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What the newspapers say: February 10, 2009

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 10 februarie 2009, 2:34 English | Press Review

Bankers need to accept delays in credit payments, as debtors cannot pay their back loans in time, one newspaper reads on Tuesday. Elsewhere in the news, even if the government announced cuts in budget spending, transports and housing spending for Chancellery's employees has increased considerably. Last but not least, Romania's legel representatives at the International Court of Justice saved some 600,000 euro of costs by writing their own pleas.

Gandul reads that almost 80% of Romanians fail to pay their debts to the banks in due time and that bankers urged the National Central Bank to extend the period of forced execution of debtors from 90 days to 120 or even 150 days.

The proposal was made by Romania's Banks Association president Radu Gratian Ghetea when meeting Romania's Governor, Mugur Isarescu and Finance minister Gheorghe Pogea. Ghetea declared that in times of crisis it was better to be active and change regulations.

The request would give another chance to citizens facing critical times and would also help commercial banks, economic analysts argue. Coface Romania General Director Cristian Ionescu estimates that 80% of the population pay their debts to banks after the deadlines expire and that 10 to 15% of these of are forced execution cases. Given the conditions, more lax regulation seems a natural initiative, considering the increasing unemployment rates.

In politics today, the government seems to cut spending in one part just to increase it in anothers, Cotidianul reads. More precisely, the government increased transports and housing spending for people recently employed at the Chancellery and live in the city of Cluj, where PM Boc served as mayor.

According to the 2009 budget, allocations for transports to and from the job as well as housing allocations for the Prime Ministry's Chancellery will increase by 300 to 400% as compared to 2008. According to NewsIn, the government will spend for transports some 265,000 Romanian Ron more than it did in 2008, totaling 350,000 Ron.

For housing, the government will increase the allocation by 124,000 Ron. Spending for other expenses - like protocol homes - will increase by 210%. Prime Minister Boc seems to have hired eight former colleagues from Cluj, Central Romania, where he served as mayor. Government sources in the government told the newspaper that the increase was stipulated especially to cover expenses for transport to and from Cluj - by car, plane or train - for these employees. However, overall, the 2009 Chancellery budget is lower than the 2008 one.

Cotidianul reads that Romania's representatives at the International Court of Justice in Hague managed to save some 600,000 euro by writing their own pleas in the case against Ukraine over parts of the Black Sea continental plateau. Along representatives of the Foreign and Defense ministries, the Romanian team was backed up by several foreign experts: Alain Pellet, James Crawford and Vaughan Lowe, professors at Paris, Cambridge and Oxford universities.

Bogdan Aurescu, a Foreign Ministry state secretary and Romania's legal representative in the case, declared that the trial costs totaled 630,000 euro which represents half of the estimated costs. He explained that the Romanian team wrote their pleas themselves and did not have to use the services of international experts, as Ukraine probably did.

Thus, the newspaper concludes, the team managed to save 600,000 euro in trial expenses. Aurescu, who earned a salary of 6,000 Romanian Ron/month continues to live in an apartment in a Communist-era block of flats and go to work by metro.
























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