Articole scrise de Radu Rizea

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1.Real estate market falls 78% in Europe in Q1. Bucharest fails to attract any investments The volume of transactions with commercial real estate properties reached the lowest level since the beginning of the financial crisis in Europe. During the first quarter of 2009, the volume dropped 78%, compared to Q1 2008. from 15.6 to 3.5 billion Euros, a report of BNP Paribas Real Estate indicates, after monitoring 20 large European cities. Bucharest, Manchester and Lille are the only cities that didn't attract any investments at all this year. None of the cities saw an increase of the investments volume.
2.Some 500 companies were shut in three days, at the end of April The number of companies erased from the official record of companies increased 280% in April 2009, compared to April 2009, up to 2,269 firms. On April 27, the number of companies shutting down was only 1,783, meaning that almost 500 companies were erased in just three days. Most erased companies were active in commerce (695), real estate transactions (273) and processing industry (211). Also in April, 14,035 companies suspended their activity, 1,330.3% more than in April 2009.
3.Smithfield: The swine flu couldn't have started from Romania The swine flu virus in Mexico couldn't have started from the Timis county in Romania, the US-based company being very strict in adopting all sanitation and veterinarian measures, said the PR manager of Smithfield Ferme, the company based in West Romania, in the city of Timisoara. According to Mihai Sepetean, the article published by New York Times doesn't show that the swine flu virus could have started from strands of the virus that existed in Romanian hog farms.
4.Electricity consumption drops 15% in Romania, reaching 2002 level The amount of electricity consumed in Romania decreased 15% in 2009, reaching the same level as in 2002, the Economy vice minister, Tudor Serban, announced on Thursday. The main cause is the financial crisis, which led to a significant decrease in the industrial consumption.
5.Richard Moat, former head of Orange Romania, named T-Mobile general manager in UK Richard Moat has been appointed the new Managing Director of T-Mobile UK and will be joining the company in June. The 54-year old Briton, who has been the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Romania, will succeed Jim Hyde, who left the company for personal reasons at the end of March, a press release of the company reads.
6.Central Bank counselor: The Governor bets that Romania will not have a negative growth this year, despite the two quarters of contraction "Sure the European Funds are attractive, but I ensure you they are difficult to obtain, even after all the simplified procedures. I think that you  need to make a deal with the banks. This deal is not so hard to sign", said Adrian Vasilescu, counselor of the Central Bank (BNR) Governor, Mugur Isarescu, during a conference dedicated to small and medium enterprises and their need for financing. According to Vasilescu, Romania is not in a difficult position, with all the banks still holding on, even though more cautious than before.
7.What the newspapers say: May 7, 2009 All newspapers on Thursday discuss a New York Times article that suggests that the Smithfield operations in Romania and Poland may have something to do with the swine flu endemics. In other news, a wind of bankruptcy blows near the Romanian football star Mutu.
8.New EU strategy: 5 BN Euros loan for Romania, provided that Justice reforms take place The Finance ministers of the European Union states approved on Tuesday the 5 billion Euros loan for Romania. The final document, scheduled to be released on Wednesday, may include several conditions for Romania to receive the loan, including Justice reforms, faster decisions in corruption cases and the adoption of the new Penal and Civil Laws, along with their procedure codes.
9.Poll: 40% of Romanians would vote for Traian Basescu as president The CSOP poll for April reveals that 40% of the Romanian electors would vote in favor of Traian Basescu for a second presidential mandate. The race for presidency also includes the Social Democrat leader, Mircea Geoana, with 19%, the Liberal Party leader, Crin Antonescu (15%), Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu (8%) and controversial football investor and businessman Gigi Becali (7%).
10.Murat Sabaz is the new president of Credit Europe Bank Romania Murat Sabaz, the interim president of Credit Europe Bank Romania after the death of Tamer Ozatakul, was named president of the banking institution, NewsIn informs, quoting sources within the company. The former Credit Europe Bank president, Tamer Ozatakul, died in Rome on April 25, aged 50, because of a heart attack. Before the tragic event, Murat Sabaz was vice president of the institution, the second most important position in the bank.
11.Senate rejects controversial law draft on Court procedures Several Social Democrat senators contributed through their vote to rejecting the law draft designed to modify the Constitutional Court procedures. The main modification would have been that trials wouldn't be delayed as long as they are now. Many trials in the recent history have been prolonged indefinitely because lawyers invoked non-Constitutionality exceptions and had trials suspended until a Constitutional Court decision.
12.Analysts estimate that Central Bank will maintain a 10% key interest rate The Romanian Central Bank (BNR) may maintain the 10% key interest rate after the session of the Board on Wednesday, most members of the Banking and Financial Analysts Association believe. The analysts also estimate that the level of minimum deposits for commercial banks will remain unchanged.
13.New Parliament elected in Moldova. Voronin - favorite for speaker The newly elected Parliament of the Moldova Republic holds its first session on Tuesday, Itar-Tass informs. The institution will choose its president today and will set the term for the presidential elections. Vladimir Voronin seems to be the main candidate for the Parliament speaker office.
14.60,000 public servants, in Japanese strike Some 60,000 public servants affiliated with the Sed Lex Alliance union entered a Japanese strike on Tuesday, calling their protest "Strike for Governmental responsibility". The strike will be carried throughout the day without any ceasing of activity, a union leader said. The protesters demand funds to elaborate the unique wage policy laws and ask the Government to cancel the ordinance that allows public servant offices to be decided upon by political parties.
15.What the newspapers say: May 5, 2009 The European Union is about to take some actions against Romania, because of its high budget deficit. Incredible as it may seem, this may represent some good news, since a monitoring over the governmental spending may prevent excessive electoral campaigns. This year, Romania will organize two rounds of elections, one for the European Parliament and one for the Presidency.
16.Telecomm Ministry to pay $100 MN for Microsoft licenses The Romanian Government enabled the Telecomm Ministry to pay some 100 million Euros for the right to use Microsoft software licenses in ministries and governmental agencies, between 2009 and 2012. The funds will come from the state budget and the first payment will be made in 2010. The amount will increase according to the exchange rate variations and taking into account various expenses.
17.Denmark and China confirm swine flu cases Denmark officially confirmed on Friday the first H1N1 virus infection diagnosis. The existence of the swine flu virus was made public by Else Smith, manager of the Health and Prevention Center, quoted by Reuters. The presence of the swine flu virus was also confirmed by authorities in Hong Kong, the carrier being a person who travelled to Mexico.
18.Romanian mission's convoy attacked with petrol bombs in Kosovo A convoy of the Romanian police unit acting within the EU Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) was attacked with petrol bombs on Thursday night, South of the Kosovo city of Kosovska Mitrovita. Attackers were not identified, the B92 radio station said, quoted by Mediafax.
19."Beggar" - Swiss inscription on Romanian Gypsies' passports Swiss authorities launched an investigation to find out which local official wrote the term "beggar" on the passports of several Roma ethnics, the website informs. "It is a felony. These persons are already persecuted in their home countries. Imagine what they might suffer upon their return", said the president of the Messemrom association, Monica Bonfanti.
20.What the newspapers say: May 1, 2009 Celebrating the Labor day with a typical local flavor, newspapers remind that Romanians have a wonderful attitude towards working, but lack efficiency. The banks that start to see the rates being paid later and later every month directly feel this lack of efficiency.
21.PM Boc demands teachers to avoid affecting the children Prime Minister Emil Boc appealed on Thursday to all professors "to refrain from transferring the economic crisis over the children and their parents". The head of Government ensured the professors that wages will not decrease. "We would agree to a raise, but there's not any money", said Boc.
22.Romania can't decide on its own to adopt the European currency, bankers say An one-sided decision to adopt the Euro as national currency is excluded, given the fact that Romania does not fulfill the necessary criteria for true and nominal convergence, said the bankers gathered at the Monetary Policy Colloquia, organized by the Romanian Central Bank, BNR.
23.Education union leader: "President Basescu said we may do whatever we want to do". Education unions met president Traian Basescu on Thursday, after announcing a three-days general strike designed to shook up the national tests schedule. One of the union leader, Razvan Bobulescu, declared after the meeting: "President Basescu said that he didn't care and we may do whatever we want to do".
24.Oilman Dinu Patriciu: Nabucco is better for Romania, compared to South Stream A project like Nabucco should be preferred by Romania, compared to South Stream, which could even become prejudicial "because it maintains a monopoly that everyone would rather get rid of", said the president of the Rompetrol group, Dinu Patriciu, in an interview for Realitatea FM. Russia currently encourages - through its natural gas giant, Gazprom - the construction of South Stream.
25. A project like Nabucco should be preferred by Romania, compared to South Stream, which could even become prejudicial "because it maintains a monopoly that everyone would rather get rid of", said the president of the Rompetrol group, Dinu Patriciu, in an interview for Realitatea FM. Russia currently encourages - through its natural gas giant, Gazprom - the construction of South Stream.
26.Teachers go on strike on May 5 Officials of all unions in Education announced that teachers will go on strike on May 5 and that protests will continue on May 13 and May 21, the very days when the national tests are scheduled. All Education employees will participate in the three days strike. The reason invoked by the unions is that the salary funds are not sufficient to fully cover all wages. The law for a 50% raise for all teachers will not be respected, according to the latest governmental decisions. Even more, some salaries may decrease 20%, union leaders announced.
27.Leu / Euro exchange rate to reach 4.25 average in 2009 The National Prognosis Commission estimates an average exchange rate of 4.25 Romanian Lei (RON) per Euro in 2009, after a first prognosis of 4 RON per Euro in January. The Commission also estimates the following average rates: 4.20 RON per Euro in 2010, 4.17 RON per Euro in 2011, 4.12 in 2012 and 4.07 in 2013.Also on Thursday, the National Prognosis Commission estimated that Romania's economy will grow 0.1% in 2010, after a 4% contraction in 2009. In January 2009, estimations were a 2.5% growth in 2009 and 4.5% in 2010.
28.What the newspapers say: April 30, 2009 Central and East European Countries are once again falling behind the Western economies, after a few years of rapid growth, being roughly affected by the crisis. In local news, the Central Bank is more and more often called to decrease the interest rate.
29.Government freezes all budgetary wages The Romanian Government approved on Tuesday an emergency ordinance deciding that the budgetary personnel will not see any salary growth before December 31, 2009. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Emil Boc, immediately after the Government's session on Tuesday. According to the head of cabinet, the Government makes quite an effort in order to sustain the existing salaries and pensions and wages' growth may become an issue this year only in case some new resources are identified.
30.EU study: Gypsies feel least discriminated in Romania Gypsies say they feel least discriminated in Romania, according to the "Minorities and Discrimination Poll" conducted by the European Union. The study surveyed seven EU states - Hungary, Poland, Greece, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic.

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