Romanian government, parliament in conflict over teacher pa

Bucharest - The Romanian government is go to constitutional court over a parliamentary decision to raise the salary of teachers by 50 per cent, Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said Saturday.

Parliament made the teachers' wage decision in a unanimous vote two months before the election of a new parliament.

In its lawsuit, the government alleges legislators had not specified the financial sources of the salary increases.

The parliamentary decision has triggered an avalanche of wage demands, with 100,000 civil servants as well calling for 50-per-cent wage increases and threatening to strike.

Health care workers have demanded a 60-per-cent salary increase.

Romania suspends sale of aircraft builder to Czech firm

Romania suspends sale of aircraft builder to Czech firm Bucharest  - Romania has halted the sale of money-losing aircraft maker Avioane SA to Czech company Aero Vodochody because of a contract dispute, the country's privatization agency said Monday.

Aero, which beat bids by Italy's Alenia Aeronautica and a Romanian company, failed to accept the proposed privatization contract by the deadline date, the agency, known as AVAS, said in a statement.

AVAS plans to reopen bidding for Avioane, which builds military training aircraft, the statement said.

Romanian Nokia factory produces 10 millionth phone

Romanian Nokia factory produces 10 millionth phone Bucharest  - Nokia mobile phone production in the Romanian city of Jucu near Cluj will reach the 10-million mark by early October, the company's vice president Anssi Vanjoki said Wednesday, Romanian news agency Mediafax reported.

Vanjoki spoke at the official opening ceremony of the Jucu plant, which started operating in February.

The new plant followed the contested shutdown of a factory in the German city of Bochum and allowed the Finnish communications giant to partly move production to Eastern Europe.

Romanian labour minister sacked over corruption suspicions

Bucharest - Romanian President Traian Basescu dismissed Labour Minister Paul Pacuraru Tuesday after the state's anti- corruption prosecutor opened an investigation against him.

Pacuraru is suspected of corruption and abuse of office. Among other things he is suspected of intervening to secure state contracts for his son's business, news agency Mediafax reported Tuesday.

Parliament lifted Pacuraru's legal immunity in August, with the labour minister himself supporting the suspension.

Pacuraru, who is also a senator, belongs to the ruling PNL. He has repeatedly stated he is not guilty and said political opponents are behind the accusations against him.

Romanian economy grew at record 9-per-cent pace

Romanian economy grew at record 9-per-cent pace Bucharest  - Romania's economic growth accelerated to 9.3 per cent in the second quarter as foreign investment rose by nearly one- third, the government said Monday.

Year-on-year growth in gross domestic product (GDP) was the highest in 18 years.

The April-to-June figure compared with an annual rate of 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2008.

Foreign investment increased by 30 per cent in the second quarter, with an increasing share flowing into construction, the National Statistics Institute said in a statement.

Romanian parliament lifts immunity of two ministers

RomaniaBucharest - Romania's parliament Tuesday voted to lift prosecution immunity for Labour Minister Paul Pacuraru and former economics minister Codrut Seres who are the target of corruption investigations.

Both politicians, who are also members of the upper chamber, now face possible prosecution on corruption charges. Additionally, Seres is suspected of "espionage" in connection with some energy business deals.

Pacuraru, a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL) voted in favour of lifting his own immunity. Seres, of the co-ruling Conservative Party (PC), abstained in the vote.