Correspondent, Bucharest
Radu's Feed
Jul 21, 2014

Romania’s Basescu slams EU for soft Putin stance

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s President Traian Basescu on Monday accused the European Union of being weak and too slow in imposing sanctions on Russia to deter it from encroaching further into Europe after its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

An ex-communist state on the Black Sea, Romania joined the EU in 2007 and has been among the most vehement advocates of Western sanctions against Moscow after neighboring Ukraine lost control of its peninsula and some of its eastern territories.

Jun 17, 2014

EU’s Black Sea neighbours eye good milling wheat crops

BUCHAREST, June 17 (Reuters) – Black Sea neighbours Romania
and Bulgaria are gearing up to reap good wheat crops this year
which could keep exports strong in 2014/15 although heavy rain
has taken its toll on yields in the lower Danube river plains.

Romania, which harvested a crop of about 7.4 million tonnes
last year, an eight-year record and its second biggest in four
decades, has emerged as a major cereal exporter to Egypt – the
world’s biggest wheat importer.

Jun 6, 2014

Romania sentences hacker ‘Guccifer’ to jail

BUCHAREST, June 6 (Reuters) – A Romanian court sentenced
hacker “Guccifer”, who broke into the emails of former U.S.
president George W. Bush’s family, entertainment figures and the
head of the Romanian secret service, to four years in jail on
Friday.

Marcel Lazar Lehel, a cab driver by trade and known by his
aliases “Guccifer” and “Small Fume”, was arrested in January in
Bucharest and could spend a total of seven years behind bars as
he also carries a previous three-year suspended sentence.

May 28, 2014

EU’s Balkan citizens take anti-immigrant vote in their stride

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Britons have a right to worry if Romanians move in next door, or so says the man who triumphed in European Parliament elections. But despite such hostility, Romanians themselves still cherish the European Union as their best chance of escaping poverty.

Some fear a deepening demonization of immigrants from Romania and neighboring Bulgaria following last weekend’s victories of right-wing Eurosceptic parties in France, Denmark and Britain, where the UK Independence Party of Nigel Farage trounced the established parties.

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.