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What the newspapers say: June 2, 2006

de     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 2 iunie 2006, 0:00


Romanian newspapers today blend reports of major events today with spectacular reports of things the public at large would find hard to see. The resignation of deputy PM George Copos goes along with the portrait of a doctor seen as “an angel” for high-profile politicians who face trouble in court.

And a renewed conflict between Justice minister Monica Macovei and Romanian deputies accompanies reports of an anti-gay “alliance” between the Orthodox Church and a populist party on front pages today.

The departure of deputy PM George Copos from the Government is tackled aggressively in Cotidianul, which points out that the resignation overlapped with the conclusion of a prosecutors‘ inquiry into Copos’ involvement in a shady deal with the state-controlled Romanian Lottery.

Officially, the businessman-politician says he resigned because the government rejected his proposals over changes to the Fiscal Code. And he opted to explain his move in a press statement, not a press conference, as most journalists would have asked him about the Lottery issue, Cotidianul writes.

According to the newspaper, nobody can really say what Copos really did in the year and a half as the second man in the Government, where he only met waves of business people in his quality of a “state minister for the Coordination of Activities in Business and SME Sectors”. As a Senator, only one of the three legislative proposals he has initiated was approved by the Government.

Gandul also notes that Copos leaves the government when the National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) is due to present the case in a deal between the Romanian Lottery and Copos’ company Ana Electronic, in which the businessman-politician is charged with 1 million euro tax evasion.

And the newspaper says that he didn’t spent his time in the Government for nothing: after the first year of his term, Copos’ fortune rose by 40-45 million euro to 243 million euro, according to his own wealth statements.

Cotidianul, meanwhile, sets its eyes on a confrontation yesterday between Justice minister Monica Macovei and the Judicial Commission in Parliament.

According to the newspaper, the minister had to leave the Commission in tears after representatives of the governing coalition united with the opposition Social-Democrats in turning upside down a chapter of Macovei’s criminal procedure code in debates yesterday.

Macovei was mocked at for the seriousness of her presentation of the law, according to Cotidianul, as Liberals and Hungarian Democrats joined hands with the Social Democrats in what the newspaper says is an obstacle for the fight against corruption.

According to Gandul, the parliamentarians changed the draft Code in such a manner that the piece of legislation is no different from the existing provisions in this field.


Speaking of Justice, Cotidianul draws the portrait of the “angel in white who guards the big sharks”. He is Dan Georgescu, head of the Medical Section of the Sf.

Ioan Hospital in Bucharest, where a large number of personalities have come to solve their health problems: business people, politicians, generals – all united not only by poor health, but also by their troubles with the judicial system.

In each of these cases, all supervised by Dr. Georgescu, they were hospitalized in the most opportune moment – when they should have faced prosecutors or judges in corruption, abuse or even organized crime cases.

A man who might face similar trouble is Defense minister Teodor Atanasiu, who should have some explanations to give about his bank accounts. According to Adevarul, Atanasiu and his wife earned some 78,000 RON (22,000 euro) from salaries in 2005.

With this money they opened two accounts – one of 75,00 euro and another of 30,000 USD, that is, five times more than their earnings, as the newspaper points out.

That adds to other spending, including a villa evaluated at 200,000 euro and built the same year. And as, the newspaper underlines, Atanasiu said back in January 2006 that the financial differences between 2004 and 2005 might “probably result from the money earned at our wedding”.

Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei reports a peculiar alliance that is forming between a populist businessman-politician, Gigi Becali, and the Orthodox Church against the gay movement in Romania.

An NGO run by Becali is among 20 organizations that urged the Orthodox Church this week to react against the plans for the GayFest parade planned to take place Bucharest.

That brought the name of Becali on the tongues of Church officials who were accompanied by the owner of Bucharest football club Steaua in a press conference condemning the gay events.
























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