May 31, 2011

That’s Unheard of: Congestion Charge Dropped Because of Staff Shortage

The local council of Constanţa, Romania, has announced that it is going to drop local congestion charge to Mamaia, one of the most crowded Black Sea resorts under its jurisdiction. The mayor of Constanţa, Radu Mazăre, claims that the city hall was left with no choice but to renounce collecting 3 Romanian Lei (approximately 1 US Dollar) from every person who wanted to drive their car into the resort. The tax level had not been raised since 2007, but 75% of the staff in charge of collecting the tax was sacked in 2010, as a result of the Romanian general austerity policy. In a nutshell, there was nobody left to take the money, says the mayor. “One other option was to outsource the collection of the tax, but that would have lead to an increase of the amount”. Continue reading

May 31, 2011

Ford Faces Massive Fine from Romania’s Government

Negotiations are under way between Ford Automobiles in Romania and the country’s government regarding a possible breach of contract from the car producer. The latter purchased, in 2007, a car plant in Craiova, Romania, and committed to produce 250.000 units in 2011. So far, according to Mediafax, Ford Romania has only produced 3000 vehicles in the first four months of 2011, which brings the factory’s output to an average of 750 cars per month. According to the privatisation contract, failure to produce the amount of cars mentioned in the contract bears a fine of 14 million Euros (approximately 20 million US Dollars). The car manufacturer has been negotiating in the past 10 months a postponement of one year of the obligation to produce the 250.000 vehicles. Continue reading

May 24, 2011

“Stereo Love” Reaches 160 Million Hits on Youtube

Edward Maya  and Vika Jigulina, the two Romanian artists behind the international dance hit “Stereo Love”, have good reasons to celebrate. Their song was not only awarded the “Top Dance Song” distinction at the Billboard Music Awards 2011 in Las Vegas, but it also reached an amazing number of hits on Youtube: more than 160 million people watched it, most of them playing the official version of the video clip. The jury chose to award the two Romanians’ song over two nominations of none other than Lady Gaga. The song itself has an intricate story that links Romania to a former Soviet republic, Azerbadjan.  Continue reading

May 24, 2011

Police Warning: Beware of Cheating Cab Drivers in Bucharest!

While in Bucharest, you may find yourself cheated or even driven home by a drunk taxi driver. They may be hard to avoid, though, because there are simply too many of them. A police raid on Monday night revealed that dozens of taxi drivers had their cabs rigged to cheat. Several devices meant to add up extra figures to the fare had been cleverly concealed within the cars, the police revealed. With a simple push of a button, the driver would be able to increase the sum on the metre without the client even suspecting it. Most concerning is that the devices were found installed in cars belonging to reputed taxi companies, usually thought as “safe” to ride with.

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May 4, 2011

Osama, Depicted As The Devil In A Romanian Church

"The devil as bin Laden", in the Military Chapel of Timişoara, Romania

Osama bin Laden riding a Boeing 707 head on towards the Twin Towers and holding a trident-like pitchfork in his right hand – this is the Devil impersonated on a fresco in a Romanian orthodox church in Timişoara. The Military Chapel, where the peculiar icon is hosted, was refurbished in 2001 by two local artists. With the image of the 9-11 attacks still vivid in their memories, the painters decided to use Osama bin Laden’s face to impersonate the Devil. Worshipers, however, don’t seem to like the idea of bin Laden’s icon in their church very much. Continue reading

April 19, 2011

“Golden BMW” Sighted In Moldova, Europe’s Supposedly Poorest Country (Photo)

Photo: 24h.md

Local media and bloggers in the Republic of Moldova have been reporting of an unusually looking BMW X5 parked in several locations throughout the country’s capital city, Chişinău. The car appears to be gold plated and it was one of the media’s “juiciest” scoops on Tuesday, April the 19th. The owner of the BMW has, so far, been unnamed. Tabloid newspapers and websites both in Moldova and in neighbouring Romania have displayed the incredible photographs that have prompted numerous comments of disbelief. Continue reading

April 15, 2011

“Mister Gay” Romania, Under Threat From Extremists (Video)

Nicu Manea, 32, is Romania's contestant in the Mister Gay pageant

Scheduled to take place on Sunday, April the 17th, in Braşov, Romania, the “Mister Gay Europe 2011” pageant is under threat from the “New Right Wing” movement and heavily criticized by the Romanian Orthodox Church. “We don’t care what these people do at home, in their bedrooms, but we are totally against any public display of their lifestyle and it is against that display, planned to take place in the Bran Castle, that we are planning to make a stand”, said Tudor Ionescu, the president of the New Right Wing. “Christianity will always react to such events… Organizing this pageant during the Great Lent is a direct insult to Christianity, just like homosexuality is an insult to God”, said father Cristian Grigoraşi, an Orthodox priest, in an interview published on the New Right Wing movement’s web page. “Homosexuality is a disease, either innate or contracted because of propaganda”, added the priest.  Continue reading

April 13, 2011

Former Cop Shoots Ex-Wife, Daughter And Himself

Nelu Gruia shot his former spouse and his 24 years old daughter before killing himself

Nelu Gruia, the former chief of the Fire Arms Department in the Dolj County, Romania, has shot his ex-wife and his 24 years old daughter, on Tuesday morning, in circumstances that are yet unclear. Neighbours in the Ford district of Craiova heard gunfire and a woman saw the couple’s daughter trying to escape. Seconds later she was shot down by her father. The girl managed to tell the terrified witness that the former police officer had shot her mother, as well. After the assault, the former cop turned his gun, a 9mm Glock, on himself. Continue reading

April 11, 2011

Three Days In Hell: Beaten, Tied Up And Left To Die

The victim bears the terrible marks of brutality (Photo: ProTV)

It happened to an 18 years old boy from Constanţa, Romania, who managed to survive for three days, tied up and abandoned on a field close to his home village. The blame points now to his drinking buddies with whom he had gone to a party on Friday evening. On the road, he and the two suspects had a row. They got him out of the car, beat him almost senseless, tied him up and left abandoned him in a field close to Medgidia. The victim was found, barely alive, by a sheep herder, three days later. Rushed to a hospital, he was stabilized and is now out of danger. The criminal spree of his two companions, claim police sources, didn’t end with that one aggression. Continue reading

April 5, 2011

Convicted Paedophile James Connor Up For Appeal In Romania (Photos)

James Connor as he is being taken back to prison at the Appeal Court in Iaşi (Photo: Task Force Media)

Scottish lorry driver James Connor will appear on Thursday, April the 7th, before the Court of Appeal in Iaşi, Romania, in a bid for freedom. He has been convicted to a total of 22 years in prison by the Vaslui Tribunal, on four counts of child pornography and sex with a minor. According to the Romanian law, James Connor’s sentences will overlap and he is expected to serve only the longest term, of 8 years. Continue reading