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What the newspapers say: May 4, 2009

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 4 mai 2009, 2:10 English | Press Review

Romania's media system was hit by the crisis generating massive lay offs, salary cuts and a general insecurity among journalists. Also hit by the crisis, local tycoons see their wealth shrinking. Last but not least, Romanian Culture minister lost his temper and called a journalist "liar" and "moron".

Cotidianul reads that Romania's media system was hit by the economic crisis and generated massive lay offs, salary cuts and a general insecurity among journalists regarding their jobs. The Romanian media industry developed at an amazing rate in the past 20 years, with the demise of the Communist regime, but now, the crisis is a serious challenge.

Despite their experience, fired journalists are looking, without any hope, for a new job. Most of them re-oriented to the online media, using blogs to express their opinions and earn some money. Media schools cannot offer an alternative to this gloomy future.

Simona Popescu, former head of the Political Department at Romania Libera was fired after 19 years of experience within the media. She declared for the newspaper that the decision was unexpected, without any reasons or negotiations.

She added that she wishes to remain the media industry considering that she has been doing this all her life but that at the time it is very hard to find another job. Journalist Tiberiu Lovin, former Investigations Department head at Romania Libera declared that he was fired, on April 1. Lovin decided to transform his blog in a revenue source and work as a freelancer. He has 17 years of experience in the field and the last 10 he spent at Romania Libera.

Media analyst Iulian Comanescu declared for the newspaper that the lay offs are a direct consequence of a massive employment in the media industry in 2005 and 2006. He added that the online environment could become profitable for the young journalists laid off.

Also hit by the crisis, local tycoons are obliged to watch their wealth shrink as the crisis deepens, Romania Libera reads. The newspaper reads about one of the richest people in Oltenia, South Romania, Dinel Staicu, President of the SIF Oltenia Board, whose wealth, estimated at 120-130 million euro in 2008 skrinked to half in less than one year.

Another local tycoon in the area, businessman Constantin Popeci, whose wealth was estimated at 150-160 million euro was serious affected by the crisis. Moreover, the newspaper reads that most tycoons gained a lot of money from doing business with the state.

For one, businessman Eugen Valceanu was obliged to lay off all his personnel after his usual contracts the state failed to materialize. Another tycoon, Relu Fenechiu diminished his business profits after the state stopped contracting his services due to the economic crisis.

Business in the Danube Delta are also affected by the crisis: tycoon Alexandru Bittner, known as a protege of Social Democrat Adrian Nastase, invested some millions of euro in technological improvements of a fish factory in the area but the factory did not open as the crisis hit the country. Moreover, some of the businessman's properties in the Danube Delta were sold recently, which points to the same conclusion, the newspaper concludes.

Gandul reads that Romania's Culture minister, Theodor Paleologu lost his temper and called a journalist "liar" and "moron" referring to the previous media aggressiveness against him. The scandal broke after Culture minister Theodor Paleologu declared that President Basescu was like a "windfall" for the Democrat Liberals because without him, they would not have won elections back in 2004.

In a conference in Brasov, central Romania, Theodor Paleologu lost his temper when a Gandul journalist asked him again about his previous declarations. Paleologu declared that the journalist is a moron because from a two hour conference he could only take out a 30 seconds declaration. Moreover, Paleologu added that he is also a liar because the journalist invented an affirmation that he did not make.




















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