“Basescu”, a brand for the young democrats
Elena, the youngest of President Traian Basescu’s daughters was elected as General Secretary of the Youth Organization of the Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL).
The younger members of PDL found nothing wrong with being lead by Traian Basescu’s daughter. On the contrary, they thought that the name could help them become more visible and also gather up a few votes.
Thus, Elena Basescu was elected with a number of 383 votes. Her main opponent, Bogdan Boza, had gathered two votes, because of what he had called a platform that denounces nepotism.
Political and lifestyle Curriculum Vitae
Elena Basescu, aged 25, is an active politician for just about three years. She had entered her father’s party back in 2005, after Traian Basescu won the main elections. A month later, she was named the Executive Secretary of a smaller Youth Organisation from the Democrat Party.
Meanwhile, she became well known for her modeling career and the relationship with the son of an influential politician, that is an adversary of her father.
Also she was criticized by the media for obtaining a job as an economist in a company that managed street lighting in Bucharest, through contracts that were won during Traian Basescu’s mandate as mayor of the Capital. She also got noticed when she bought, in cash, a 80.000 euros car.
Labor costs soar
Labor costs in Romania rose by 19 % in the last year. The most significant advance was seen in the construction business. Workforce prices have soared by 27 % during the last year, according to the data revealed by the National Institute for Statistics (INS). During this period, the hourly costs of labor have soared by 19,22%.
Labor costs represent both the wages and the indirect payments (social security or insurance policies). Companies from transport, storage and communications, hotels, restaurants, real estate and the mining industry have seen the growth of employment expenses.
Meanwhile, the labor costs in public administration have registered the smallest climb, of 7,86 %.
Asians on construction sites
The growth registered by labor costs is extreme, considering the fact that work productivity levels have raised at a much lower pace” said Ovidiu Nicolescu, president of the National Council of Small Businesses in Romania. According to Nicolescu, some of the effects of expensive workforce in Romania will lead to inflationary pressures, to a drop in the economic potential of small companies. Also the Romanian economy will be less competitive on an international scale.
“Manual labor costs soar from day to day” said Laurentiu Plosceanu, president of the Romanian Association for Construction Entrepreneurs (ARACO).
The minimum wage of a worker in this area rose from 318 euros/month to 385 euros/month during the 12 month between November 2006 and November 2007. In order to replace Romanian workers who left the country, the construction companies will call workers from Hungary, Bulgaria or from Asian countries.
Ford must pay back illegal benefits received from Romania
The European Commission has decided that Ford Motor Co., the worlds No. 3 carmaker, must pay a total of 84 million euros for the stake in Romanian car manufacturer, Automobile Craiova.
According to sources familiar to the subject, cited by Hotnews, Bruxelles officials have finalized the inquest regarding Automobile Craiova’s takeover.
Thus, the commissioners have decided that the transaction may continue if the American carmaker will return state benefits, and pay 26,9 million euros worth of aids, received from Romania. The aids are worth almost 50 % the price Ford has paid for the Romanian car manufacturer.
The Romanian Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, said he is displeased with European Commission’s decision. “What does the European Commission expect from Romania? Do they want us to resume to manufacturing buttons so that other countries could make planes and cars?”, Tariceanu said during a press conference.
“The Commission says that state insured benefits were involved in this transaction. In fact, there was a single offer to buy the car manufacturer in Craiova, (…) and the condition of keeping the employees and ensuring a minimum levvel of production are considered a disruption of competition. In other words, it would have been better if we had sold the factory in Craiova to someone who wanted to produce toilet paper or maybe make some malls”, Tariceanu added.
Ford officials claim they will not give up the deal and said they cannot comment upon the decision until it is publicly announced. The state provided benefits Ford has received consist in a series of stipulations, which have led to a price drop in Automobile Craiova.
Thus, the buyer was obliged to produce a minimum of 200.000 cars during the forth year since the takeover and to keep the same employees and the activity of the factory for at least four years.
Ford has signed the takeover deal with the Romanian state in September last year. Then, the Romanian Government received 57 million euros for the stake in Automobile Craiova and the Americans promised direct investments worth of 675 million euros during the next four years and a production level of 300.000 cars.
Gipsies rise against tradition
It happened in a small village nearby the European capital of Bucharest. A 12 year old boy refused to marry the 8 year old girl with whom he was engaged for over two years. The families founded the engagement on a 130.000 euros real estate business and in order to settle the dispute, a war was started.
The gypsies tradition over arranged marriages seems to be jeopardized. The future wedding between the two minors was cancelled because of the boy’s refusal. Catalin, aged 12, said that he loves another girl, who he had met at school. “ The Romanes feel the same about marriage as the Romanians: we have to love each other in order to marry each other”, Catalin said.
Yet, a massacre was about to happen if it weren’t for the intervention of special police forces. The little girl’s family tried to wash away the shame of having been refused a marriage and a business by attacking the boy’s family. Over 200 people were engaged in a conflict that ended up with 13 wounded by small shots.
The police discovered an arsenal of swords, bats, small guns and riffles, for which the 50 owners had permits. A man is being held by the police with charges of assault and 26 other people have been questioned.
Justice ministry, no longer in a dead end
Romania has a newly appointed Minister of Justice since yesterday. In less than two hours after being nominated by the Prime Minister, Catalin Marian Predoiu was accepted by President Traian Basescu.
Within two hours after the nomination, Predoiu, aged 39, was appointed as Romania’s Minister of Justice, thus ending a three months political scandal.
Predoiu is a member of the Bucharest Bar since 2003, is specialized in commercial law and has an impressive portfolio of financial and banking transactions.
As a fact remarked by the press, ZRP law firm, in which Predoiu is a Managing Partner, has had several contracts regarding judicial assistance for Rompetrol, a company that was managed by Dinu Patriciu,, a controversial liberal business man.