• “Re-Start Project – for a high-quality journalism!” reaches Republic of Moldova

    The “Re-Start Project – for a high-quality journalism!,” launched by the MediaSind Romanian Union of Journalists, reached the Republic of Moldova, where a partnership with the University of European Studies of Moldova (USEM) was signed, union representatives inform in a release sent to AGERPRES on Monday.

    The students of the faculties of communication, journalism, public relations and not only, with this university, can register starting Monday, 31 October 2016, in the first stage of the project which provides them with a chance to become professional journalists.

    “The best students, selected by the professors, will receive press badges to become volunteers within the ReStart project. It is the first important step for the youth who want to discover what journalism and the deontology of this trade mean, and we will be by their side. I am glad that this project extends abroad, where we can offer support and landmarks for the future generation of professionals in journalism,” MediaSind President Cristi Godinac said.

    The collaboration protocol within the ReStart project was signed by University of European Studies of Moldova (USEM) rector Iurie Sedletschi and SRJ MediaSind President Cristi Godinac.

    The USEM is one of the most prestigious universities of the Republic of Moldova, including the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences.

    The first “ReStart Volunteer” press badges last week reached the students of the Faculty of Communication and International Relations at “Danubius” University of Galati, together with which this project was founded, alongside AGERPRES National News Agency and Bursa daily. The students selected in the project have already signed volunteering contracts and job description sheets with the AGERPRES leadership.

    The volunteers will work together with the journalists from AGERPRES and Bursa daily.

    The project is carried out by signing partnership agreements with universities of several university centres. So far, partnerships were signed with the “Ovidius” University of Constanta, the “Lucian Blaga” University of Craiova, the “Aurel Vlaicu” University of Arad, the International Free University of Moldova — ULIM — and Bursa daily, and other institutions from Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi and Bucharest are going to join the project. More…

  • #3010 Festival: Musicians from 20 bands, 1,000-plus audience pay tribute to Colectiv fire victims

    More than one thousand people of all ages participated in a three-day series of charitable concerts in the memory of the Colectiv fire victims, with well-established musicians and high-profile Romanian rock bands taking the stage at the H Beer Pub as part of the #3010 Festival organized by the Colectiv Goodbye to Gravity 3010 Association.

    The event that ran under the motto “Heroes never die. Keep their spirits alive” commemorated the 64 young people killed in the fire that broke out on October 30, 2015, and which was at the same time dedicated to those who have been fighting for a year now with the trauma and serious injuries.

    Twenty bands answered the organizers’ call and stepped into the limelight during the three days of the festival; five of them were directly affected by the fire: Fallen, Nexus, Hatemode, Gray Matters, 7 Semne, said tragedy survivor and co-organizer Catalin Scanteie.

    On the first day, on Friday, it was the turn of Nexus, Florin Chilian, Compact, Talisman, Costi Camarasan Band and 7 Semne to perform; Saturday and Sunday on stage were Hatemode, Bulletproof, W3 4R3 NUM83R5, Metrock, Truda, Kempes, Fallen, Gray Matters, Coma, Anton, Krypton, Awake, Altar, Trooper. Petre Magdin, a supporter of Romania’s rock movement, was the presenter of the event.

    “We thought of staging this event in remembrance of the victims of the October 30, 2015 tragedy and to donate the money raised from ticket sales to the wounded who still need treatment, around 30 of them. They need it for very complicated operations. The money the population donated to foundations in the aftermath of the tragedy will run out at some point and then we’ll be somewhat in an impasse, and we had the idea of such an event, which we hope to continue. Immediately after I was released from hospital on November 28, I started to fight and look ahead to the future, not to the past. I am trying to forget what happened there, although I have a sharper awareness of certain aspects. We helped other wounded a lot, the best we could, sending them to foundations for treatment, counseling them as to what documents to attach to their files, and it all pinnacled with this fundraising event. The rock phenomenon goes on,” Catalin Scanteie told AGERPRES.

    According to a general estimation, a more than 700-strong audience attended the event on Friday alone, and most contacted bands said ‘yes’ with no hesitation, with only a few exceptions who already had another engagement.

    The musical project will definitely be continued, said organizer Eugen Iancu, founder of the Colectiv GTG 3010 Association, who lost his son in the fire.

    Krypton frontman Gabi Nicolau confessed that the event that wrapped up Sunday night is extremely important for him because friends of his perished in the fire.

    “You know what it’s like? I have them in my Facebook friend group and I can’t get myself to delete them, I just can’t do it. I further believe something far too fishy happened there, that’s my belief. It’s hard to accept that something like this can happen in this century. A close friend of mine still undergoes treatment abroad. Tragedies have occurred and will also hit in the future, but those that strike so closely leave their mark on you in particular way. Some lives will never be the same again. (…) I think those who claim that they are governing us should pay more attention to people. They actually don’t govern anything anyway. After 25 years I don’t see anything concrete and useful for man’s welfare being done,” said the artist.

    He said that Krypton was present on stage in full formula.

    The day of October 30, 2016 was rich in events and memories for Alexandrina Scanteie, a fire survivor who thinks that support should be directed to other burn victims too, not just the Colectiv ones. More…

  • Iran and Cyprus determined to expand bilateral relations

    Iran and Cyprus have stressed their resolution to expand bilateral relations in various fields.

    In a press conference on Sunday, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ali Ardehir Larijani underlined Cyprus` role as member of the EU in helping to build Iran`s relations with the EU while visiting Speaker of the House of Representatives of Cyprus Demetris Syllouris said countries with influence like Iran could press Turkey to abandon its intransigent stance for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    In his remarks after their meeting, Larijani said the two countries have always had good relations, and Cyprus is the nearest EU member state to Iran. He also said the two had “very good and constructive discussions”.

    “Considering the friendly relations and good track record between the two countries there have been very good diplomatic dialogues and I hope bilateral conversations facilitate and simplify the relationships”, said the Iranian speaker.

    He added that the principled policy of the Islamic Republic in the Middle East is to protect the territorial integrity of countries and respond to the foreign countries interfering in the fate of the other nations.

    Ali Larijani referred to Cyprus as the closest European country to Iran, adding that “we hold Tehran-Nicosia relations at high value and we are glad to see that today we have close and friendly ties with the European country.”

    “In the last few months, we have reached a number of agreements that were further discussed during our meeting today,” he added.

    I witness a good determination in his excellency and I believe his taking very good efforts in this area”, he said of his Cypriot counterpart.

    Larijani said it is very significant to expand bilateral relations with Cyprus in the areas of culture, science, economy, policy and security.

    He also said they have a good level of parliamentary bilateral relations and referred to the Iran – Cyprus friendship group that has been established in the Iranian Parliament and his “good friend Masoud Pezeshkian is heading this group and of course his leadership shows and indicates the importance of this kind of relations”.

    The two sides exchanged views about the expansion of banking cooperation to facilitate transactions between Iranian and Cypriot tradesmen, Larijani said, and added that Nicosia is resolute on removing all obstacles in this regard.

    In his remarks at the press conference, Syllouris described discussions as very practical and fruitful.

    He also said the meeting is a “positive turning point in our relations”, noting that “we accelerate the improvement of our relations on any field political, economic, cultural and especially in certain axes like to work together for improving the relations of Iran with European Union and also improving the security and a peace parameters in the area by working together on the economic, political and cultural fields”.

    Syllouris said “our historic relations and also today`s needs of the complicated world we live in can direct us for more practical and specific cooperation to play our role in improving the peace and prosperity of our two nations and the nations of the area”.

    Speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour, Syllouris said his official visit to Iran “reaffirms the wish and will of both our countries and Parliaments to strengthen relations and cooperation on all levels”.

    He also said the re-establishment of Parliamentary Friendship Groups in the two Parliaments “will further contribute in these cooperation efforts and we will be very glad to register further exchanges between our two Parliaments”.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said Cyprus “continues its struggle to achieve a just and viable solution to its protracted problem of invasion and occupation by a stronger neighbour. A peaceful settlement remains our first priority, based on pertinent UN resolutions and European law. However, we all know that the key to the solution is still in Ankara’s hands. Now, more than ever, the international community, including friendly countries with influence, like Iran, could press Turkey to abandon its intransigent stance, end its illegal occupation of part of the island and constructively cooperate for the solution of the problem”.

    Cyprus, on its part, he said, although much smaller in size, can also help Iran in many areas of its interests and concerns. Not least, in its relations with the European Union.

    Syllouris continues Monday his official visit with meetings with President Dr. Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, have been engaged in UN peace talks with the aim to reunite the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.


  • Colectiv fire tragedy remembered in march of silence

    A march of silence on Sunday stopped before the place where Colectiv night club, the scene of a devastating fire that killed 64 young people, used to stand, to pay homage to the victims on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

    They unruffled a banner reading “One year has passed and nothing has changed; we miss you Teo and your device,” a reference to a photographer killed in the fire, and let out 64 balloons reading “We care,” with wings painted on.

    “I am sorry for all these parents that I see mourning. It is very hard for me to return to this place. I have done it out of respect for the fire victims. I can remember the cries, the shouts, the smoke and burning meat. These are the memories I will never be able to erase. We were volunteers and we were told to leave the place,” said Crina Craescu of Volunteer Rescuers Association.

    Asked whether anything has changed over the past year, she said, “Unfortunately, nothing has changed.” She said she believe that should the tragedy repeat itself, the system will still be “unprepared.”

    “Time passes. We expected things to get better, but they did not. (…) May God forgive the dead!” said Felicia Plangu, the mother of Alexandru Plangu, one of the fire victims. More…

  • Cyprus tops EU chart on tertiary education attainment of second generation immigrants

    Cyprus tops Eurostat charts for tertiary educational attainment of persons aged 25-54 in the EU Member States, by migration status and origin, for 2014, with an unmatched 62.3% of second generation immigrants attaining tertiary education.

    At the same time 39% of first generation immigrants also attained tertiary education, surpassed only by Bulgaria (42.5%) and Poland (56.9%). The corresponding rate in the native population is 44.7%, second only to Finland`s (46%).

    Nevertheless, according to the same Eurostat data, employment rates of persons aged 25-54 in the EU Member States, by migration status and origin, 2014, as % of the total resident population in the corresponding age group, Cyprus is well below EU average, employing 77.1% of the native population, 75.0% of second generation immigrants and 75.9% of first generation immigrants.

    Eurostat states that the immigrant population characteristics of second generation immigrants in the EU, show that generally they are well integrated into the labour market and they are have high educational attainment.

    In 2014, 82.4% (or 251.7 million individuals) of the EU population aged 15-64 were native born with native background, 11.5% (36.5 million) were foreign-born and 6.1% (18.4 million) were considered as second generation immigrants, as 4.4% (13.3 million) had at least one parent born in the EU and 1.7% (5.1 million) had both parents born outside the EU. Among the EU Member States for which data are available the highest proportions of second generation immigrants in the total resident population were registered in Estonia (21.4%), Latvia (19.1%), Luxembourg (16.2%), France (14.3%), Sweden (11.2%), Belgium (11.0%), Slovenia (10.6%) and Croatia (10.3%).


  • AGERPRES, awarded CCIB’s “Ioan V. Socec” trophy, for objectivity and professionalism in reflecting economic phenomenon

    AGERPRES National News Agency was awarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Bucharest Municipality (CCIB), within the 23rd edition of the Bucharest Municipality Companies’ Ranking, the “Ioan V. Socec” trophy, for “objectivity and professionalism in reflecting the economic phenomenon.”

    “Established in March 1889, AGERPRES National News Agency was the first specialist news agency of Romania. In time, it went through several stages of development and key-moments. Since the autumn of 2013, AGERPRES has started a rebranding process. The agency continued to consolidate its image, both on a national and on an international level, getting involved in new projects, organising events, launching new news feeds and dedicated sections. Today, AGERPRES has the role of providing balanced, unbiased information and it is the main source of information for the citizens and institutions of Romania, as well as the most important source of news about Romania abroad,” the representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Bucharest Municipality (CCIB) said.

    Alongside successful business people, academic figures and officials from the Government, the Capital Prefecture, district halls and non-governmental organisations, as well as members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest participated in the event.

    A number of 6,710 companies were awarded within the ranking, out of the 34,390 which met the combined criteria taken into account by the organiser, from the total of 120,615 companies which submitted the balance sheet corresponding to 2015.

    At the same time, the CCIB awarded excellency trophies to the companies which took the first spot in the elite competition over the past five years. More…

  • Mogherini in Nicosia to discuss Cyprus peace process and foreign policy issues

    High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini holds on Friday meetings in Nicosia with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    She is accompanied by EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

    Mogherini will discuss issues related to the Cyprus problem and the ongoing peace talks as well as foreign policy matters.

    According to her schedule, she will first be received by President Anastasiades and then she and Kasoulides will preside over consultations between delegations of Cyprus and the EU. Mogherini and Kasoulides will afterwards make statements to the media.

    Later on Mogherini is set to meet, in the occupied part of Nicosia, with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. UN-backed talks are underway with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    Anastasiades and Akinci have decided to travel to Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, to hold talks on November 7-11 mainly on the territory aspect of the Cyprus problem.


  • BTA

    EC Assures Bulgaria in Writing CVM Will Be Lifted by 2019

    Brussels, October 28 (BTA correspondent Nikolay Jeliazkov) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has sent a letter to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov assuring him that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria will be lifted by 2019, the Commission said.

    Juncker writes: “The progress Bulgaria has made over the past years of the CVM would require taking a more dynamic approach to take full account of the longer-term trends which can be lost in annual reporting cycles. Starting from January 2017, we intend to introduce this new approach in our reporting.” More…

  • BTA

    Bulgaria, Poland Exchange Experience in Support of Families, Young People

    Warsaw/Sofia, October 27 (BTA) – Labour and Social Policy Minister Zornitsa Roussinova and her Polish counterpart, Family, Labour and Social Policy Minister Elzbieta Rafalska discussed labour market trends in Warsaw, Roussinova’s Ministry said Thursday.

    For the first time in 11 years, unemployment in Bulgaria has dropped below the EU average, Roussinova said. Her ministry is focused on young people who are not studying or working. One of the major reforms to be launched in Bulgaria aims to improve the use of budget subsidies for the disabled. More…

  • Two Israelis handed down final sentences for cyber attack on Romanian banking system

    The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced Israeli citizens Iahr Giora and Azour Oren Avraham to 9 years and 8 months, and 9 years in prison, respectively, in a case where they were charged with attempted espionage and cyber attack on the national banking system. The sentences are final.

    In the same case, their accomplice George Tohaneanu received a nine-month suspended sentence and will have to complete 120 days of community service.

    Romania’s Directorate for Organised Crime and Terror Investigation (DIICOT) sent the two Israelis to court in July 2015 on charges of setting up an organized crime ring, illegal operations with informatic devices or programs, being accomplice to the unauthorized access to a computer system, complicity to the attempted illegal interception of computer data transmissions, complicity in the unauthorized transfer of computer data, complicity in attempted money laundering and complicity in attempted espionage.

    “The act of referral states that between November 2014 and February 2015, Iahr Giora and Azour Oren Avraham were part of an organized crime ring specializing in money laundering, crimes against national security and the security and integrity of computer systems and data. For George Tohaneanu, the document states that he supported the criminal ring the Romanian branch of which included Iahr Giora and Azour Oren Avraham, by knowingly providing them logistic support as they carried out their criminal activities in Romania and abroad,” DIICOT said in a release. More…

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