bucharest’s Zone Arena on October 2, quoted Fun Time Production, the event’s organiser, as saying. The show will be part of a world tour to promote the singer’s upcoming release, ‘Scream’. Osbourne rose to prominence in the 1970s as vocalist of pioneering British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, with whom he stayed until 1979. He then embarked on a solo career during which he has released 10 albums. His 11th is due out June 15, 2010.

Patriarch to lay foundation stone for Orthodox cathedral in Madrid

Patriarch Daniel will perform, on Sunday, the Holy Mass and will lay the foundation stone for the future Romanian Orthodox Episcopal Cathedral in Madrid, accompanied by a synod of priests and hierarchs belonging to the Romanian Orthodox Church and to other European Orthodox Churches. On April 16-21, Daniel will be on a canonical visit to the Romanian Orthodox Bishopric of Spain and Portugal, the Romanian Patriarchy said yesterday, quoted by Mediafax. The Bucharest delegation will visit, on Saturday, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Madrid. On the same day, the Romanian clerics will visit the Romanian Orthodox parishes “St. George the Martyr” of Alcala de Henares, “St. Hierarch Nectarie” of Coslada, and “St. Andrew the Apostle” of Arganda del Rey, where they will also meet representatives of local authorities.

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