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What the newspapers say: January 11, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Joi, 11 ianuarie 2007, 0:00


To be or not to be corrupt? Is there any corruption at all in Romania? Do politicians have the right to dictate in privatizations? Will Vantu go to jail? Will the Sun die and humans move to another galaxy? Hard to tell about all this, one thing is sure, the Sun won't last forever.
Now, good news and bad news about Romania.

Controversial businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, widely blamed for making 300,000 people lose their money, is finally in the last stage before a verdict for some of his business. Over six months, his lawyers managed to postpone a verdict, invoking procedure errors.
Already, he may be judged on only for using false documents, the false statements indictment being prescribed due to term expiring, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

Controversies hit more than the business class. Five minister - four active and a former minister - were named in the Daewoo Automobile Craiova privatization commission. Civil society voices claim its not a fair move, letting politicians benefit from state business (Evenimentul Zilei).

The main argument in all newspapers is that they may use their positions to earn undeserved benefits. But that would be true in a corrupt country. Is Romania corrupt?

Global Integrity, an American NGO, finds Romania shiny and sparkling over night, turning it into an unexpected vice champion of anti corruption: Romania has the second most efficient tools to fight corruption, after the US (of course) and in front of the Israeli (Romania Libera).

Its still unclear what king of lobby was the one that managed to blindfold all researchers, but it's less than six months since Romania was at the third in the top of most corrupt European countries. Something's not right but, hey, at least its not our cash that paid for the study. Or is it?

For example, we know that some of our cash is used to pay the Justice Minister and the PM. Well, the first accuses the second of blocking a major anti corruption project - The National Agency for Integrity - and of losing interest in the anti corruption campaign, generally speaking.

Still, the Justice Minister missed the Government's session yesterday, although PM Tariceanu said he waits to discuss the issue and explain his decision. Justice Minister Monica Macovei simply said she had something more important to do and, if the prime minister really wanted to talk to her, he could have called her on the mobile phone (Gandul).

Thus, the session yesterday had to find another reason to exist. And it did: the Romanian Govt. isn't intimidated by Europe's threat to start a trial on the abusive taxes on cars registration. "There's nothing discriminatory in this tax", say Romanian officials, contradicting the Europeans that have just invited them in the EU (Cotidianul).

Believe it or not, if you see it in Romania, it really happens!

But Romanians are really a people with a good sense of the law. Now really, they are. Look at the 100 ambulances that got fined since the beginning of the year for speeding! Well, at least the tickets respect the side of the law that says "no speeding", not the one with "ambulances may speed". More in Evenimentul Zilei.

Some of the officials also respect the law, as it was in the recent scandal with the frontier tax. The tax was legal because an anti European law made by blind, drunk or mentally challenged ministers and parliamentarians allowed such a tax to exist. And it would have allowed more like it, if it wasn't for the scandal.
The law was approved two months before the accession (Romania Libera).

Well, we won't make millions, but we may sent some down the drain, in the purest, physical way! Bucharest and Arad will have the entire sewage and water pipes system updated, to become as clean as the Western cities. This means some 106 million euros expenses, according to the same Romania Libera.

And another piece of good news: over 10 million dogs and cats will receive vaccines against rabies for free, including home pets, Evenimentul Zilei found.

But returning to the scandal above, the one with the abusive tax for new cars registration, the one for which Romania and EU will see each other in court… Well Bucharest mayor though its not enough fuss so, soon, Bucharest will be a closed city for older cars (Gandul), so that everyone would buy new ones. Just for laughs!























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