The Week in Bucharest Life

Bucharest finally saw some snow. The above shot of the city centre covered in a fresh layer of the white stuff was taken on Monday from the top of the InterContinental, by Cristian Marino, the hotel’s Executive Chef himself no less. Alas, rain later in the week washed most of the snow away and turned the city into its usual post-melt mess.

The legal loophole which allows Romanian criminals to earn significant reductions in their prison sentences if they author works of ‘scientific importance’ came under renewed attack this week after HotNews, a local online news agency, made public a list of all such works published over the past four years. Amongst the no doubt much sought-after books published by Romania’s gifted convicts and considered to be a scientific work of the utmost importance is Gigi Becali’s modestly titled masterpiece ‘Steaua and Becali’. Indeed, of the five (yes, five) books Becali allegedly wrote while inside, three include his name in the title.

The literary world could soon be enriched by a book or two from Traian Basescu’s brother Mircea, who on Friday was sentenced to four years in prison on corruption charges. The sentence is subject to appeal. In 2012 Basescu received €600,000 from associates of a gangster known as Bercea Mondial in exchange for intervening in Mondial’s own case, in which he was accused of stabbing a nephew. Mondial (whose real name is Sandu Anghel) was eventually (in 2014) convicted of the stabbing and sentenced to eight years in prison. Mondial was last year sentenced to a further 12 years in prison for bribery. Mondial has, as far as we know, yet to write any books.

Romania’s prime minister, Dacian Ciolos, announced that he had no intention of standing for parliament in November’s general election. Ciolos – addressing an audience of Romanians living in Germany – said that he wished to ‘maintain his political independence.’ Cynics would argue that remaining at least nominally independent will actually put him in a good position to continue as prime minister after the election, which we – and just about everybody else – expects to be inconclusive. Neither the PNL nor the PSD will win anything like enough seats to govern alone, and PNL leader Alina Gorghiu this week ruled out a grand coalition. The odds of a politically independent government continuing past November have shortened considerably.

For the fifth consecutive month, Romania’s central bank, the BNR, kept interest rates at an all time low 1.75 per cent. Earlier in the week, the bank sold treasury bonds worth 600 million lei (around €132.5 million). The bank intends to sell domestic bonds worth around 48-50 billion lei this year: an increase of around 30 per cent on 2015. The BNR will also be selling as much as €3 billion in foreign currency bills this year, representing a 50 per cent increase on 2015. Those pension increases for mayors and local council bosses (actually referred to the constitutional court by the government) aren’t going to pay for themselves.

The Curtea de Conturi, a kind of national audit office currently looking into the way Bucharest’s city and sector councils spend taxpayers’ money, this week made public some of its initial findings. You will no doubt be shocked – shocked we tell you – to discover that millions of euros have been spent over the past few years on all sorts of follies that have turned out to be a total waste. For starters, between 2007-14 Bucharest spent more than €600 million on its green spaces. Really. This expenditure includes benches costing more than €1000 per piece and 13 rubbish bins (yes, rubbish bins) made of exotic wood purchased for a total of 37,000 lei (€8200). And we haven’t even mentioned the chrysanthemums costing 310 lei a pop.

And which sector was the most profligate? Yep, the People’s Republic of Sector 3.

  • Jeff

    Is insulting each other and name calling a Brit thing or a Romanian thing? Hard to read a thread when you have to edit out the kindergarten stuff. Anyway, several years ago here in the USA, smoking was finally banned in restaurants and bars. Opposition cried it would not only be bad for business, it would put them out of business. The results are in…no one went out of business and their revenues are up. Actually, there has been a boom in brew pubs that also serve food. There were 4 in my state 3 years ago, now there is 83. As is ALWAYS the case, doomsayers are proven wrong. I ignore them now on every issue. Negativity and cynicism are no longer acceptable in intelligent conversation.

    • Jeff

      I will be disappointed if someone doesn’t call me a tit.

      • Parmalat

        You’re a tit.

      • Parmalat

        Back in 1992 when Pat Buchanan told you that America will lose jobs to China and Mexico, was he a doomsayer?

        Now you’re losing a fortune each year to China and Mexico while your veterans are homeless on the streets and you don’t even have borders anymore.

        Part of being intelligent is not being a liberal.

        • Jeff

          Part of being conservative is being immune to facts. Nothing you said is factually, statistically, or scientifically true.

          • Facts:

            – US trade deficit with China reaches all-time high http://fortune.com/2015/05/05/trade-deficit-china/

            – US trade deficit with Mexico is surging (back in 1992 the US actually had a surplus) https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2010.html

            – US debt reaches $18 trillion at the end of 2015 (because these trade deficits obviously don’t pay for themselves)

            Everything I said is factually, statistically and scientifically true.

            But liberals live a life in denial, they refuse to accept reality and turn their backs because accepting reality would mean to fight and change it.

            And liberals can’t fight. They are defeatists. They lose fights even before the first bullet was shot.

    • Nigel Farage

      Jeff to say negativity and cynicism aren’t acceptable in intelligent conversation makes you – not very intelligent, to be so narrow minded!

  • Nigel Farage

    Parmo

    In relation to your post about the mass influx of men with differing cultures and religions, along with their traditional and almost in-bred low opinion to women, entering the West in their millions, ”claiming asylum”

    So have you seen the backfire on Merkel in Cologne, as over 500 reports of sexual assault were submitted on New Years Eve in Cologne city centre, by the gathered ‘asylum seekers’ or lets face it, economic migrants near the train station …. and yes I did say 500 reports, on the SAME night.

    So far of the 19 men charged … 10 are so called ‘asylum seekers’ who’ve come on over in the ”Syria” only asylum rush, and 9 are believed to be in Germany illegally !!! Oh and guess how many are actually Syrian? Because the liberal loons stated they’d only be ‘genuine and needy’ Syrians.

    14 of the 19 aren’t Syrian at all ! They’re from Morocco and Algeria !

    Even the POPE has had dim view on the free for all rush of ”vulnerable asylum seekers” ……

    Thank God we’re an island, and just imagine the backlash on here and in Romania, if the same had happened in Unrii Square on New Years Eve (or wherever you guys gather en mass) …..

    Of course I’m clearly not saying ALL economic migrants are the same as the group sexual assaulting, lacking in morals or decency criminal types who committed these sickening crimes in two German cities on NYE, but it shows that certain cultures don’t mix with a humane and modern day democracy, and yet liberal lunatics and pro eu fanatics want an open door policy, let everyone come who wants too !

    Are these people out of their mind?

    • They are. We should secede from them and live separately. We should even wage war on them cause they’re afraid to fight.

      Liberalism can only exist if there are conservatives around to protect the liberals, otherwise they’d be eaten by dogs and wild animals even before other people could hurt them.

      Liberals are living a life in denial, they are afraid to face reality and sooner or later reality will have them cornered and slaughtered.

      Just like Communism fell under the weight of its own madness.

    • Mr Rearguard

      “So have you seen the backfire on Merkel in Cologne, as over 500 reports of sexual assault”………….You read way too much zionist owned and controlled mainstream media.

      • Nigel Farage

        Maybe your read far too much anti Jew and conspiracy theory rubbish Mr R 😉

        What’s the dubliner?

        • Mr Rearguard

          The Dubliner is/was the first expat boozer to open up in Bucharest circa 1992.
          Nope, it’s all there hidden in plain sight fiul meu! Open your eyes.

    • Mr Rearguard

      “Thank God we’re an island, and just imagine the backlash on here and in Romania, if the same had happened in Unrii Square on New Years Eve (or wherever you guys gather en mass) …..”……….The Dubliner?

  • It seems that from 2006 and on, when inmates got the rights to compensate some prison days by writing books, the scientific coordinators for the works were big names from the academic world and even the Romanian Orthodox Church (for 2 books written by Gigi Becali).

    So the academic value of the works is actually undeniable.

    400 books were written in 10 years, 331 of them being written in 2015 alone.

  • The law

    • that gives prisoneers the right to write books to reduce there sentence by writting books is,i think law 254/2013 and was sent to the parliment by the guvern

  • Nigel Farage

    Any latest news on smoking ban?

    • Constitutional court discusses it on Jan 27th.

      • Nigel Farage

        Thanks Craig … Probably going to ‘phase it in’ then – by summer (when most customers can smoke at tables outside and on terraces etc.)

        • Let’s analyze a little the composition of the Constitutional Court:

          – Augustin Zegrean (President) – named by Traian Basescu, conservative
          – Valer Dorneanu (judge) – named by the PSD, moderate
          – Petre Lazaroiu (judge) – named by the PDL, conservative
          – Mircea Stefan Minea (judge) – named by the PDL, conservative
          – Daniel Morar (judge) – named by Traian Basescu, conservative
          – Mona Pivniceru (judge) – named by Crin Antonescu, conservative
          – Puskas Valentin Zoltan (judge) – named by UDMR, liberal
          – Simona Maya Teodoroiu (judge) – named by the PSD, liberal
          – Tudorel Toader (judge) – named by the PNL, liberal

          I think the law will be heavily amended by the Constitutional Court, I wouldn’t call it a law yet.

          Most of these people are smokers themselves.

        • No, it doesn’t work like that. Unless the court declares the law unconstitutional (and I doubt it will) it will be promulgated by the president and then comes into effect 45 days later. So March.

          • Nigel Farage

            Well, it will be good to see it introduced, if enforced that is, pointless otherwise!

            It will have an effect on some businesses though, as it did in the UK, but you could argue some of the establishments it affected, are places you’d like to less people in, or less of them full stop … Like pubs and bookies, and the long term health benefits and savings, it’s a no brainer!

            You’d best hope bet cafe arena and bar owners don’t have an insider at the top level of Romanian politics 😉

            I think the summer part is the easist time to adjust. People will just sit outside, but it’s a fine line then between eating a meal outside, next to a table of smokers (but outside) and yet still being affected by smoke. In the UK, we don’t have the same sit outside weather as often, but it’s generally accepted you can smoke outside most places, as most have designated smoking areas (literally a random area to go and stand or sit and smoke) but some Buc bar owners can’t even be arsed with fire escapes, so can’t see many smoking areas being built for the smokers!

          • There are circumstances for several articles of the law to be declared unconstitutional. If the Court decides to make a stand, they will have many arguments.

            We can’t just take anything that we see in the West and use it in Romania as if it were good.

            If everything in the West was good, they wouldn’t be in the situation they are now.

            Business owners should be allowed to make use of their space in the way they want it, nobody has the right to dictate business owners to discriminate against smokers.

            • Nigel Farage

              Actually Parmo you make a fair point, as if an establishment wanted to be classed as smoke friendly, then of course the customers have a choice … but crucially, and thank EU for this, the staff need protecting too, what if they didn’t smoke?

              I know you’ll be thinking to only employ smokers then, everybody happy 😉

              Which is a fair point, BUT, the good old EU would say you’re discriminating in the employment law act, by only employing smokers 😉

              YES, these kind of ill thought EU red tape could be amended, but you’ve no chance of that.

              Maybe Romania will do as Spain, Austria and a couple of other EU states do, and ignore the ban?

              I can’t see Romania being a smoke free zone, the day the act comes into force, or even 12 months after!

              Most places will go along with the law, but even as a non resident of Romania, I still see fierce pockets of resistance, and Craig doing a fair share of name and shame articles ….

              Watch this space!

            • Businesses don’t need to discriminate against anyone. A business needs only to say that it’s smoker friendly and from that point on – everybody’s free to take his chance or stay away, be him customer or employee.

              The State should keep its filthy hands off the economy and off peoples lives.

            • Nigel Farage

              Parmo, while that may well be true democracy and a fair approach, to keep all happy – EU law won’t allow it to happen, so it begs the question, why can’t nation states such as Romania, be in sole charge of all the factors which affect it !

              You can thank the EU for this, if you’re not happy with it … I actually agree a ban is needed, but so is choice for those who partake in a legal pastime, it’s not as if governments don’t get a pretty income from smoking taxes!

            • Nigel Farage is a racist

              Woger you idiot, we’ve been over this before when you were inventing EU smoking ban directives that didn’t and still don’t exist. This is not an EU thing, Romania doesn’t have to implement any smoking bans, the government chose to of it’s own free will.
              But again, you’re being a dishonest little prick as usual.

    • Mr Rearguard

      Most places (bars & restaurants) I’ve been to in the county of Bacau have banned it already. They have set up smoking tables outside of their joints. Maybe Davina was right after all…Bucharest is a backwards place.

  • Mr Rearguard

    Liberalism? Sounds like something you rub on your knob?

    • random

      ha

      • Anon

        Mmmmm expensive rubbish bins. Good job bucharest!

  • Poland, the pivotal power in post-communist central Europe, is in danger of being reduced by its recently elected ruling party to an illiberal democracy. – The Guardian

    So now we’re not protecting Democracy, we’re protecting Liberalism?

    Who the hell said that WE made a revolution for Liberalism? Fuck Liberalism! May it never come back to Poland and may it disappear from everywhere else!

    • Nigel Farage

      Well Parmo, Donald Tusk, former Polish Prime Minister, whose an EU fanatic and a man seemingly ”happy” to erode any democracy for the Polish people – is at least doing OK, on his 100,000’s a year euro ‘salary’ as new president of the european council. So as long as people like him are OK, who cares about his mark on Polish democracy, or indeed all of ours, for those based in the EUssr.

      In continental policy, Tusk has strongly supported greater political and economic integration within the European Union, strongly backing the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, standing in stark contrast to President Lech Kaczyński’s vehement opposition. Tusk repeatedly stated his government’s intention in bringing Poland into the Eurozone. Originally wanting to introduce the euro by 2012, Tusk envisioned in 2009 a starting year of 2015 as “a realistic and not overly-ambitious goal!

      • Farage is a theif

        LOL you really are a colossal tit aren’t you Roger?
        Poland’s economy exploded after joining the EU and their people can afford a much better standard of living now as a result of it.
        Tusk is earning his salary by actually doing his job, meanwhile your hero Farage pockets over 100,000 quid a year plus expenses and can’t even be bothered to turn up to do his job 90% of the time. Remember how you got sand in your vagina over the Common Fisheries Policy? Farage did absolutely nothing to represent British interests there; couldn’t even be bothered to vote.
        http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/media/press-releases/farage’s-voting-record-fishing-‘makes-mockery’-new-election-poster-20150408

        109000 quid a year plus expenses for sitting on his backside and occasionally telling idiots such as yourself what you want to hear.
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/poor-nigel-farage-finds-it-hard-to-get-by-on-109000-a-year-plus-expenses-9901390.html

        Now what Parma is referring to is probably PiS’s first acts after forming a government, which is to restrict the free media and start setting up little personality cults. They are making a damn good attempt at eroding democracy and liberal society wherever they can.

        Oh btw Woger, I thought you were all about respect for Craig and his site, so why did you come back after he IP banned you following your suggestion?

        • I don’t understand how we’re arguing over $100k when in Moldova (which is not even an EU country) a billion $ was stolen in 4 months.

          If Plahotniuc saw what we’re arguing for, his underwear would laugh at us.

          The money is elsewhere and the amounts are much bigger than what we see. And I don’t think Farage is the one who receives the most bribe from globalists, in exchange for selling our destinies.

          The likes of Junker, Merkel and Schulz probably took billions of $ in bribe money that we know nothing about.

        • Expatescu

          If you’re going to deride someone, at least make sure, that you can spell thief,correctly.

          • Expatescu for real

            Clearly not written by me, since I would never misplace commas.

            Final post. I’ve given up on this place. Craig gets upset by two posters going after each other, but is just fine with someone who posts anti-Jewish hatred, and even chooses to converse with him on a regular basis. You’ve lost an advertiser, Craig. And it may not be the last.

            • Since you were advertising in the guide (?) you probably made some profit by doing so.

              Not even muslims behave like that. The Hadith states clearly that even if Jihad is on, economic activities and trade must continue as if it were peace.

              That kind of economic behavior that you promote is to be condemned.

            • Mr Rearguard

              What about all the anti-white hatred being peddled in the zionist owned and controlled media? You don’t give two hoots about that do ya, hypocrite!

            • Woger is a cretin

              LOL Woger *again* caught red handed impersonating another poster. First Geronimo when he was embarrassed after UKIPs piss poor performance in the General Election, and now Expatescu…
              Can’t stop laughing at Woger’s terrible command of the English Language giving the game away though HAHAHHAHAHA
              Your typical UKIP supporter ladies and gentlemen; thick as pigshit and unable to use their own mother tongue.

      • Farage is a thief

        LOL you really are a colossal idiot aren’t you Roger?
        Poland’s economy exploded after joining the EU and their people can afford a much better standard of living now as a result of it.
        Tusk is earning his salary by actually doing his job, meanwhile your hero Farage pockets over 100,000 quid a year plus expenses and can’t even be bothered to turn up to do his job 90% of the time. Remember how you got sand in your crack over the Common Fisheries Policy? Farage did absolutely nothing to represent British interests there; couldn’t even be bothered to vote.

        109000 quid a year plus expenses for sitting on his backside and occasionally telling idiots such as yourself what you want to hear.

        Now what Parma is referring to is probably PiS’s first acts after forming a government, which is to restrict the free media and start setting up little personality cults. They are making a damn good attempt at eroding democracy and liberal society wherever they can.

        Oh btw Woger, I thought you were all about respect for Craig and his site, so why did you come back after he IP banned you following your suggestion?

      • What’s happening in Poland has nothing to do with the EU. It’s about a politcal party trying to create a system which would: 1. Make it difficult for any opposition to be heard. PiS has even gone as far as draft a law which would close any NGO that does not represent ‘traditional Polish values’ (basically Catholic extremism). 2. Ensure it remains in office in perpetuity. It’s an affront to democratic values.

        Basically, do not defend PiS unless you would be happy with Britain being run by a bunch of Catholic priests whose views would be considered old fashioned in the middle ages.

        • PiS off

          Look at this…
          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35257105
          First act of PiS…straight out of The Third Reich. playbook.

        • Nigel Farage

          Craig – My points are about Tusk and his inept attitude towards the democracy of his people, during his tenure.

          What’s happening in the situation Parmo mentions, I accept is a different issue altogether, but I never said they were linked in the first place, seems to have caught a couple out 🙂

        • PiS has even gone as far as draft a law which would close any NGO that does not represent ‘traditional Polish values’ (basically Catholic extremism).

          Basically, do not defend PiS unless you would be happy with Britain being run by a bunch of Catholic priests whose views would be considered old fashioned in the middle ages.

          I think that’s exactly what we need. Because otherwise we’re just food for Muslims to feed upon us.

          Unless WE bring back Christianity, MUSLIMS will bring their Islam to us. And Islam is far far more dangerous than anything Christianity ever stood for.

          Islam is Death and Destruction. This is the most retrograde force that mankind had ever witnessed. And the only ideological weapon that was proven effective against Islam is Christianity; for Democracy and especially Liberalism have failed miserably.

          • Nigel Farage

            Fair post Parmo, I’d much rather see a democratic and proud nation state of Poland, who we would be friendly neighbours with, trade, share crime fighting values etc … We can do ALL of that, and more, without being dragged into a European state of unelected fanatics like Junker, Verhofstadt etc

            The little I know about PIS, I don’t agree with their sentiments.

            • Europe’s bureaucrats are failing and taking the whole continent to the abyss.

              We don’t have anything else than our traditional values that would help us to stand still.

              If we don’t go back to those values, the end of Europe will come by Islamic apocalypse.

              I will support any force that is willing to take a country or territory back to European and Christian traditional values. I see no other way to fight against Islam than stepping back from Liberalism.

            • Nigel Farage

              Agree Parmo

              The EU is failing in many areas, it’s hell bent on creating a ”European state” almost USSR like, and eroding nation state democracy, creating an anthem, a flag, a currency, standardised tractor seats etc etc …

              So the invite for millions of ”asylum seeking” fantastic people, cultures and religions to flood the most desirable EUssr countries, is all part of Mrs Merkel’s master plan!

              Well, her plan is flawed and the people of Europe are starting to wake up, hence over 4 million UK voters, supporting an anti EU party to support … They’ll also be a fair few more euro sceptics who voted Cons, Lab etc … the referendum on eu membership, will hopefully bring them all out !