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What the newspapers say: September 6, 2006

de     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 6 septembrie 2006, 0:00


Romanians have a problem with fat. Romanian newspapers have problems with much of yesterday events, from Church’s stand against future wealth controls to new moves to boost the political pressure on the media. New statistics on bribery, new records in Internet trade and a possible new rightist history for Romania are all tackled in the press today.

Fifty percent of Romanians are too fat for their well being, Evenimentul Zilei reports in a feature on obesity in the world. Some 30% of the adult population in the country are obese, while 20% are overweight, it writes, showing that the number of obese people has been growing constantly with a 56,000 rise last year.

And it reports that people aged 15-64 are most affected by bad food in poor areas, stress and sedentariness in the cities.

The same Evenimentul Zilei reports that the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church - BOR, Patriarch Teoctist, has requested the Senate to drop plans that top clerics in Romania have their wealth checked, according to a new law to establish the National Agency for Integrity.

Teoctist argues that wealth checks on people of the Church would harm the lawful autonomy of BOR and would be inappropriate as Church people do not have the right to accumulate personal fortunes.

But the Justice Ministry, which promotes wealth checks on public figures via the Agency, argues that the fact that the wealth of clerics belongs to the Church “would not be enough to exempt them from administrative controls”.

Newspapers today also fiercely attack a legislative project that would force radio and TV broadcasters to provide air for parliamentarians and local officials in non-electoral periods. The project was approved in a Senate commission on Tuesday and is due to face the vote of all Senators, a year after it was rejected in the House of Deputies.

Jurnalul National reports that both the Government and the body supervising the Romanian audiovisual industry, CNA, oppose the project as it is considered an abuse on editorial independence of private broadcasters.

And it quotes a top manager of the Realitatea TV news channel, Sergiu Toader, who says “we will not respect such a profoundly unconstitutional decision.

Gandul also speaks of abuse and says it was passed by the Commission due to a lack of representatives of parties from the current governing coalition.

Elsewhere in the papers, Cotidianul reports that another two Romanians have joined the club of Central and Eastern Europe’s richest people.

Businessman, populist politician and football club owner Gigi Becali along with businessman-politician Dan Voiculescu have brought to nine the number of Romanians mentioned in this year’s Top 100 wealthiest East Europeans, produced by Polish magazine Wprost.

The richest Romanian in this chart is Ion Tiriac (58), with a fortune evaluated at some 900 million USD.

Cotidianul also reports that Gigi Becali, owner of the Steaua football club and leader of the populist New Generation Party, promised 400,000 euro yearly and several rooms in his palace for a group of rightist historians with a mission to rewrite history.

The idea was pushed by some of these historians because of the misconceptions found about Romania in Western libraries and because they consider the Communist rewriting of the history is yet to be erased by private hands.

Still, top historian Neagu Djuvara is quoted in the newspaper as claiming that “if some ultra-nationalistic historians, linked to the former regime, who glorify [WWII leader] Antonescu… the result is predictable and not useful for history as a science”.

The same Becali figures in Gandul, where he is quoted with a plan to buy the Romanian Savings House - CEC for “500 million euro in cash”. He says he failed to enter the race for the CEC privatization from the very beginning because he lacked the money - which he now has, as he claims.

Speaking of money: Evenimentul Zilei reports that the value of trade in Romania virtual stores this year will reach 6.25 million euro, with most money paid for plane tickets and mobile phones, showing a considerable boost in Romanian e-commerce.

And Romania libera quotes deputy PM Bogdan Pascu who announced yesterday that the average value of bribes in Romania is of 100 euro.

Pascu warned yesterday that during the winter holidays, when people are “more available” for such “gifts”, undercover units would be sent in public institutions to control the spread of graft.




















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