ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Romanian artists enter Eurovision
semi-finals



The 54th edition of the Eurovision song contest kicked off on Tuesday on the stage of the Telenor Arena in Oslo with the first semi-finals, and the Romanian team – Paula Seling and Ovi – is to compete on Thursday, in the second stage. The contest brings together participants from 37 countries, and the two semi-finals include groups of 17 countries each. Norway, the winner of the 2009 edition, as well as France, Germany, Spain and Great Britain, organizers of the contest, go straight into the finals. Norway is represented this year by Didrik Solli-Tangen with the song “My Heart Is Yours”, France – by Jessy Matador, singing “Allez Olla Ole”, Germany – by Lena, with “Satellite”, Spain – by Daniel Diges, with “Algo Pequinito” (‘Something Tiny’), and Great Britain – by Josh, with “That Sounds Good to Me”. Paula Seling and Ovi will enter tenth in the second semi-finals, considered a sort of finals by the journalists and fans, to be opened, on Thursday, by the band representing Lituania – InCulto, with the song “Eastern European Funk”. According to the rules of the contest, ten countries from each semi-finals will make it, following the viewers’ vote and the marks given by the jury, into the finals, to take place on Saturday, May 29.


The Inter-war Bucharest Ball to take place on Thursday


The Inter-war Bucharest Ball, organized by the Calea Victoriei Foundation, will delight us on May 27, starting 20:00, with famous songs from the old Bucharest, dances of the 1920’s and ‘30’s and theme costumes from the inter-war age, a release from the organizers informs. “The Ball is meant to draw attention to the rich history and architectural beauty of inter-war Bucharest, largely preserved to this day, present among us with its charm and nostalgic tales. There is a real danger that these values be lost and destroyed by the lack of civil spirit and the indifference of today’s inhabitants of the capital.” The ball will take place at the National Military Circle. Tickets to attend it amount to RON 150. Several cultural figures will take part in the event, among whom: Neagu Djuvara, Georgeta Filitti, Alexandru Tomescu, the conductor Tiberiu Soare. The programme will include (Romanian and foreign) live music from the inter-war age: foxtrot, Charleston, tango, waltz etc., as well as recordings of famous songs of the 1920’s and ‘30’s, a brief performance – famous songs of the old Bucharest, sung by a group of graduates of the Bucharest National University of Theatrical and Cinematographic Art, dancing – entertainment will be provided by choreographers, dancers and actors who will invite and teach the pubic to dance the dances of the time, and projections of images.

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SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Razvan Lucescu: “We will qualify for EURO 2012”


Ahead of the national football team’s training campaign (friendly games against Ukraine on May 29, Macedonia on June 2 and Honduras on June 5) head coach Razvan Lucescu expressed his belief that the team will qualify for the EURO 2012 tournament. “We will keep an eye on the players during these friendly games in order to expand our selection pool in case unforeseen situations occur. I am convinced we will qualify for EURO 2012. The Romanian world of football is going through what is probably the most difficult period in recent times but there are a lot of favorable points too and they give me the confidence that we will build a team capable to qualify for the final tournament,” Lucescu said.


Roma makes palpable offer for Mutu


Adrian Mutu has significant chances of being bought by AS Roma for approximately EUR 4 M, Violanews.com informs. Having scored 65 goals in 130 games for Fiorentina, the Romanian player is seen as a veritable aide for Totti and AS Roma. “Mutu can be a viable option for a second striker. The Romanian has proven that he can play very well as a striker, having chalked up 65 goals in 130 games for Fiorentina,” ‘La Nazione’ daily writes, being quoted by Violanews.com. Mutu has the right to resume playing at the end of October when the suspension that CONI ruled against him (for testing positive for sibutramine) will expire.


Transavia Golf Cup –
4th edition



Transavia Company, the leader of the Romanian poultry market, organized the fourth edition of the Transavia Golf Cup, an event that recently took place within the ‘Paul Tomita’ Club in Pianu de jos, Alba County. 44 golf players, including players from Hungary, signed up for the event, with the competition using the Stableford system, 18 holes, par 72, 5,780 meters for gentlemen, 5,115 meters for ladies and 2,890 meters for juniors. Transavia organized the first edition of the Transavia Golf Cup in May 2007, the tradition being observed in the following years too. “Transavia – a responsible leader involved in business life – chose to organize this competition by also taking into account the tradition of the golf club in Pianu de Jos, Alba County, a club that has drawn the best players of this noble sport since 1995,” Transavia general manager Ioan Popa stated.


Berlusconi to sell stake in AC Milan to Gazprom


Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi is prepared to negotiate to sell a 25-30 per cent stake in the club to Russian state-run oil company Gazprom, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, quoted by goal.com. Berlusconi is said to be seeking in the region of €180million to sell the shares in a landmark move that would see the Italian prime minister relinquish full control of the Serie A giants after 24 years at the helm. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a close friend of Berlusconi, is believed to be playing an active role in negotiations and the breakthrough allegedly came when the pair met last month. The much-needed cash injection is likely to spark a summer spending spree at the San Siro and the pink paper claims that Milan will immediately revive their interest in Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian looked all set to join the Rossoneri last summer but Milan eventually refused to meet the German outfit’s EUR 40M asking price.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

Over 3,200 children reported missing over the last year


‘Ninety per cent of all cases are voluntary departures of juveniles from home or from care centres,’ Save the Children Romania Executive President Gabriela Alexandrescu stated at a press conference marking the International Day of Missing Children and the launch of the ‘Do you know where your child is?’ campaign. Gabriela Alexandrescu added that 140 of the 3,259 reported cases involved up to ten-year olds, as indicated by data from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Romanian Police. A total of 3,286 missing children, 144 of whom were younger than ten, have been found in the last year.


Monica Macovei denounces
PDL clientele system



Former Justice Minister Monica Macovei voiced disappointment with the behaviour of colleagues in the Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL), whom she accused of falling prey to the political clientele system, as Social-Democrats before them. She accused her colleagues of stealing and attributing contracts to friends in the public acquisition sector. “They all steal. I’ve seen it: the public acquisition sector is liable to corruption. I’ve been saying it since 2005. ‘If you’re a mate, I’ll give you a contract and we’ll offer you ten, a hundred times, more than the market price,’” Macovei said on Monday, during a talk-show at B1 TV.


Milut quits PNTCD helm, Pavelescu takes over as interim head


Marian Milut presented his resignation as PNTCD president to the National Steering Council (CNC) on Saturday. In his resignation letter, Milut explains his efforts would have yielded better results if it had not been for the ‘fierce opposition of people who were politically overtaken by reality.’ He said that, in his three years and four months of leadership, he had succeeded in redressing the party both economically and organizationally. Prime Vice-President Aurelian Pavelescu took over as interim president of ONTC and the CNC delegated the organisation of a PNTCD congress of reconciliation and unification to the National Steering Bureau. PNTCD Timis President Gheorghe Ciuhandru said Marian Milut’s resignation ‘was a matter of course’ as he had remained without any in party support whatsoever and said he hoped the moment would mark the return to a united PNTCD.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Adrian Nastase is summoned
in court on his birthday



The president of the Social-Democratic Party’s National Council, Adrian Nastase, is summoned to appear on June 22 in the “Quality Trophy” trial, in which he is tried, alongside five other individuals, on charges of corruption, in relation to the amassing of funds for the 2004 presidential campaign. The high court adjourned, yesterday, the trial in this case for June 22. “As regards this trial, they are trying to suggest that the funds in the ‘Quality Trophy’ were used in my presidential campaign of 2004. Only a fool could claim that, for a simple reason: the ‘Quality Trophy’ campaign started in December 2003, and all actions related to it took place in April and May 2004, while my entering the presidential race occurred in 2004,” Nastase said. The ex-prime minister was deferred to justice in this case on January 2009, charged with influence-peddling or the abuse of his position as party leader to secure financial gain, goods or other benefits, for himself or other parties.


Polls favourable to Antonescu


A poll run this month by the 2000 Social Studies Group, commissioned by the National Liberal Party (PNL) Bucharest branch, almost 40 per cent of the people of Bucharest would vote for party leader Crin Antonescu, if presidential elections took place next Sunday. A total of 25.2 per cent would vote for incumbent Traian Basescu, 13.8 per cent would vote for Social Democrat leader Victor Ponta, 7 per cent would vote for ex PSD president Mircea Geoana, 4.6 per cent would wish to see Greater Romania Party leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor in the presidential seat, 3.7 per cent would vote for PSD’s ex PM Adrian Nastase, 2 per cent for Steaua financier and MEP George Becali, 1.5 per cent would vote for ex FM Cristian Diaconescu, 1.3 per cent with General Mayor Sorin Oprescu and 0.9 per cent for Liberals’ ex PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu. Among the political parties, PNL would collect most of the votes for Parliament, at 32.5 per cent of suffrages, followed by the Democrat Liberal Party (PD-L), at 28.5 pc, the Social Democrat Party (PSD), at 26.4 pc, the Greater Romania Party (PRM), at 3.8 pc, the Conservative Party (PC), at 2.1 pc, and the National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR), at 1.9 pc. As far as the intention of casting a vote in Parliamentary elections is concerned, 23.7 per cent of respondents are convinced they would not go to the polls, while 45 per cent are persuaded they would. The study was conducted on a sample group of 1,101 people, aged 18 and over 18, representative for the adult, un-institutionalised population of Bucharest.


Emil Constantinescu: “Traian Basescu
is undercover officer”



Former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu stated last week in an Antena 2 talk-show that Traian Basescu is an active intelligence officer, working under-cover. “President Traian Basescu is not free; he is the slave of those that gave him money and support.” The former head of state added most of the blame for Basescu’s current position belongs to intellectuals, who” knew that President Traian Basescu was a former Securitate collaborator; they knew that he is a former communist; they knew that he is the most corrupt man in Romania, at least when judging by the number of files finalized by the Prosecutor’s office. They knew how he lied because they knew his messages and normally they should have stood aloof of the entire boorishness of message and of the manele-like political life that such a leader induces,” Constantinescu stated during Victor Ciutacu’s talk-show. Constantinescu claims that there is evidence of Basescu’s collaboration with the Securitate and that it was published by the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS).


Mona Musca case closed


The Penal and Criminal Proceedings Department of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court has ordered criminal proceedings being stopped against Mona Musca, who was charged with making false statements over her collaboration with Securitate, as secret police. Former deputy Mona Musca was heard July 30, 2009 by prosecutors with the Penal and Criminal Proceedings Department in a case surrounding her stating she had not engaged in political policing, yet, the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives (CNSAS) learned the opposite was true, a finding the Bucharest Court of Appeals confirmed by means of a final verdict. On August 14, 2008, prosecutors with the said department ordered criminal proceedings being opened against Monica Octavia Musca for false statements, according to art.292 of the Penal Code.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Top Gear presenter: Duster, the first technically acceptable budget car


Dacia Duster has a rudimentary interior and almost no equipment in the standard version, but it is the first technically acceptable low-priced car, Top Gear co-presenter James May wrote in an opinion piece for ‘The Telegraph.’ May says the car could be a good solution for many during the crisis, although it is very simple. “I’ve been driving it. I think it’s good. I mean, it’s not very exciting, and it is pretty basic. The interior trim is rudimentary and it comes with absolutely nothing as standard except those things necessary to complete the interface between man and machine, such as a steering wheel and some pedals. Ultimately, the Duster is made by Renault, has proper engines and drives properly. What it reveals most acutely, though, is that established, mainstream manufacturers have lost sight of the art of making a truly basic, low-priced but technically acceptable car.


ING Fond de Pensii changes its name


ING Fond de Pensii yesterday changed its name into ING Societate de Administrare a unui Fond de Pensii Administrat Privat , according to a press release. The name change is aimed at aligning the company’s name with that of the players on the mandatory private insurance market (Pillar II). The new name will be used on all relevant forms and documents (individual application, the private pension scheme booklet, etc.), as well as in formal communications by the company (booklets and presentation materials, website, communications with partners etc).

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Romania – fifth in the EU in terms
of new industrial orders



Romania ranks fifth in the European Union (EU) based on the increase of new orders in industry during May 2010, by 28.6 pc against a year ago, while the increase at EU level only reached 20.7 pc, Eurostat reports. Out of the 22 states mentioned by the report of Eurostat – the EU statistical bureau – the most significant year-on-year decreases of new industrial orders in March 2010 were reported by Ireland (22.9 pc), Portugal (21.1 pc).


Ministry of Economy will hold 84.39 pc of Electra shares


The Ministry of Economy will hold 84.39 pc of Electra shares and 63.84 of Hidroenergetica shares, while the other shareholders will include the Proprietatea Fund, Termoelectrica and the Society for the Closing and Conservation of Mines. 84.39 pc of Electra shares will be owned by the Ministry of Economy (413.5 million shares), while the Proprietatea Fund will claim 15.09 pc (73.9 million shares), according to the project of division and merger with Hidroelectrica with a view to founding the two national energy companies.


Videanu: Romania
to resume economic growth this year



Economy Minister Adriean Videanu stated for Publika TV that Romania will resume its economic growth in the third quarter of the year at the latest. “In Q2 or Q3 there will be signs of a resumption of economic growth in Romania – the only chance to maintain the population’s living standards at the level we all knew. (…) Unfortunately the government finds itself in the position of taking a decision that is hardly easy, hardly popular, namely that of restructuring public expenditures so as not to be forced to hike taxes and fees,” Videanu stated. “The IMF’s evaluation estimates a 0.8 per cent growth this year; I can tell you I am a bit more optimistic, I believe it will surpass 1.5 per cent,” Videanu stated for Realitatea TV.

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

PDL nominee:
I support the
bicameral Parliament



The Democratic-Liberal Party (PDL) nominee for the Constitutional Court bench, for a nine-year term, Stefan Minea, argues, in an interview published yesterday by “Evenimentul zilei” that “for the consolidation of democracy in Romania, we should maintain the two Chambers of Parliament”. This stand is in sharp contradiction with the position of Democrat-Liberals who support, alongside the president Traian Basescu, the passage to a unicameral Parliament. He also argues, in the interview, in favour of the reduction of the number of MPs, which he deems is “too large”. The university professor Stefan Minea, the former department head of the current prime-minister Emil Boc, says he has a reform plan, if he is appointed judge at the Constitutional Court. Minea is supposed to be voted by the Chamber of Deputies and to be replaced by Ioan Vida, the present president of the Constitutional Court (CC), whose term is about to end. Stefan Minea is a professor at the Faculty of Law within the “Babes-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca, where he also holds the position of head of the Department of Public Law.

PNL nominates Melescanu
to Constitutional Court



PNL leaders yesterday decided that Senator Teodor Melescanu should be nominated by the Liberal political group in the Senate for a term as Constitutional Court judge. After negotiations with the political groups in Parliament, Melescanu could become the Senate’s nominee for a seat at the Constitutional Court. Asked if negotiations with the other groups in Parliament had started and if there were chances for Melescanu to get the position, the PNL Secretary General, Deputy Radu Stroe, answered: “So far, we have only made the nomination.”

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