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What the newspapers say: March 12, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Luni, 12 martie 2007, 0:00


Newspapers expect a Government session on Monday to become a front for a new confrontation between top Romanian leaders as the issue of European elections remains a major stake in the political struggle in Bucharest. New revelations target President Basescu’s own brother for his deals with energy players who have been harshly criticized by the head of state.

And one newspaper takes a deep look into renewed tensions between Romania and its eastern neighbor, the Moldovan Republic.

The Romanian Government and its prime-minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu will hold a session today to discuss Tariceanu’s proposal last week to postpone the country’s first European elections until later this year.

As President Traian Basescu has been opposing the idea, Tariceanu sent him a letter expressing strong opposition to the head of state’s announcement that he would attend the government meeting today, Evenimentul Zilei reports.

The president would not be impressed by Tariceanu’s claims and plans to attend the talks anyway, as he announced in a letter of reply, the paper rights.

According to Cotidianul, the prime minister’s decision last weekend to postpone EP elections reactivates the crisis within the governing coalition, divided between Tariceanu’s Liberals (PNL) and the Democrats (PD) who support Basescu.

Cotidianul tries to describe a government without PD participation, as a monocolor PNL government - with support from the smaller Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) has been discussed for weeks. And the results are either grim, or spectacular when described by the newspaper.

Gandul announces that the Democrats may themselves call for the resignation of the prime-minister unless he drops plans for late EP elections. And it also quotes sources according to which Tariceanu has already made his mind on the issue and is ready to push a government formed only of PNL and UDMR this week.

His new government would receive Parliament approval with support from the main opposition parties.

The same Gandul reports that the issue already echoes in Brussels as the European Popular Party-EPP and the Liberal-Democrats (ALDE) have different views on whether Romania should postpone the elections.

While the EPP disagrees with such a move, ALDE leader Graham Watson had said the current political situation in Romania was not adequate for a European poll.

According to Romania libera, quoting Liberal sources, the most probable date for late European elections would be October 14, instead of May 13 as previously planned.

Back to Gandul, the newspaper quotes a new public opinion poll produced by Data Media, according to which President Basescu is blamed most for escalating political conflicts in Bucharest (37.1% of the population), followed by PM Tariceanu with 12.4%.

The same poll shows most Romanian voters (58.3%) agree with the introduction of the uninominal votes in Romanian elections, with 22.3% still undecided.

Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei quotes revelations by a maverick “investigations group”, the Group of Political Investigations, which claimed last weekend that President Basescu’s own brother Mircea Basescu was involved in shady deals with energy company Energy Holding, linked to many scandals affecting the Romanian politics and economy lately.

Mircea Basescu had already been linked to Energy Holding last week, but now the group claims it resells very cheap energy he procures from the company - a charge that Mircea Basescu dismisses. The issue is also tackled in most newspapers, which opt, however, not to interview Mircea Basescu on the situation.

Last but not least, Cotidianul analyzes renewed tensions between Romania and authorities in the neighboring Moldovan Republic, who launched a series of serious attacks on Bucharest over the past several weeks.

According to the paper, the economic dependence on Russia, the fear of Communist authorities in Chisinau of losing their population as many migrate to Romania and of losing the breakaway Transdnestr territory are burying Moldova’s stated strategic objective of joining the European Union.
























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