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What the newspapers say: March 4, 2009

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 4 martie 2009, 3:10 English | Press Review

Most newspapers today read about the espionage scandal revealed by the Organized Crime and Terrorism Division of the Romanian Interior ministry which lead to the arrest of Romanian low-rank officer Floricel Achim and a Bulgarian citizen, Marinov Zikolov. Elsewhere in the news, authorities seem to forecast a bad economic year.

Romania Libera reads about the espionage scandal revealed by the Organized Crime and Terrorism Division in the Romanian Interior ministry that lead to the arrest of Romanian low rank officer Floricel Achim and his accomplice, a Bulgarian citizen, Marinov Zikolov.

According to military sources, the newspaper reads that the two spies transmitted secret information to Russia through Bulgarian and Ukrainian intermediaries. Ukraine's military attache to Bucharest is said to have been expelled from Romania.

Romania's military secret services low rank officer Floricel Achim, whose job was to class secret information, copied and sold information to Bulgarian Zikolov Marinov. At his turn, Marinov sent the information to Ukraine's military attaché. The espionage action was discovered as early as 2005 but the members of the network were closely monitored, in an attempt to discover the ramifications of the network, according to the newspaper.

The main targets of the action were the military units at the Black Sea, Babadag and Medgidia, and each information was worth 800 to 1000 dollars, the newspaper reads. For four years, Romanian secret services delivered irrelevant information to Achim or even maps that could be downloaded from Google.

According to military sources, the information was not used only by Ukrainians but also by Russia. However, the military were not compromised as the information flow was controlled.

Gandul reads that the military secret services division is the only one to confirm the information as neither the Foreign Affairs ministry, nor the government or the presidency cared to talk about the issue. The only official action was to expel Ukraine's military attaché , an information put forward by an Ukrainian parliamentarian.

Elsewhere in the news, Cotidianul presents a worse case scenario for Romania: a 10 billion euro loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and another 7-8 billion euro from the European Commission.

Two local banks estimated Romania's need for money: ING Director Misu Negritoiu declared that Romania would need an 8 to 10 billion euro loan to protect the foreign reserves and pay external debts. However, a bank's report revealed that Romania would need at least 16.5 billion euro if Romania's Central Bank reserves are to be preserved.

Raiffeisen Bank presents three scenarios: an optimistic, a pessimistic and a moderate one. Thus, Romania's economy would need a 8 billion euro to redress, at best: half from Romania's central bank reserves and the rest from a loan.

In a pessimistic scenario, the economy would need 17.2 billion euro while the moderate scenario is based on a 12.4 billion euro loan: 4 billion from the central bank and the others from foreign institutions like the IMF, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the European Investment Bank.

Romania's officials seem to count on the worse scenario: sources of the government, quoted by a local newspaper read that Romania's representatives are allegedly negotiating a 10 billion euro loan with the IMF and plan to take up another 17 billion euro from other institutions. 


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