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What the newspapers say: July 31, 2008

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Joi, 31 iulie 2008, 9:09 English | Press Review

It is time for Romanians to say goodbye to the local BBC and Free Europe radio stations, two major actors in the Romanian media during the past half of century. In fact, the news of their shutting down is more important than the new pair of counselors PM Tariceanu employed or the way the Romanian state undermines the local tourism.

President Traian Basescu decorated on Wednesday the president of Radio Free Europe, Jeff Gedmin and the manager of the BBC Romanian department, Razvan Scortea, offering them the "Culture Merit" medal. "This decoration is far too little, but is the maximum gesture the Romanian state can do", said Basescu. The moment marks the closing of the Romanian stations of the two international radio networks. BBC will use its four frequencies in Romania to broadcast news in English, while Free Europe will continue to broadcast in Romanian for the Moldova Republic and the TransDniester region, Evenimentul Zilei informs.

Back to the usual news, prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu employed two new UK counselors, experts in electoral campaigns. After Tal Silberstein and Arthur Finkelstein, who both worked in Romania for over one year, the team grew by the addition of Edward Maxfield and Alastair Reed, a campaign manager and a media expert of the UK Liberal-Democrats, Cotidianul informs.

Same Cotidianul informs that a series of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), gathered in the Coalition for a Clean Government, intend to force political parties to sign an agreement saying that the managers of the National Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA) and in the Prosecution Office near the High Court of Justice and Causation. The Coalition also demands the Prime Minister to approve a budget for the National Integrity Agency and to promise they will not change the board of the institution after the elections.

In economy, everything is as before, but bigger... Meaning that Romanians have more consumption credits than Polish, Turkish or Czechs, people who benefit by a far more consolidated market. The current debt level in Romania reached some 15% of the GDP, or 17.4 billion euro, 40% more than it was last summer, Cotidianul informs.

And, just to make sure some money remains in the treasury, the Romanian state prefers to "sting" its on entrepreneurs. After signing a deal with five tourism operators in 2007, for hosting several groups of German tourists, the Romanian state refused to pay the bill, Evenimentul Zilei reads in a piece of investigative journalism. Although some tourism agencies already won the lawsuits against the state, the Tourism Ministry still refuses to pay the sums, plus penalties, that operators spend in the contract.




















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