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What the newspapers say: October 20, 2008

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 20 octombrie 2008, 8:23 English | Press Review

One newspaper on Monday highlights construction irregularities found in Bechtel's works for a long awaited highway in Romania. Elsewhere in the news, the Education ministry will publish a document reporting negative data on education levels of the future generation. Last but not least, smuggling of goods from Ukraine and Republic of Moldova thrives as Romanian customs officers accept bribes.

Cotidianul reads about hundreds of irregularities found in the execution works for the Transylvania highway, contracted by the American Bechtel company. Official documents reporting the status of works clearly show that quality is not the number one priority of the company.

Romanian Transports minister, Ludovic Orban fails to take any action in order to keep the Americans happy, the newspaper reads. However, in two years time, when Bechtel works guarantee expires, there's every chance to see the highway disintegrate slowly.

Officials reports read that Bechtel employs unskilled personnel for the highway construction sites, information confirmed by both Romanian engineers and works and by a consultant. Moreover, it seems that the Americans delayed the execution of necessary works that lead to land caving, affecting agricultural terrains, county roads and social objectives.

The state's hired consultant to check Bechtel's works, Scetauroute, that sent hundreds of notifications regarding the poor quality of works. Some irregularities were signaled but still not corrected even if Bechtel officials declared the contrary.

Meanwhile, Romania still lacks a proper highway to link it with its European neighbors and considering the current situation, things are unlikely to improve.

Elsewhere in the news, Gandul reads about an Education ministry report, pointing out the lack of education levels of the new generation, below the rates of other European youngsters. Among high-school graduates, 49% of them do not have a Baccalaureate diploma while 19% annually give up school.

In the same time, 22% of children do not attend kindergarten while 16% of fourth grade pupils cannot understand a written text, an Education ministry report shows. The data throws Romania among the last places in Europe on the education's quality and efficiency levels.

Meanwhile, due to the upcoming electoral campaign, politicians are optimistic about Romania's education quality and declare that high investments in the system push Romania on the same European level as its neighbors.

Only other three European states are worse than Romania regarding school drop-out: Spain with 31%, Portugal with 36.3% and Malta with 37.6%. On the other hand, there are European states where the rate is below 5.5% like Slovenia, Poland or the Czech Republic.

The main causes are uninformed high-school choices, failures to get passing grades or poverty.

Last but not least, smuggling at the Northern Romanian border thrives, even if Romania entered the Union due to corrupt customs officers, Romania Libera reads. Markets nearby customs or even in Bucharest continue to sell cigarettes, alcohol, food or even cloths smuggled from Ukraine or the Republic of Moldova.






















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