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Turkish ship sinks near Constanta


A Turkish flag ship loaded with scrap iron sank near the Port of Constanta yesterday, Mediafax reports. Wednesday morning at about 4:30, the ship started to lurch. Two other vessels were sent to the area to rescue the ship, but failed. The 17 sailors onboard were rescued. No one knows for sure what caused the distress, but two options are being considered: adverse weather conditions or the wrong loading of the vessel. The port authorities opened an investigation to determine the cause of the shipwreck.


First autumn day brings first snow in the Retezat Mountain


The first autumn day of the year has also brought along the first snowfall of the season. It snowed in the Retezat Mountain (Hunedoara County) on Wednesday, with air temperatures dropping massively below what it is considered as normal for this time of the year, Agerpres informs. “The coat of snow was 7 to 10 cm thick at 2,000 metre altitude. But this is not the kind of snow that is there to stay. It is a moist snow that came a bit too early, but this is how things are in the mountains, where it may snow anytime,” Ovidiu Bodean, the head of the Hunedoara Mountain Rescue Service, said. The mountain rescuers recommend tourists who plan to go to the mounts at the week-end to make sure to bring warm cloths and not to hike along long trails that require camping with a tent.

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Forex reserves continue decline to EUR 31.55 bln


The country’s foreign exchange reserves held by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) suffered a slight negative correction in August for the fourth consecutive month, from EUR 31.58 bln to EUR 31.55 bln, of which EUR 733 bln were inflows and EUR 759 bln were outflows, central bank data shows. The gold reserve stayed at 103.7 tonnes, but its value rose to EUR 3.24 bln in the context of growing international prices. Official international reserves (foreign exchange and gold) at the end of August were EUR 34.79 bln, slightly up from the EUR 34.57 bln at the end of the previous month. Payments servicing external public debt (direct or guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance) and falling due in September amounted to EUR 78.7 M.


BCR launches real estate portal


Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) yesterday launched Romania’s first property portal managed by a bank. Apart from the complex supply of residential properties in all of the country’s counties, the portal also provides information on procedures to follow when buying a home. The portal includes advice and recommendations on preparing property promissory agreements, sales and purchase agreements and mortgage loan agreements. “BCR is the first bank to launch a portal like this. We want to offer our customers an integrated solution including properties as well as financing solutions, in the entire country. www.bcrimobiliare.ro is a place where the supply of estate agents and property developers is matched with the demand of the clients who wish to buy a home,” Stefan Coroianu, the Executive Director of the Retail Lending Directorate of BCR, said. A member of Erste Group, BCR is a universal bank addressing to both retail and corporate customers.


Passenger railway company, metro raise tariffs by 8 pc


CFR Calatori and Metrorex are raising tariffs by 8 per cent on September 15, Transport Minister Radu Berceanu announced yesterday. The Government made a commitment to the IMF that it would increase tariffs charged by ten public companies that report the biggest losses, including CFR Calatori and CFR Marfa, Metrorex, Termoelectrica and the National Motorways and National Roads Company, Agerpres informs. CFR Calatori already increased tariffs by approximately 4 per cent on July 1, following the VAT hike. The price of underground transport went up by 7 per cent in May 2009.


Farmers take to the streets


A total of 15,000 farmers, members of the Agrostar Federation and of the National Federation of Agricultural Producers today are picketing prefectures in several counties, with their equipment, according to Agrostar president Niculae Stefan. “We want Agriculture Minister Mihail Dumitru to resign immediately, as he is identified with the gloomiest period in the entire history of Romanian agriculture. If our demands are not met, on September 9 we will organise a march of almost 15,000 farmers in Bucharest,” the Agrostar president said, quoted by Agerpres. Farmers want the authorities to prepare the necessary legislation and obtain the European Commission’s clearance for granting state aid to operators in the farming and forestry sectors, solutions for the payment of per-head premiums in livestock aid and for the per-hectare aid, renovation and adjustment of the irrigation system and the kind of taxation policy that would narrow down the black market. Agriculture Minister Mihail Dumitru, in turn, said that, as far as he was concerned, everything that was possible had been done to pay the aid given the current budgetary circumstances.

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