9.9 C
March 31, 2023


Romanian athlete promoting ‘Asics’ brand
in Switzerland

Olympic title holder marathon runner Constantina Dita is in Switzerland where she is taking part in a series of actions meant to promote the Asics brand for Intersport group, the largest chain of sport products stores in Europe (5,200 stores). Dita was welcomed in Bern by Jacques Valentin, manager of Asics’s promotion actions in Europe, a release remitted to Agerpres shows. “Asics has signed a very favorable contract for Intersport and I believe that it is ideal that a champion like Constantina Dita is here in order to promote this relation. 70-75 per cent of Intersport’s main customers from various European markets will be in Bern for this event, for a presentation of the new Asics collection,” Valentin stated.

Chess: Anand and Topalov in a tie, 4-4

Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov defeated India’s Viswanathan Anand, the world’s current chess champion, on Tuesday after 56 moves in game 8 of the world title match played in Sofia. The two are now in a tie, 4-4. According to the match’s official website, game 9 will be played today. The world title match consists of 12 games. The winner of the world title will receive EUR 1,200,000, with the defeated player set to receive EUR 800,000.

Torres could miss first World Cup game

Liverpool’s Spanish international Fernando Torres will not recover completely after his April 18 knee surgery and will miss Spain’s first World Cup 2010 game scheduled on June 16, Liverpool’s doctor said, according to Agerpres. “If he continues making progress at this rhythm he will be ready to play in the World Cup. However it is not certain that he will be able to play in the first game,” Liverpool’s doctor Peter Brukner stated.

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Bucharest Ophthalmology Hospital doctor kills himself

A doctor at the Ophthalmology Hospital in Bucharest died yesterday morning, having thrown himself from the hospital’s 7th floor. The man was Prof. Dr. Vasile Velea, the hospital’s epidemiologist, and an army general. Mediafax quoted Bucharest Police officials as saying the doctor left a note containing burial instructions, yet no explanation for his desperate act. Police was alerted yesterday morning by witnesses who claimed they saw a man in a white robe falling from the 7th floor of the hospital building. While the suicide is not confirmed 100 per cent, it is however the most likely cause, police say. The medic’s colleagues say the reasons for suicide are beyond their understanding. Vasile Velea, 63, was one of Romania’s best known epidemiologists. His corpse was sent to the Institute for Legal Medicine to be submitted to forensic examination. Ophthalmology Hospital manager Monica Pop said yesterday that Velea’s depression was recently deepened by family health problems and the fact his car was stolen on Monday. Pop said however that nobody in the hospital thought Velea’s condition was so serious. The hospital manager added that the doctor was affected by several events in his life lately, starting from his dismissal from the Military Hospital a few years back to health problems and the theft of his car.

Former general Chitac freed for 60 days

Former general Mihai Chitac was freed from the Jilava Penitentiary yesterday, after the Bucharest Court of Military Appeal agreed to have Chitac released from prison for 60 days to undergo heart surgery. While free, Mihai Chitac is banned from leaving Romania, must announce the court if he changes his address and come before judicial authorities at any time he is summoned to do so, Agerpres reports. At Wednesday’s court session, the National Institute of Legal Medicine sent an address that shows Mihai Chitac cannot undergo heart surgery in jail. His relatives too submitted a document stating the former general is scheduled to be admitted into hospital Thursday towards undergoing hear surgery.

Silviu Ionescu asks Court of Appeal to scrap arrest warrant

Silviu Ionescu, the former charge d’affaires at Romania’s Embassy to Singapore, yesterday asked the Bucharest Court of Appeal to cancel the international arrest warrant issued for him in connection with a car accident in Singapore that left one dead. His request was grounded in his inability to leave Romania, saying Singapore authorities issued the warrant to put pressure on him. He also expressed his conviction he wouldn’t even be brought to trial over the case as prosecutors lack evidence against him.

Mediafax reports the session prosecutor called on the court to reject Ionescu’s request as unacceptable. The court is yet to decide whether to accept Ionescu’s request.

The former charge d’affaires filed a lawsuit against the state of Singapore, asking for cancellation of the international arrest warrant issued for him over the December 2009 car accident.

Russian envoy lays wreath at Brasov Unknown Soldier monument

On a Brasov visit yesterday, Russian Ambassador to Romania Aleksandr Churylin laid a wreath of flowers at the Unknown Soldier Monument in Sprenghi Cemetery, Brasov. A special military ceremony was also held on the occasion, marking 65 years since the end of World War II. Also yesterday, two representatives of the Russian Embassy were in Cluj, where they laid flowers at the Monument of Soviet Heroes, as part of a larger ceremony marking Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany and the end of the war. The Cluj ceremony was also attended by local officials, officers and representatives of the local war veterans’ association.

Romania ranks 37 in state of the world’s mothers and children report

Romania is ranked 37th in international organization Save the Children’s 2010 ranking of countries based on living conditions for mothers and children, daily ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ reported. Romania is included in Tier I of More Developed Countries and is followed in the ranking by countries such as Russia, Ukraine or the Republic of Moldova. It however follows countries such as Serbia, Malta and Bulgaria.

The ranking is topped by Norway, which is believed to be the best place to live for mothers and children, as here, women are paid well, they have access to education and family planning and get paid well for maternity leaves. Norway is followed in the standings by Australia, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany also made it into the top ten. The United States is on the 28th position, because of a rather high childbirth death rate and because poor families don’t have easy access to education.

The standings include 200 countries and ranked right at the bottom are Niger and Afghanistan.

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EUR 20 M invested in Bucharest’s fifth Metro Cash&Carry

Germany’s Metro is today opening its fifth cash&carry centre in Bucharest. Located in Bucharest’s east side, more precisely in the Policolor area – a location that Metro also chose for the largest Real hypermarket in Romania, the new Metro Cash&Carry called for an investment of EUR 15-20 M and offers approximately 250 jobs, the representatives of Metro Cash&Carry Romania announced yesterday during a press conference.

‘The opening of the new distribution centre is proof of the fact that Bucharest is a continuously developing market that still has a remarkable growth potential. (…) As a novelty, for the first time we have enlarged the surface for food products by 15 per cent compared to the country average, with the food products thus occupying two thirds of the store,’ Dusan Wilms, general director Metro Cash&Carry Romania, stated. The store has a surface of more than 13,000 square meters and an actual sale surface of 8,300 square meters. Approximately 19,000 food and non-food items will be sold here. The Metro Cash&Carry network will now consist of 25 stores at national level. With this new unit the company’s total investments in Romania now stand at EUR 500 M.

Forty distributors
to exhibit in Romanian Boat Show 2010

The fifth edition of the biggest yachts, boats and equipment fair, Romanian Boat Show, was opened yesterday and will go on until Sunday, inclusively, in Baneasa Shopping Complex, according to a press release. Approximately 40 distributors, 350 brands and 150 boats will be present at the fair. The visiting hours are 10:00 to 20:00 and the entrance fee is RON 15. According to the organizers, the most expensive product of the fair is a “Princess” yacht, the “Princess 42” model, priced at EUR 452,000.

Dacia launches the Black Line limited series in Romania

Dacia Cars company launched in Romania the Logan, Sandero and MCV models in limited series, titled Black Line, including black cars with options above the standard equipment, at prices ranging from EUR 8,200 to EUR 12,750, Mediafax informs. Thus, the Black Line Logan model can be bought at prices ranging from EUR 8,200 to EUR 10,250, Sandero will cost EUR 8,950 to EUR 11,000, and Logan MCV at EUR 10,600 to EUR 12,750.

BCR completes insurance capital injection

BCR Asigurari, the insurance branch has increased registered share capital by RON 49.69 M to a total of RON 123.39 M by injections of cash by shareholders, insurance company informs, according to Mediafax. End of 2009, BCR shareholders had agreed to increase registered share capital by RON 57.38 M to RON 131.07 M. The operation was accompanied by the issuance of a total of 5,737,965 shares with a face value of RON 10, of which a total of 4,969,291 were paid for, the balance being cancelled. After the closing of the operation, Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) holds a stake of 95.91 per cent in BCR Asigurari. Banca Comerciala Romana has control over 1.00068 per cent of the insurer’s shares and 6,165 individual shareholders own together 3.0 per cent. Previously, the insurer was split among VIG who held 88.47 per cent, Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) -5.04 per cent and several natural persons – 6.36 per cent.

Transport Ministry to take over six plots for Constanta beltway

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI) will take over six plots of land with a total surface of 3,650 square meters in order to build Constanta’s beltway. According to a government decision drafted by the MTI, the plots will be transferred from the public domain of Ovidiu locality to the state’s public property. The transfer will be done on the basis of a protocol that the two sides will sign within a period of 30 days after the law comes into force. In 2008 the Highway and National Roads Company (CNADNR) and the FCC Construccion – Astaldi SpA consortium signed the contract for the design and construction of Constanta’s beltway, a contract worth RON 437.8 M, VAT not included. The works are set to last three years and will have a two-year guarantee.

Ford urges Automobile Craiova privatisation re-considered

Ford have asked for selected clauses of the Automobile Craiova privatisation agreement to be re-considered, which led AVAS to sponsoring a draft government decision setting up an inter-ministerial commission to conduct negotiations with the automotive manufacturer.

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New medals for Vinarte

Vinarte wines earned medals in the latest editions of Mondial du Merlot and Vinalies Internationales competitions, a press release from the producer informs. Thus, in Mondial du Merlot, Vinarte won the “Meilleur Merlot Millesime Ancien – Prix S. Pellegrino” trophy with the Merlot Prince Matei 2001, one of the most highly appreciated wines in this competition. “The colour bespeaks a still young wine, which is also confirmed by the mineral touches of the first whiff. In one’s mouth, the spices and mint flavour give a sense of freshness. A well-balanced wine”, the jury appreciated. The competition is part of the World Federation of Grand International Wine and Liqueur Competitions (VINOFED) and is held under the patronage of the International Organization of Wine and Vineyards (OIV) and of the International Oenologists’ Union (UIOE). Another distinction Vinarte collected this year is the silver medal in Vinalies Internationales 2010, with the Riesling Terase Danubiene Castel Starmina 2008. This year’s edition of Vinalies Internationales, organized by Union Oenologues de France, between February 26 and March 2, brought together 3,500 wine samples from throughout the world.

Romania’s retail trade growth, third largest in EU

Eurostat figures show Romania’s volume-wise monthly retail trade growth of 3.7 per cent was the third largest in the European Union (EU) in March, with the retail trade stagnating at EU level, Mediafax informs. In February the volume of Romania’s retail trade dropped by 1.1 per cent compared to the month before, after stagnating in January. In March Romania’s retail trade dropped by 4.3 per cent compared to the same month last year, with the indicator climbing by 0.3 per cent in the EU during the same period. The steepest drops were reported in Bulgaria (11.6 per cent), Lithuania (10.6 per cent) and Latvia (7.4 per cent). In March, of the 18 states included in Eurostat’s table, the monthly retail trade dropped in Bulgaria (1 per cent), Germany (2.4 per cent) and Portugal (2.8 per cent). The other countries reported hikes, the largest of which were seen in Denmark (5.5 per cent) and Lithuania (4.6 per cent).

Gov’t all-clear to budget rectification law

Government yesterday passed a bill of law calling on the Legislative to adopt during the parliamentary recess July-August 2010 various ordinances including that on the first budget rectification this year. Among the documents, a set of normative acts amending the Fiscal Code and the Code of Fiscal Procedures, improving the trade of duty-free goods, and some land tracts being permanently taken out of the state-owned forestry fund. The list also includes a temporary state assistance scheme on accessing agricultural funds, regulating the ascertaining and assessment of agricultural damages caused by natural calamities on small areas, for farmers who have not insured their farmland and cattle, and a 161.2 M RON loan for the National Company of Motorways and National Roads in Romania (CNADNR).

EC sends Romania two letters on ANCOM infringement case

The European Commission has sent Romania a second notification letter over the case dealing with the infringement on the independence of the National Regulatory Authority for Communications (ANCOM), opened in January 2009, Mediafax reports. Romanian authorities have two months to answer the EC-requested information, according to a Commission release. ‘Unless Romanian authorities addresses the Commission’s concerns during this interval, EC is going to send Romania a formal request consisting of a reasoned opinion in line with infringement procedures, on legislation being amended, in order that the independence of the National Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications is guaranteed according to the European Union legislation,’ the release states. The EC launched in January and October of last year two infringement procedures against Romania.

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Antonescu, tough on intellectuals endorsing Basescu

In the final part of his interview with ‘Jurnalul National’, the President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Crin Antonescu, speaks about liberal leaders around him, betrayal, Traian Basescu and the intellectuals who endorse him. Asked what prominent leaders were still by his side in the party, Antonescu first mentioned Andrei Marga (former Education Minister in the CDR Government), and then actor Mircea Diaconu: ‘My strength comes from the people I succeed in bringing not necessarily next to me, not so much in an internal political battle, but to be able to say if we go back to power tomorrow’. Asked what was the situation of other important PNL figures who had been however, switched to idle mode, such as Varujan Vosganian, Relu Fenechiu, Norica Nicolai, Teodor Melescanu, Calin Popescu Tariceanu or Ludovic Orban, the liberal leader said they continued to be in the party. As far as Orban is concerned, Antonescu claims they have not had an argument, but ‘have parted with each other because of their difference of opinions at an important point in the party’s evolution.’ About Tariceanu who has been taking almost only anti-Antonescu stances lately, the journalist wanted to know if betrayal usually comes that easy in politics. Antonescu’s answer was ‘Yes’. As far as President Basescu is concerned, the PNL leaders says ‘once cannot bear a grudge against him, for he is like the wolf (…) We keep him clear of sheep if we can, but we need to remember he also sanitises the woods, so he has his role, too.’ Antonescu, on the other hand, gets tougher on the president’s intellectual acolytes: ‘The Romanian intellectuals supporting Basescu are a much more serious and grievous problem of Romania’s than Traian Basescu is (…) It’s a sort of masochism, of intellectual fascination with crude force. (…) It is some assumingly good-willed people’s inability to discriminate between being a communist and being against PSD’.

Senator reconsiders PSD resignation

Buzau Senator Ion Vasile told Agerpres news agency yesterday that for the time being, he reconsidered his initial decision to resign from the opposition Social Democrat Party (PSD). Earlier this week, Vasile had said he would resign, angry that he was removed from the helm of PSD Buzau in what he described ‘a Stalinist style.’ Yesterday, Vasile said he changed his mind, at the request of most Buzau PSD organization leaders. He also said he was considering a new candidacy for PSD Buzau leader if elections for this post will be fair.

June 18 Senate solemn session to be held at Neptun

The June 18 solemn session of the Senate marking the 130th anniversary of Dobrogea’s rejoining Romania will be held in the holiday resort of Neptun.

‘The session will be held June 18, at the Europa Hall of Hotel Doina in Neptun, owned by the State Asset and Protocol Administration (RAAPPS). Lodging expenses will be paid by senators, who are likely to travel from Bucharest to Constanta by bus,’ Mediafax quoted Senator Moga as saying. He made the point it is for the first time since 1992 that the Senate will meet in session in a locality other than Bucharest.

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Blaga: Ministry of Finance – discussing with the IMF four ways of boosting revenue

The Minsitry of Finance is discussing with the IMF four means of boosting revenue and cutting down on expenses, but the final strategy will be set at the end of negotiations with the IMF, according to the minister of Administration and Internal Affairs, Vasile Blaga.

When asked by journalists whether the Government will discuss raising taxes with the IMF, the minister replied he could infer from discussions that four strategies are currently analyzed by the Ministry of Finance. “You (the press – n.r.) are now discussing raising taxes. I’m convinced similar discussions are also carried out at the Ministry of Finance, there are four strategies, as far as I can tell from discussions, but that’s all for now,” Blaga said, explaining that members of the Cabinet met the IMF experts every day, in turn.

Reactions to raising taxes scenario

Theodor Stolojan: “Of course we do not wish a raise of the flat tax or of VAT, but so far, officially, no one announced this would be the case. A plan to raise the deficit is also being analyzed. Last year’s loan kept a great portion of those with credits in foreign currency and wages in RON hanging in and the people in question were fairy shielded from shock in this respect. Now, the burden that was borne by the National Bank last year is shifted onto the shoulders of the people, sadly,” Theodor Stolojan, prime-vice-president of the (ruling) Democratic-Liberal Party (PDL) and co-author of the program to introduce the flat tax, said.

In an interview for Realitatea TV, Stolojan said salaries and pensions should have been frozen last year. He added it is never too late, but now we are in the situation to cut down something else.

Ex PM Calin Popescu-Tariceanu: claims “everything we get ‘from the sources’ comes from the Government which, unable to cut down on expenses, thinks to raise taxes, while shifting responsibility onto the IMF”. “Don’t let the Government fool you. I have a long experience in collaborating with the IMF and I know they never call for tax raises – they say that revenue and expenditure should be balanced, and leave the rest to the Government,” says Tariceanu, the prime-minister during whose term the flat tax, of 16 per cent, was introduced in 2005. He points out that any tax raise during recession can only worsen the recession. “The government must find ways to cut down on expenses, it’s the only acceptable solution.”

Marko Bela: at the moment, the Government has made no decision to raise taxes, the Executive has the responsibility to ensure that measures they take do not affect the population, mainly the poor. “At the moment negotiations with the IMF are yet to be concluded. There are several solutions, the problem of cuts, raising taxes, but at the moment the problem of deciding upon one of these solutions, upon what we need and what we don’t need, has not been brought up,” the deputy prime minister said. He stated that ministers representing the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) had conducted an analysis and these days an inventory of solutions that the Union may agree upon would be drafted. Marko Bela added that he could not anticipate a decision to raise taxes.

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