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Federal regulators are investigating Microsoft Corp.’s relationship with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign government officials (in China, Italia and Romania) in return for software contracts, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. government investigators are reviewing whether Microsoft had a role in allegations that resellers offered bribes to secure software deals with Romania’s Ministry of Communications, according to people familiar with the matter, Wall Street Journal has revealed.

Romanian media mentioned that  some contracts were signed between local companies (Microsoft resellers) and the Romanian Government bodies, in the recent years. According to jurnalul.ro, a local reseller received a 100 mil. USD contract from the Romanian Gov, in 2009. But being under scrutiny, the contract was canceled by Government and then  taken over by a consortium of Romanian and Swiss based companies, when a company registered in Switzerland bought the Romanian reseller.

  • ROMANIAN PM: BENEFIT TOURISM IS  “ROMA PROBLEM”. At the end of 2013 work restrictions imposed by some European Union countries when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU will be lifted, according to BBC. Some politicians are concerned the removal of restrictions will see a rise in “benefit tourism” in richer EU countries, but Romania’s prime minister, Victor Ponta,  claims the issue is a “specific situation of the Roma community”. More on BBC website.
  • US ANTI-MISSILE IN ROMANIA. Romania’s defense minister said Tuesday U.S. plans to deploy anti-missile interceptors in his country are going ahead and that Romania has an “exceptional” partnership with the United States, according to Romanian and international media. U.S. officials last week announced that plans to place long-range missile interceptors in the final stage of its European system are being abandoned. U.S. officials have stressed they will deploy shorter-range missiles to Poland and Romania.
  • FORMER PM NASTASE RELEASED FROM JAIL. Former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase was released  from penitentiary. The court took note that 62-year-old Adrian Nastase served the legal fraction of one third of the sentence he received, according to actmedia.eu.  Adrian Nastase, 62, the most senior Romanian politician to be imprisoned since the end of Communism in 1989, was convicted of siphoning $2 million in state funds for his presidential campaign. In June, when the police arrived at Mr. Nastase’s villa to arrest him, he apparently pulled out a revolver and tried to kill himself. Millions of Romanians watched on television in shock as he was carried off on a stretcher, a Burberry scarf wrapped around his neck. He survived and was soon behind bars, according to NY Times.
  • TOURISM IN THE ROMANIAN VILLAGES. The number of Romanians opting for rural tourism in 2013 should grow by 15 percent y-o-y while that of foreigners coming to Romania for this type of tourism is expected increase by between 5 to 7 percent, according to the National Association for Rural, Ecological and Cultural Tourism (ANTREC). This will happen in the context of an overall growth of Romania’s domestic tourism this year, according to the same source. Most of the foreign tourists who buy accommodation in local rural guesthouses come from neighboring countries such as Hungary as well as Germany, France (especially individual tourists), Israel but also Japan (groups). More on Balkans.com.
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