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What the newspapers say: August 1, 2008

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 1 august 2008, 9:18 English | Press Review

Beggars in Finland, Roma in Italy and good old thieves in Romania, making tons of money in controversial real estate deals - this is the news for this Friday. For a bit of a more optimistic tone, Romanians manage - as poor as they are - to keep up an impressive level of spending. The focus today is on plasma and LCD TV sets.

Finnish authorities promise to take drastic measures against Roma immigrants, expelling women or taking their children into custody in social centers, in case minors are used for begging. Human rights organizations say this sounds rather like a blackmail, dividing families instead of keeping them together, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

Meanwhile, president Traian Basescu visited Italy, where the Roma minority is also a sensitive subject. Gandul notes that Roma immigrants applauded Basescu, while the Romanian workers booed him because the new electoral law doesn't allow them to vote.

Back to the usual frauds and embezzlements: the Sun Highway, connecting Bucharest to the seashore will cost at least 23 million euro more than it should. Reporters at Gandul found out that the state had enough terrain to build it without expropriating land owners. Even more, it seems that "smart guys" knew what line the highway will take and bought the land in order to receive several times more the investment as expropriation compensations. The newspaper also reminds about the Government's session when the track of the highway was decided: the first scenario was for using the state-owned terrain, but most of the Cabinet opposed the idea.

Controversial businessman Gigi Becali also made another bomb-deal, buying 100 hectares of land near Bucharest for only 9.2 million dollars. The seller, Comaico SA, is a private company which also manages some state-owned terrain, Jurnalul National informs.

For a bite of better news: Ion Ion Tiriac, son of the former tennis glory, now billionaire businessman Ion Tiriac, will return to Court to face drug-dealing charges in the "Cocaine for VIPs" file. The Supreme Court annulled the last sentence, which exonerated him, considering it "confuse and contradictory", Evenimentul Zilei informs.

Romanian will see the trial on TV in much better conditions than until now, since Full HD TV sets are now 10% of all TV sales (a 4,000% growth, compared to 2007), despite the fact that there are still very few TV stations broadcasting high-definition programs. Plasma and LCD TV sets sales also increased to 500,000 units, compared to 200,000 in 2007.
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