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What the newspapers say: February 6, 2009

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 6 februarie 2009, 9:02 English | Press Review

The right to exploit the resources on 10,000 square kilometers of continental plateau of the Black Sea, won by Romania in the International Court of Justice, brings out new information about the way the natural gas was shared among companies until now. In other news, thing are getting worse very fast, this time the newspapers focusing on the national research programs, where the budget was cut close to nothing.

Evenimentul Zilei found out that the former Government signed a series of concessions made via Governmental Decisions on September 5, 2007. All contracts have classified additional documents and involve a series of suspect characters and relations. The problem is not the amount of natural gas extraction perimeters the Government gave away in a single day, but that many companies are far from "clean". In one case, a perimeter was won by a former KGB officer, suspect in the case of some illegal crude oil and coal transactions.

The situation is deteriorating fast in all that means Romanian researching institutes. The new Government approved only a 0.19% of the GDP budget for the entire segment, two thirds of last year's budget, despite the fact that Romania was forced by the European Commission to adopt increasing budgets every year, until 2010, when the Research should have been financed with 1% of the GDP, Jurnalul National reads. Under these circumstances, some 30% of the personnel in research may be laid off, Evenimentul Zilei adds.

In the middle of an unprecedented financial crisis, the projects launched by the National Forests Administration (Romsilva) sound like pure fantasy. Romania aims at attracting 150 million Euros from European Funds, in order to build roads through forests, 70 million Euros to invest in national parks and 250 million Euros to re-plant the forests cut down after the retrocession of terrain after 1993. The new general manager says he aims at increasing the forests' surface by 3% on a short term and to plant 2 million hectares until 2035.

To end with the kind of news that makes most Romanians pessimistic: the Deputies discuss how to use the media in their favor and even get a profit out of it. First, completely and utterly ignoring the media independence and the freedom of expression, they plan to make the national TV station a private service in their favor. "It is a public station, after all, and they should do what we want, not what other want", said Democrat Liberal deputy Cezar Preda, supported in the background by the former Social Democrat Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase. Hungarian Democrat Marton Arpad found an even more profitable solution: private TV stations should pay in order to be allowed to broadcast from the Parliament and its future studio, Gandul reads.
























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