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What the newspapers say: November 24, 2006

de     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 24 noiembrie 2006, 0:00


The scandal related to the privatization of Romanian energy companies continues to figure high on the front pages of Romanian newspapers today. They’re complemented with extensive reports on EU accession and on various Romania-EU issues. And we learn how much of how little Romania has done in many areas, from Agriculture to the protection of the Rroma community.

“Treason, espionage and the constitution of a group operating coordinatedly to reveal economic secrets”. That is what several privatization officials in Romania are charged with over their involvement in the privatization of Romanian major Petrom, a deal that involved Credit Suisse First Boston, as Evenimentul Zilei reports.

The newspaper tries to put it all together and tells the story of “how the Privatization guys betrayed” the country when they accepted abusive terms in the Petrom contract.

The same approach is also taken by Jurnalul national, which quotes judicial sources that say treason and economic espionage were part of the privatization of other major companies in Romania, including power company Electrica Muntena Sud, IT&C company Radiocomunicatii and the Romanian Mail.

Gandul reports that by yesterday evening only five companies - Petrom, Distrigaz Sud, Distrigaz Nord, Energy Holding - opted to comply with a Supreme Defense Council request that all privatization contracts be declassified.

And the newspaper quotes business officials who claimed the confidentiality clauses of those contracts were imposed by the Romanian state.

For its part, Adevarul quotes Romanian MPs who admit that the privatization of Petrom in December 2004 was passed in the Parliament with a blind vote, as few of its member knew what they were voting at the time.

Meanwhile, Romanian newspapers intensify and diversify their reports on EU accession intensively.

Evenimentul Zilei quotes one of the authors of the many defamating articles related to Romania published by British newspaper The Sun.

Bob Graham knows that such articles and the restrictions applied by Britain on Romanian and Bulgarian workers have sparked huge concern in Bucharest, but believes Romanians pay too much attention to such things instead of “cultivating your national pride!”

The same Evenimentul Zilei reports that starting with the EU accession Romanians will no longer be allowed to mourn their dead as they’ve been doing for centuries. They will have to take the body straight to a chapel and no longer hold it at home, while the shroud will have to be biodegradable. And that is far from a good thing for Romanian widows.

And one more from Evenimentul Zilei: former EU Ambassador to Bucharest Jonathan Scheele is, according to a Romanian politician was the subject of a complaint by the head of the District Council of Constanta, Eastern Romania, Nicusor Constantinescu.

A member of what is seen as a “clan” formed around Constanta big boss Radu Mazare, Constantinescu accuses Scheele of traffic of influence in the distribution of EU funds in the Constanta county.

Speaking of money, Adevarul reports that the average salary in Romania will reach 500 euro in seven years from now, as seven of the eight Romanian euro-regions are among the poorest areas in Europe.

Gandul has its own forecasts - this time in the energy sector. It says Romania’s crude and gas reserves will no last for more than 15 years if the 2005 production is kept unchanged, according to an Economy Ministry study.

And Cotidianul looks back to the social reform and finds that each member of the Rroma community in the country has only received two euro through various programs in the whole 17 years since the fall of communism.

The same Cotidianul also speaks of Romanian agriculture and notes that while the country was left without an Agriculture minister due to political wrangling, a new minister must be found fast because there’s too much to do before the January 1 EU accession.























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