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What the newspapers say: February 13, 2009

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 13 februarie 2009, 9:06 English | Press Review

The price of the highways Romania builds is once again about to increase, but the Transport Ministry swears it doesn't have any money and that Bechtel could soon be cut out of their deals. In politics, the deputies refuse to let the public know what the prepare for Adrian Nastase - the former Prime Minister protected by his fellows so that he wouldn’t be sent to Court. In business - the recession in Spain and Italy may send home millions of Romanians. The only thing working well, it seems, is the banking system: profits increased over 80% on 2008.

The Permanent Bureau in the House of Deputies decided to classify the content of the last session, when the case of former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase was to be discussed, Evenimentul Zilei reads. After years in which the anti-graft prosecutors documented four case files against Nastase, the Parliament uses come controversial laws in order to prevent Nastase from being sent to Court. A preliminary report on the Romanian Justice, issued by the European Commission, officially noted this problem.

In Spain, the economy lost 1% on the last quarter of 2008, after a 0.2% decrease in Q3. Over 700,000 Romanians working there may be forced to return home, Evenimentul Zilei reads. The recession officially affected Italy as well, another wave of Romanians being expected to leave this country too. At this moment, over 1,000,000 Romanians work in Italy.

Back home, Transport Minister  Radu Berceanu threatens to cancel the highway construction contract between the Romanian state and Bechtel. "If Ceausescu was still alive, he would have hanged them all by now", said Berceanu about the way the highway projects stall and keep asking for more money. The budget for 2009, Berceanu says, is enough only to build 42 kilometers in the Transylvania project and 30 kilometers in the Bucharest - Ploiesti project. Still the first segment is not a certainty, while the second can not be used, since it is not connected to the national roads system, Gandul and Cotidianul inform.

Banks are still doing fine though. Profits in the banking system increased 84.8%, compared to 2007, up to 4.68 billion RON (1.27 billion Euros). The main resource was the Romanians' appetite for credits, Gandul notes, adding that the competition may sharpen in the future, when banks will have to work harder to attract new clients.


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