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Mayor under arrest comes first in race for a new term in Romania penitentiary town The mayor of a town on the outskirts of Bucharest, Jilava, best known for hosting a major penitentiary, comes first in the race for a new term in office, despite being under arrest. Mayor Adrian Mladin, charged with corruption, is the candidate with the most votes after vote counting in 185 of a total of 215 sections in the town.
The unexpected changes and expected wins of Romania's local elections Romanians voted strongly in favor of the new governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) in local elections on Sunday, after years of Democratic Liberal (PDL) government which applied a long series of austerity measures but which, according to rivals, had lost its legitimacy. USL claimed a strong lead across the country with major wins in Bucharest and other cities, while here and there a close vote remains to be settled.
First official partial results in Romania local elections: Social Liberals lead with three times more mayors than Democratic Liberals Romania's central electoral office announced the first official partial results of the Sunday local elections on Monday morning. According to the preliminary results, the governing Social Liberal Union (USL) won 52% of votes for County Councils and County Council presidents, as compared to Democratic Liberal's (PDL) 13%, while the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) won 7% of the vote. For local councils, USL leads with 42.7% of the votes, PDL - 15.78%. USL also leads in the race for mayor terms with 52.27% against PDL's 15.8%.
Exit polls: Governing Social Liberal Union crushes opposition in Romania local elections​ Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL) crushed opposition Democratic Liberals (PDL) in local elections on Sunday. According to a nation-wide poll presented by Romanian news channel Romania TV as polling stations closed at 9 p.m., USL won 60% of the votes at national level, as compared to 11% for Democratic Liberals and 10% for the fringe, populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party. In Bucharest, 66% of the votes went for incumbent, USL-supported mayor Sorin Oprescu and only 16% for his main PDL challenger Silviu Prigoana.updating
Romanians show up in larger numbers than expected to vote in local elections on Sunday Close to 30 percent of Romanian voters showed up at polling stations across Romania to cast their ballots in local elections by 2 p.m. on Sunday. The figures for the first hours of voting seem significantly higher than during the 2008 local elections.UPDATE Voter turnout at 5 p.m. stood at 39.01% at national level, about 5 percentage points higher than in the 2008 local elections.
Romania votes in local elections amid voter apathy on Sunday ​Romanians vote in local elections on Sunday which comes with a first for the country's democratic process - mayors are now elected in a single, uninominal, winner-takes-all round. The poll comes at the end of a dull electoral campaign and is expected to be influenced by huge voter apathy. The campaign has been felt in a limited number of cities, where candidates of the governing parties and of the opposition are close in the top of the polls. The battle is closest in the cities of Cluj, Braila and Craiova, as well as in Bucharest Districts 3 and 6.
Romanian Senator Catalin Voicu sentenced to five years in traffic of influence case Romania's top court applied a a five-year sentence to Senator Catalin Voicu on Friday, but the verdict can be appealed. Other prominent businessmen and a judge involved in the case received suspended sentences as well. Voicu's legal representative said shortly after the verdict today that the High Court decision would be appealed.
The Theft of Titan In the early 1920's, Max Ausnit, who became one of Romania's principal industrialists, took over a wire and nail manufacturing factory in Galati founded by his father, and built it into a steel mill complex called Uzinele Metalurgice Titan Nadrag Calan. (...) While the families of virtually every major Romanian industrialist have received acceptable compensation for the wholesale theft of their properties, the heirs of Romania's only major Jewish industrialist have received only a small part of what was stolen from them, and their major claim has been deferred and hindered by the apparent misfeasance of Romanian bureaucrats intent on depriving this family of what has long ago been adjudicated as rightfully belonging to them.
Chevron takes hit as Romania's designated Ponta Government plans immediate moratorium on shale gas exploitation The governing program of the government formed by Romania's designated prime minister Victor Ponta, which was submitted in the Parliament on Thursday evening, mentions the immediate introduction of a moratorium on shale gas exploitation until developing European-level studies on the impact of hydraulic fractioning procedures on the environment are concluded. The Ponta Government, formed after incumbent PM Ungureanu's government was voted out of office a week ago, is due to be approved by the Parliament next week.
Romania's prime minister designate Victor Ponta announces list of proposed ministers Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Victor Ponta, who was designated to form a new government following the fall of the Ungureanu government in a parliamentary vote on Friday, announced the list of his ministers on Tuesday evening. He said he would present his government and governing priorities in the Parliament on Monday and pointed out that the political union of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) now numbers 229 MPs of a total of 231 needed to vote for the new government.See the list of ministers in Ponta's proposed government
Romania President designates Social Democratic leader Victor Ponta as prime minister designate Romanian President Traian Basescu announced on Friday evening that Victor Ponta, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and one of the leaders of the opposition USL union of Social Democrats and Liberals, is the designated to form a new government. Ponta's designation comes following Traian Razvan Ungureanu government's fall in a censure motion in the Parliament today.
Romania Contemplates Seizure of 85% of Restitution Property Rights Just as the Romanian government cannot take back a farm that was restituted to the family from whom it was stolen without paying its fair value, so it cannot confiscate another family’s right to receive a different farm in restitution by payment of a mere pittance of its true value.  But that is precisely what the Romanian Government contemplates doing through a draft law that would confiscate 85% of the property rights of thousands of victims of Romanian communism and fascism - inviolable rights that were granted to them twelve years ago by law. The Draft Law proposes to take 85% of the value of all pending claims by owners of properties that were seized by Romania's Communist government between 1945 and 1989 without compensation. It is proffered in total disregard of Romania’s constitutional provisions prohibiting such acts and in violation of Protocol One of the European Convention of Human Rights to which Romania is a signatory and which recognizes property rights as human rights.Author Mark A. Meyer is Chairman, Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce
Romania's Ungureanu Government falls in censure motion Romania's Parliament voted in favor of a censure motion against the current government led by Traian Razvan Ungureanu on Friday. The vote of 231 MPs was needed for the government to pass. 235 voted in favor of the government of a total of 248 votes. The Ungureanu Government thus loses the confidence of the Parliament in a motion submitted by the opposition union of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL). Shortly after the vote, USL leader Victor Ponta declared that the formation was ready to form a new government.UPDATE The leader of the Democratic Liberals, Emil Boc, who led the government until Ungureanu took over as PM, said his party would not support another candidate for prime minister. He said those who voted for the motion in the Parliament today had to govern the country. President Traian Basescu meets political leaders on Friday evening over the formation of a new government.
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.

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