The Romanian Competition Council is investigating the financial support received by the Romanian Lottery National Company, at the center of a huge scandal in which deputy PM George Copos and Lottery head Nicolae Cristea are charged with various abuses.

The Council announcement in this regard came as the Finance Ministry has also asked for a thorough control of Romanian Lottery activities in 2003-2005, when manager Nicolae Cristea is said to have earned huge and allegedly unjustified salaries.

The Competition Council said on Tuesday the facilities granted to the Lottery for gambling activitites open to competition fall under a law regulating state assistance to companies.

Also today, Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu told a Senate commission that he cannot legally suspend Lottery head Nicolae Cristea as he is just „charged" and not „sentenced" in the case related to the procurement of commercial spaces in which deputy PM Copos is also involved.