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.

Renault's Romanian plant plans three-week halt

Renault's Romanian plant plans three-week halt Bucharest - Renault SA's Romanian plant will halt production for three weeks as the country's car market slows, a news agency reported Monday.

Employees at Dacia, which makes budget-priced compact cars mostly for export, will get 85 per cent of pay during the November 20-December 7 break, the Mediafax agency said.

From January through October, Dacia's production ran at 17 per cent above last year's level. But production recently was halted for four days because of slowing demand.

Abbas: peace talks likely only after Israeli elections

Abbas: peace talks likely only after Israeli electionsBucharest - Peace negotiations with Israel will likely only resume after completion of Israeli elections in February, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday in Romania.

He also repeated his assertion that any peace agreement will not be completed by the end of 2008, as envisaged at the Annapolis conference in November 2007.

Abbas made his comments while visiting with Romanian President Traian Basescu. During the meeting, Basescu ruled Romania out as a possible mediator in any Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Romanian teachers call strike for higher pay

Bucharest - Teachers in Romania have called a series of strikes to press demands for a 50 per cent pay increase approved by parliament, union leaders said Friday.

The teachers plan a day-long stoppage on November 10 and an indefinite strike from November 18 if their demands are not met. Civil servants and doctors say they will join the protest action.

President Traian Basescu has urged the teachers not to go ahead with their strike, saying it could jeopardize parliamentary elections scheduled for November 30.

The president supports the teachers' pay claim, but it is opposed by his political rival, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

Jewish cemetery headstones destroyed in Romania

Bucharest - Unknown vandals have knocked over and, in some cases, destroyed 131 headstones in Bucharest's Jewish cemetery.

According to the Mediafax news agency on Friday, the vandals also smashed windows in the administrative offices of the cemetery in Romania's capital.

Some office equipment was also destroyed.

No anti-Semitic slogans were discovered on the destroyed headstones, according to police.

Romania's Justice Ministry denounced the vandalism and promised a speedy investigation of the crime and punishment for those responsible.

There are only about 9,000 remaining members of Romania's Jewish community.