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What the newspapers say: August 20, 2008

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 20 august 2008, 8:59 English | Press Review

Eastern Europe remembers on Wednesday of the Prague Spring. On this day, in 1969, the Soviet Army invaded Czechoslovakia. The tanks came against the "Socialism with a human face", thus giving the opportunity to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to win a favorable position among Western Countries by speaking against the Russian acts and by preventing Russian troops to cross on Romanian soil.
Back to Romania, things are the same as everyday, with institutionalized bribes in the hospitals, ghost highways emptying State accounts and a free-falling stock market.

91.6% of all stock market investors lost money this year, out of which 13.4% of them saw their portfolios dropping to less than 50% of their value on year ago. 22.5% of the investors saw losses between 40 and 50%, Cotidianul reads, quoting a Prognosis.ro study.

Meanwhile, the Romanian Central Bank (BNR) wants to get rid of the promotional interest rates for credits and to force banks to maintain the same interest level and the same amount paid in rates from the beginning of a credit until its final payment, same Cotidianul informs.

The figures for the recent electoral campaign are published today, showing that independent candidate Sorin Oprescu, who won the Bucharest Mayor office, had absolutely no protocol expenses, despite the fact that he organized his press conferences in a pub.
The main political formations came out of the electoral campaign burdened with debt: Social Democrats still have to pay some 8.86 million RON (2.4 million euros), after spending 19.1 million RON, while Liberal-Democrats still have to pay 3.7 million RON (around 1 million euros), after spending 18.3 million RON, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

After many years of scandals and tons of cash paid in advance or as compensations, Bechtel finally seems to get to work. A 25-kilometers segment is currently under construction, at a pace of one kilometer per day. The segment is scheduled to be finished at the end of November. The construction of the Transylvania highway was approved 4 years ago and already forced the Romanian state to pay 600 million euros, Evenimentul Zilei reminds.

Still, Romanians prefer to enjoy their holiday than worry about such news. Of course, they do it in a very Romanian fashion: with black-market accommodation: although the entire sea-side has the power to accommodate 123,000 tourists, some 150,000 arrive on the Black Sea shore every week-end, with a peak of 204,000 visitors recorded on the Navy Day, a couple of days ago. Some 30,000 tourists are hosted on the black market, Gandul comments.

The latest corruption news comes from Romania Libera, which discovered that bribes for doctors are legal and even included in the Hospitals Law: the patient may offer supplementary payments or donations to employees or to the hospital where he was treated, the law says.























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