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What the newspapers say: November 11, 2008

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 11 noiembrie 2008, 9:11 English | Press Review

It's all bad news for Romania on this Tuesday: the commercial deficit grows abruptly, Fitch decreased the country rating, making Romania the only EU country where it's not a good idea to invest, the populace is paying the highest level of taxes worldwide and, to top all that, the electoral campaign became once again a soap opera show.

The commercial deficit increased 12.5% during the first nine months of the year, compared to the first nine months in 2007, reaching 16.9 billion Euros, the National Statistics Institute informed. analysts say that this pace will lead to a 14% of the GDP deficit in 2009, an effort which will be supported by the tax-paying populace, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

To build on that crisis, some 500,000 Romanians working abroad may return home, making the total amount of money sent home decrease from 7 to 3.5 billion Euros, Gandul notes. Along with direct investments, the money sent by immigrant Romanians were the main source for covering the commercial deficit.

Returning to taxes: a World Bank report indicates Romania as the country with the largest number of taxes worldwide. Although the Government imposed a so-called flat tax of 16%, taxes represent some 48% of a company's profit. In comparison, the Scandinavian countries, where the tax regime is considered extremely high, the total taxes at below the level in Romania. Romania ranked last (181st place) in the "Paying taxes 2008" report of the institution, as number of taxes and duties to be paid, Cotidianul reads.

Meanwhile, the Government gave in to the teachers' demands and decided to increase their salaries between 3 and 28%, offering a higher raise to young teachers, who had the lowest wages, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

Adding all this up, Romania will need 40 billion US dollars in 2009, according to Fitch analysts, Romania Libera reads. At this moment, Romania became the only EU country considered as risky for investments, being very vulnerable to a foreign currencies crisis.

In politics, Romania president Traian Basescu predicted on Monday evening his second suspension from the office, but claimed that this time he will attack the Parliament’s decision in Court, in case the deputies and senators decide to suspend him once again, Evenimentul Zilei informs.

At the same time, Cotidianul found out that a new Constitution project, put up by the Presidency, tries to offer supplementary powers to the president, mainly in the area of naming ministers and dissolving the Parliament.

Fighting the financial crisis as politician may prove to be a tough job. Romania Libera reporters went to several villages and attempted to bribe the mayors, in order to obtain votes for another party than the one they represented. All mayors agreed to help them, some even guaranteeing 50 votes for a 5,000 Euros incentive.
























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