May 2005


Romania through international eyes
Contact us

People
People in the News

May 2005

The European Parliament voted to allow Romania and Bulgaria to join the EU in 2007, but said Romania’s entry was conditional on its first reforming state subsidy handouts, reform of its justice system and law enforcement, improvement of its environmental record and securing of rights for Roma people. Romania’s main opposition party, the PSD, elected Mircea Geoana as its head, ousting the long-time leader and former president, Ion Iliescu. Adrian Nastase, the former prime minister, was elected executive president of the party, and Miron Mitrea became its general secretary. Two weeks of heavy rains prompted a state of emergency to be called in the country’s west, following the evacuation of more than 4,000 people from their homes in Timis, and the flooding of 30,000 hectares of agricultural land normally used for crops. The lives of three journalists who were kidnapped in Baghdad on 29th March remained in the balance, after the expiry of their captors’ ultimatum that they would die unless Romania withdrew its armed forces from Iraq, where 800 troops form part of the US-backed occupation. The National Bureau of Statistics said that Romania’s unemployment rate was 6 per cent, the lowest it had been for 13 years. Posta Romana’s 35,000 workers embarked on a 10-day strike for a 16 per cent increase in wages, but ended it a day later. The US embassy announced that the Marine Corps had initiated charges against Staff Sergeant Christopher Van Goethen, who drove the car that killed the musician Teo Peter in December last year. A British chaplain and two Romanian policemen were killed in a head-on collision with a truck on the road between Brasov and Sibiu. Stephanie Roth, who leads campaigns against plans to extract gold from Rosia Montana, won the prestigious Goldman prize for environmentalism, and two senior executives of Gabriel Resources, the company that is trying build the mine, resigned. The stadium announcer at Steaua Bucharest was fined for making racist comments during the local derby with Rapid Bucharest. The Italian restaurant Café Ole burnt to the ground after an electrical fault; its owners said they would rebuild. Andre Francois, the influential Timisoara-born illustrator of publications such as The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated, died, aged 89. Romania’s Constantin Dita ran second in the London Marathon, behind Paula Radcliffe. Mihaela Steff was beaten 4-0 by Austria’s Liu Jia in the final of the European women’s table tennis championships. BBC Radio began broadcasting in Romania, on a frequency of 88 FM. Alcohol consumption was banned in Bucharest’s underground stations and trains. At an auction at Christies in New York, Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture Bird in Space sold for $27.45 million, a world record price for an auctioned sculpture. About Love, a Japanese-Chinese co-production, won Best Film at the B-Est International Film Festival. PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organisation, held its first demonstration in Romania, outside Bucharest’s KFC outlet in Bulevard Magheru.


The end of an era in Romanian politics. Ion Iliescu has much to ponder as he leaves Sala Palatului, moments after losing control of the PSD leadership.

A conclave of cardinals elected Joseph Ratzinger,
a conservative German, to be the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Ratzinger, who took the name Benedict XVI, was John Paul II’s chief theoretical adviser. Tony Blair and his Labour Party were comfortably reelected to office in the British general elections, but with a significantly reduced majority. President George Bush of the United States met with Ariel Sharon, the prime minister of Israel, and asked him not to go ahead with his plans to build 3,650 new homes on the West Bank. The last Syrian troops pulled out of Lebanon, 29 years after they intervened in its civil war. A wave of anti-Japanese feeling gripped China after the publication of school textbooks that whitewashed Japanese wartime atrocities, and tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Beijing and Shenzen. Later, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sought to defuse the crisis by making a public apology for the crimes of the Imperial Army, in front of more than a hundred world leaders at the Asian African Summit in Jakarta. “In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggressiveness, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asian nations,” Mr Koizumi said. “Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility and with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology.” Brazil offered political asylum to Ecuador’s president Lucio Gutierrez, who was ousted by a unanimous vote in Congress. Violence escalated in Iraq as Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaffari struggled for broad agreement in filling his cabinet positions. At least 82 Ethiopians were killed and tens of thousands made homeless after floods deluged villages in the country’s southeast. Fire gutted a hotel in the Paris Opera hotel in the city’s 9th arondissement, killing 24 people, many of whom were from African immigrant families. Police in Melbourne, Australia seized five million ecstasy tablets, valued at $192 million. Police in Lima, Peru discovered more than a ton of cocaine at a fish processing plant. MG Rover, the British carmaker, went bust. Tesco, the British supermarket chain, reported profits of almost $4 billion, which was 20 per cent more than last year. Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa reached 5 per cent last year, an eight-year high, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund. The European Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, made its maiden flight. Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the colourful former premier of Queensland, Australia, died, aged 94. Andrea Dworkin, the radical feminist, died, aged 58. Rene Rivkin, the flamboyant stockbroker, committed suicide, aged 60. Eser Weizman, the former president of Israel, died, aged 80. Tiger Woods won the US Masters after birdying the first play-off hole. Crowd violence forced a football match between Inter Milan and AC Milan to be abandoned, and Inter Milan was subsequently fined $250,000 and told to play its next four games behind closed doors. Shahid Afridi of Pakistan hit the second fastest century in international one-day cricket, off 45 balls. Australia Women beat India Women to win the final of the women’s cricket world cup. A team of nine Ukrainian cave divers set a world record for depth diving, venturing 2,080 metres into Krubera, the world’s deepest known cave, in Georgia. The Dave Matthews Band agreed to pay $200,000 compensation after their tour bus dumped human waste on a boatload of tourists on the Chicago River. In northern Thailand, a circus dwarf misjudged his trampoline bounce and was swallowed whole by a yawning hippopotamus.


Vivid People in the News
archive

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
June/July 2005

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
April 2005

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
March 2005

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
February 2005

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
December 2004

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
November 2004

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
October 2004

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
September 2004

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
June 2004

>>PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
May 2004



 

 

Advertising

 

Archive