ARTS & LEISURE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Theodor Pallady drawings
exhibition at Brukenthal National Museum



“Withered Harmonies”, an exhibition of more than forty drawings by Theodor Pallady, opened Tuesday at the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu, containing works selected from the museum’s 300-plus drawings collection, Mediafax reports. According to a press release by the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu, the exhibition is hosted through September 5 by the museum’s Engravings Cabinet. “A distinct personality of Romanian art, Pallady was one of the painters in direct contact with the representatives of symbolism, fauvism and cubism creating in Paris in the first decades of the 20th century. Pallady, whose work has often been compared with that of lifetime friend and fellow painter Henri Matisse, created an own tonality, always aspiring to perfection,” the release reads, adding that, to Pallady, drawings represented the best way of expressing his art. “The drawings, often accompanied by precise notes and dates, are complementing his daily diary. The dialogue in itself is the defining mark of the artist,” the release states.


The exhibition includes drawings representative for Pallady’s art work: figures in his workshop, portraits, still lives and landscapes. The source says the museum has over 300 drawings as part of its collection of graphic works by Romanian inter-war period master painters, among which 46 by Pallady.


Hand-dyed porcelain featured in Sardinia exhibit


The hand-dyed porcelain works ‘Wagner Arte Frumoase si Povesti’ (Wagner Beaux-Arts and Stories) will be present in the first edition of the ‘Romania Mon Amour’ exhibition, to be organised on July 22-25, 2010 in Sardinia, Italy. The Romanian Collection that will be put on display for the Italian public features a limited edition of hand-dyed porcelain (coffee cups, tea kettles, tea sets etc.), with ornaments that join folkloric elements to pure gold and platinum. Each element of the collection made by the artists of ‘Wagner Arte Frumoase si Povesti’ is unique, decorated with motifs inspired by old Romanian tissues and adapted to the present through the use of strong colours. ‘Romania Mon Amour’ is the first public and private cultural project jointly organised by Romania and Italy. It will be hosted by the Archeological Museum of Olbia, Sardinia, under the high patronage of the Romanian Embassy in Rome and of the Municipality of Olbia, Costa Smeralda. Based upon an initiative of Prof. MA Gabriella Pascaru Bisi of Olbia, the project aims at introducing a new method of cross-border cooperation, in view of promoting the cultural heritage of both countries. The event will also feature presentations of the common cultural heritage of Romania and Italy, photographic and painting exhibitions.

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SPORTS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Friendly: Red Bull Leipzig 1 – CFR Cluj 2


CFR Cluj defeated Germany’s Red Bull Leipzig (a fourth tier team) on Wednesday in the last game of the training tournament in Austria, score 2-1 (0-0 at half time). The team coached by Andrea Mandorlini won thanks to the goals scored by Sasa Bjelanovic (65th minute) and Gabi Muresan (75th minute). In another training game, Otelul Galati drew against Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli Jeddah on Wednesday in the last game of the training tournament in Germany, score 1-1 (1-1 at half time). Razvan Ochirosii scored for Otelul in the 32nd minute, the Arab team equalising four minutes later.


Four Romanian mountain climbers set off for Pamir Mountains


A team made up of four Romanian mountain climbers will leave on Monday, July 19, for Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains where they will climb the Korjenevskaia Peak (7,105 metres) 100 years after its discovery, a release quoted by Mediafax informs. The team, made up of Adrian Fako (22), Lucian Rosu (22), Tiberiu Pintilie (25) and Radu Simion (33), will be Romania’s representative at the centennial celebrations. The climbers will use a special climbing strategy for the first time. The “continuous climb” method entails all team members climbing together and at the same rhythm without returning to base camp. This will be the first Romanian team that will try this method on a peak whose height surpasses 7,000 metres.


Henry moves to New York Red Bulls


France striker Thierry Henry has quit Europe to play for the New York Red Bulls, following players such as David Beckham into Major League Soccer (MLS). The 32-year-old Henry announced on Wednesday that he had agreed to leave Barcelona to take up a “multi-year” deal with the Red Bulls. “This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life,” he said in a statement released by the New York team. The former Juventus and Arsenal forward will join England’s Beckham and former Swedish international Freddie Ljungberg among the league’s ‘designated players’ who have most of their salary paid outside of their team’s salary cap.

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SPORTS

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Romania – lowest rank ever in FIFA standings


The Romanian national football team is 42nd – the lowest rank in its history – with 697 points in the FIFA table published on Wednesday after the World Cup in South Africa. Spain won that competition and returned at the top of the table. Having failed to qualify for the World Cup, Romania dropped 14 places, the steepest drop in the team’s history. In January the team ranked 38th. Romania ranked 3rd in the FIFA table in September 1997. Spain is followed by Netherlands (up two places), Brazil (former leader of the standings) and Germany (up two places). Former world title holder Italy has dropped 6 places to 11th place.


Fencing: Romania’s goal – winning a medal at EC in Leipzig


Romania’s goal is to win a medal at the European Fencing Championships in Leipzig, Germany (July 17-22). Paul Novac, secretary general of the Romanian Fencing Federation, stated on Tuesday for Agerpres that “our delegation’s goal is to win a medal at the future European competition in Germany. 19 Romanian athletes will take part in all events, with the exception of the women’s foil event.” Our country’s delegation will be led by Ana Pascu, president of the Romanian Fencing Federation. The first athletes will leave for Germany on July 15. Romania won two medals (one gold medal and one silver medal) at the European Championships in Plovdiv last year. The Romanian women’s sabre team won the Gold medal after defeating Poland in the final, score 36-34. The men’s sabre team won the Silver medal after being defeated by Italy in the final, score 39-45.


Peru-Ecuador-Columbia could file joint bid for World Cup 2026


The President of the Peruvian Sports Institute announced on Tuesday that he will talk with his Columbian and Ecuadorian counterparts about filing a joint Peru-Columbia-Ecuador bid for hosting the World Cup tournament in 2026. “We have the capacity to host the World Cup in 2026 and I believe that the firm support given by the Governments and the Federations will allow us to fulfill the dream of becoming the competition’s host countries,” Arturo Woodman, president of the Peruvian Sports Institute, stated. Woodman added that he will organise a meeting with Sandra Vela, the Ecuadorian Sports minister, and will invite Everth Bustamante, president of the Columbian Sports Institute, in order to settle the details of a joint bid.


Madalina Gojnea qualifies for second round in Darmstadt


omanian tennis player Madalina Gojnea has qualified on Tuesday for the second round of the ITF tournament in Darmstadt (Germany), a tournament with total prizes of USD 25,000, the itftennis.com website informs. Gojnea defeated Australia’s Alenka Hubacek in the opening round, score 6-7 (3/7), 6-0, 6-1, and will next play against the winner of the game that pits Italy’s Camila Giorgi (top seed 3) against Germany’s Rebecca Sekulici.

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Social

NEWS IN BRIEF

Tourism minister threatens
to sue ‘Daily Telegraph’



Tourism and Regional Development Minister Elena Udrea sent a response to UK newspaper ‘Daily Telegraph,’ following publication of a report underlining that the minister gave high-heeled shoes to flood victims. In her response, the minister says that if the newspaper doesn’t publish her point of view, she will sue the publication and seek damages in court, according to HotNews.


In her reply, the minister said that the high-heeled shoes were included in the “more than 100 tonnes of aid gathered by companies” at the Tourism Ministry’s appeal.


As for the fact ‘Daily Telegraph’ wrote about her that she once posed in a bikini for a magazine, Udrea said this was not true. “The pictures are regularly published in the national and international media whenever somebody tries to place Minister Udrea in a disadvantageous situation. The pictures were taken by a paparazzo during a seaside vacation several years ago, when Udrea was not yet minister,” the reply reads.


NGO accuses economy minister
of illegal state business



A company owned by Economy Minister Adriean Videanu, Marmosin, was granted the right to extract gabbro resources by the government, without taking part in a tender, non-governmental organisation Group for Political Investigations charged in a press release. The organisation, led by President Traian Basescu’s reputed foe Mugur Ciuvica, also said in the release that Marmosin was granted the concession after Videanu became economy minister. By a government order dated March 26, 2009, the national Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM) approved transfer of the Valea Almaselului, Hunedoara County concession to Marmosin, which thus has the right to use the gabbro resources in the area as it pleases, the NGO said. Gabbro is widely used in construction materials and pavement.


Senator Catalin Voicu stays in custody


The High Court has decided Senator Catalin Voicu would be kept on remand awaiting trial in a corruption case, rejecting his bail application, Mediafax informs. On Wednesday, the court postponed the proceedings in the case where Voicu, ex judge Florin Costiniu and businessmen Marius Locic and Costel Casuneanu until September 10.


Senator Voicu is on trial for influence peddling and forgery of documents. Costiniu, Casuneanu and Locic were remanded in custody for there days earlier this year, but were released on bail.


According to the prosecutors, in 2009, Voicu repeatedly demanded money totalling EUR 260,000 from Casuneanu, but only got EUR 200,000. In return, he promised he would lobby High Court justices to help with his judicial case.


The prosecutors also determined that, between August 30 and October 21, 2009, Voicu allegedly demanded and received from businessman Locic RON 119,000, in return for him convincing Bucharest Police not to detain him and actually to discharge his fraud case investigated into by the Bucharest Tribunal Prosecutor’s Office.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Teacher arrested on
suspicion of sex with minor



A teacher from a secondary school in Giurgiu was remanded in custody Tuesday night for alleged sex with a 15-year old female student, Mediafax reports. The Police investigation showed that, from November 2009 to March 2010, the teacher had repeated sexual intercourse with a girl studying at the school where he was a teacher. The 55-year-old man was arraigned in court at the Giurgiu Courthouse and was remanded in custody for ten days.


Alexandra Filip renounces Miss Universe Romania 2010 crown


Alexandra Catalina Filip, crowned Miss Universe Romania 2010 on Friday, ceded her crown, to first prize winner Oana Paveluc, according to a release quoted by Mediafax. “Training for relevant international competitions cannot be interrupted, nor the study programme shortened, since otherwise I risk not to be in top form at the dance competition I want to participate in,” this is how Filip, a professional dancer and national champion (2008-2010) in several dance categories, justified her decision. As a result, the next ranked competitor, Oana Paveluc, will be crowned Miss Universe Romania and will represent the country in the international competition to be held in Las Vegas, August 23.


Eighteen-year-old Paveluc is a resident of Brasov.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

BCR BpL has contracts worth RON 4.6 bln


On June 30, ‘BCR Banca pentru Locuinte’ (BCR BpL) – the housing loan unit of BCR – had in operation 165,000 saving-borrowing contracts for real estate, Mediafax reports. The total sum of contracts exceeds RON 4.6 bln, with the average sum per contract ranging between RON 25,000 and RON 30,000. “Those who signed contracts at the opening of BCR BpL reached, or are nearing the moment when they will receive their contracts, and we already gave the first loans. For short-term housing needs, we have an offer of intermediary or early credits, and those who are scheduled to receive their contracts in a more distant future may resort to them,” the president of the bank, Alexandru Ciobanu wrote in a press release.


Vice-president Plaveti takes over ANRE from Lificiu


Petru Lificiu will be replaced as President of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) by one of its vice-presidents, Dan Iulius Plaveti, and will take over the institution’s vice-president position instead, ANRE official sources said yesterday. Plaveti became ANRE vice-president in March of 2009. Lificiu, a former Democrat-Liberal deputy, was appointed ANRE president in January of 2009. ANRE is subordinated to the prime minister.


IKEA buys Timpuri Noi industrial facility for knock-out price


Interprime Properties investment fund of Swedish group Ikea has acquired the Bucharest-based Timpuri Noi industrial facility for EUR 34.6 M, Mediafax informs. The amount is about three times smaller than the price asked only for the land back in 2007. In addition, located with 1 km distance of Unirii Square, the land is suitable for both a residential development and a new Ikea retail store. The land has an area of over 51,000 sq m, with over half of it being built up. The sale was announced by the Timpuri Noi Company which, in 2007, was prepared to sell the property for EUR 100 M net of VAT. At the time, the big asking price combined with the cost of turning an industrial property into a commercial area drove investors away to cheaper areas yielding bigger profits.


Finance Ministry sells RON 470 M worth of treasury bills


The Ministry of Public Finance (MFP) yesterday sold RON 470 M worth of treasury bills with nine-month maturity, but less than the intended value of RON 750 M, Mediafax informs. The Ministry will pay banks an average yield of 6.99 per cent per annum, brokers say. The maximum accepted yield as far as MFP was concerned was 7 per cent per annum, and the total value of the demand for T-bills on the part of commercial banks amounted to RON 1.31 bln. The FinMin has never sold securities with nine-month maturity in the last few years.

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BUSINESS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Oil eases below USD 77 as supplies weigh


Oil eased to below USD 77 a barrel on Wednesday, falling from a two-week high, as a report showing a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories countered support from firmer equities. U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 1.7 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday. Analysts had expected stocks to fall by 1.4 million barrels. “From a fundamental point of view, another leg down is more likely than a strong price increase,” said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. Equities offered some support. World stocks hit a three-week high after Intel’s forecast-beating quarterly results raised expectations of strong earnings in the second quarter.”The oil market is going to be taken for a ride to a large degree by what happens in equity markets,” said Toby Hassall, an analyst at CWA Global Markets in Sydney. Investors often see strength in equity markets as a sign of wider economic health and an indication that future demand for oil and energy will rise. “The line to conquer for the bulls today will be the resistance of the 200-day moving average,” said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. Traders will be looking to the weekly supply report from the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration due at 1430 GMT to see if the inventory build reported by the API is confirmed. (Reuters)


Renault-Nissan hires ex-Toyota veteran as consultant


The Renault-Nissan alliance has hired Jim Press, a former Toyota Motor Corp veteran and most recently vice chairman at Chrysler LLC, as a consultant on sales and marketing projects, a spokesman said on Wednesday. Press, 63, late last year ended a two-year stint at Chrysler, which he joined shortly after it was acquired by its former owner Cerberus Capital Management LP. Previously he had worked at Toyota for 37 years, becoming the first non-Japanese to be elected to its board of directors.Simon Sproule, director of communications at the alliance of Renault SA (RENA.PA) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), said Press’s consultancy contract started in March. The length and terms of the contract were confidential, he said.

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BUSINESS

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Local banks report RON 200 M loss in first five months


Cumulated financial results reported by all banks in Romania indicate the system in the first five month sustained total loss of over RON 200 M, despite Q1 bringing notable earnings. BNR-processed data indicates total banking system loss in May of RON 204 M (almost EUR 49 M), actually a repeat of the situation reported in May 2009, when losses amounting to RON 228 M were reported. Q1 figures indicated Romanian banks had made a profit of EUR 100 M representing half of the entire 2009 profit, as compared to EUR 50 M loss registered in Q1 of 2009. The same BNR data shows the entire banking system posted RON 815 M (EUR 200 M) net profit for last year, with 22 lenders posting a profit and 20 posting losses.


Romanian state owns world’s 31st biggest gold reserve


The World Gold Council ranks Romanian state’s official gold reserves 31st in the world, the standings being led by the US, followed by Germany, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mediafax reports. With its 103.7 tonnes of gold in the central bank’s reserves, Romania comes after Greece – 112.2 tonnes, and before Poland – 103 tonnes. China has the world’s sixth biggest national gold reserve of 1,054.1 tonnes, just a little more than Switzerland – 1,040.1 tonnes. As for the international financial and economic organisations, the IMF comes third and the European Central Bank (ECB) 12th, with 501.4 tonnes of gold in its vaults. The Bank for International Settlements is ranked 28th with 120 tonnes of gold.


EU executive clears BA, American, Iberia deal


British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia won EU antitrust clearance on Wednesday to deepen their Oneworld alliance on trans-Atlantic routes and better compete with rival groups. The European Commission, the EU competition watchdog, also cleared a British Airways’ merger with Spain’s Iberia. The Oneworld members want to broaden their pact to take advantage of the “Open Skies” agreement between the United States and the European Union, which liberalises trans-Atlantic aviation. The carriers offered in March to give up a number of lucrative trans-Atlantic slots in a bid to ease competitive concerns by the European Commission about the Oneworld deal. The European Commission said the concessions were sufficient to ease competition concerns and that it was dropping its investigation launched in April last year. “Today’s decision will enable the airlines to put in place the trans-Atlantic alliance they have long aspired to while ensuring that the around 2.5 million passengers … continue to benefit from a choice of frequencies and competitive prices,” Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

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POLITICS

NEWS IN BRIEF

Israeli Ambassador: Shimon Peres
to visit Romania
in August



Israel’s President Shimon Peres will pay an official visit to Romania in August, Israeli Ambassador David Oren announced yesterday at the 2nd Congress of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania. “This visit will be an opportunity to deepen bilateral relations between our states and the special ties between the state of Israel and the Jewish community in Romania,” David Oren stated, being quoted by Agerpres. The Ambassador outlined the deepening of bilateral ties in the last three years, mentioning the visit that President Traian Basescu paid to Israel last year and the visits that two Israeli Ministers paid to Romania this year. During the Congress the FJCR will appoint its new leadership for 2010-2015.

Doris Mircea –
new director of MAE’s diplomacy department



Doris Theodora Mircea, a career diplomat, on July 12, 2010 became the general director of the General Diplomacy Department with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE). Doris Mircea will coordinate public communication of the ministry and manage activity of the communication department, the public diplomacy department, the public relations, the department for cultural, educational and scientific relations, and the department of abroad publications.


Since 2009, Doris Mircea has been deputy director of the communication department, while during 2002-2008 she was a press attaché and spokeswoman of Romania’s Permanent Mission in Brussels. In 2008, she returned to MAE in Bucharest, where she led the Communication Department (2008-2009). Doris Mircea graduated a Law University and became Master of International Politics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.


She has a 10-year experience in the MAE (since 2000), holds the diplomatic rank of 1st Secretary, is fluent in English, French and Italian, and has an average knowledge of the Spanish language. She was awarded by the president of Romania the ‘Diplomatic Merit’ medal, in rank of Knight.

Romanian
ambassador to Chile suspected of DUI



TV Chile, Chile’s national television channel, claims the Romanian Ambassador to Chile did not undergo a blood alcohol concentration test and was not detained after the car crash he allegedly caused. A 28-year-old Chilean businessman was seriously injured in the car crash. Antena 3 states that police sources have stated for the Chilean press that Ambassador Valentin Florea was driving under the influence at the time of incident. “We are investigating the accident in which the Romanian Ambassador was involved. It seems a crime has been committed. The Ambassador has been sent to a clinic where he will undergo the tests stipulated by law but we have to take into account his diplomatic statute,” police captain Fabian Rocha stated at the time.

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