Archive for November, 2010

23 November 2010

Parliament Candidate Beaten Up and Kidnapped

Artur Reşetnikov, a communist candidate in the Moldovan elections scheduled for Sunday, the 28th, claims that he was kidnapped and tortured by unknown persons on Monday night. According to Reşetnikov, also a former chief of the Moldovan secret service, three Russian-speaking men attacked him and took him to a secret location. He claims that the perpetrators tortured him for several hours, trying to squeeze compromising secret about the Moldovan Communists’ Party leader, Vladimir Voronin.

Reşetnikov was eventually abandoned on a street in Chişinău, Moldova’s capital. He is now being given treatment for his wounds. The opposition Communist party is the top favourite in the upcoming elections, with 37 to a little over 40 percent in the voting intentions, according to various polls.

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22 November 2010

Jobless Soprano Suicides in Romania

Roxana Briban, thought to be one of the best sopranos in Europe, was found dead in her apartment on Sunday afternoon, in a very likely suicide scenario. Upon returning from shopping, her husband found Roxana Briban in the bathtub with her wrists slashed.

The soprano had been without a job since 2009. Her friends claim that’s when she was fired from the Romanian National Opera. Ever since, she has been in permanent depression and, according to her husband, has had another two failed suicide bids. After having lost her job at the Romanian Opera, she also lost the contract with the Viena Opera House.

Another version is given by the Romanian Opera’s director, who claims that the soprano quit her job voluntarily in 2009. Roxana Briban’s body is now at the coroner’s office in Bucharest in order to formally determine the cause of death.

Roxana Briban, aged 39, had studied music ever since she was 6 years old. She won numerous international awards and performed in places like Viena, Toulouse, Chile and Amsterdam.

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22 November 2010

Election Candidates Taken Off-Air in Moldova

Sergiu Mocanu, one of the many candidates in the Moldovan early elections scheduled for November the 28th, has been taken off air and removed from the set of Publika TV, after having refused to comply to the rules of debates on Sunday evening, informs Unimedia.

Mocanu, also the leader of a national “anti-mafia” campaign supported by Publika’s main competitor, Jurnal TV, went off topic twice and was told repeatedly by the anchor to comply. None the less, instead of discussing agriculture, the issue of the debate, Mocanu charged his oponents with accusations of corruption. Mocanu also made several hints at Publika TV’s alleged loan from a local company, said to be controlled by Mocanu’s target of choice, Vladimir Plahotniuc.

The anchor asked the producers to stop the broadcast and then Mocanu was removed from the set. This is the second time a candidate gets banned at Publika TV in less than a week. Vladimir Voronin, the leader of the Communists’ Party of Moldova, was banned from appearing at Publika TV during this campaign, after he allegedly used unappropriate language over a live phone interview.

The early elections in Moldova are scheduled for Sunday, November the 28th. According to the latest surveys, only four parties – the Communists and the current governing coalition – will make it into parliament. Moldova’s legislative has yet to elect a president, as the country lacks a head of state since the two failed rounds of elections in 2009.

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21 November 2010

“Don’t Vote!” – a Brilliant Pro-Election Campaign in Moldova

“Me and Valera, we’re going to vote. You stay home, we’ll make sure everything is OK. Valera, show your hands to the camera! Your future is in these hands” – these are the lines that two actors deliver in one of the world’s most inventive pro-elections social campaigns. As the two characters stand in front of the viewers, looking down and out and obviously with their hands very dirty, they point out a serious state of affairs in a very humourous way.

The same with the sequel video. “The boss is going to vote, you don’t need to worry, he’s already called the right people”, explains a dodgy looking character dressed up like a mafia thug, as a misterious boss chews gum silently staring at the camera. “You don’t need politics. Go out, make barbecue, rest! The boss takes care of your future”, says the mafia muscle character.

These are the most successful social awareness videos in Moldova’s current elections campaign. Scheduled for November the 28th, the elections are going to call to the ballots 2.6 million voters in Moldova and in several European countries where Moldovans live. The Eastern European former Soviet republic is Europe’s poorest country, with an estimated one million of its citizens already gone abroad to work – that is one in four Moldovans.

After breaking up with another decade of communist rule, in 2009, the Moldova is in a deep political crisis, as none of the parties that made it into parliament raised the majority needed in order to elect a president. A referendum was held on September the 5th 2010 in order to decide whether to allow the citizens to elect the president directly. It failed, as less than 30 percent of the registered voters showed up to the polls.

The new elections can make or break Moldova: a new strong majority could elect a president and pull the country out of the stalemate it’s been in since the two failed rounds of elections of 2009. The first one, in April 2009, resulted in civil riots and bloodshed, as the Parliament building was set on fire by protesters. This came after the Communist Party announced it’s electoral victory, amid fraud accusations.

According to the latest surveys, four parties will make it into Moldova’s 101 seat parliament: the Communist Party (37%), the Liberal Democrats (31%), the Democrat Party (14%) and the Liberal Party (12.5%).

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11 November 2010

Gay Priests’ Church Orgies Trigger Scandal in Romania

Constantin Corceagu, the parisher of St. Nicolae-Coastă church from Slatina, Romania, has caused outrage after pictures of him in the company of young men appeared on an investigations website. A lot of the photos, many of them very explicite, lead to the conclusion that the priest and several other young men would have been engaging in gay orgies, either in the parish house or in rooms within the church compound.

The priest, aged 57, is known for tutoring young men who wish to seek a career within the church – and this was confirmed by high Orthodox church officials. The same officials announced that they would suspend the priest, pending an investigation based on the photographs supplied by the investigation journalists.

This is hardly the first case when an Orthodox priest in Romania is accused of homosexual conduct. In Romania, gay relationships are legal, but the Orthodox church strongly forbids them.

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11 November 2010

MPs and TV Stars in Prostitution Row in Romania

A top model agency in Romania was acting as a prostitution ring, supplying girls for the country’s highest and mightiest, claim Romanian prosecutors. Several dozens of girls were recruited and convinced to offer sex for money, under the promises of glamourous careers in television. The young girls were also being promised the chance of marrying rich men.

Robert Negoiţă and Nicolae Bănicioiu are two of the MPs that have allegedly paid for sex with the girls supplied by Star Models and Diva Models, the modelling agencies that supposedly acted as covers for the prostitution business. Adrian Enache, a famous Romanian singer and Răzvan Nicolescu, manager of TVR 2, are also on the alleged client list. Several other suspected crime ring leaders are among the clients named by the prosecution. All men have either denied the allegation or refused to answer them.

This is the second recent case of suspected prostitution under the cover of modelling agencies targeted at politicians and other public figures in Romania.

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11 November 2010

Romanian Broadcasters in Music Row

A new law stirred the airwaves and the spirits in Romania, as radio broadcasters are now compelled to include into their playlists no less than 40 percent of Romanian productions.

Radio managers are now facing a big dilemma. While the modern music stations may have where to choose from, the oldies stations will find themselves in the position to either change their formats or to start broadcasting 70’s and 80’s communist propaganda music – which is what was mostly being produced in those days. Non-propaganda music from Romania’s 70’s and 80’s is also not very appealing to the general public, according to radio managers.

The bill was passed into law without even being discussed in Parliament, as Romanian law-makers consider a bill adopted by default if they fail to debate in in a certain period of time. Two more such laws regulating the media have been adopted in the same fashion in the past seven days. One of those laws required the closure of two of the public broadcaster’s channels, TVR 3 and TVR Info.

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11 November 2010

Daewoo Naval Yard Wildcat Strike in Romania

About 1000 workers from the Daewoo Naval Yard in Mangalia, Romania, have gone on a wildcat strike on Thursday morning. They demand raises of 100 USD each and new contracts. The strike has begun at the first light of day on November the 11th. Several hundreds employees are gathered at the yard’s entrance, chanting slogans against their employers. So far, the company’s management has made no statement about the workers’ demands.

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11 November 2010

Dacia Prepares 5000 Euro Low Cost Car

A three-doors 3.6 metres vehicle, named Citadine, will be Dacia’s low cost model, scheduled to hit the markets in the next four years. This is just one of the four new brands that the Romanian car factory plans to market until 2014, according to the German magazine Autobild. Among them, the auto manufacturer prepares a van, a pick-up and a Duster face-lift, as well as a replacement for the Sandero.

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10 November 2010

Fantasy Ice Hotel to Open in Romanian Mountains

A 650 square metres ice hotel will open on December 24th at Bâlea Lac, in Romania, in the heart of the Făgăraş mountain. The luxurious fantasy rooms will be illuminated in hues of green, blue and red, similar to rubies, emeralds and sapphire.

The ice hotel will be open until the end of April and Romanian holiday makers are already booking rooms for Christmas and for the New Year celebration.

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