REGIONAL EUROPE
Putin announced succession favourite: Dmitri Medvedev Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday that he fully supported the candidature of the first deputy prime minister Dmitri Medvedev for the upcoming presidential elections. He made the announcement at a meeting with political party leaders. The announcement echoed on the market as the main index of the Moscow stock exchange reached a historical peak.
British authorities reopen BAE fraud inquiry The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will re-launch an investigation on presumed fraud at BAE Systems, the military industry giant. One of the contracts under investigation concerns the purchase of two used frigates by Romania. Authorized sources told The Times, quoted by Romanian monitoring agency Rador, that dozens of BAE directors will face hearings over the next two months regarding alleged bribes in the form of commissions amounting to over 80 million pounds.
Romania ambassador to Belgium may become head of London mission Romanian Ambassador to Belgium Ion Jinga has been proposed to take over the helm of the Romanian Embassy in Britain, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilie Banica said on Thursday, quoted by Romanian news agency NewIn.
Romania Economy minister Vosganian says tax registration payback would be illegal Romanian Economy minister Varujan Vosganian said on Thursday that the funds collected through the first car registration tax charged so far by the Romanian state would not be returned. Vosganian said that the state charged the tax - which has prompted threats of EU sanctions - on legal grounds and no other law would make possible the return of the tax to the payers, as laws are not retroactively applied.
Yulia Tymoshenko is new Ukrainian PM Ukraian President Viktor Yushchenko has accepted Iulia Tymoshenko as the new Prime Minister. According to an official statement, Yushchenko decided to accept Tymoshenko’s claim for the PM seat. Tymoshenko needs to be approved by the Parliament.
Britain maintains restrictions on Romanian workers The restrictions applied to Romanian workers in Britain will not be lifted for now and are in line with European Union standards, British PM Gordon Brown said after meeting his Romanian counterpart Calin Popescu Tariceanu in London on Wednesday.
Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia recommended destinations for Brits Romanian, Bulgarian and Slovenian winter resorts are highly recommended to British tourists in search for cheap winter holidays, Novinite.com informs. The Bulgarian winter resort Borevet is among the cheapest as the equipment and hotel prices are half the prices paid in the American Colorado state, Post Office Travel Services reads.
Nicolae Idu is European Commission new ambassador to Romania The European Commission announced on Tuesday that Nicolae Idu will lead the Commission Office in Romania. Before his appointment,  Idu lead the European Institute in Romania. The Commission also announced the new head of the EC Representation in Bulgaria - Zinaida Zlatanova.
New Romanian General Consulate inaugurated in Turin, Italy A new General Consulate is officially inaugurated in Turin, Italy on Monday, Romanian monitoring agency Rador informs. Foreign Affairs Minister Adrian Cioroianu, representatives of various organizations and Romanian associations from Piedmont and local authorities will attend the ceremony.
Romanian bus involved in a car crash in Hungary A Romanian bus was involved in a serious car crash in Hungary, Romanian news station Realitatea TV informs. One person died and other seven were injured in the accident. The seven people injured were immediately transported at the hospital in severe condition. According to the first available information, it was the driver of the bus who died.
Bucharest hosts biggest Christmas tree in Europe The National Day of Romania was celebrated, besides the traditional way, with the inauguration of the biggest Christmas tree in Europe on the evening of December 1. The tree is decorated with some 2,300,000 lights in Unirii’s Square. The evening was market by music shows and fireworks by the tree.
Romanian film director Cristian Mungiu awarded with the European Oscar equivalent in Berlin The movie 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days by Romanian film director Cristian Mungiu received the European Film Academy award in Berlin on Saturday night. It is the first time that the European version of the American Oscar goes to a Romanian director for the first time. The movie competed against The Queen by Stephen Fears, which won the best European actrice and best music award.
Vatican supports new Romanian Orthodox diocese in Italy His Eminence Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, bishop of Terni and president of the Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue within the Italian Episcopal Conference, explained in an interview for HotNews.ro the position Vatican has on the new Romanian Orthodox diocese, opened in Italy, calling it a wonderful initiative. At the moment, the Roman - Catholic church offers Romanians in Italy quite an important number of churches for holding their sermons.
European Commission gives green light to 4.2 billion fund for human resources projects The European Commission has approved an operational programme addressing the development of human resources in Romania in 2007-2013, a press release of the Labor Ministry in Bucharest says. The sectoral operational programme POS-DRU lets future beneficiaries access funds amounting to 4.25 billion euro for projects related to such issues as modernizing educational and professional training systems, the adaptibility of workers and enterprises, promoting active measures of employment and the social inclusion of vulnerable groups.
Romania needs wider debates on European issues, Commissioner Orban says European Commissioner Leonard Orban said in statements made for HotNew.ro in Brussels on Monday that he regretted the low turnout at the first European Parliament elections that took place in the country on Sunday. But he said the poll was fully democratic and proved a strengthening democracy in Romania.
Romanians to double their presence in Spain in ten-month time Romanian immigrants are still in the spotlight in Spain, as daily El Pais quoted by Romanian monitoring agency Rador extensively deals with migration effects. The Spanish government imposed a two year moratorium on workers from new member states starting with January 1, 2007 to avoid labor market disequilibrium if Romanians migrate in great numbers.
Georgia president resigns in order to participate in new elections Georgia president Mikhail Saakashvili has resigned on Sunday, in order to be able to participate in the presidential campaign for the elections in January, BBC informs. According to Georgian legislation, Saakashvili can't participate in the campaign as long he is still head of state.Parliament Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze has temporarily taken over presidential duties in Georgia.
Sleepiest Romanian MEPs In its first year as a EU member, Romania had a mediocre presence in Brussels and Strasbourg. Out of 35 Romanian members of the European Parliament (MEPs), only 8 may boast on their rich activity, 10 had a mediocre activity and 17 slept just as well as they do back home. Despite their poor participation, some intend to run for a new mandate.
Romania may be included in future Gazprom gas pipeline track A new gas pipeline, South Stream, may be built, crossing Romania on its road towards the Western Europe, said the president of the Italian energy group ENI, Paolo Scaroni, after meeting Gazprom officials in Moscow. The crossing of the Romanian land is a new idea, since all previous projects seemed to exclude it. South Stream will cross the Black Sea, transiting Bulgaria, then dividing in two lines, one towards the North, the other towards the South of Western Europe.
Kazakh President in official visit to Bucharest Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev starts an official visit to Bucharest on Thursday, the Romanian Presidency has announced. His visit to Romania is part of a tour of several European Union countries including Slovakia and Hungary at a time when the EU is trying to cut down its energy dependence on Russia and looking for alternative sources of energy supplies.

ESRI

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