ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Delgado group premiere show at Dance Centre


The show “Manteau long …”, created by Delgado Fuchs, will be presented, in a Romanian premiere, at the Bucharest National Dance Centre (CNDB), a release announces. Created by Delgado Fuchs, in a Belgium-Switzerland co-production, the show “Manteau long en laine marine porte sur un pull a encolure detendue avec un pantalon peau de peche et des chaussures pointues en nubuck rouge” will be presented starting 20:00. Delgado Fuchs – Nadine Fuchs and Marco Delgado – is an artistic group which was founded in March 2002, in Berne (Switzerland). The two create performances and installations meant to make the public rethink movement and the body beyond a strictly choreographic context. On the thin line between gravity and the trivial, their work feeds on ambiguity. Constantly rephrasing its theme and shifting perspectives, Delgado Fuchs highlights, by means of gesture, the versatile nature of identity. In the show “Manteau long …”, Delgado and Fuchs take their clothes off in a seductive manner. The viewers become, thus, voyeurs of an apparently naive couple. The paradox of bodies exposed, while remaining excessively modest, is glimpsed in a dance in which one’s hand covers the other’s intimacy. “Manteau long …” expresses the desire for immediate presence and proves that the roles of the choreographer and the dancer are never radically different, but, on the contrary, are complementary.


Young theatre artists – featured in Nottara gala


The Capital’s Nottara Theatre will host, today and tomorrow, the shows of 18 young actors, performing the plays selected in the Young Theatre Gala finals. The contest is organized by the “Dan Voiculescu for the Development of Romania” Foundation, and the prize at stake amounts to $ 100,000. This will consist in financing the winning troupe’s participation in international theatre festivals, on the grand European stages. The selection of the most talented troupe will be made by a jury comprising professionals of the Romanian theatre stage: Maia Morgenstern, Rodica Mandache, George Mihaita, Virgil Ogasanu, Mircea Diaconu, Radu Afrim and Ion Cocora. “In this day and age, the young actor is left hanging in an unknown territory, as no one takes an interest in him, in the evolution of the young actor. Everyone is wondering why we are running out of talented actors. They exist, but are not put to use by those in charge, we are referring to the ministry, to theatres, to theatre organizations. Such a gala is welcome for them, it is a godsend,” Virgil Ogasanu said. In her turn, Maia Morgenstern argues that organizing the Young Theatre Gala is an extremely ambitious and important project, a much-needed initiative. “I think this is a welcome initiative, and, in the end, this is the problem, to coordinate and bring together, at a certain point, following a public proposal, the youth. That’s how talented people come to the foreground. Some of them will already be included in a pool, they can mention this participation in their resumes, which is great,” Mircea Diaconu said, in his turn. The winning troupe will be announced on May 6, in a gala that is to take place at the Capital’s Odeon Theatre.


Schumann performance marks 200 years since composer’s birth


The “Schumann Night” concert, meant to celebrate 200 years since the birth of German composer Robert Schumann, will be given by Duo Atris and Duo “Remember Enescu”, on Wednesday, at 18:30, at the Cherchez Hall of Cotroceni National Museum, a release informs. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Robert Schumann (b. June 8, 1810 – d. July 29, 1856), one of the best-known Romantic composers of the first half of the 19th century. Duo Atris, composed of Raluca Stratulat (violin) and Adriana Toacsen (piano), has been active in the concert landscape since December 2003, when they participated in the “W. A. Mozart” contest, organized by the “Gheorghe Dima” Music University in Cluj, a debut which brought the two musicians, after a mere three months’ collaboration, the second prize. Other important distinctions followed: the third prize in the Thessaloniki Chamber Music International Competition (Greece, 2005), the special prize of the Exces Music agency, a mention in the “Ludwig van Beethoven” contest (Bucharest, 2005) and in the “Ferdinand Weiss” contest, within the “Gheorghe Dima” Music University” of Cluj, the third prize in the Performance Contest in the Hungarian Music Festival, the second edition, May 2006, and the first prize in the Performance Contest in the Hungarian Music Festival, the third edition, May 2007, the latter two competitions having been organized by the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Bucharest.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

SIE buys more than RON 87,000 worth of laxatives, other drugs


The Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) has procured laxatives, drugs for diabetes and cardiac conditions and other pharmaceutical products worth over RON 87,000, according to an awarding notice posted with the Society for Excellence in Public Administration. The notice shows that the contracting authority does not act on behalf of other contracting authorities and that the main place of delivery is Voluntari, Ilfov County. The total value of the agreements concluded with several companies for the provision of medicine is RON 87,278.59. The goods were procured in open auction from the provider asking for the lowest price.

Bucharest police
caught selling heroine at North Station



Organised crime brigade DIICOT on Monday arrested Bogdan Butnariu, a policeman working for Police Station no. 3 in Bucharest, on drug dealing charges. Judicial sources quoted by Agerpres report the policeman was the member of a drug dealing ring made up of 22 individuals, 13 of whom have been arrested. Butnariu was caught by DIICOT prosecutors while selling heroine in the North Station area of Bucharest. Aged 33, he has been a polo player for the Bucharest Dinamo Club. Butnariu has a criminal record, having been convicted for robbery in 2008.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

King Mihai to attend May 9 ceremony
in Moscow



King Mihai accepted the invitation made by the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, to attend, on May 9, in Moscow, the ceremony celebrating 65 years since the victory over Fascism. “The invitation was launched on diplomatic channels, mediated by the Russian Federation ambassador to Bucharest, Aleksander Churilin,” Constanta Iorga, secretary general of the Romanian Royal House, stated for Mediafax. Iorga said that King Mihai was invited in the quality he used to have at the time and underlined that, of all military leaders at the time, he is the only one still alive, and is also a historical figure appreciated throughout Europe. Russia announced it would organize a military parade to mark the celebration of 65 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Senator Voicu
to stay behind bars until the end of May



The High Court’s (ICCJ) top nine-judge panel rejected on Monday the appeal filed by Catalin Voicu, who is being probed for corruption deeds, thus sending the senator behind bars for another 30 days. Voicu had appealed against a court decision pronounced last Friday, which extended his preventive arrest by 30 more days, until May 30. According to the court decision, Voicu must pay trial expenses, as well as the fee of the lawyer appointed to him by the court, given that his own lawyer could not attend the proceedings.


ICCJ motivated its decision on Friday through the fact that the senator poses a threat to public order. In Monday’s trial, the prosecution explained that, although anti-corruption prosecutors were more than lenient towards him during the investigation and initially set just an interdiction, the senator further tried to influence witnesses and did not admit his deeds. “We were hoping that Voicu would admit his guilt. There is certain evidence that defendant Voicu succeeded to influence the witnesses,” the anticorruption prosecutor claimed. The US ambassador to Romania, Mark Gitenstein said in an interview with Hotnews that, with regard to impunity and procedures of arrest and investigation, the Voicu case demonstrates that the Romanian system works and the senator being behind bars is “a good thing.”

May 2 discounts
for PSD youth



Social-Democrat leaders found an ingenious method to lure new members into the party, with president Victor Ponta going to offer on Youth Day, May 2, party cards to fresh PSD members. The cards will allow them to purchase theatre and film tickets at discount prices, as well as benefit from discounts on restaurant bills, shopping and various events organised at the seaside, Mediafax reports. No fewer than 3,000 such cards will await their owners at the party’s Kiseleff headquarters. The discounts are made possible by a range of commercial arrangements aimed at partnership networks with theatres, cinemas, stores and restaurants. “Partners will give the discounts upon cards being presented and verified by an electronic system linking all the partners,” Social-Democrat sources explained. “This is Ponta’s political innovation, a different way of making politics, something that has never been done before,” the quoted sources said.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Competition Council sanctions state’s air transport aid scheme


The Competition Council has sanctioned the state aid scheme granting ‘financial assistance for the modernisation and development of air transport infrastructure’, the institution states in a press release. The state aid scheme was initiated by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and has an approximate budget of EUR 150 M. It will be implemented after being approved by the European Commission. The allocations for this particular state aid scheme consist of a combination of national budget and EU sources. According to the national competition authority, the scheme sets forth the necessary normative context for granting non-repayable funds to a maximum number of 14 class D airports (airports with an yearly traffic of less than one million passengers), to be used for the modernisation and development of air transport infrastructures.


Romania, 4th in world ranking of Internet
connection speed



Romania ranked fourth in the last quarter of 2009 in a global ranking of average Internet connection speed, which rose by 28 per cent from the last quarter of 2008, from 7.2 Mbps, according to Akamai Technologie’s “State of the Internet” report, compared to the third quarter, in the last three months of last year, the average speed rose by 14 per cent. The three first positions were claimed by South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. According to the report, Romania displays the highest growth rate among the first ten ranking states, both compared to the end of 2008, and to the third quarter of 2009.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Emporiki Bank reduces interest rates at credits in Euros


Emporiki Bank reduces the interest on mortgage credits in Euros, according to a release remitted to our editing office. Hence, the interest rate for mortgage credits is, now, lower than 5.9 per cent. Thus, the annual net interest (DAE) for a mortgage credit of EUR 60,000, to be paid in 30 years’ time, is of 6.45 per cent, and the total amount to be reimbursed to the bank is EUR 131,250, in monthly instalments of EUR 365. Moreover, the interest rate for personal needs credits is below 7.4 per cent. For a credit of EUR 10,000, to be reimbursed in 10 years’ time, DAE is of 8.4 per cent, the monthly instalment is of EUR 120, and the total amount, including fees and commissions, is EUR 14,500. Emporiki Bank also announced the launch of a promotion for fixed-date (one month to three months) deposits in Euros.


The special feature of this promotion is the fact that the interest rate is growing progressively after the first and second renewal of the deposit.


More precisely, for one-month deposits in Euros, the interest rate starts at 3 per cent per year, after the first renewal it becomes 3.15 per cent p.a., and after the second, 3.30 per cent p.a. (provided that the amount and time remain constant).


BCR cuts the early
reimbursement commission
for new, unsecured credits



In keeping with the Directive provisions, the consumer is entitled to discharge at any moment, in full or partly, his obligations to the bank, when bound by a consumption credit contract, but, at the same time, the creditor is entitled to claim a compensation for the costs linked directly to the early reimbursement of the credit, provided that the reimbursement is made at a time at which the interest rate on the credit is stable, a press release informs. Thus, starting 26.04.2010, BCR will implement an early reimbursement the equivalent of 1 per cent of the reimbursed amount, respectively, 0.5 per cent, but no less than RON 65 for fixed-interest unsecured credits, and will cut the early reimbursement commission for floating interest unsecured credits.


Bank deposits rising,
non-governmental credit ebbing



Deposits made by individuals and firms rose by 1.2 per cent in March, compared to February, up to RON 167.1 bln, and, compared to the same month, in 2009, the rise was of 8.4 per cent, according to figures supplied by the National Bank of Romania (BNR). At the same time, RON deposits of legal persons (non-financial societies and non-monetary financial institutions) rose by 5.4 per cent, reaching RON 43.1 bln. On the other hand, the same data suggest that the amount of non-governmental credit granted by credit institutions ebbed in March by 1.6 per cent, compared to the same month last year, at RON 199.4 bln, against the background of a 4.9 per cent slumping of the RON component and of a rise of foreign currency, expressed in its RON equivalent, by 0.7 per cent.


In real terms, the amount of non-governmental credit displayed in March an annual decrease rate of 5.6 per cent, owing to the 8.8 per cent decrease of the RON component.

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Lazaroiu: Teo Trandafir will
quit PDL



In a blog post, presidential adviser Sebastian Lazaroiu is warning PDL that the newly elected Deputy in Constituency 19 in Bucharest, Teodora Trandafir, will leave the party. According to him, Trandafir will migrate to the Conservative Party. He claims Dan Voiculescu and Cristian Popescu Piedone want to win the fresh deputy over on PC’s side. The president’s adviser also says Teo Trandafir on Monday denied any intention of leaving PDL. She said her political ‘way’ would be to be herself, not to change. PC Vice-President Bogdan Diaconu has also reacted to Lazaroiu’s predictions. According to Mediafax, in his view, the fears expressed by the presidential adviser about Teo Trandafir’s political future confirm the breakdown of PDL. The head of the PDL political group in the Chamber of Deputies, Mircea Toader, yesterday said what Lazaroiu had said was making no sense. As for Sector 4 Mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone’s possible rejoining of PDL, Toader excludes it for now, as, by doing that, the mayor would be waiving his term as a locally-elected official. He nevertheless said a thing like that would be possible in 2012. Teo Trandafir’s victory increased the PDL group in the Chamber to 127.

Mitrea threatens divorce from PSD


Social-Democratic Party (PSD) senator Miron Mitrea could join the ranks of independent MPs starting this autumn. Realitatea TV claims the senator has already initiated negotiations in this direction with Gabriel Oprea’s independents, after voicing, on several counts, discontent with the recent leadership of the party. There is the likelihood that he joins the National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR) this autumn, Realitatea TV claims. According to sources in the Parliament, Mitrea voiced, on Monday, during the group meeting in the Senate, discontent with the policy promoted by the new PSD leaders. Mitrea’s objections sprung, supposedly, from the way in which Social-Democrats presented their views on the revision of the Constitution. On the other hand, PSD secretary general, Liviu Dragnea, stated yesterday that Social-Democrats are currently drafting a list of the reasons behind each MP’s departure from the party: files, business, money, political interests and hunting positions for their close ones, a document which will be made public in the foreseeable future.

UNPR officially launched on May 1


The National Union for Romania Progress (UNPR), a party that brings together Social Democrat and Liberal defectors from Parliament, will be officially launched in Bucharest’s Revolution Square on May 1. Sources quoted by Mediafax said the event will include speeches of the party’s future acting leaders plus guests. The event will also include music, but not the traditional ‘mici’ and beer usually served on Labour Day. The launch will be preceded by a National Extraordinary Congress which will elect the party’s interim leaders. The most likely leadership formula will include Marian Sarbu as president, Gabriel Oprea as executive president, Cristian Diaconescu as honorary president, Neculai Ontanu – general secretary, and eight vice presidents. PSD honorary president Ion Iliescu thinks the UNPR launch on Labour Day is a ‘fraud attempt’ since party members have “a moral physiognomy that shows they got wealthy from politics.”

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