ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Bucharest Music Film Festival, in front of the Athenaeum


Between June 12 and 20, classical music-lovers are invited, for the fifth consecutive year, in George Enescu Square, at the Bucharest Music Film Festival. For nine days, the parking surrounding the Romanian Athenaeum will be turned into an agreeable space, complete with gardens, terraces, flowers, souvenir stands, there will be film screenings, broadcasts of international concerts and, of course, live music. Public entrance is free. The Das Karussell Viennese orchestra will open the festival, playing compositions by Johann Strauss, and, on the last day, the Radio Broadcast Big Band, conducted by Ionel Tudor, will offer a concert, with the participation of soloists Monica Anghel, Marcel Pavel, Luminita Anghel, Mihai Georgescu, Bodo, Aurelian Temisan, Jorge, Ionut Ungureanu and Tony Tomas. The festival’s special guests are Paula Seling and Ovi, the winners of the third position in the 2010 Eurovision. Every night, starting 21:00, the public will have a chance to watch screenings of important concerts and operas filmed on the world’s great lyrical scenes: Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon – “The Opera Dream Couple” (The Belgian National Orchestra), Sir Georg Solti – “The Celebration of Life and Music” (The London Philharmonic Orchestra), “La Boheme at the Towerblock” (The Berne Symphonic Orchestra and Choir), and even “The New Year Concert in Vienna” (The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra).


The Galleries’ Long Night in Bucharest


On the night of Friday, June 11, starting 19:00, to Saturday, 4:00, the art-loving public is invited to attend the Galleries’ Long Night, HotNews informs. The 4th edition of the Galleries’ Long Night will cover a much wider map of the urban space, featuring specially-organized events. For the first time the nocturnal public will be offered an international contemporary art biennale –BB4. Organizers will tempt the public with a wide range of events: concerts, performances, exhibitions of painting and photography, film screenings and interventions in the public space. Over 140 young artists and solid names in the contemporary art scene will be present in the event. Although the manifestation officially starts at 19:00, it will kick off at 13:00 with the BD Marathon at the Jumatatea Plina Bookshop. At 18:00, the Romanian Illustrators’ Club invites the public to join them at the D Gallery, one of the special galleries in Bucharest, to discover the magic of illustrated tales. Starting 19:00, a series of exhibitions will open simultaneously in several spots.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Competition authority imposes conditions
on Videanu’s companies



The Competition Council is set to approve the setting up of Electra and Hidroenergetica energy companies, but will attach its own conditions, CC President Bogdan Chiritoiu says. ‘Electra has suggested the establishment of an independent pricing body. I do not understand what that means. The Competition Council is of the opinion that the price of energy should be set on OPCOM (energy trading market), based on demand and supply, and our option is to make the OPCOM market fully functional,’ Chiritoiu said, according to Mediafax. The man in charge of setting up new company Electra, Constantin Balasoiu, said the intention was to set up a pricing body either within the Competition Council, or independently, and its role would be to oversee the two companies to be founded. The national competition authority is called to make a decision on the setting up of the two energy operators by the month of August. The authorities have set the term for establishing the two national companies for July 1. According to Chiritoiu, the Competition Council may allow for the companies to be legally registered before issuing its final decision, while attaching a few conditions.


GE launches world’s first two-stage turbocharged gas engine


GE has developed the world’s first two-stage turbocharged gas engine and is applying this technology to its Jenbacher J624 gas engine, a press release states. The new engine provides significant output and efficiency increases compared to the single turbocharged version and is particularly well-suited for operation in hot environments. Improved efficiency is critical for the competitive cost of electricity and for the reduction of CO2 emissions in a carbon-constrained environment. The new engine will be available to customers worldwide in the summer of 2011.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

EU wary over Bulgaria statistics


The European Commission demanded that Bulgaria explain why it abruptly raised its 2010 budget deficit forecast, reiterating doubts about the quality of the country’s statistics.The European Union’s executive said the bloc’s statistics office, Eurostat, was sending a mission to the Black Sea country to assess whether it kept proper records of its public finances.Bulgaria’s finance ministry said it welcome such a mission and was positive the auditors would not find anything worrisome in the country’s statistics books. “The sooner the mission comes, the better, because they we will that we are accurate and meet all the criteria for accounting and transparency,” a finance ministry spokesman said.


“We will open all books and show all the information. We have no worries,” he said. The quality of statistics has been a highly sensitive topic in the EU since it emerged last year that Greece had for years published faulty figures, which triggered a debt crisis in the country and the euro zone.The EU Commission’s concern about the quality of the Bulgarian statistics increased the cost for insuring the country’s debt against restructuring or default to a 11 month-high. Bulgaria was forced in April to delay plans to adopt the euro after it revealed a hidden budget deficit for 2009 due to dozens of unaccounted procurement deals, signed by the previous government.


AVAS lays off 155 employees, one-third
of work force



The State Asset Resolution Authority (AVAS) laid off 155 of its employees, May 31st, or one-third of the staff, announcing that the conclusion of the downsizing programme started in December 2009 will result in personnel cuts of 48 per cent and the average salary in the institution going down by 60 per cent, Mediafax reports. A new organizational chart has come into effect at AVAS, stipulating a work force of 267, down from 422 posts, and a lower number of leadership positions, including 13 fewer general director and assistant general director positions, and a reduction in the number of councillors, from 13 to 10. In a first stage, the personnel spending cut target was met in December 2009, when the number of posts was trimmed down from 510 to 422, under HG 1436/2009.


Italy provides EUR 60 M loan to CNPR for building four sorting centres


The Romanian National Post Company (Posta Romana / CNPR) will build four centres for sorting postal expeditions in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Bacau and Timisoara, with financing due to be secured by the Italian government through a loan for 10-15 years, Communication Minister Gabriel Sandu announced yesterday, quoted by Mediafax. According to the source, the funds needed for the construction of the four centres will amount to EUR 60 M. “The Romanian Post initially planned to construct two sorting centres in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, with money from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, but the project was abandoned. Following the memorandum we signed today with the government of Italy, the Romanian Post will build the four centres upon this (Italian) financing,” Sandu explained. Minister Sandu and the Italian deputy minister of Economy, Paolo Romania signed on Thursday, in Bucharest, a memorandum of understanding for the cooperation between Romania and Italy in view of developing the innovative activities and the technical training, consultancy and assistance services pertaining to Communication and the Information Society.


Vitan, the first urban outlet in Bucharest


With a total investment of EUR 16 million, Vitan Outlet, the first urban outlet in Bucharest, is the newest retail project launched on the market, which is set to be opened to the public at the beginning of next year.  Located in the eastern part of Bucharest, on Calea Vitan, the scheme is going to be the second project of this type, the first outlet concept being introduced in our country only 2 years ago. TC Real Estate Development and Management SRL is the developer of the project. “Vitan Outlet will be a key driver for the economy of the area, by creating many jobs and thus strengthening the position of this region, which serves a catchment area of more than 900,000 people. It’s important to mention that this is the only project of its kind located within the city with easy access from all the districts by public transportation or by car”, says Tunc Capa, the Chairman of the developer, who is also the former chairman of Anchor Grup SA.


Bucharest City Hall spends EUR 6 bln on repairs


From 2005 to 2009 the Bucharest City Hall (PMB) did not build a single gym, entertainment venue, hospital or new parking lot, ‘Ziarul Financiar’ daily informs. The new projects that were started, few in number, have been completed in proportion of 50-90 per cent while the PMB had a total budget of EUR 6.4 bln. The funds were handled by Democrat-Liberal Mayor Adriean Videanu from 2005 to 2008 and by independent Mayor Sorin Oprescu from 2008 until now. Of the total budget of EUR 6.4 bln only EUR 900 M were earmarked for investments, with most of the difference being used for paying subsidies, procuring goods and services, financing subordinate institutions and paying the PMB employees. The rehabilitation of streets and the modernization of tramway lines were the only promises that PMB kept.

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