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What the newspapers say: April 2, 2009

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Joi, 2 aprilie 2009, 3:03 English | Press Review

Failure seems to haunt Romania, both in politics and in sports. Transports minister dreams to build a new highway for Craiova, South Romania the constituency where he won his Parliamentary mandate. Also, former Liberal Education minister failed to keep up his electoral promise at the expense of countryside pupils. Last, but definitely least wanted, Romania's national team lost in its match against Austria last night.

Cotidianul reads that Transports minister Radu Berceanu plans another highway for Romania, this time in Craiova, South Romania. Berceanu declared that works will start in 2010 and will be over by 2014. However, the newspaper reads about all other highway projects that seem forgotten.

Berceanu could not supply an estimated value of the project but he declared that it could cost somewhere between 300 to 900 million euro. According to Mediafax, the 300 million estimation is very optimistic considering that it would mean some 2 million euro for one km while current highway projects eat up 4 million euro for 1 km.

Social Democrat minister, Radu Berceanu declared that EU funds will be available and they will be supplemented from the state's budget and loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

However, the newspaper doubts that the project will even be considered as far as feasibility studies are concerned. Moreover, the ministry does not even care whether a highway will actually be suitable given the amount of traffic between Craiova and Bucharest. The paper reads that at least 25,000 cars need to take that route daily in order to justify a highway.

A second obstacle on the way is the European loan mentioned by the minister: European banks impose a 10-15% internal profit rate as a condition for the loan, which makes this project an ill suited one. Plus, the route cannot be linked to a European infrastructure, which does not make it eligible for EU funds.

The paper reads that this is not the first time Berceanu proposed a bad project just for the sake of gaining electoral capital. In 2006, while he occupied the same function, Berceanu proposed the introduction of a new Tarom route which functioned for only 2 weeks for lack of passengers. In some cases, the flight would have only 4-5 passengers.

Evenimentul Zilei signals another failure, of the Education minister this time, whose electoral project was a program aimed at selecting and integrating smart children from the countryside in city schools. The newspaper reads that the project was launched in the electoral campaign by Adomnitei but failed in the first implementation year.

According to official data, only in 16 counties of 41, children were registered in the program and of 1,200 places, initially anticipated by authorities, only 167 were actually occupied. In some counties, a class would be made up of only 1 pupil, opposed to 25, as it should be.

What is more, the scholarships promised by the government failed to reach the children and thus they are financially sustained through local funds or money from the school.

Last failure on today's agenda, Romania's national football team defeat against Austria last night, which all newspapers comment. Romania lost the match by 1-2 and, along with it, its chances to qualify in the 2010 Wold Championship.


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