SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Tennis: Hanescu and Dulgheru win in Madrid


Romanian tennis player Victor Hanescu outplayed Spaniard Daniel Munoz de la Nava in three sets: 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, to make it into round 3 of the EUR 2.83 M Madrid Masters ATP tournament, securing EUR 33,750 and 90 ATP points. Next, he will play opposite the winner of the match between third-seeded Briton Andy Murray and Argentine Juan Ignatio Chela. Victor Hanescu has qualified for the second round of the Masters tournament in Madrid after defeating Russia’s Igor Andreev. Andreev won the first set, score 6-3, but abandoned the game in the second set when Victor Hanescu was in the lead, score 6-5.


In her turn, Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru defeated Elena Dementieva in the second round of the same tournament after two hours and thirty minutes, score 6-1, 3-6, 7-5. Dulgheru, who seeks to win her second WTA tournament after the one in Warsaw (2009), will next play against Lucie Safarova for a place in the quarterfinals.


Piturca could return
to Steaua



After failing to attain this season’s main goals – winning the title or finishing on second place – Steaua Bucharest financier Gigi Becali wants to replace head coach Mihai Stoichita. Victor Piturca, former head coach of the national football team and of Steaua, could be the solution. “Tomorrow I will start negotiations with Victor Piturca. He will handle everything. He told me he wants three or four players that wouldn’t cost more than EUR 2 M,” Becali announced, adding that several players will be fired.


Iancu threatens to resign


FC Timisoara president Marian Iancu stated for Mediafax that he plans to step down, pointing out that the Romanian world of football is a hostile environment for him. “I no longer want to continue in this environment. It’s not an environment suitable for performance because there’s nobody to do that with. I can no longer continue in the Romanian world of football, it’s a hostile environment for me,’ Iancu said.


U-23 football:
Belgium 1 – Romania 0



Belgium defeated Romania on Tuesday in Namur in a game counting for the U-23 International Challenge Trophy, score 1-0 (0-0 at half time), with Laleman scoring the game’s only goal in the 73rd minute. Belgium tops the standings with 6 points, followed by Italy with 4 points, Romania with 1 point and Malta with 0 points. Malta vs. Romania and Italy vs. Belgium are the competition’s remaining fixtures. In its first game Romania drew against Italy, score 0-0. In another game Romania’s U-20 team was defeated by Portugal on Day 1 of the U-20 tournament in Viseu (Portugal), score 0-4.


Chinese internet tycoon in talks to buy Liverpool


A spokesman for Chinese businessman Zhu Jun gave an enigmatic response when asked about Tuesday’s media report about the internet tycoon’s involvement in talks over the purchase of Premier League club Liverpool, according to timeslive.co.za. Zhu, who owns Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, has held preliminary talks about buying the 18-times English champions in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to a report in Britain’s Independent newspaper.


The 44-year-old made his fortune from The9, a Nasdaq-quoted internet company.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

Romanian soldier killed
in Afghanistan



A Romanian soldier was killed, yesterday, in Afghanistan, representatives of the Defence Ministry (MApN) announced, quoted by Mediafax. According to a MApN release, the sergeant-major Valerica Leu, of the 33 Operation Battallion, was part of an intervention sub-unit called in to safeguard an access path. During the safeguarding operation, the D.I. caused the explosion of an antipersonnel mine and was gravely injured. The man was given first aid, however, despite all medical efforts, could not be saved. The D.I. was 31, was married and was the father of one. The National Defence Minister, Gabriel Oprea, and the Chief of Staff, the admiral Gheorghe Marin, expressed their deep regret at this loss and extended their condolences to the grieving family. The Cabinet members took, yesterday morning, at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting, a moment of silence honouring his memory. The president Traian Basescu also sent a message of condolence to the family.

Arrest warrant for Silviu Ionescu remains valid


The high court rejected Silviu Ionescu’s petition, which called for the annulment of the arrest warrant issued by Singapore, after realizing that Romanian courts of law cannot rule on documents or requests issued by states with which Romania does not have judiciary collaboration agreements. The High Court of Cassation and Justice ruling is final, therefore, the international arrest warrant issued by Singapore in Ionescu’s name remains valid.


Maria Vasi, Silviu Ionescu’s lawyer, said, before the high court, that she did not rule out the scenario according to which the accident committed by his client had been staged by Singapore authorities so that they could subsequently force the Romanian diplomat to reveal intelligence.


“Singapore authorities wanted to keep Ionescu there, in an oppressive system, for the secret data he could supply,” Vasi said in court, adding “he was the head of Romania’s diplomatic mission to Singapore, which is why there is a possibility this accident had been staged”.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Dacia delivers 320 UVs to Romtelecom


Automobile Dacia has delivered a number of 320 Logan VAN utility vehicles (UVs) to Romtelecom for use by its telecommunications technicians, Mediafax reported the Pitesti-based carmaker as announcing. ‘With an auto fleet of over 1,000 Dacia utility vehicles, Romtelecom is Dacia’s most important customer with respect to purchases of commercial vehicles,’ according to an Automobile Dacia release that does not mention the contract value. The 320 Pack Confort version Logan VANs are equipped with engines 1.5 Dci 85 HP. A few months ago, Romtelecomm announced it would increase by roughly 300 units, to 1,500, the number of its all-terrain vehicles, after a restructuring and enhanced internal efficiency process. ‘The process also has in view equipping the all-terrain units, including the purchasing of new vehicles aimed at improving the services supplied,’ according to the Dacia press release.


Valmar, APIA: Romania still unattractive to a new carmaker


Romania is yet to become attractive for an investment by a third car manufacturer, and it is little likely for a specialized company to be willing to open a plant here,’ Mediafax cited the vice-president of the Automotive Manufacturers and Importers Association (APIA), Brent Valmar, as saying. ‘A country where authorities renegotiate contracts with automakers, and tens of thousands of people take to the street has yet to provide an assured climate for such-scale investments,’ the APIA official explained. In late April, the president of the Association of Automotive Manufacturers in Romania, Constantin Stroe, said Romania has comprehensive potential to attract yet another, a third, car manufacturer to Romania, with prospects and signals existing in this respect. Also, the auto press wrote about preliminary talks at the Economy Ministry over a new automaker, India’s Tata Motors, going to crack the Romanian market. In 2008, German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz contemplated building a car plant in Romania, yet it opted to invest in Hungary eventually.


Jaguar and Chevrolet – faulty cars in Romania


Jaguar is conducting several recalls on the XF model, through its importer to Romania, Premium Auto, to fix a series of possible problems, such as inefficient backseat safety belts or the stalling of the engine in motion, HotNews informs. Chevrolet is also conducting recalls on batches of Captiva, Cruze and Spark models, which might display problems with the battery, as well as with the fuel tank supply pipe. The owners of XF models were called in service for several recall actions. Thus, 87 cars are being checked for possible problems on the backseat safety belts, verifying whether they spin autonomously. Each such action takes approximately 30 minutes. In the GM brand, the range of recalled models is wider and the number of affected cars is higher. Thus, 837 Captiva SUVs sold during the past four years were recalled because the company found that, in some models, the cardan joint for steering shafts may come loose from the steering box, under certain traffic conditions.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

ING Asigurari de Viata-subscribed
premiums up 4.6 pc in Q1



ING Asigurari de Viata in Q1 subscribed total premiums of RON 136 M, up by 4.6 per cent compared to the same period of 2009, insurance company reports according to Mediafax. ‘The first three months of 2010 indicate a mature attitude among Romanian consumers, consolidated after 2009, with a growing awareness of the need for protection and saving for future contingency. The number of ING customers choosing to terminate insurance agreements has decreased to a notable extent, with more and more customers showing higher appetence for products offering multiple benefits,’ ING Asigurari de Viata General Manager Cornelia Coman said. She added the company expected the effects of the internationally difficult 2008 – 2009 period to continue to manifest themselves throughout 2010. Compared with the end of 2009, the total number of rescinded and redeemed ING Asigurari de Viata agreements in Q1 dropped by 13 per cent and, compared to Q1 2009, by 21 per cent.


GarantiBank Romania launches new personal loan


GarantiBank has launched ‘The 5 into 1 personal loan’; a full loan package aimed at private individual customers, ‘Financiarul’ newspaper reports. At the core of the package, a guarantee free personal loan. The interest charged on euro and RON loans stands at 15.76 per cent and 18.62 per cent respectively. The package also offers income insurance protection in the following situations: being fired, temporary inability to work, total and permanent disability, death from any cause. The bank also offers a grace period of three months at any time during the first three years of the loan, along with a debit card allowing commission free cash withdrawals from ATMs of any branch of GarantiBank nationwide.


City Grill intends to take over independent restaurants


The City Grill chain is set to independently buy operated restaurants, as it deems the move more profitable than opening some new ones, with negotiations underway towards such 2-3 units being purchased, Mediafax reports City Grill owner Dragos Petrescu as saying. He also said private companies will be negatively impacted by the measures aimed at reducing the budget deficit, adding that City Grill will not up prices this year. ‘In 2009, we were affected by the crisis, and the first part of this year has been even worse. We are expecting the situation to become more difficult in the second half of the year, since the measures being taken now should have been taken last year. Even if taxes go up or salaries are cut, we are considering lowering prices in 2010 and sacrificing the operational profit, as we did last year too. I believe this year we will make a profit lower than that last year,’ Petrescu said.


USD 30M Bugatti beats car auction record


A sleek, curved vintage Bugatti has become the most expensive car in the world after being sold at an auction in California for about $30m (£20m), easily smashing previous records in the automotive industry, according to guardian.co.uk. The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is one of only three of its kind ever produced. Praised for its art deco elegance, the car was considered highly avant garde in its day. It came on to the market following the death of its owner, Peter Williamson, a neurologist and well-known car collector.A Santa Monica auction house, Gooding & Co, announced the sale and claimed to have set a new record. The firm did not officially release a sale price, although people close to the transaction said the Bugatti had gone for between $30m and $40m.

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