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What the newspapers say: February 20, 2007

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


President Traian Basescu is once again all over the front pages of Romanian newspapers on Tuesday with his renewed attacks on “media moguls” influencing the political stage in the country. Plans of referendum and of government restructuring are also discussed in the papers today.

And while a the name of historian is circulated for the Foreign Ministry portfolio, controversial issues of the recent past are coming back to light with the partial acquittal of a WWII leader of the country.

In an interview for the public radio yesterday, President Traian Basescu launched a scathing attack on three businessmen controlling vast media groups in Romania, whom he accused of using their media assets in the political battle currently taking place in Bucharest.

According to Gandul, the head of state is “restless” in his struggle with media moguls, who hit back with their own public comments yesterday.

Romania libera quotes all three “media moguls” - Dinu Patriciu, Dan Voiculescu and Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, who dismiss Basescu’s claims.

Voiculescu was the fiercest in his reply: “We recommend the President to sign a decree tomorrow and close those TV stations and newspapers who are not friendly with him, and possibly arrest all media moguls immediately”.

Evenimentul Zilei sees Basescu’s statements differently in its own report and reports that he admitted yesterday he interfered with various minstries to pay their dues to private companies, while some of the beneficiaries of these interventions was the company of a businessmen seen as very close to the Presidency.

But the newspaper insists on his explanations that it was nothing illegal or abusive in his moves.

In these circumstances, Gandul reports that parliamentary procedures that may lead to a referendum for the suspension of the President will start today as the opposition Social Democrats are to call for the creation of an “investigative commission” to dig into how the head of state allegedly breached the Constitution.

The procedures coincide with an intensified battle between Liberals and Democrats, the two major parties of the governing coalition, over plans to restructure the government.

According to Cotidianul, the Democrats will not cede any of the ministries it currently controls despite Liberal PM Tariceanu’s warning that a new war would begin unless the Democrats accept a proper reshuffle.

Jurnalul National considers the war is inevitable as three parties now have to renegotiate the control over ministries after the Conservatives - led by Jurnalul’s controller, Dan Voiculescu - left the government coalition.

The early starlet of these disputes is the new Liberal nominee for the seat of Foreign minister, historian and Senator Adrian Cioroianu, who would replace resigning ForMin Mihai Razvan Ungureanu.

According to Gandul, Cioroianu’s nomination yesterday may be rejected by President Basescu today as the head of state allegedly warned he could not see Cioroianu as able to run the Romanian diplomacy.

The idea is shared by Evenimentul Zilei, which turns to Cioroianu’s human side with reports that his family and girlfriend rather disagreed with the nomination, but to no avail.

And Cotidianul considers Cioroianu will have a difficult job as organizationally he falls under the authority of the prime minister, while his duties have him comply with the rules of Romania’s foreign policy set by President Basescu.

Elsewhere in the papers, Evenimentul Zilei reports that Ion Antonescu a marshall who ruled Romania during WWII, along with a leader of the fascist movement in the early forties and 19 ministers of the 1940 pro-German government in Bucharest were acquitted for some of the war crimes they were blamed for due to the military collaboration of Romania and Germany against the Soviets at the time.

The newspaper writes that Antonescu, fascist leader Horia Sima and the rest were acquitted only for their so-called “crimes against peace” - crimes related to Romania’s position against the Soviet Union.

The same newspaper also reports that Romanian veterinary authorities have intensified measures of fowl supervision in the eastern parts of the country after the Russian Federation informed Romanian officials about the appearance of the bird flu virus in the Krasnodarsky Kray region.

Evenimentul Zilei reports the virus was also identified in villages in Turkey, Hungary and Japan lately.
























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