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What the newspapers say: September 3, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Luni, 3 septembrie 2007, 0:00


Newspapers on Monday read once more about the "deal of the decade" in Romania - the sale of 75% of Romanian oil company Rompetrol to Kazakh company KazMunayGaz.

Also in the news today, political debates point towards a changing political system in the country as governing Liberals are pushing for a fully fledged parliamentary republic.

And one newspaper reports on the "corridor to hell", a road that links Romania to Hungary and the West but which has become a torture because of intense traffic.

The head of the Central and Eastern European Department of the Foreign Service Institute, Janusz Bugajski talks at length in an interview for Romania Libera about the sale of 75% of Rompetrol to Kazakh company KazMunayGaz.

Bugajski demystifies the “Romanian Nabucco new option project” that Romanian businessman Dinu Patriciu, who owned Rompetrol so far, has heralded. He argues that there is the suspicion of Russian influence in so far as the oil makes use of Russia utilities such as pipelines or ports.

Thus, the American expert considers that Patriciu’s move has important political, economical and strategic consequences.

Moreover, the expert says that the transaction bears an important weight in the Romanian economy and this is enough of a reason to know the details of the signed contract and all its clauses, which have not been revealed.

Janusz Bugajski adds that the Kazakhs themselves are not foreign of Russian influence and he says that the Russian policy towards Central Asia is that of colonialism: Russia buys cheap oil from them just to sell it at high prices in Europe.

Even if new EU measures on energy policies have just been published, Bugajski argues that so far, European states have not managed to find a single voice on the issue and thus no action is forecast in the field.

Given this, the Russian influence increases even more as any other alternative pipeline project is doom to fail since there are no investments in the Black Sea or the Baltic one.

On the political side, Gandul reads about plans to change the Constitution so that Romania become a parliamentary republic, which would exempt the governing Liberals from the impossible duty of having to name a strong presidential candidate to counter the influence of incumbent President Traian Basescu.

Thus, PM Tariceanu hopes that by the time of the new elections of 2009 the Constitution could be amended to concentrate more powers in the hands of the government and not the presidency.

The Liberal leader alludes towards a more responsible and cautious gaze at the American model and warns that European states have a tradition in Parliamentary systems that proved to work better.

Moreover, Tariceanu sustained the idea of amending the Constitution and officially changing the Romanian political system in leaning more towards Parliamentarism than towards Semi-Presidentialism.

Cotidianul reads about the PM’s statements and focuses more on the reactions of other political parties.

Therefore, the Ethnic Hungarian Democrats and the Conservatives agreed to his proposition while the Democrats and the Liberal Democrats disapprove the Parliamentary system and favor the semi-presidential one where the President enjoys greater powers.

Elsewhere in the papers, Evenimentul Zilei reads about the 68 European Road (National Road 7) which is one of the main routes towards Hungary and the West and which is becoming continuously jammed by an ever higher number of cars.

Officially, the reason stands in the Romanians living abroad who return home during summer to spend more on Romanian roads than on their entire journey towards Romania.

However, even if officials defend themselves with plans on the table to build a major highway in the region, linking the cities of Constanta and Timisoara, there are no positive prospects on applying the project in the near future.

As the road is under repairs, traffic is jammed with no hopes of improvement. Even is the highway works should have started a year ago, the talking phase is not yet over.
























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