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What the newspapers say: January 25, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Joi, 25 ianuarie 2007, 0:00


Very few leftovers from the prime minister - president scandal are on the front pages of Romanian newspapers, but underground rumors say it may be just the silence before another storm.
As a reminder: the entire scandal begun from a note in which PM Tariceanu may have asked president Basescu to intervene in the trial of an oil mogul. Basescu said it was a case of influence trafficking.
Well, how to describe then the intervention of the UK vice prime minister, asking Romania to continue its business with BAE Systems?

"Anti presidential square" is the title in Romania Libera, which baldly states that Liberals may shut up for the moment, but are working underground with the Opposition parties, in order to suspend president Basescu.

"Basescu depends on a bunch of anonymous parliamentarians", Cotidianul reads, counting the votes required to suspend president Basescu. It seems it's all up to independent parliamentarians and representatives of the national minorities, given the tie between governing parties and Opposition.

Basescu, of course, could care less. While celebrating the Union that lead to modern Romania's formation, Basescu was a bit metaphor-hungry: "We must drink the river Prut all at once and become one with our brothers in Moldova", said the president, according to Gandul.
Basescu thus continues the statements made a few days ago about supporting Moldova on its way to EU accession.

Similar news, different angle: "Bucharest officially demands a clear policy for the Black Sea", Romania Libera reads. Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, participating in the Brussels conference of foreign ministers, demanded a complete strategy and coherent policy to be put up for the Black Sea region, according to Euractiv.ro.

Moving towards business: Microsoft has only to win from Bill Gates' visit to Romania, Evenimentul zilei comments. The official launching of Windows Vista in Romania and the opening of the Microsoft Support Center in Bucharest are two of the main reasons for Gates' visit.
Still, the visit can be seen also as a lobby move and a recognition of Romanians' skills, other say.

More in good news: hundreds of millions of euros are ready to be invested in Romania's real estate market, Adevarul found out. Only in 2006, investment funds financed with 500 million euros the market and money is still coming.

Another thing coming is the Azeri oil: the new crude oil delivery road from Azerbaijan to the Western Europe will go through Romania, Romania Libera reads, quoting Azeri officials.

But enough good news: the stock exchange in Bucharest is in chaos, brokers go on strike and everyone blames the new taxes imposed on stock exchange gains, Adevarul informs, finding also a good side to all this: the scandal was presented by all main financial newspapers in the world.

In other bad news, the "Political highway" between Bucharest and Pitesti swallows tens of millions of euros and is still hardly anything more than a simple, plain national road, Gandul comments. Political clients still get maintenance contracts, drivers still curse the highway shape.

Now, getting to some serious scandals, Credit Suisse First Boston - the company involved in all the aspects of the "strategic privatizations" affair, already had problems when it came to Romania.
Evenimentul zilei found out that the strategy to pay huge commissions in order to "get things done" was also applied in other countries, where similar scandals eventually burst.

Another problem that could grow during the following days was the visit made by the UK vice prime minister, John Prescott, who suggested to the Romanian Defense Minister, Sorin Frunzaverde, to continue the ongoing business with BAE Systems, Gandul.

For those who turned on the TV later, BAE Systems is the company that saved to British frigates from being sold as scrap metal and sold it afterwards to Romania for 116 million euros. Now the company refuses to sign the maintenance contract.

Several details are available in the articles "Ryiad blackmails London (Hotnews.ro)" and "UK makes Romania stumble on old frigates (Hotnews.ro)".

But the scandal was huge and resources on BAE Systems are quite generous, if searched for.























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