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What the newspapers say: April 20, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 20 aprilie 2007, 0:00


The Romanian Parliament decision on Thursday to suspend President Basescu dominates todays’ newspapers which are split in two camps - those apparently supporting the decision, and those that mourn the fate of domestic politics.at the hands of old timers who are now pushing to regain the authority lost in Basescu’s moves to reform the country.

The Romanian Parliament decided with a large majority following lengthy debates on Thursday to suspend President Basescu, whom the opposition and the main governing party accuse of breaching the Constitution. The Constitutional Court had previously decided that Basescu has not stepped away from the letter of the Constitution.

The parliamentary vote must now be validated by the same Constitutional Court. President Basescu joined thousands of people who gathered in downtown Bucharest to show their support for him yesterday evening and promised not to betray them and to resign once all procedures are concluded, in order to determine early elections.

His arch-rival Calin Popescu Tariceanu, followed with a televised statement urging Basescu to resign as fast as possible.

What do newspapers have to say about it?

Evenimentul Zilei
The one newspaper that published a special edition yesterday in the evening covering the events in Parliament and in the street yesterday, EVZ is rather distressed by the outcome of the months-long political crisis in Romania.

• It reports that Basescu, “suspended by a hostile parliament, announced his plans” in the University Square: to say the truth about the current government, which he blames for the political crisis, but only when time for election comes.

• It describes what Romania should expect for the coming period: “another weekend with Basescu, three months with [opposition Social Democratic Senate speaker Nicolae] Vacaroiu, and than a vote”.

• It recalls that PM Tariceanu, who urged Basescu to resign as promised, had promised himself to resign from office in 2005, but changed his mind in short order.

• It writes that Basescu was “bombarded by the oligarchs and the Parliament” for “his refusal to assume a decorative role” in politics.

• It writes that Senate speaker Nicolae Vacaroiu, expected to take over the interim presidency, “is a servant of the communist-era Planning Committee who is now changing the destiny of Romania”. Vacaroiu, 63, “was not a brilliant politician, but the type of diligent clerks, born in cheap suits”.

• It quotes Dinu Patriciu, PM Tariceanu’s friend and so-called “mogul” in his capacity as head of the Rompetrol group, who says Basescu’s term has influenced Romania’s economy in a negative way and that his suspension will not have such an effect on the economic environment.

Cotidianul
The newspaper reports that with their vote yesterday the MPs “returned Basescu to his people”.

• It writes that Basescu’s daughters were among protesters who convened in the University Square yesterday.

• It writes that while thousands of people gathered for the Bucharest protest, appeals for several demonstrations across the country failed to deliver a similar effect: from two protesters in Cluj to several dozens in Arad and Iasi and about 100 in Brasov.

• It reports the EU is worried about the situation in Romania - except for the ALDE group to which Tariceanu’s Liberals belong. The head of the ALDE group in the EP is quoted as saying that Basescu should accept the vote of the Parliament and not run again for Presidency.

• It writes that the mastermind of the whole situation is ex-President Ion Iliescu of the Social Democrats (PSD), who now returns to “his fourth term” as he is expected to run the country fom the shadows given the current political situation in Bucharest.

• It reports that protests against the Parliament vote were much more vivid on the Internet, with news websites including by HotNews.ro assaulted by Romanian readers.


Gandul
The newspaper is known for its hostile position towards Basescu and it keeps up with the job today.

• It reports that “Traian Basescu has become the President of the University Square”, referring to his meeting supporters in downtown Bucharest.

• It reports that Basescu did not resign “within five minutes” after suspension, as he had promised.

• It writes that Senate speaker had taken over Basescu’s protocol residence in unexplained circumstances even before he was due to take over his job as interim President from the current head of state.

• It reports that Central Bank governor Mugur Isarescu and businessman Ion Tiriac, Romania’s richest man, are eyed by both the Liberals and the Social Democrats as possible challengers for Basescu in the expected early presidential elections.

• It quotes analysts who say the impact of the political crisis will not be a significant one on the economy in the short term, while the long term effects will depend on what happens next on the political stage.

But it includes stock falls, high exchange rate volatility, caution among foreign investors on medium and long term, a possible cut of the country ratings and a lower capacity to absorb European funds among the possible effects of the crisis.

Romania libera
“Expelled from Cotroceni” [presidential palace] is the main headline in Romania libera, known for its outspoken stance against the Social Democratic opposition.

• It reports that the presence at the parliamentary vote yesterday was unprecedented: 440 MPs from a total of 465. 322 voted in favor of suspension. 233 were needed to suspend the President.

• It writes that the governing Liberals have assumed the theories pushed by the Social Democrats in speeches held in Parliament yesterday, blasting President Basescu.

• It writes that Basescu’s supporters in the Parliament, the Democrats (PD) and the Liberal Democrats (PLD) accused a coup d’etat and “a public political execution of the president of Romania”.

• It writes that Basescu “reopened the University Square” - a reference to the 1990 protests against the first post-communist regime run by Ion Iliescu, an ex-Communist apparatchik.

• It recalls that the future interim president, Senate speaker Vacaroiu, has been involved in “numerous political and financial scandals”.

• It quotes House speaker Bogdan Olteanu, a Liberal, who admits that the vote in Parliament yesterday “was a bad decision for a bad situation, but still a solution”.

Adevarul
The newspaper owned by Rompetrol head Dinu Patriciu, a Liberal businessman with strong PSD connections, known for his hostility towards Basescu

• It writes that the suspension vote yesterday “sent Traian Basescu back to qualification groups” for the presidential elections.

• It writes that the Parliament met little resistance in its vote against the President and simply publishes PM Tariceanu’s exact words urging Basescu to resign promptly, without further comment.

• It also quotes analysts who say the political turmoil would not affect the business environment seriously.
























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