• Cabinet to set up a new aeronautical services company

    Seventeen emergency aid doctors of the Floreasca Emergency Hospital of Bucharest on Wednesday quit their jobs.

    “Seventeen out of 31 doctors under an employment contract have quit. They were the employees of the SMURD emergency care unit. One of the reasons claimed by them was difficulties in carrying out their duties as a result of discontinuing provision of the necessary work supplies as well as the manner in which they have understood to communicate with people and behave. Adding up to that was also much psychological pressure on them,” department head Bogdan Oprita told AGERPRES.

    Medical sources say the incumbent manager of the Floreasca Hospital, Constantin Paun, would have a special vision over the business of the outside doctors, namely those from the SMURD mobile emergency service for resuscitation and extrication, that claims such doctors should have no ties to the healthcare facility. “He has tried various ways of limiting such activity under various pretences,” the sources say. More…

  • Cabinet to set up a new aeronautical services company

    The government approved on Tuesday a bill providing for the establishment of a state-owned private company to offer aeronautical services, opening a new page in the field of air traffic control, Minister of Transport, Communication and Works Marios Demetriades has said.

    The government believes the new company, that will undertake air traffic services from the state-owned Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), will tackle the long-standing problem of delays in Cyprus` air space.

    “We are opening a new page, a huge change in the field of air traffic control, a sector that has caused problems to Cyprus in past years,” Demetriades said speaking to CNA, adding that efforts began more than three years ago with the assistance of Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the safety of air navigation.

    On Tuesday the Cyprus Council of Ministers approved two bills; a bill providing for the setting up of a private state-owned company that will provide air traffic services and a second bill amending the DCA law. The bills will be submitted to Parliament for approval.

    “This effort should go ahead because this is the only way to achieve results and reduce delays in our air space permanently” he said, adding any other past solutions were short-lived.

    He also said traffic in Cyprus` air space has been increasing in the past several years due to problems in the region as well as the increase in air traffic in Cyprus.

    “Therefore we believe it is very important for this law to be approved and to set up the new company and address the delays,” he said, recalling that Cyprus was under close scrutiny both from Eurocontrol and the European Commission on the matter.

    Cyprus is among the top twenty delay-generating locations in Europe, according to Eurocontrol.


  • MAE: Supporting Romanian communities to study Romanian language is a priority

    The Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) considers a priority supporting the study of Romanian language in the Romanian communities, including its status as an official language of the EU, among the citizens of other states, MAE informs in a Wednesday release on the occasion of the Romanian Language Day.

    The release said that there are increasingly more young people interested in translating in/from the Romanian language or activating inside European institutions.

    “The Foreign Ministry is actively involved in conducting the activity of about 50 language, culture and civilization readership centres in 30 countries in Europe, Asia and America as well as in the project initiated by the Romanian Language Institute in 2007 — “Courses of language, culture and Romanian civilization”, dedicated to Romanian students enrolled in schools from Belgium, Italy and Spain and, starting 2015, for those in Portugal and Ireland”, the MAE added.

    In this context, the institution speaks about the scholarship program offered to foreigners by the Romanian state and that some of its objectives are the promoting of the Romanian language and a better understanding of the country by the citizens all over the world.

    “The native language of 30 million people, the fundamental element in keeping the national identity and a cohesion factor for the Romanian communities abroad, the Romanian language represents, through its history and art, through its linguistic unity of historical Romanian communities, a scientific and undeniable argument, but also a promoting instrument for the Latinity of Romanian people. A constant topic in current debates regarding the education of young generations refers to the preservation and perpetuation of the identity profile elements, particularly the language, history and culture, in order to realize the importance of these elements in the intellectual and moral formation of young people”, the Foreign Ministry added. More…

  • Bulgarian Parliamentary Groups Spell Out Priorities during New Legislative Session

    Sofia, August 31 (BTA) – Parliament is back to work Wednesday after its summer recess. On the first day of the new session the parliamentary groups presented their priorities.The key priority of GERB will be adoption of bills and legal amendments guaranteeing the border security, GERB Deputy Chairman Tsvetan Tsvetanov said. In his words, Bulgaria is in “a delicate situation and people should be able to trust the government and the experts”. More..BG_parliament_newseason.

  • Cyprus and Egypt sign agreement on transport of natural gas via sub-sea pipeline

    Cyprus and Egypt signed an agreement on Wednesday creating the legal framework for energy companies to go ahead with their own commercial talks on the transport of natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt via a sub-sea pipeline.

    The agreement was signed in the Ministry of Commerce, in Nicosia, between Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek El Molla.

    In statements after a meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace a little later Lakkotrypis said they had informed him that they signed “the first of a series of agreements which are necessary in order to establish a secure investment framework for the transport of natural gas from the Cypriot EEZ to Egypt.”

    In essence, he explained, “today we signed an agreement which stipulates that the two countries will respect the provisions of any trade agreements that may take place.”

    “We hope that this agreement will facilitate and expedite trade agreements, as I have said, creating a secure investment framework for the sale of natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt,” he added.

    According to Lakkotrypis the presence of his Egyptian counterpart in Cyprus and the agreement they signed shows the close cooperation between the two countries not just to achieve trade agreements but also to support the operation of the hydrocarbons industry in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

    Replying to a question on how soon will the Cypriot gas be transported to Egypt, he said that “in the most recent version of the field development plan that we have the time frame is for first gas to reach Egypt between 2020 and 2022.” However, he added, we are in discussions to see if we can expedite it.

    “I am very proud and happy to be here today in Cyprus”, El Molla said on his part. Referring to the agreement he said “we were able to sign our first milestone in a series of events which we will see soon.”

    According to the Egyptian minister “we are talking about Cyprus gas coming into Egypt to be sold in the market or for liquefaction to be resold as liquefied natural gas.”

    “In all cases it was a step that we were waiting for to happen. We are excited about it. We are looking forward to continue with the next steps which are part of the commercial agreements that will be developed soon,” he pointed out.

    He also referred to the support bestowed upon the energy cooperation between the two countries by both Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and President Anastasiades. “There is great enthusiasm to pursue this opportunity as part of the greater cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

    “I am looking forward for a speedy process, we intend to start discussions immediately for the road map on the steps forward,” the Egyptian minister noted.

    Replying to a question he said the agreement “confirms the desire of Egypt to get the Cyprus gas.”

    Asked whether the current situation in the oil & gas market complicates things he said that “this is the energy of the future.”. According to him, gas will replace many conventional cargoes you see trading in the waters. “Having more gas is something good and positive for all countries,” he added.

    Replying to a question on whether Cypriot gas is enough he spoke of strategic direction followed by the governments of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt and recalled that Egypt is also developing its own gas reserves.

    “This is part of the development of the East Mediterranean gas as a whole and our strategy optimally is to position ourselves as an energy hub in the region,” he concluded.

    Discussions on Intergovernmental Agreement to proceed “speedily”

    In a joint statement the two ministers note that the agreement they signed concerns “the transport of natural gas via a direct subsea pipeline from the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus to a landing point in the Exclusive Economic Zone or onshore the Arab Republic of Egypt, either for domestic consumption or re-export.”

    It is one, they explain, “of a series of legal arrangements which will further support the sale of Cypriot natural gas to buyers in Egypt, provide certainty to investors and complement the relevant commercial discussions which are under way.”

    The joint statement further points out that the two governments have also decided “to speedily proceed with discussions on an Intergovernmental Agreement for the pipeline from Cyprus to Egypt, which will be intended to facilitate the realization of the project within the maritime areas of jurisdiction of the two countries.”

    “Cooperation in the oil and gas sector between the two countries will further deepen the excellent relations between Cyprus and Egypt to the mutual benefit of the peoples of Cyprus and Egypt, and will also further unlock and promote the potential of the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole,” the statement concludes.

    CNA/EPH/GCH 2016

  • PM Ciolos: Last Romanian missing after Italy earthquake, identified

    The last Romanian national who had been declared missing in the aftermath of the earthquake in Italy has been identified, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos announced on Tuesday.

    “According to the data I have received today, that person, who had been declared missing, has been identified. Therefore we no longer have any missing persons, we only have these persons who are still in hospital,” Ciolos said, after he participated in the state funeral organised in the memory of the earthquake victims, together with Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

    Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, who was in Italy on Tuesday together with Labour Minister Dragos Pislaru, in order to support the Romanian community affected by the earthquake, said that he paid a visit to the injured Romanians hospitalised, pointing out that one person was discharged on Tuesday morning.

    “I have seen pain, but also optimism, and I was glad about that. I have been to the hospital during the first part of the visit. I met the ladies who were hospitalised there. I understand that a person has already been discharged this morning (…) From among the ladies whom I visited two are in a good health state, one I believe will be discharged in the coming days. There is a lady who is still immobilised in bed, she suffered fractures, but the doctors there told me that all the patients are going to recover. Of course, from a psychological point of view it will probably be more difficult to overcome this moment,” Ciolos said.

    The PM pointed out that a psychologist from Romania went to Italy precisely to help the Romanians in distress. More…

  • BTA

    Bulgarian Interior Minister Discusses Migration Processes, Security Environment with Greek Public Order Minister Toskas

    Sofia, August 30 (BTA) – Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova and Greece’s Alternate Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikos Taskos discussed migration processes and the security environment at a working meeting in Sofia, Buchvarova’s Ministry said in a press release on Tuesday.

    The two considered the formation of joint patrols for the suppression of illegal migration, human trafficking  and crime in the areas along the Bulgarian-Greek border. The host stressed Bulgaria’s position that EU-level negotiations must start immediately on working out the steps necessary for the implementation of the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement. “Setting the readmission mechanisms in motion is crucial,” she pointed out. More…

  • Philips Interested in High-tech Projects in Bulgaria’s Health Care Sector

    Amsterdam/Sofia, August 30 (BTA) – Philips will examine the opportunities for creating a high-tech cancer treatment centre using hadron therapy in Bulgaria, it transpired from a meeting between Economy Minister Bozhidar Loukarski and the company’s senior management in Amsterdam, Loukarski’s Ministry reported on Tuesday.

    The sides have agreed on creating a working group for that purpose during the meeting, which was also attended by Sofia Tech Park Executive Director Yolian Ivanov. More…


  • Government calls on Turkey to contribute to the establishment of missing persons’ fate

    The government has expressed its support and solidarity with the missing persons` relatives, assuring that it will intensify its efforts to establish their fate, calling once again on Turkey to cooperate at last and contribute to the establishment of the missing persons` fate, submitting the data and information it has on the fate of Greek Cypriot and Greek missing persons.

    In an official press release issued on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, the government thanked, via Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Fotis Fotiou, all those who have given information, contributing in this way at the discovery of missing persons` remains which were given back to their families for burial after being identified.

    Furthermore it called on anyone who has information or is in a position to obtain it, as regards possible burial sites, or generally the fate or the remains of missing persons to submit it, adding that “such an act constitutes the best contribution to the issue of missing persons and their relatives in order to close a long-standing open wound”.

    Fotiou expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that despite the anxious efforts of the Republic of Cyprus made on a daily basis, even today the fate of most of the missing persons is still unestablished.

    A Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus was established in April 1981 by agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities under the auspices of the United Nations.

    The primary objective of the CMP is to enable relatives of missing persons to recover the remains of their loved ones, arrange for a proper burial and close a long period of anguish and uncertainty.

    As noted on the Committee`s website, over the next two decades, work on both sides focused on conducting investigations to establish the fate of the missing and negotiate a common official list of all those who disappeared. Blood samples were collected from relatives to aid future identifications. In 1997, the leaders of the two communities agreed to provide each other immediately and simultaneously all information already at their disposal on the location of graves of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons.

    In 2006, the climate was ripe for the CMP to begin excavations and exhumations on both sides of the island. In order to provide the required expertise, archaeologists and anthropologists from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) were brought in to coordinate and train a bi-communal team of Cypriot scientists involved in exhumations and anthropological analysis. An anthropological laboratory was set-up in the United Nations Protected Area in Nicosia.

    July 2007 marked a turning point of historical significance, as CMP began returning the first remains of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot individuals to their families. These individuals had been missing since the tragic events of 1963-64 and 1974.

    Since 2008, the CMP’s bi-communal forensic team has been carrying out exhumations autonomously (up to 8 teams in the north and 2 teams in the south). EAAF forensic experts continue to be involved in the project for quality control purposes.

    Recently CMP members decided to request access to information that may lead to the discovery of burial sites from all relevant parties. Furthermore, they agreed to set up a dedicated capacity within the CMP to conduct archival research. This will include a team of researchers who will undertake the long task of carrying out an impartial review of archives, in Cyprus and abroad, related to the events of 1963/4 and 1974.

    According to the figures currently posted on the CMP website, out of 1,508 Greek Cypriots who went missing, the remains of 499 have been identified and returned to their families, while out of 493 Turkish Cypriots who went missing, the remains of 181 were identified and returned to their families.
    CNA/AAG/MK/GCH 2016

  • Gica Hagi, Nadia Comaneci and Simona Halep, top athletes Romanians admire

    Gheorghe Hagi (32 percent), Nadia Comaneci (16 percent) and Simona Halep (14 percent) are the top three athletes whom Romanians admire, according to a research report conducted by the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy (IRES), while the first four sports that Romanians prefer are soccer (35 percent), tennis (9 percent), artistic gymnastics (9 percent) and handball (8 percent).

    Gymnast Nadia Comaneci is considered to be the greatest Romanian athlete of all times (30 percent), followed in this survey by Gica Hagi (26 percent), Ilie Nastase (6 percent), Simona Halep (6 percent), Ivan Patzachin (3 percent), Nicolae Dobrin (3 percent), Ion Tiriac (3 percent). Helmuth Duckadam (1 percent), Iolanda Balas (1 percent), Gabriela Szabo (1 percent).

    The evolution of Romanian athletes at the Olympics was considered good by 52 percent (42 percent good and 10 percent very good) and weak by 47 percent (32 percent weak and 15 percent very weak) of the respondents.

    Romanians anticipated that the Romanian delegation will finish at Rio on the 8th place in the medal standings, but in reality they ranked number 47. Only 15 percent of the respondents knew that the size of the Romanian delegation at the Olympic Games in Rio was between 81 and 100 athletes (96 plus 7 substitutes).

    The athletes that Romanians preferred in the Rio de Janeiro competitions were gymnast Marian Dragulescu (20 percent), gymnast Catalina Ponor (16 percent), tennis player Horia Tecau (7 percent), handball player Cristina Neagu (7 percent) and fencer Ana Maria Popescu (Branza) — 4 percent. Even though Simona Halep didn’t attend this competition she is takes up the 6th place in this preference ranking.

    Fencing (41 percent), rowing (28 percent), artistic gymnastics (20 percent), tennis (18 percent), handball (12 percent) and athletics (10 percent) were the sports that Romanians had the highest hopes to win.

    The Romanian sports state is regarded as poor by 48 percent of respondents and good by 46 percent. Most Romanians (54 percent) believe that the Romanian sports state is worse than 30 years ago and 25 percent see it better. The majority (60 percent) believe that the athletes from Olympic teams didn’t have proper conditions to practice and 28 percent claim the conditions were suitable. In this practice conditions 60 percent consider the weak results are justified and 23 percent claim the contrary.

    Only 21 percent of Romanians practice a sport regularly, minimum once a week and only 7 percent of the respondents’ children are currently practicing a sport. More…

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