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A HotNews.ro Exclusive. Valhalla Resources - the mystery investor interested in Romanian company Cupru Min A tender for the privatization of Romanian company Cupru Min has been won officially by Canadian company Roman Copper Inc., but the whole process came to a standstill over the past several days, with Roman Copper saying it was trying to push for a deal despite the Romanian government pulling out of negotiations. But who is behind Roman Copper, about which it was only known that investment bank Bayfront Capital Partners was among its founders? According to HotNews.ro sources, Roman Copper covers another Canadian company founded by a US citizen and a Canadian citizen living in Romania since the nineties.
Mineral resources agency head Alexandru Patruti: Several companies showed intention to explore and exploit shale gas in Romania / Hydraulic fracturing method has been used in Romanian oil industry for decades Any company involved in oil accords may operate shale gas exploration and exploitation works, Alexandru Patruti, head of Romania's National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM) said in an interview with HotNews.ro. Beside Chevron, several other oil companies have shown interest in exploring shale gas. Patruti said the main environmental effect would be a possible contamination of subterranean waters, but "this impact may be kept in check and at a minimal level by sticking to good practices". Patruti also said hydraulic fracturing was a standard method used by the oil industry in Romania for decades. The difference is that in the case of unconventional gas deposits it also involves horizontal drilling.UPDATE Read the interview in full
Razvan Nicolescu, Vice-President ACER: I would like to renew my term as Vice-President, but I will run in elections only if one of the 8 members of the board nominates me Razvan Nicolescu, Vice-President of the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, says in an interview he will run for a new term "only if one of the 8 members of the board nominates me".
Iran Ambassador to Romania discusses Middle East tensions with HotNews.ro readers on Thursday, 11.30 a.m. Iran faces the toughest EU and US economic sanctions for the past several years, the continuation of its nuclear program has amplified tensions between Tehran and the West, the war "word" is more often heard in American media and Western diplomats hope the efficiency of economic sanctions would lure Iran to intensified talks. Still, on Wednesday, the UN's nuclear agency IAEA announced the failure of its latest attempt to obtain access to an alleged Iran nuclear site. Iran Ambassador to Romania Dr. Bahador Aminian Jazi will discuss the situation thus created in the Middle East in an online talk with HotNews.ro readers on Thursday, 11.30 a.m..
VIDEO Romania's first satellite Goliat successfully launch from Kourou base in French Guyana Goliat, Romania's first nano-satellite developed by a research consortium led by the Romanian Space Agency, was launched from  the Kourou base in French Guyana on Monday morning as part of the first flight of VEGA rocket of the European Space Agency.
Romania's new Ungureanu government passes Parliament vote as opposition MPs skip procedure Romania's designated prime minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu and his proposed team of ministers passed Parliament vote on Thursday. As the opposition had announced it would skip the vote, Ungureanu's government received the vote of 237 members of the Parliament, four more than the needed threshold. As a whole, the parliamentary groups of the governing coalition have 244 senators and deputies.
PM designate Mihai Razvan Ungureanu presented full list of new government, which has to pass Parliament Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, the head of Romania's foreign intelligence service who was designated to replace Emil Boc at the head of the Government, presented the full list of new ministers on Wednesday. They are due to face parliamentary commissions before the government stands up to a vote of approval in the Parliament.
Ex-ForMin, current Foreign Intelligence chief Mihai Razvan Ungureanu designated new Romania prime-minister Former Foreign minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, who's been serving as chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service, has been designated new prime minister of Romania following Emil Boc's withdrawal on Monday. Ungureanu said today that his key objective for the moment was the quick formation of a new government and pointed out his ideological options "were always Right-leaning".
UPDATE PM Emil Boc announces Government steps down to "ease social tension" in Romania. President Basescu names Justice minister Catalin Predoiu interim PM Romanian PM Emil Boc announced on Monday he and his government would step down in an attempt to "ease the social tension" and avoid interfering with the "economic stability of the country". He urged politicians to help a new Government go through Parliament approval as fast as possible and recalled that both the European Commission and the IMF expect Romania to have a higher economic growth than the Euro zone this year.UPDATE President Traian Basescu has named incumbent Justice minister Catalin Predoiu as interim prime minister following Emil Boc's resignation. Predoiu will serve as PM until a new government is formed.
Romania census: Population stands at 1966 level of 19 million people, down 2.6 million as compared to 2002 census Romania has a stable population of 19.042 million people forming 7.1 million households, preliminary results of a census which took place in autumn 2011 show. According to National Statistics Institute data presented on Thursday, there are some 8.5 million homes and 5.1 million buildings in Romania.
Romanian High Court sentences ex-PM Adrian Nastase to two years in corruption case Romanian High Court of Justice magistrates gave former prime minister Adrian Nastase on Monday a 2-year sentence and stripped him of certain rights in a corruption case known locally as the "Quality Trophy" file. In this case, Nastase, who served as head of the Romanian government between 2000 and 2004, was charged of supporting his electoral campaign through funds collected in a "Quality Trophy" event organized by the a public institution. The sentence can be appealed.UPDATE Adrian Nastase said on Monday he would appeal the verdict and that he was sure "things will be corrected on appeal". He called the verdict a "political decision, a dirty decision" and referred to "rumors" that head judge Ionut Matei "had meetings with representatives of the National Anti-corruption Department", the body which launched the corruption investigation against him.
New Foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu signed into office Romanian President Traian Basescu signed on Tuesday the decree by which Foreign minister Teodor Baconschi is dismissed from office and the decree by which Cristian Diaconescu is named head of the Romanian diplomacy, the presidential administration has announced. The new minister was sworn in on Tuesday evening.
VIDEO French citizen caught stealing from old woman's purse in downtown Bucharest A French citizen has been arrested after he was caught on camera when stealing from an old Romanian woman's purse in a supermarket in Unirii Square, downtown Bucharest. The incident took place late afternoon on Saturday, January 21 and was filmed by the supermarket cameras.
VIDEO ​PHOTO Thousands join anti-presidential, anti-government protests in Bucharest. UPDATE Violent outbursts as demonstrations came to an end Thousands of people were protesting against current president Traian Basescu and his Democratic-Liberal government in central Bucharest on Thursday evening. Two protests started in the afternoon - one organized by the opposition Social Democrats and Liberals (the USL union) at the Arcul de Triumf square, and another, popular protest in Universitate Square. While the political protest ended at 7 p.m., many of its estimated 7,000 participants moved to Universitate, where HotNews.ro reporters estimated some 2,000 people were present by 8 p.m..UPDATE The protests concluded about midnight, shortly after a series of confrontations between police and violent protesters took place. The incidents started at about 11.00 p.m., when gendarmes responded with a strong push after several young men, apparently football supporters, provoked them. The gendarmes eventually cleared the Universitate Square of protesters. Meanwhile, a US government official quoted by the AFP urged Romanian authorities and protesters to show restraint from violence.
Bucharest braces for Opposition protest as demonstrations continue ​Hundreds of people from several cities across Romania were on their way to Bucharest on Thursday for demonstrations to be organized by the Opposition parties later in the day. It is the first official political meeting after popular protests erupted last weekend, peaking with major street violence on Sunday.
​VIDEO Bucharest witnesses most violent street protests since the nineties Romania enters a fourth day of anti-government and anti-presidential demonstrations after a weekend marked by the most intense street violence the country has seen since the miners protests in Bucharest in the nineties. Peaceful protests took place in many cities across Romania these days, but only the capital city saw a wave of violence, with HotNews.ro recorded videos showing dozens of violent football fans coming to confront the special police forces deployed in the city centre.
Security improved at Romanian zoo following tiger escape. As tiger was shot dead, mayor says he is pleased with actions taken in the case The mayor of Romanian city of Sibiu, where a tiger escaped from zoo earlier this week, was quoted by the media on Thursday as saying that he was please with the actions taken to solve the situation despite describing them as chaotic. Mayor Klaus Johannis ordered measures to improve security at the zoo following the escape of the tiger - which was eventually shot in a forest near the city.
Romania Parliament passes 2012 budget with 239 votes against 168 Romanian MPs adopted on Thursday the 2012 state budget law with 239 votes in favor and 168 against. While prime minister Emil Boc welcomed the vote noting that it was "the first time in the past 20 years when a budget with no electoral connotations is voted, the opposition protested saying the budget would not meet key objectives and maintains the gap between Romania and other European countries.
Romanian High Court acquits ex-PM Adrian Nastase in major corruption case Romania's High Court of Justice acquitted ex-PM Adrian Nastase in a major case in which he, a former aide and a former head of the national body dealing with money laundering were charged with acts of corruption. The decision is not final and can be appealed. Anti-graft prosecutors have demanded a 3-year suspended term sentence for Adrian Nastase in the case, commonly known in Romania as the "Aunt Tamara" case.
HotNews.ro monitoring report on major corruption cases in Romania. Total delays in 27 cases amount to 92 years 92 years, 7 months and 28 days - this is the total amount of delays in 27 major corruption cases which have been monitored by HotNews.ro. Almost a year and a half since the Romanian-language version of HotNews.ro launched a section dedicated to such major corruption cases, a statistical report on the results were presented on Thursday during a conference organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, in the presence of most judicial institutions in Romania and key ambassadors to the country.

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