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What the newspapers say: March 20, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 20 martie 2007, 0:00


Romanian newspapers on Tuesday discuss the resignation yesterday of Romania’s foreign intelligence chief and a criminal inquiry into the IT&C minister over criminal charges related to the privatization of the country’s energy assets. One newspaper links minister Zsolt Nagy’s story to “the smartest energy contract in history”.

And a study is quoted as showing an environmental disaster is hitting the Danube Delta hard.

“Have the secret services had enough of Basescu?”, wonders Adevarul, a day after President Traian Basescu’s ex-aide Claudiu Saftoiu resigned from the helm of the Foreign Intelligence Service-SIE.

The paper - which published transcripts yesterday showing Saftoiu making a series of gaffes in parliamentary hearings last week - quotes confidential sources claiming that the SIE chief was asked to resign by the head of state himself.

According to Romania libera, Saftoiu’s resignation was a penalty for admitting in Parliament that SIE was involved in phone tapping illegally.

And Evenimentul Zilei mocks the situation and shows the unexperienced SIE head had to resign after making two “monumental blunders” during his speech in the Parliament: that the Service was tapping phones based on General Prosecutor’s Office warrants.

The correct answer would have been: SIE has no duties in tapping phones in Romania and warrants are delivered by judges, not the prosecutor general.

Cotidianul writes besides Saftoiu’s gaffes, an important role for the resignation belonged to SIE generals who did not receive their blunders of their boss too easily.

Meanwhile, Gandul reports that President Basescu has approved a criminal inquiry against IT&C minister Zsolt Nagy in a huge case related to obscure deals that accompanied that privatization of Romania’s energy assets.

Cotidianul quotes Zsolt Nagy who in a press conference yesterday repeated he was innocent and said the inquiry should last as little as possible. And it quoted Nagy’s political boss, Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) leader Marko Bela who said the group was fully behind its minister.

Evenimentul Zilei publishes the details of one energy deal it describes as “the smartest contract in history” - a reference to the “smart guys” - media nickname for people involved in large scale deals allegedly related to the criminal ring minister Zsolt Nagy is suspected to be involved in.

The deal Evenimentul Zilei writes about runs between a private company, Energy Holding, and the state-controlled Hidroelectrica, and guarantees invome of over three billion dollars for the former.

Meanwhile, the same newspaper heralds “consultations on a powderkeg” between the president and parliamentary parties as efforts are under way to solve the ongoing political crisis in Bucharest.

Cotidianul reports that the consultations come as PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu is determined to see Interior minister Vasile Blaga and Justice minister Monica Macovei removed from the government, because they failed to support his own ordininance postponing European elections due to take place in Romania.

And while the Democrats - represented by Blaga and Macovei -warned Tariceanu’s Liberals of losing their support if the two ministers are ousted from the government, the Liberal Party retorted with another warning - either the two ministers are out, or the whole PD is removed from the governing alliance, according.

Elsewhere in the papers, Jurnalul National reports a disastrous environmental situation affecting the Danube Delta for the past couple of years and quotes a scientific study which claims the bioreservation is seriously affected by pollution and economic development, mainly by transports.

Last but not least, Cotidianul reports an Unicredit report estimating a Romania FDI amounting to some 5 billion euro in the period of 2007-2009, which describes the attractiveness of the country’s strategic position, EU membership, infrastructure projects and low labor costs.
























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