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What the newspapers say: March 26, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Luni, 26 martie 2007, 0:00


The Berlin Declaration and its meaning for the future of the European Union are extensively discussed in Romanian newspapers on Monday. They also announce attempts by the two governing parties in Bucharest to leave disputes behind and prevent the breakup of the Government.

One newspaper tries to clear up the situation of abuses in Romanian energy contracts, while others focus on the more or less Orthodox practices of Romanian intelligence services.

“The future of the EU sounds vague”, Evenimentul Zilei headlines its report on events hosted by the German capital yesterday to mark the Union’s 50th anniversary.

According to the newspaper, the Berlin Declaration, a political document aimed at reviving the institutional reform of the bloc after the failure of its draft Constitution, has been emptied of any engaging terms and looks like a long list of compromises.

The newspaper reports that Romanian President Traian Basescu, who attended the ceremonies in Berlin, supports the Declaration and calls it “the most important EU document to which Romania worked along the other member states”.

Cotidianul notes the enthusiasm that accompanied events in Berlin, but also the sense of caution when it comes to advancing from past successes such as the opening of borders, the common market and the single currency to future projects.

And Romania libera focuses on what Romania chose to represent it at cultural events in Berlin and Rome: it was a rather poor campaign to promote the country, focused on stuff like its wines, painted eggs and Gypsy music, according to the paper.

Meanwhile, the press discusses attempts by the leaders of the two governing parties in Bucharest, the Democrats and the Liberals, to make up and save what can be save of their government after a series of internal disputes that have led it to the brink of collapse.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, a Liberal, discussed with Democratic leader Emil Boc last weekend the chances to keep governing together. The two agreed to retain the current governing formula and reshuffle the government at a secondary level alone, by removing some ministers-delegate.

But one issue that remains unsolved is the Foreign Affairs portfolio, as the Democrats failed to accept Tariceanu’s nomination for the post, Liberal Adrian Cioroianu. Tariceanu is currently doubling his duties with those of interim Foreign minister.

Cotidianul is more cautious and reports that this week will be decisive for PM Tariceanu as Democrats still prepare to withdraw its political support and the opposition Social-Democrats are ready to push a motion against the government.

According to the paper, the relationship between the Democrats and the Liberals must see a solution this week.

And Gandul quotes a top Liberal leader who on Saturday said that the prime minister would have to face the Parliament with a governmental formula for which to ask a vote of confidence within days.

Elsewhere in the papers, Cotidianul tries to clear up some of the problems related to recent revelations of abuses in the Romanian energy sector. The paper publishes an extensive list of companies that have had contracts with Romania’s cheapest electricity producer, Hidroelectrica.

The list includes many companies notorious for their practice of buying cheap energy just to re-sell it for much higher prices.

Gandul reports that the Romanian intelligence services have been monitoring politicians and businessmen with video and audio recordings in Bucharest pubs, hotels and restaurants.

The secret operations made it so that Bulgarian citizen Stamen Stancev, a key suspect in a case focused on shady cheap energy deals has been continuously monitored this way - including his meetings with top Romanian officials.

And Jurnalul National publishes an interview with Claudiu Saftoiu, who recently announced his resignation as head of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service-SIE, who dismisses claims that he made a series of serious blunders in a parliamentary heading that led to his forced resignation and who says that his relations with SIE generals have been “a lesson of a lifetime”.























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