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August 15, 2022


Resting Rafael Nadal decides to miss Barcelona Open

World number three Rafael Nadal has chosen not to defend his Barcelona Open crown this week as he recuperates from his Monte Carlo Masters triumph, BBC reports. Nadal, who has been troubled by knee injuries, was expected to attempt to win his sixth Barcelona title in a row. “After Monte Carlo my body is asking me to rest. I feel really bad about this – it is my club and my event,” said the 23-year-old. “I’ve said several times that the clay season calendar is poorly structured.” Nadal’s criticism of the timing of events in men’s tennis has been a familiar refrain, with knee injuries forcing him to miss the entire grass court season last year. “I feel bad not playing in Barcelona, more than any another tournament,” he said. With the second major of the season, the French Open, beginning at Roland Garros on 23 May, Nadal will be seeking to atone for his shock fourth-round defeat by Sweden’s Robin Soderling in last year’s competition.

Is Alex Ferguson leaving Man Utd?

Manchester United have begun the search for their next manager after Alex Ferguson told the board: “One more season and I’m out,” The Sun reported on Tuesday. Alex Ferguson is said to go in the summer of 2011, six months before his 70th birthday. But Old Trafford sources insist his replacement has yet to be decided, the newspaper reads. United are canvassing opinion among leading football figures about who would be the best man for the job and Fergie will also have an input. Jose Mourinho, currently in charge of Inter Milan, is the favourite, The Sun further informs. However, there are those at United who are not convinced that he is the right man. Ferguson has built a dynasty at Old Trafford stretching over 25 years.

Lucian Bute
to return to Romania on Monday

Lucian Bute, the world’s IBF super middleweight champion, will return to Romania on Monday, April 26, with an Air France flight that will land at 2.05 PM on the ‘Henri Coanda’ Airport. Bute will take part in a press conference within the airport’s Presidential Hall, a communiqué remitted to Agerpres shows. On Saturday Bute successfully defended his title for the fifth time in Montreal, defeating Columbia’s Edison Miranda through KO in round three.

Astra Ploiesti sacks Nicolo Napoli

Astra Ploiesti decided to replace Italian head coach Nicolo Napoli and his staff after they failed to show up for the team’s training sessions following its game against International Curtea de Arges, the team’s website informs. Executive director Costel Lazar has informed the chairman of the Administrative Board, with Costel Lazar and Valentin Sinescu heading the team’s training session on Monday. Ion Moldovan coached Astra but was replaced by Nicolo Napoli after three legs. Nicolo Napoli previously coached Universitatea Craiova.

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Fitch raises Bucharest outlook to ‘stable’ and reaffirms its ‘BB+’ rating

Fitch Ratings has revised upwards Bucharest’s rating from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ and has reaffirmed its long-term foreign currency credit rating to ‘BB+’ and its long-term national currency credit rating to BBB-, Mediafax informs. At the same time, the company has reaffirmed Bucharest’s rating for short-term foreign currency credits to ‘B’ and its rating for the EUR 500 M bonds that fall due in June 2015 to ‘BB+’. The agency notes that the decision to revise the outlook to ‘stable’ reflects a similar decision taken in February for Romania. The city’s rating is backed by its role as economic and political capital, by its still satisfying budgetary performance and by its acceptable debt level. Bucharest’s rating could grow as a consequence of a positive change in the country’s rating provided its budget performance and debt remain at current levels.

Gov’t wants to
renegotiate IMF accord

Romanian officials want to renegotiate some provisions of the stand-by agreement while waiting for the IMF delegation to arrive in Bucharest next week, ‘Gandul’ daily informs. The expenditures on public sector employees alone have to be lowered by EUR 500 M in 2010, however it remains to be seen how much the state has to cut considering that the economic growth estimate will be lowered from 1.3 per cent of GDP to 0.8 per cent of GDP. Asked by ‘Gandul’ daily whether the IMF will accept this year a higher budget deficit than the one agreed, Mihai Tanasescu, Romania’s representative at the IMF, avoided a categorical answer but hinted that resizing public expenditures is a priority alongside lowering budget deficit.

AutoItalia proposes to sell 100 Arbath cars

Importer AutoItalia has proposed to sell 100 Arbath cars in the first year since setting business in Romania, the manager of the company’s dealing network, Cristi Milea, said yesterday, on the opening of the first showroom of the Italian brand on the local market, according to Mediafax. The car importer opened, yesterday, its first Arbath representation in Romania, and the showroom, which will also host Maseratti and Alfa Romeo brands, claimed a total investment of EUR 500,000. Milea explained that, the moment the representation opened, AutoItalia had already received four orders for Arbath, the 500 model. Road models Arbath 500, Punto Evo, 695, and rally models 500 Assetto Corse – Trofeo, 500 rally – N group, Arbath 500 Rally – R3T Group and Arbath 695 Tributo Ferrari, will be brought to Romania.

Energetica unionists picketed Finance Ministry

About 50 members with the Energetica Federation of Free and Independent Trade Unions yesterday picketed the Finance Ministry demanding complementary rights for the employees laid off at five electrical power and heat generating, transport and distribution units in Giurgiu, Braila, Timisoara, Brasov and Botosani respectively, Mediafax reports.

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Romania climbs one place in terms of purchasing power

Romania climbed one place in a global top based on the purchasing power, up to the 80th out of 155 countries, and gained three places based on its gross national income, according to a World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010 report released by the World Bank (WB) on Tuesday, Mediafax reports. According to the paper, purchasing power in Romania – with comparable conditions applied to all states and regions of the world – rose from USD 12,350 per capita in 2007 to USD 13,380 per capita in 2008.

50pc interest rate compensation through EximBank extended to large companies

From this month onward, large enterprises can recover, via EximBank, up to 50 per cent of the interest rate they pay for investment loans in RON, taken out with commercial banks, according to a press release.

Up until now, the product ‘RON loan interest compensation’ has been only available for SMEs (enterprises with no more than 250 employees and no more than EUR 50 M annual turnover, or less than EUR 43 M annual balance-sheet result), but its scope of addressability has recently been extended to all companies. ‘(…) Our estimation is that over 1,000 economic operators could benefit from this cash-generating facility’, EximBank President Ionut Costea stated. The partial interest compensation is available as part of a de minimis state aid scheme applicable until 2011.

BCR offers financial solutions to companies

The Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) will organise meetings in eight major cities to present to companies financial solutions related to European projects, minimising rate and interest risk and management of liquidities, according to a press release remitted to our newsroom. In the series of events running under the title “Money Balance,” representatives of EU Office BCR specialised branches will present opportunities offered by European funds as solutions for business development or extension, European programmes open to Romanian participation or the conditions and necessary steps to access European funds. Meetings will be organised in Craiova, Timisoara, Constanta, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Pitesti, Bucharest and Iasi. Representatives of the bank will present to companies solutions to minimise rate risk by specific products, namely, derived financial instruments.

GfK: Four out of ten Romanians still use LPG cylinders

A survey conducted by GfK shows that 54 per cent of Romanian households are connected to the natural gas grid, 40 per cent still use LPG cylinders, and 6 per cent do not use natural gas, a press release informs. Almost all Romanians are connected to the electricity grid. The survey was conducted in March on a sample of 1,000 people over 15 years of age and its goal was to determine Romanians’ degree of satisfaction with electricity and natural gas services.

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Foreign Minister
visits Italy and
the Vatican

The minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Baconschi, went on a two-day visit to Italy and at the Holy See yesterday, at the invitation of his counterparts, Franco Frattini, Italian minister of Foreign Affairs, respectively, Dominique Mamberty, secretary for state ties, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign affairs informs.

Baconschi met Frattini and was due to have talks also with the Gianfranco Fini, Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Discussions are expected to focus on topics related to strengthening bilateral ties, in view of the pending second edition of the Romanian-Italian inter-government Summit, to take place in Bucharest. European and international current affairs will also be approached.

The minister is due to meet representatives of the Romanian community in Italy.

At the Holy See, the minister of Foreign Affairs will be received by Pope Benedict XVI and meet the head of Vatican diplomacy, Dominique Mamberti, and Jean Louis Tauran, chairman of the Papal Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

Independents can register their party

Bucharest Court granted, yesterday, the petition of the group of independent MPs to register the National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR), led by Gabriel Oprea.

Bucharest Court ruled, yesterday, in favour of their petition to register the Union, although, initially, it had set debates for May.

More than 120,000 signatures were collected to register this party.

The new party, which comprises the group of independent MPs, may have Marian Sarbu as president, Gabriel Oprea as acting president and Cristian Diaconescu as honorary president, sources from the Parliament said, quoted by Mediafax.

Lately, several MPs, members of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and the National-Liberal Party (PNL), have resigned from these parties and joined the independent group.

Ponta: Geoana angry that debt issue was made public

Social Democrat leader Victor Ponta said yesterday on Antena 3 that former party president Mircea Geoana is not angry because he bequeathed debt but because the debt issue was made public. The PSD leader stated that it is normal for each person to pay what they consumed.

According to PSD sources quoted by Mediafax, a preliminary audit has established that PSD’s debt ranges from RON 25 M to 29 M. According to the aforementioned source, the debt was incurred from 2004 until now, most of the sums being spent in recent campaigns for local, parliamentary and presidential elections. The same report points out that the final debt level could be lower considering that PSD could win some of the trials that its creditors started.

Last weekend, Ponta reproached former party president Geoana for explaining the party debt issue only on his personal blog instead of doing so at party leadership meetings. Geoana accused Ponta of using ‘inappropriate’ expressions when talking about the party’s debt to the press, because of his political inexperience.

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