Put in financial peril because of NATO bombing against Serbia which literally blocked its source of business, Danube shippers and port operators received good news when it was divulged that Romania's government decided to write off the debts owed to the state by Danube shippers and port operators. The debts included unpaid taxes and contributions to the state and social security budgets over April 1999-June 2000, as well as penalties, the cabinet said in a statement issued after a special meeting. Data put shippers' total debts at some 39 billion lei.
say they have lost some $150 million in trade since April 1999, when NATO destroyed bridges over the Danube in Serbia, on Romania's western border, blocking traffic on the river.
DOE Releases Another 2.45M Barrels
The U.S. Energy Department shipped 2.45 million barrels of emergency oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last week, bringing total reserve oil shipments to 8.02 million barrels. The Clinton administration has loaned 30 million barrels of reserve oil to energy firms, which are supposed to refine the crude into heating oil and other petroleum products to boost supplies this winter. Of that total, 23 million barrels of the reserve oil will be delivered by the end of November and the remaining 7 million barrels will be shipped by the end of December.
The borrowed oil, plus more barrels as interest, will be returned to the emergency stockpile next year.