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What the newspapers say: February 5, 2009

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Joi, 5 februarie 2009, 8:49 English | Press Review

The effects of the International Court of Justice decision on the Black Sea continental plateau make most of the headlines on Thursday, from the economic edge won by a top Liberal, oilman Dinu Patriciu, due to a last minute decision of the former Government, to the Ukrainian political outrage, in which president Yuschenko is asked to resign.

The Petrom - OMV deal and the secrecy around it are the model for what is going on at this point with the Serpent's Island and the continental plateau resources, Gandul reads. A 42-page secret additional contract entitles Sterling to conduct not only oil and gas exploring, but also exploiting activities in the Black Sea area. The contract seems to have been signed during the last few days of the former Liberal government. The leased area is not yet clear, some saying the contract refers only to the area owned by Romania before the ICJ decision.

Same Gandul adds that Ukraine president Viktor Yuschenko is now accused by his Opposition off "high treason" and is demanded to resign, several politicians considering him responsible for the loss of the continental plateau. Even the Parliamentarian group of PM Iulia Timoshenko says that the ICJ decision is absurd and is not based on international law principles.

Back in Romania, politics are a mess, as usual. Most newspapers note that the first rough conflict between the governing parties - Democrat Liberals (PDL) and Social Democrats (PSD) - has begun. The reason: the officials of the two parties were in opened conflict on Wednesday in the Juridical Commission of the House of Deputies. PSD "kept former PM Nastase above the law", while PDL voted in favor of the criminal investigation against him. The Social Democrats eventually won, and the commission recommended that Adrian Nastase should not be sent to Court in two criminal files, Cotidianul reads.

In the economy, things are even worse: the International Monetary Fund delegation that studied the Government's documents found that Romania should expect a 1% negative economic growth in 2009, instead of the 2.5% growth the Government kept on claiming. President Basescu, participating in a meeting, confirmed the IMF figures. For 2010, the IMF experts say that the best case scenario is a 0% growth, Jurnalul National reads.


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