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What the newspapers say: January 16, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 16 ianuarie 2007, 0:00


Romanian newspapers on Tuesday offer a hectic blend of reports on dubious business involving well-placed politicians, the performance and expectations of Romanian members of the European Parliament, the obscure direction of Romanian nationalism and the impact of a heat wave that’s been affecting the country in mid-winter.

Evenimentul Zilei focuses on a new brand of politically supported business, resembling the shady deals once practiced by the cronies of the former Social-Democratic government.

It reports that a businessman with close links with the governing National Liberal Party-PNL, Razvan Petrovici, used two Cyprus-based firms to get his hands on two real estate gems near and in Bucharest, valued at about 339 million euro. And, according to the paper, that would have been impossible without the help of the Liberal management of institutions supervising such deals.

The same Evenimentul Zilei reports that Romanian politicians such as far-rightist Corneliu Vadim Tudor and populist Gigi Becali would not be able to take part in the future European elections only to drag their parties with them and then withdraw to focus on domestic politics.

If they decide to take part in the EP elections and win seats, then they must stay there as EU rules forbid their withdrawal, the paper writes. Both CVT’s Greater Romania Party and Becali’s New Generation Party would do little without their respective gurus.

On the performance of Romanian MEPs in their first day in office yesterday, Gandul reports that they started off with a scandal as they could not agree which one of them should hold a speech in the name of their country before the plenary.

The solution came from above as it was decided that neither Romanians nor Bulgarians would hold speeches and the honor would be passed to EP President Josep Borell.

Also in Gandul, prosecutors from DIICOT, the main Romanian body combating terrorism and organized crime, have gained unprecedented powers since a new governmental ordinance came into effect during the holiday season last month.

According to the paper, DIICOT prosecutors would be allowed to monitor banking accounts and IT systems without warrant, which may lead to a whole lot of abuses.

And yet again in Gandul, a DIICOT investigation into shady energy deals over the past several years allegedly confirm that foreign citizen Vadim Benyatov and ex-Energy minister Codrut Seres are “the smart guys” that procured cheap energy from Romanian state-controlled companies.

The evidence comes as prosecutors have expanded inquiries on Benyatov, Bulgarian citizen Stamen Stancev and a third suspect for treason and industrial espionage.

The issue is also tackled by Cotidianul, according to which “spy” Stamen Stancev is presented in prosecutor’s documents as an evil genius manipulating “traitors” psychologically and who thus built a network of public servants to control Romanian ministries.

On the other hand, Cotidianul pays special interest in the visit paid by King Michael of Romania to the main body studying the archives of the communist secret police yesterday.

The paper reports that the King, whom the communists forced out of office and out of Romania in the late forties, might have been supervised for the-then State Security by one of his closest friends, a marshal of the Royal House, as one historian speculates.

Meanwhile, Adevarul reports that a meeting held by President Traian Basescu with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko at the opening of a bridge over the Tisa River yesterday took place in cold terms and many bilateral issues were left without solution, despite the appearance of good mutual understanding.

Jurnalul National quotes a new study by a sociology institute in Bucharest, according to which ethnocentrism is a characteristic of the Romanian nation, but only to a point.

According to the study, 63% of Romanians say they’d rather be in contact with Romanians than with citizens of other countries, yet only 40.1% of them believe all Romanians should only live in Romania.

And Romania libera is worried about the heatwave affecting the country in mid-winter, with temperatures closing to 20 degrees Celsius in some areas.

According to the paper, many agricultural crops are affected seriously - as is seasonal tourism, and a reduction of energy production at the Cernavoda nuclear plant due to a low Danube flow is not out of the question.























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