Iliescu sworn in as President


Bucharest - The former communist, Mr Ion Iliescu (70), was sworn in yesterday as Romania's new President, pledging to speed up preparations for EU and NATO membership, while distributing wealth more evenly in the impoverished country.

Mr Iliescu, who was the country's first post-communist head of state from 1990 to 1996, said he would start a "major project to modernise the country", firmly at the back of east Europe's queue vying for EU entry.