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February 2, 2023


Kiseleff Boulevard closed for… sports

From July 16 to August 8 Bucharest’s Kiseleff Boulevard will be closed to traffic each weekend. The Boulevard, stretching from Victoriei Square to Ion Mincu Street, will be filled with playing fields. According to a communiqué issued by the Bucharest City Hall, during the aforementioned period the Boulevard will be closed to traffic each weekend from Friday at 10 PM to Sunday at 2 PM. The Boulevard will be filled with basketball courts, badminton courts, ping-pong and fussball tables. “I invite you here to practice sports together. Let’s say no to driving and let’s enjoy the benefits of working out,” mayor Sorin Oprescu said. Anyone can take part in the event, free of charge.

Schleck and Contador play mind games

The battle for Tour de France victory took a twisted turn in Ax 3-Domaines on Sunday when yellow jersey holder Andy Schleck and defending champion Alberto Contador played mind games in the final climb. First and second in last year’s Tour, Contador and Schleck were seen playing hide and seek and almost stopping in the final ascent like sprinters waiting to surge on a cycling track. The day’s honours in the 184.5-km 14th stage went to France’s Christophe Riblon, the last survivor of an early breakaway. But second and third place, 54 seconds behind Riblon, went to Russia’s Denis Menchov and Spain’s Samuel Sanchez, the two riders most likely to pose a threat to Schleck and Contador for final victory. Luxembourg’s Schleck and twice champion Contador dropped 14 seconds in the finale because neither would lead the way towards the finish line. “If I have to play poker in the end, I’ll play poker. I felt really good today but I could afford to lose time on Menchov and Sanchez. I don’t consider them as Tour contenders,” Schleck told reporters. “I did not want to pass Alberto and lose seconds like in the Mende stage,” Schleck said, explaining his fear of being attacked by Contador. “I had to play games today. “I want to win this. I’ve got to be smart”, he added.

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Madalina Manole’s parents blame the husband

Just a few days after the funerals of the pop singer who committed suicide on her 43rd birthday last week, Madalina Manole’s father is making some truly shocking disclosures. Ion Manole has told several national dailies that his daughter’s husband and mother-in-law had categorically refused to allow her to see a psychologist. He says the artist even postponed the release of her latest album originally due on May 12 because of health issues. Ion Manole claims he had even meant to bring a psychologist from Ploiesti, but Madalina’s husband would not accept that, preferring to take her to some ‘witch doctor’. The singer’s parents say they even had to learn about the tragedy on the television, their son-in-law choosing not to tell them personally.

Over 3,300 motorists saw their driving licenses suspended

Police suspended over 3,300 driving licenses in the first half of this year, mostly for reckless overtaking, failure to give the right of way, burning a red light, and driving while intoxicated. In H1 2010, road police officers, coordinated by the Romanian Police Road Department, checked over 150,000 motor vehicles, including 50,653 taxis, and found 60,000 misdemeanors, the Romanian Police writes in a press release. The officers also suspended 6,040 vehicle registration licenses. Out of the total number of misdemeanors, more than 44,000 involved the drivers of passenger vehicles and some 28,000 involved the drivers of freight vehicles.

Police officers seized almost 100 guns in July

Police officers have seized, since the beginning of July, almost 100 lethal and non-lethal guns, over 400 bullets and staples, following house searches in 14 counties, and over 100 people are under investigation for illegal possession or use of guns. Searches meant to identify those guilty of illegal possession of guns and ammunition were conducted in counties Dolj, Teleorman, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, Ilfov, Gorj, Constanta, Vrancea, Neamt, Maramures, Bacau, Harghita, Alba and Galati, between July 1st and July 16, is stated in a release by the Romanian Police. Police officers recorded 124 crimes, for which 109 people are under investigation. Moreover, police officers suspended and annulled the right to own and use guns and ammunition in other 18 cases.

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BCR launches loan restructuring product

Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) has launched a loan restructuring product addressed to customers whose income has decreased, primarily public sector workers, a release informs. Employees in the public sector account for 25 – 30 per cent of the bank’s retail borrowers.

The product consists of cutting monthly payments by up to 50 per cent of the current value, for a period of six months, Stefan Coroianu, Executive Director with the BCR’s Retail Credit Directorate, said. He further noted that the 25 per cent wage cut in the public sector would definitely change their consumer behaviour and hamper payments including the repayment of loans. Coroianu mentioned that BCR was in the possession of the necessary information needed for restructuring a loan based on the monthly bank statements – for borrowers who cash their salaries into an account opened with the bank, or based on a statement issued by the employer – for people whose wages are not paid into a BCR bank account.

Central Bank sterilises RON 1 bln on open market

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) yesterday conducted an open market depo operation to sterilise RON 1 bln, paying an interest of 6.25 per cent, equal to the key-interest, Mediafax informs. A total of 17 banks participated in the operation and the deposits constituted have one-week maturity, falling due on July 26. The most recent similar operation was conducted by the central bank on June 21 when a total of RON 500 M was sterilised through one-week deposits paying the key-interest rate. As a result of the sterilisation, overnight deposit interest rates went up to 3 – 3.5 per cent and one-week deposits paid 5 – 6 per cent interest rate.

Fitch Lifts Outlook for Europe Carmakers on Rebound

Fitch Ratings lifted the outlooks for Peugeot, Renault, Daimler and Volkswagen as the recovering economy lifts global auto sales, Mediafax informs. The ratings agency raised Daimler’s outlook to “positive” from “negative,” VW’s to “positive” from “stable” and Peugeot and Renault’s to “stable” from “negative,” Fitch said in a statement today. Fiat’s outlook remains “negative,” it said. The changes reflect an improvement in carmakers’ “financial profiles since 2009, the faster-than-anticipated recovery in global auto sales and Fitch’s revised expectations for key credit metrics in the next couple of years,” Emmanuel Bulle, a Fitch senior director, said in the statement. Daimler and Bayerische Motoren Werke, the world’s biggest makers of luxury cars, raised their forecasts for 2010 last week after new vehicles helped boost sales in China and the U.S. Carmakers are expanding in China, the world’s largest automobile market, as demand surges.

Hidroelectrica to decommission Iron gates assets

Upon Hidroelectrica’s request, the Ministry of Economy is proposing the Government to move from the state’s public property to the state’s private property assets of the Iron Gates I hydro-power station with a carrying value of RON 124.8 M (EUR 29.3 M) that are to be decommissioned, Mediafax reports. ‘Hidroelectrica will adequately update its record-keeping entries,’ a draft government decision prepared by the Ministry of Economy that is the majority shareholder in the energy company. The assets in question consist of buildings and installations. The Iron Gates I and II hydro-power stations are Hidroelectrica’s biggest power producing units. They are both run in partnership with Serbia.

Nokia Siemens buys Motorola network ops for USD 1.2 bln

Nokia Siemens Networks will buy Motorola’s telecom network equipment business for USD 1.2 billion, getting a stronghold in the North American market and taking No 2 position in the cut-throat mobile gear market. Nokia Siemens Networks — a 50-50 joint venture of Nokia and Siemens — has struggled to make a profit in the USD 82 billion market, which was hit hard by the recession. Under chief executive Rajeev Suri the venture has started to seek growth more aggressively and fight back against market leader Ericsson and China’s Huawei. The Motorola deal will help the venture overtake Huawei.

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