Vaclav Klaus: "We will not be campaigners for the climate package"

Vaclav KlausBucharest - The Czech Republic will make no special effort to tackle climate change when it takes over the rotating EU presidency in January, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Thursday.

"We will not be campaigners for the climate package," Klaus said, during a private visit to the Romanian capital Bucharest, the Romanian news agency Mediafax reported.

He also expressed fears that the global financial crisis would be used as a pretext for curtailing freedoms in the markets.

"The climate is OK," and the problem of global warming was mere "ideology," Klaus said at a book presentation.

Romania's leading communist-era dissident dies

Centre-right party ahead in Romanian election

The centre-right Democratic Liberals LogoBucharest - The centre-right Democratic Liberals (PDL) of Romanian President Traian Basescu held a razor-thin lead in Romania's parliamentary elections, according to latest returns on Monday.

With 71 per cent of Sunday's ballots counted, the PDL were narrowly ahead of the opposition Social Democrats, while Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu's National Liberal Party languished in third place.

Social Democrats in lead in Romania

Social Democrats in lead in RomaniaBUCHAREST, Romania, Nov. 30  -- Exit polls indicated Romanian voters favored the ex-communist Social Democrats in the country's general election Sunday.

The BBC reported that while the ultimate make-up of the next government remained uncertain, exit polls showed the Social Democrat candidates would receive about 36 percent of the vote. The governing National Liberals appeared to have about 20 percent and the party's former allies, the Liberal Democrats, were at about 31 percent, the British network said.

Exit polls: Romanian government headed for election loss

Exit polls: Romanian government headed for election loss Bucharest  - The opposition Social Democrats are poised to become Romania's strongest party while ruling Prime Minister Calin Popescu's National Liberal Party suffered a clear defeat, according to exit polls released after Sunday's parliamentary elections.

In voting for both the Senate and the lower chamber of Parliament, separate exit polling by the survey organizations Insomar and CCSB put the Social Democrats (PSD) at
35 to 36 per cent of respondents.

Romanians elect new parliament as economy slides

Bucharest  - Romanians elect a new parliament Sunday amid an economic downturn that has cost thousands of jobs and could force the next government to take unpopular austerity measures.

Polls show Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu's centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL) running a distant third behind two opposition groups, President Traian Basescu's Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) and the left-leaning Social Democrats (PSD).

With no party expected to win an outright majority, the next governing coalition for the EU and NATO member nation is hard to predict.

Turnout is tipped to be lower than for the last parliamentary elections in 2004, because feuding politicians and rampant corruption have turned off many voters.