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What the newspapers say: February 9, 2009

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Luni, 9 februarie 2009, 8:29 English | Press Review

Foreign architects come to help Bucharest stop from its unhealthy development. Foreign banks lobby for Romania in Brussels. Back home, Romania wastes money and resources. Local administration fines drivers for not having a parking lot in Bucharest. In the countryside, there are no fines, because cars can't access remote villages. Not even the emergency services.

Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu put up a commission formed by 19 Romanian and foreign specialists, searching for solutions to transform Bucharest in a decent city, Evenimentul Zilei reads. The Commission for Urban Development and Policies is made of architects, urbanism specialists, construction, finance and social sciences experts. The city needs a vision, they say, on what Bucharest can be - a green city, a rock and roll city, a balneary destination or a patrimony city. As soon as the commission was put up, its members were astonished by the lack of laws, the strange relation between the City Hall and districts' administration, as well as the lack of instruments to put to practice whatever plan the commission may design.

Speaking of officials: the recently named Governmental spokesman, Rares Niculescu, was fined for starting a fight in a club in Cluj, where he went to party along with two friends, all newspapers note. Evenimentul Zilei and Cotidianul sanction the incident in similar manners: "The Government's scandalmonger", is the title in Evenimentul, while Cotidianul prefers "The Governmental Fistperson".

The best news at this beginning of the week is that Switzerland decided to maintain the free movement rights for EU citizens and to expand it to Romanians and Bulgarians, despite the aggressive campaign of the Swiss Popular Party (SVP) before the scrutiny. 59.6% of the citizens voted in favor of expanding the rights to Romanians and Bulgarians, Gandul and most other papers read.

In Brussels, six European banking groups - UniCredit, Societe Generale, Erste Group, Raiffeisen, Intesa SanPaolo and KBC - lobby for obtaining anti-crisis funds for Romania. Their initiative adds to the one of the Austrian government, the country having a major interest in Romania, since two of its largest banking groups offered 230 billion Euros worth of credits in Romania, Cotidianul reads.

Meanwhile, Romania loses money: 2,85 billion dollars were lost because the Tariceanu Government approved the exclusive concession of some Black Sea resources towards Sterling Resources, Cotidianul reads, comparing various evaluations with statements made by Romanian oilman Dinu Patriciu.

In the social area, Romania Libera counts the villages where ambulances and fire trucks can't intervene. There are 700 such settlements in the Romanian countryside, all isolated because of the poor condition of the roads.

At the same time, in Bucharest, the district administrations have begun to lift cars parked elsewhere than on their own parking lots. It would seem normal in any other city, but Bucharest has 1.2 million cars of its own and other 500,000 in its daily transit, and only 188.090 parking lots, Cotidianul notes.


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