Connect to share and comment

Romania transport minister gets five-year jail term for graft

A Romanian court on Friday sentenced Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu to five years in prison for graft, making him the country's first acting minister ordered to serve time. Fenechiu, 48, was found guilty of selling second-hand electrical equipment to a state company at the price of new equipment between 2002 and 2005. Prosecutors said the state lost 1.7 million euros ($2.2 million) in the deal. Fenechiu has always insisted on his innocence and rejected calls to step down.

Romania sentences transport minister to jail for graft

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu was handed a five year prison sentence for corruption on Friday, becoming the country's first government minister convicted while in office. The case, that Romania hopes will show the EU it is serious about tackling graft, dates back about a decade to when he controlled a group of companies that prosecutors said supplied sub-standard equipment to a state-firm.

Romania rail privatisation loses bidders

The privatisation of Romania's freight rail company, a key condition if the country is to renew its IMF credit line, was at risk of failing again Wednesday after just one bidder was left in the race. The consortium formed by the Romanian firm TFG and Austrian investment fund Donau-Finanz pulled out of the tender for a 51-percent stake in CFR Marfa claiming it did not have enough time to conduct due diligence. This follows the withdrawal on Monday of OmniTRAX, a US railway management group, and leaves only the Romanian transporter Grupul Feroviar Roman (GFR) in the race.

US firm contests Romanian rail freight sale bid

OnmiTRAX, a private US rail firm, on Monday slammed the sale of Romania's rail freight operator as "non transparent" and called for an extension of the deadline. "OnmniTRAX emphasises non transparent aspects of the process and a privatisation calendar which did not allow bidders to submit legitimate bids because it only allowed one week to conduct due diligence on over 10,000 documents," the company said in press release.

US, Austrian firms back in Romanian rail freight sale

Romania put an attempt to privatise its rail freight business back on track on Friday, in line with conditions laid down by the IMF and EU, saying that three disqualified candidates had re-qualified. Under an agreement on financial help in 2011, the International Monetary Fund and European Union required Romania to privatise the company, CFR Marfa. The state intends to sell 51.0 percent of the company at a price set initially at 180 million euros ($233 million).

Hydropower frenzy threatens Carpathian mountains

The frenzy to build hydropower stations across the Carpathian mountains poses an "imminent" threat to biodiversity in Eastern Europe, conservationist group WWF warned Monday. "The planned construction of thousands of hydropower stations across the Carpathian mountains presents an imminent threat to hundreds of streams and rivers", the WWF said in a press release, ten years after seven Eastern European countries signed a convention to protect the unique mountain range.

Greek economy shrinks 5.3% in first quarter 2013

Greece's economy contracted by 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 in an annual comparison, flash estimates from the state statistics agency showed on Wednesday. The equivalent contraction in the first quarter of 2012 had been 6.7 percent of output, the agency said. jph/arp

Germany raises 2013 growth forecast to 0.5 percent - Economy minister

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will grow by a meagre 0.5 percent this year, the government said on Thursday, raising its forecast by just 0.1 percentage points as a lack of investment and weak exports continue to be a drag on Europe's largest economy. The German Economy Ministry kept its 2014 forecast for solid growth of 1.6 percent and said it was upbeat as the global economy begins to regain traction and crisis-stricken euro zone states make progress with their reforms.

Romania moves toward closure on compensating communism's victims

By Radu Marinas BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania expects to pass legislation this week to compensate all owners of property seized under communism, seeking to draw a line under a haunting past more than 20 years after the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu. Bucharest has lagged behind other former Soviet satellites in central and eastern Europe in addressing its communist past. Some senior officials from that era remain in high office, while hardly any crimes have been prosecuted.

Romania launches rail freight privatisation

Romania's Ministry of Transport on Friday launched the sale of a 51-percent stake in the national rail freight carrier CFR Marfa, an operation requested by international creditors, the IMF and the EU. The starting price was set at 800 million lei ($230 million, 180 million euros), and companies have until June 13 to submit bids, the ministry said on its website. Mediafax news agency reported Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu as saying that eight large companies have already shown interest in CFR Marfa.
Syndicate content