Correspondent, Bucharest
Radu's Feed
Apr 16, 2014

Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania’s stray dogs

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania’s capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 donation scheme.

A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe – and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes.

Apr 7, 2014

Romania readies tax cuts to spur economy

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania will scrap the tax on profits that companies reinvest in the country and cut some other levies to help create jobs and secure economic growth of around 3 percent this year, the finance minister said on Monday.

The government will also reduce firms’ social security payments by 5 percentage points, slash value-added tax on certain foods and, once it can afford to, introduce a lower income tax rate for low earners, Ioana Petrescu told Reuters in an interview.

Mar 18, 2014

Volksbank Romania to sell 490 mln euros of non-performing loans

BUCHAREST, March 18 (Reuters) – Volksbank Romania,
controlled by Austria’s partly-nationalised lender Volksbanken
AG, will offload 490 million euros ($682 million) of
non-performing loans at an undisclosed discount, its president
Benoit Catel told Reuters on Tuesday.

The sales will bring down the loss-making bank’s NPL ratio
to 7.3 percent, three times lower than the average in Romania’s
banking system, Catel said in an e-mail.

Mar 14, 2014

Romania bars Hungarian ‘extremists’ on eve of national day

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania has barred what it says are Hungarian extremists from four different organizations from entering the country, moving to prevent possible clashes when ethnic Hungarians celebrate their national day in Romania on Saturday.

Those barred include supporters of Jobbik, a far-right Hungarian party whose popularity has surged in the run-up to a parliamentary election due to take place in Hungary on April 6, according to a recent poll.

Mar 11, 2014

Romanian MPs block corruption investigation of ex-finance minister

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to block an investigation by state prosecutors of former Finance Minister Daniel Chitoiu who they suspect abused his power to further the interests of a private insurance company.

The European Union has repeatedly raised concerns about a failure to tackle rampant high-level corruption in Romania and Bulgaria, its two poorest members, which have been kept outside the passport-free Schengen zone over the issue since their 2007 entry to the bloc.

Mar 5, 2014

Romania president ratifies latest review of IMF aid deal

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s President Traian Basescu ratified the latest review of a 4 billion euro aid deal with the IMF on Wednesday, ending a weeks-long standoff over a deal seen as key to the country’s economic credibility.

Basescu moved swiftly to clear the agreement after Romania’s ruling coalition collapsed last week, a split that had raised doubts over the government’s ability to push through reforms that were agreed with the International Monetary Fund.

Mar 5, 2014

Romanian opposition MPs challenge new government

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta faced a constitutional challenge from the centrist opposition on Wednesday that could very briefly hinder pursuit of IMF-backed reforms but seemed unlikely to scuttle his newly-forged coalition government.

Ponta’s Social Democrat-led (PSD) government lost its majority last week with the departure of the Liberal Party. But he forged a new majority, albeit smaller, by pooling forces with the ethnic Hungarian UDMR and winning a confidence vote.

Mar 4, 2014

Romanian government wins confidence vote after split

BUCHAREST, March 4 (Reuters) – Romanian Prime Minister
Victor Ponta won a confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday, as
expected, securing a new mandate to push through a series of
IMF-backed reforms aimed at speeding up growth in the European
Union’s second poorest country.

Ponta’s Social Democrat-led (PSD) government won a vote in
both houses by a combined 346 votes to 192, having partially
restored its majority with new allies following the departure
last week of the Liberal party.

Mar 3, 2014

Romanian PM, president at odds over forming new government

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Prime Minister Victor Ponta urged Romania’s president on Monday not to block his attempts to form a new governing coalition as a new standoff loomed between the two bitter rivals, threatening to unnerve investors.

Ponta hopes to establish a government with the help of new allies this week after the departure of his main coalition partner last Tuesday following a series of spats, which raised concern for Romania’s ability to stick to commitments made in exchange for an aid deal with the International Monetary Fund.

Feb 28, 2014

Ethnic Hungarians set to restore majority in Romanian government

BUCHAREST, Feb 28 (Reuters) – An ethnic Hungarian party is
likely to join Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s ruling
alliance within days, partially restoring his once-comfortable
majority in parliament and votes needed to implement economic
reforms.

Ponta’s main coalition partner quit the government earlier
this week after a series of disagreements. The exit sparked
worries about Romania’s ability to stick to commitments it made
to the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a 4 billion
euro aid deal.