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.

Romanian elections overshadowed by financial crisis

Romanian elections overshadowed by financial crisisBucharest  - Romania is facing a protracted tug-of-war over the formation of a new government, with parliamentary elections scheduled for November 30. The global financial crisis, which is already costing jobs in the new EU member state, is likely to play a role.

Opinion polls show insufficient support for any one party to rule

alone. The only apparent certainty is that Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) will be voted out of office. His party can expect to come third at best.

Mine shaft explosions kill 12 in Romania

Mine shaft explosions kill 12 in RomaniaBucharest - Two underground explosions ripped through a coal mine in Romania on Saturday, killing 12 miners and injuring eight others, a news agency reported.

Eight miners at the Petrila anthracite mine died in the first blast at a depth of 950 meters (3,100 feet). The second explosion killed four members of a rescue team that was lowered into the shaft, the Mediafax agency said.

Six of the injured were in critical condition with severe burns, the head of a local hospital said.

Romania's trade deficit soars

Bucharest - Romania's current account deficit grew by nearly 15 per cent in the first nine months of the year, authorities said Wednesday, the latest sign of a possible economic crunch for the European Union newcomer.

Goods imports running far ahead of exports were the main reason for the 12.7-billion-euro (16.1-billion-dollar) shortfall in the nation's broadest measure of international trade, central bank data showed.

Medium- and long-term foreign debt grew by 25.2 per cent since the start of the year, the report said.

Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, is among the ex-communist nations that has raised concern in the global financial crisis, especially after international lenders saved neighbouring Hungary from possible default.

Resignations at financially troubled Rapid Bucharest

romania football clubBucharest - Rapid Bucharest's general manager Constantin Zotta an

ArcelorMittal to idle Romanian plant

ArcelorMittal-logoBucharest - ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, will idle one of its four Romanian plants because of falling global demand, news agency reported Tuesday.

The plant at Hunedoara will halt production in a few days for about two months, its first idling since the depression of the 1930s, factory director Remus Patan told the Mediafax agency.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal said on November 5 it would cut production as the slowing global economy reduces steel demand.