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.

French, Czech firms to build Romanian power plants

French, Czech firms to build Romanian power plants Czech energy firm CEZ and Electrabel, a unit of French-based GDF Suez, won contracts to build two coal-fired power plants in Romania, the government said Wednesday.

Each contract is worth up to 400 million euros (590 million dollars), Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian said.

The 400-megawatt units in eastern Romania will be built at two existing power plants in cooperation with state-owned utility Termoelectrica SA.

Electrabel was contracted to build a unit at Borzesti and CEZ was tapped for one at Galati, also the site of Romania's biggest steelworks.

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.

EU reprimands Italy, Bulgaria, Romania over emergency number

Eurpeon Union LogoBrussels - The European Commission on Thursday opened legal proceedings against Italy over its failure to fully implement the European Union's common emergency phone number - 112.

The EU executive, in its role of guardian of the bloc's treaties, also referred Bulgaria and Romania to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for similar failures.

Czech power utility CEZ to build wind farms in Romania

Prague - The Czech power giant CEZ is to build two wind- powered electricity generating farms in Romania with a combined capacity of 600 megawatts, the company said on Wednesday.

The state-controlled energy firm said that it bought assets a day earlier to build the Fantanele and Cogealac farms from the wind power developer Continental Wind Partners LLC.

CEZ did not disclose the purchase price but said it plans to invest a total of 1.1 billion euros (1.6 billion dollars) in the farms, the planned capacity of which is nearly triple the size of the Europe's largest operational wind farm of Maranchon in Guadalajara, Spain.