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Romanian report
by Euro Reporter
2015-10-23 11:10:50
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Romania’s ex-president prosecuted for crime against humanity

A former Romanian president appeared Wednesday before the nation’s top court, which is prosecuting him for crimes against humanity during a bloody anti-government protest 25 years ago in which six died and hundreds were injured. Ion Iliescu, 85, went to the High Court of Cassation and Justice Wednesday to hear charges connected to the violent repression of the June 1990 protest. He denies wrongdoing but made no statements during the session.

A court statement said Iliescu is being prosecuted for the deaths of four people, the shooting of three others and depriving 1,000 people of their freedom. Prosecutors have not explained why Iliescue is being charged with four deaths rather than six deaths which have been consistently reported. The head of the Romanian Intelligence Service at the time, Virgil Magureanu, a close ally of Iliescu, also appeared before the court. Asked whether he was guilty of crimes against humanity, he said: “That’s a stupid question.”

Club-wielding coal miners and police in broke up a weeks-long pro-democracy protest in Bucharest, arresting and beating thousands of people. Afterward, Iliescu thanked the miners, drawing criticism at home and abroad. Romanian television stations on Wednesday replayed footage of Iliescu thanking the miners. The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Romania to pay compensation to victims. The case was never properly investigated due to the continued presence of former communists in government. But in March, military prosecutors announced they had reopened the case.


Romania has 116,000 companies with no employees but doing business

In Romania there are about 116,000 companies registered with the Ministry of Finance doing business while having no employees, according to an analysis by KeysFin. Most companies have offices in apartments and studios and one such company posted last year a turnover of RON 17.3 million, the report shows. The number registered last year (115,965 companies) is slightly lower than the one registered during the previous year (116,620 companies). Most of these are active in retail and trade (37 percent), followed by those in the professional and scientific activities (14 percent), construction (8 percent), manufacturing (6 percent) and transport activities (5 percent). According to the study, these types of businesses can be divided into three classes – the ones serving as “carrier business”, a number of companies working with external collaborators and others who prefer to hire on the black market. The first category includes the so called pocket firms, with no specific activity, but created by businessmen as legal frameworks for certain transactions.

romania_400_02Statistical data show that firms without employees reached in 2014 turnovers of RON 38.2 billion, representing 3.6 percent of all businesses in Romania (RON 1.063 billion). Their percentage is down 0.69 percent compared to 2013, when the business firms without employees had businesses of RON 43.9 billion. Analysts at KeysFin note that phantom businesses boomed during the peak of the economic crisis in 2012, when they represented 5.25 percent of the national turnover. In the top 10 firms without employees, most are in Bucharest and activate in the construction sector.

The list is headed by Strabag AG Austria, the Bucharest-Romania branch, which last year achieved a turnover of RON 240.6 million and a net profit of RON 17.3 million, without having registered employees. The following places, ranked in order of turnover, are taken by Amec Foster Weeler Italiana SRL Corsica, the Ploiesti, Romania branch, (RON 208.1 million turnover and a profit of RON 9.1 million), Verbund Trading Romania SRL, (a turnover of RON 105.2 million and RON 2.1 million profit), Constructions Industrielles de la Mediterranee – CNIM SA Paris, the Bucharest branch (RON 101 million turnover and a loss of RON 386,000), Societa Italiana per condotte d’acqua spa Roma, Cluj branch, (RON 79.3 million turnover and a profit of RON 919,000) and Vasluianul SRL (RON 71.4 million turnover and profit of RON 85,000). Most companies in this top are contractors in the construction industry, which employ various works and assign them to other firms specializing in those areas of activity. In other words we are dealing with umbrella companies, explaining the lack of employees, the report explains.


Romania to build reactors with Chinese money

“This is in important project for Romania. Next month will we sign the agreement for setting up a joint company with a Chinese partner, a company which will build up two new reactors at the Cernavoda plant,” Romanian Energy Minister Andrei Gerea said on Friday. Last year, Nuclearelectrica, the company that runs Romania’s sole nuclear power plant in Cernavoda on the River Danube chose China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) as its investor for the development of the two new nuclear reactors.

CGN is to hold 51 per cent of the shares of the new company. The project is worth of some 6.5 billion euro, according to media reports. The nuclear energy equipment is to be provided by Canada’s Candu Energy. Two Canadian-designed nuclear units are already operating at Cernavoda, in the east of the country. Together they supply around 20 per cent of Romania's electricity needs. Construction of the long-delayed units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda was postponed in 2011 when some of the partner companies, including Germany’s RWE, France's GDF Suez and Spain’s Iberdrola, dropped out, citing economic uncertainties.

The construction of the new nuclear reactors is not the sole planned Chinese investment in Romania’s energy sector. Last month, the government approved a draft agreement allowing state-run thermal electricity producer Complexul Energetic Oltenia to negotiate with China Huadian Engineering about the construction of new facilities at the Rovinari power plant in southern Romania. The planned joint venture company would borrow some 575 million euro to implement its plan, which represents over two-thirds of the investment’s total value. The Chinese group will have a 91.06 per cent stake in the company. Complexul Energetic Oltenia will contribute to the joint venture’s capital with various assets such as plots, administrative buildings and coal deposits whose value amounts to 18.95 million euro.


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