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What the newspapers say: March 21, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 21 martie 2007, 0:00


The political crisis is officially here to stay. The consultations between president Basescu and the representatives of political parties ended with street-talk expressions and without any sign of reconciliation.
Most newspapers warn about the Liberal's next probable move - letting go two important Democrat ministers, a decision that would surely make Democrats quit the governing Alliance.

Speaking of ministers thrown out of the Cabinet: it's not that bad to be in such a position. One of the last decisions signed by the former Foreign Minister, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, was to increase the wage of Romania's representative in the South-Eastern Cooperation Initiative to 8,000 euros per month, double than before.
This is also the position he had before being named as Foreign Minister, and the position he will return to as soon as possible, Cotidianul reads.

It is yet to see whether the Justice and the Interior minister made any preparations, since Liberal PM Popescu Tariceanu seems eager to get rid of all Democrats in the Government, according to the same Cotidianul.
Justice Minister Monica Macovei may be replaced by the head of the Anti-Fraud Department, Tudor Chuiariu. A state secretary, Victor Dobre, and the recently resigned Govt. Secretary General, Radu Stroe, are the two names rumors talk about for the Interior Minister seat.

Until anything is clear, Justice works, but not as fast as some would like it to. Over 130,000 investors in the bankrupt National Investments Fund (FNI) are to recover the money they invested. In the most scandalous scheme in Romania's economy, some 300,000 people are believed to have lost all their money.
Central character, controversial businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu (who recently became one of the top five players in mass-media) is judged separately. In the FNI file, 12 defendants were sentenced to 3 to 15 years in jail, but they can still appeal, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

But underground businesses is not a phenomenon lost in the past haze of transition economy. The ruling Government decided to pay 40 million euros for a new governmental building, since the existing one might crumble in the next earthquake.
The sum is four times larger than the money offered for buildings rehabilitation in all Romania. Still, nobody knows who got the money, where will the building be placed and how much would it really cost, Jurnalul National found out.

Returning to older business, old time collaborators of Ceausescu's political police, Securitate, still make the headlines. Conservative Party president, Dan Voiculescu, another media mogul and business guru, was declared "collaborator", but sued the institution that issued the verdict.
Judges failed to reach a verdict yesterday and postponed the sentence for the end of May, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

Still, when it comes to competence and incompetence, Bucharest City Hall rules. The entire water network in Bucharest is managed by Apa Nova, a company that seems to fail to achieve each and every promise it made.
Bucharest City Hall fined the company 1.5 million euros for this, than another 3.5 million euros fine was issued. Still, the money never came because it didn't exist any institution to withdraw the money. An institution was formed, ARBAC, but it didn't gain the right to execute the debt.

Now, when it came closer to winning back the money, ARBAC is to be closed and its job transferred to another bureaucratic office.
As if this wasn't enough, the Accounting Court prepares to force the City Hall cover the missing budget funds, Gandul reads, thus giving a clear image about how thing work in Bucharest.

Speaking of Bucharest - the noise pollution is at an average 40% above the accepted maximum, 70 decibels instead of 50, as environmental standards would impose, Gandul reads.

No wonder Romania still leads among the countries Germans dislike the most (11%, after Poland's 23%, above UK - 8%, France and Bulgaria - 7%), as same Gandul found out.























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