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What the newspapers say: January 24, 2008

de Radu Big     HotNews.ro
Joi, 24 ianuarie 2008, 9:05 English | Press Review

The largest company in Romania, national oil operator Petrom, was sold for a lot less than is was worth, a fact confirmed even by the Romanian Intelligence service. But this is just the fist in a series of bad news. Liberals and Social Democrats try to block in the Parliament the criminal investigations against former and still in office ministers, other Parliamentarians caught receiving some 1,000 $ per month for rent without needing it refuse to return the money, even the Economy Minister is about to be investigated, so nothing good really happens in the news today. No wonder 3 million Romanians are depressed.

The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) confirmed that the national oil operator, Petrom, was sold for a price far below its value. "The market value of 2.23 billion euro was established without taking into account the international trend of growing prices, despite the significant evolutions during 2003, the year when it was sold", the report sent by SRI to the Parliament reads.

Also in the Parliament, governing Liberals and the main Opposition party, Social Democrats, along with Conservative and Great Romania parliamentarians, claim that their approval is required in order to have eight former and in office ministers investigated. The article they invoked, declared as anti-constitutional in court in 2007, refers to the fact that four of the former ministers are currently members of the Parliament. Even Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu involved and supported the voices of the Parliamentarians. Meanwhile, the head of the National Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA), Daniel Morar, says that his institution no longer needs any approval in order to continue the criminal investigation, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

Cotidianul even adds that Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian may be "warming up the bench", being the next DNA target in one of the deals already involving the former Justice Minister, Tudor Chiuariu. Vosganian approved an illegal association in a government order.

A scandal that shook up the Parliament in 2007, with 26 MEPs receiving some 1,000 US Dollars per month to pay the rent, was almost forgotten during the holidays. Still, Gandul revives a bit of the fuss, informing that only 2 out of the 26  MEPs refunded the rent money.

Meanwhile, in the economy, banks make credits more expensive, the interest growing with an average 0.5 - 1%, or even 3% in some cases, Cotidianul informs.

No wonder, under these circumstances, that 15% of the Romanian populace is depressed, meaning some 3 million people, making the nervous breakdown one of the major problems of the public health.























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