Armed robbery at Timisoara betting office

A sports betting office in Timisoara was robbed yesterday by a young man who threatened one of the two female employees with a gun and then took off with RON 17,000, Timis Police Inspectorate spokesperson Emil Matei said, quoted by Mediafax. Both female workers at the betting office were locked in the bathroom by the assailant, who is still being sought by police. “Unfortunately, the only person who could have given information about the attack is the seller, but she suffered severe emotional trauma and was hospitalized. The victim was not assaulted by the thief and sustained no physical injuries,” Matei said.

Baccalaureate pass rate, 50 per cent lower compared to 2009

The graduation rate reported in Bucharest after the second session of the exam and before the filing of grade contestations stood at 40.97 per cent, in contrast to 82.7 per cent in 2009, Marian Banu, spokesperson of the Bucharest School Inspectorate (ISMB), stated for HotNews. He added that the result is a consequence of zero tolerance for cheating. Education Minister Daniel Funeriu stated on Sunday evening that this Baccalaureate session’s poor results are the effect of the reforms implemented by former Education Ministers Andrei Marga and Ecaterina Andronescu. In his opinion these problems could be corrected through the new law on education however the opposition parties are blocking it within the Senate. Funeriu warned that the students caught cheating at the Baccalaureate will be unable to take part in the exam for two consecutive sessions. He explained that those caught cheating in the summer of next year will not be able to take part in the exam again before September 2012.

National health card as of next year

As of 2011, every person benefiting from health insurance will have an electronic card to prove their social healthcare insured status, according to the Health Ministry, quoted by The ministry published at the end of last week a decision enabling the National Printing House to manufacture these cards. As of next year, the electronic health card will replace the current insured certificate that beneficiaries obtain from their insurance companies.

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PNL to submit regular motion on labour

Opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) is going to submit a regular motion on labour matters in Parliament, party leader Crin Antonescu announced after the PNL Central Standing Bureau meeting yesterday, according to Mediafax. “What we are interested in as policies is that they give up on this aberration produced in what regards royalties. Whether or not it means that the minister in charge should leave or be ousted is a less important matter,” Antonescu said. Liberals’ intention to introduce a motion had been actually announced before the labour minister was dropped in reshuffle. Labour Minister Mihai Seitan was replaced by Nelu Ioan Botis in last week’s cabinet reshuffle. PNL spokesman Mihai Voicu stated, on Friday, that the party would still submit a motion on the measures taken by the Labour Ministry, noting the action was not targeted at individuals, but at policies. Also yesterday, the Social-Democrats said they would continue to endorse a motion on agriculture they had introduced together with the Conservatives, although the relevant minister was also replaced. “The fact that the minister of agriculture has been replaced is not changing our position on the motion we and PC submitted on agriculture matters. We will still support it,” PSD Secretary General Liviu Dragnea said, according to Agerpres.

PSD to file criminal complaints against 19 prefects

The Social Democrats will file criminal complaints against 19 prefects who take their jobs ‘abusively’ and plan to challenge in court all the orders issued by these prefects after April 2, PSD Secretary General Liviu Dragnea said on Monday.

The Social Democrat underlined that the 19 prefects were appointed to their job temporarily, by government decision and the civil servant status law clearly states that the jobs should have been filled in definitely within six months at most. He said the terms of the 19 prefects were not officially extended, nor was there any contest to officially appoint other people on the positions. Dragnea demanded the government to immediately appoint prefects in line with legal provisions. “We are also analysing the possibility of filing a criminal complaint on account of negligence and abuse of position against PM Emil Boc or (Interior Minister) Vasile Blaga,” the PSD secretary general added.

OTV owner might be charged with money laundering

Dan Diaconescu, and his associate, Diana Voiculescu, might also be charged with money laundering, according to a source with the Financial Squad quoted by ‘Romania Libera’ daily. During the investigation conducted by the National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA), wherein Diaconescu is charged with blackmail, he said his EUR 33 M wealth is the outcome of his monthly salary of EUR 100,000. However, sources with the Financial Squad say Diaconescu’s salary only amounts to EUR 1,000 a month, a finding that resulted from the financial-accounting documents during 2007-2010 at the companies where Diaconescu is a shareholder. Further more, his salary aside, Diaconescu has copyright and management cession contracts equal to over EUR 2 M in two of his companies dealing with newspaper printing or television programme broadcasting. The amounts does not even make up to 10 per cent of the wealth declared by Diaconescu.

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Franklin Templeton takes over FP asset management

The general meeting of shareholders (AGA) of the Proprietatea Fund (FP) yesterday approved the appointment of Franklin Templeton Investment of Britain as single manager of the fund, Mediafax reports. The company will take over the fund management after publication of AGA resolutions in the Official Journal. The Proprietatea Fund assets total some RON 11 bln. The Proprietatea Fund could be listed on the London Stock Exchange at the end of next year, Franklin Templeton Chairman and CEO Mark Mobius said yesterday. ‘The London Exchange listing will be, in my view, sometime at the end of next year, because preparations take 6 to 8 months. We need to organise road shows to explain investors in the US, China and other countries where Romania lies’, Mobius said.

EUR 4 bln for Nabucco project

The European Investment Bank (EIB), together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and World Bank’s International Financial Corporation (IFC) signed an agreement that will potentially ensure financing of up to EUR 4 billion for the Nabucco pipeline project on Monday, Mediafax informs. EIB might provided EUR two billion for the project, while EBRD and IFC could come up with EUR 1.2 billion and up to EUR 800 million, respectively, according to the statement. The Nabucco consortium could sign agreements with potential lenders in 2011. The Nabucco pipeline construction is estimated at around EUR8 billion.

Petrom sells Russian exploration assets

Petrom company yesterday announced it had sold its 74.9 per cent Ring Oil stock to minority partner Mineral and Bio Oil Fuels Limited (MBO), ‘Romania Libera’ daily informs. The parties agreed not to disclose the price and the terms & conditions of the deal. ‘In the current economic environment and following the prioritisation of our investment projects, we have decided to sell the assets we held in Russia’, Petrom official in charge of exploration and production, Johann Pleininger, said. Ring Oil Holding & Trading Ltd. Is an oil company with Russian from Russia and from other countries, with vast experience in oil exploration and production operations, in the trading of oil and oil products and in oil drilling, in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Dissatisfied clients organize fresh action against banks

Those who signed credit contracts with Volksbank, the Commercial Bank of Romania (BCR), Bancpost and Raiffeisen Bank called on the National Bank of Romania (BNR) to take action “in those cases in which courts have already ruled on abuses” by banks, HotNews reports. Thus, the banks in question will have to stand up, during this week, to another flood of protests from clients who feel “cheated” by the credit institutions. New rounds of meetings with lawyers are scheduled to take place in the following days, as well as, most likely, the first joint meetings of representatives of the negotiation groups from various banks, and street protests meant to draw the attention of institutions which hold prerogatives over the financial sector. According to clients, the advertising campaign in the press by which Volksbank announces it is implementing the Government’s Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 50/ 2010 and calls on the clients to go and sign the additional acts – in which terms are interpreted in their own way – is seen as new attempt by the bank to modify certain terms and, this time, to the bank’s advantage.

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Romania to play against Turkey or Macedonia for 7th-10th EC polo ranking

Romania’s water polo team will take on the national squad of Turkey or Macedonia for the slots 7th-10th at the European Polo Championship in Zagreb. Romanians finished bottom of group A, missing out Sunday on qualifying into the quarter-finals of the European competition, despite drawing 9-9 with reigning European champions Montenegro. Romania have to wait for the outcome of the first encounters in the 7th-12th ranking tournament, as they will play opposite the winner of Thursday’s Turkey-Macedonia match.

Europe wins first Continental Cup athletic meeting

Europe has won the first Continental Cup in Athletics in Split Sunday, on 429 points, against America’s 419.5 points, with Romania’s Marian Oprea winning the triple jump event, AFP reports. Africa came third, on 292 points, and Asia/Pacific fourth respectively, on 286.5 points. The Continental Cup is the ‘successor’ of the World Cup, whose ten editions were held between 1977 and 2006. Oprea finished first in triple jump, on 17.29 points, followed by Cuba’s Alexis Copello (America – 17.25) and Briton Phillips Idowu (Europe – 17.24).

Cristina Nedelcu and Mircea Zamfir – national champions in aerobic gymnastics

Cristina Nedelcu and Mircea Zamfir won the senior champion titles at the 15th National Aerobic Gymnastics Championship hosted by the Trade Unions House of Culture in Constanta. Cristina Nedelcu won the women’s title on 20.850 points, followed by Portugal’s Maria Luisa Pavel, 20.300, and Oana-Corina Constantin, 20.000 points. Mircea Zamfir won the men’s event, 17.900 points, followed by Alexandru Boris, 19.825, and Marius Petruse, 17,900 points. This year, the clubs Farul Constanta, UNES Bucharest and CS CNS Cetate Deva ranked first, second and third, with the prizes going to their coaches, as the regulations goes.

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