News review of the day – October 16th

Romania’s President to attend ASEM summit in Milan

Chiefs of state and government are attending a two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan on matters of trade and economic co-operation between the continents, amid the crisis in Ukraine which could possibly take over the agenda. Italy’s Prime Minister, the host of the reunion, has already confirmed tommorrow’s meeting between Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also announced she would discuss the Ukrainian crisis and gas-supply related matters with the Russian leader.
Romania is also represented in Milan and President Traian Basescu has stated before his departure that free trading between Europe and Asia represents a delicate issue whom the leaders attending the event are going to tackle. The summit will also envision global issues and security challenges.

Traian Băsescu: Romania supports deep free-trading solutions between Asia and the European Union, no doubt in full accordance with EU’s principles. As for security policy, our position regarding Ukraine and the Middle East is mainly known and we are going to plead in our traditional manner from the last 10 years.

High-profile businessmen and former officials targeted by search warrants in „Microsoft” case

High-profile businessmen and former officials have been house-searched today by Romania’s Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) within an extensive investigation regarding the so-called „Microsoft” corruption case. Former Director of Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Cătălin Harnagea was among those targeted.
The „Microsoft” case is investigating purchase contracts for IT licenses in certain Romanian schools. Prosecutors have accused several ministers in Nastase and Boc Cabinets of corruption matters related to these contracts seemingly concluded at overrated prices. DNA has already asked the Parliament and President of Romania to endorse criminal investigation for nine former ministers.

Romania’s export level this year could exceed 50 billion euros

Romania’s export level this year could exceed the 50-billion-euro threshold after the 49-billion record established in 2013. Economy Minister Constantin Niţă has stated that our country should expand the range of its markets and he expects Romania to become a significant energy exporter in the region over the next few years. Should it reach a 5 percent growth rate, Romania could align itself to more advanced economies but for the time being national economy only sees a stable 2-3 percent growth rate. Minister Constantin Niţă explained that economical backgrounds are less favourable at the moment and he also added that performance on foreign markets could only be achieved by modernization of equipment which is now 40-50 years old.

Romania sees highest increase in price levels during  September – Eurostat

Romania has seen the highest increase in price levels during September in a year-over-year comparison announced by the statistical office of the European Union- Eurostat. Therefore, inflation rate was situated at 1.8 percent whilst the EU registered an average of 0.4 percent. According to Eurostat, inflation rates in September were negative or null for 12 out of the 28 member states meaning that price levels remained the same or lower than September 2013. Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary have registered the most significant drops in price levels.

Year-over-year FDI in Romania increases by one quarter during the first 8 months of 2014

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Romania during the first eight months of 2014 have risen by 27 percent compared to the similar time frame last year and were worth 1.4 billion euros, according to Romania’s Central Bank. „Forecast data show that direct investments by non-residents have summed up 1.424 billion euros; participation capital (including reinvested earnings) have totalized 1.646 billion euros whilst intra-group exposures have registered a negative net value of 222 million euros. Compared to July, foreign direct investments in August have seen a rise of 115 million euros.

Half of Romanian youngsters not aware of human-trafficking risks

More than half of Romania’s youngsters are not aware of the risk of becoming a human-trafficking victim whereas only one third of them declare to have heard of this phenomenon – according to a study presented earlier today by the The National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP). The survey was conducted at the end of a public information campaign organized by NAATIP. Other conclusions of the study have revealed that both young people and adults have acknowledged the importance and necessity of media popularization in this regard. Number of human-trafficking victims among Romanian nationals has dropped in 2013 to 850 persons compared to 1.000 in previous years whilst the most vulnerable categories proved to be women and children coming from families with social issues.

Iassy International Airport has a new runway with enhanced elasticity

Iassy International Airport has a new 2.4-kilometer runway with enhanced elasticity starting today. Local authorities have announced the project has been finalized 11 months ahead of the initial deadline and the investment was worth 31 million euros. By March next year a new airplane parking will be ready and by August 2015 a new terminal is also bound to be inaugurated. Airport manager Marius Bodea has underlined that the new runway could be extended to 3 kilometers should cargo demands ask for it.

Health Ministry to develop new national leukaemia program

Romania’s Health Ministry is going to develop a new program targeting acute-leukaemia pacients which is to be financed from the National Health Fund. According to a press release by the ministry today, an average number of 800 pacients are to benefit from this program every year. The main purpose is to establish accurate diagnostics meant to start the adequate course of treatment for severe cases of leukaemia and to properly monitor the response. Minister Nicolae Banicioiu believes this could improve life-quality of leukaemia pacients.

International Festival of Sound & Slam Poetry in Craiova – shortlisted candidate city for European Cultural Capital in 2021

Cultural authorities in the southern city of Craiova are organizing the first edition of an international festival dedicated to sound and slam poetry in a partnership carried on with the Writers’ Union of Romania – Literary Translation branch and the Association „Craiova – European Cultural Capital 2021”. The event is a first for our country and will take place starting Thursday October 16th until Sunday October 19th.
Poets from Romania and from abroad will hold sound-poetry recitals. Poetry slams can feature a broad range of voices, styles, cultural traditions and approaches to writing and performance.
The festival is also supported by the Romanian Opera House in Craiova, the Polish Institute, the Hungarian Institute, Goethe Institut, the Italian Institute, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Austrian Federal Chancellery, University of Craiova and the Scholar Inspectorate of Dolj County.

Romanian takes up niche farming encouraged by His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales

Encouraged by His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales, a young Romanian from Salaj county in Transylvania has given up comforts of urban life for farming and he is now producing officinal milk. The milk is obtained exclusively from animals nourished with medicinal herbs grown organically on the mountain tops. The farmer says Prince Charles has contributed significantly to increasing awareness among Romanians regarding advantages of a clean nature that our country still enjoys compared to other developed states that have lost them years ago.

Bianca Ioniţă