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What the newspapers say: January 5, 2007

de     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 5 ianuarie 2007, 0:00


A lack of major current events prompts Romanian newspapers on Friday to turn Romania’s relations with the EU inside out almost a week after the country’s accession to the Union. Many newspapers are also outraged about the commissions various officials received for their involvement in the privatization of major companies, as shown in wealth statements published these days.

And one paper slams the President for passing a Cults law that threatens the freedom of expression and religion.

Evenimentul Zilei bashes “Basescu’s Inquisition” in reporting that several religious communities are preparing to challenge a new Cults law, passed by President Traian Basescu in late December, at the Constitutional Court and the European Court for Human Rights.

According to the newspaper, various Romanian and international organizations see the legislation as abusive because it involves restrictions in recognizing a religious cult and bans all forms of religious defamation and public offense to religious symbols.

This seriously affects the freedom and expression and may lead to the banning of the “Da Vinci Code” bestselling novel, as the newspaper puts it.

Basescu is under watch at Cotidianul as well, but in a different way. This newspaper publishes the official international agenda of the President - including potential meetings with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko or Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

The paper also reports that since his installation as head of state he paid visits to no less than 23 countries, compared to PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s 19.

Meanwhile, the print media is outraged at the money received by many state officials for taking part in various privatization commissions - including the failed one involving the Romanian Savings House (CEC).

According to Evenimentul Zilei, many ministers, including Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu and state secretary Sebastian Bodu, received tens of thousands of euro for overviewing a process that led nowhere last year.

Reporters at Jurnalul National almost have a heart attack about the issue as they want people’s “money back” from the very headline of their article on the issue.

According to the newspaper, almost all government officials who received commissions for supervising the failure of the CEC privatization are close to the Liberal Party.

Meanwhile, Cotidianul teaches its readers where to submit complaints about their problems now that the country is a member of the EU. It lists various institutions, from the European Ombudsman to SOLVIT, where Romanians may go in order to avoid the involvement of a hardly-moving Romanian government in solving their issues.

Gandul unleashes its wrath against the Romanian Health minister whom it blames for the newly introduced European health insurance card, necessary to urgent access to public health services in EU member states.

Because the distribution of these cards is hardly implemented, the paper sees it as a barrier for Romanians wishing to travel in the EU.

The same newspaper tries to put up a list with what jobs Romanian citizens may have in various EU countries after some of these applied restrictions to Romanian workers. And it starts its story with available jobs in Hungary - puppeteer, ship captain, philosopher, porter among others.

The same Gandul reports that the main parties of the governing coalition, the Liberals and the Democrats, have found a new toy to fight for - Romania’s future post-accession strategy.

While the Liberals have also pushed one for public debate in late December, the Democrats have announced their own strategy proposal for next month.

Adevarul reports that the EU accession brings with it lower prices for food and drinks in Romania as imported meat and alcoholic drinks cease to be considered luxury products. Prices may lose 60% for such products, according to the newspaper.

Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei tries to balance the costs and prospective profits for the “Sibiu 2007 business” after the Central Romanian city of Sibiu was declared Cultural Capital of Europe this year.

While the program expects national and local authorities to spend some 10.5 million euro throughout the year, they hope to cash in some 50 million euro from visiting tourists.
























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