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What the newspapers say: May 18, 2009

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 18 mai 2009, 3:35 English | Press Review

Romanian press discusses whether or not incumbent president Basescu will run for the next presidential elections, as revealed by an internal Austrian Embassy report. Elsewhere in the news: Eurovision debates lead to Romanian contestant to be accused of playback in the British press. Last but not least, Romania’s economy sees a 6.4% contraction and contradictory predictions.

Romania’s incumbent president Traian Basescu told diplomats he would take until September to decide if he was going to run for the second presidential mandate. The message is supposed to have been launched during the EU diplomats’ lunch in Bucharest, according to one Austrian Embassy internal report quoted by NewsIn press agency, Evenimentul Zilei informs. Traian Basescu could be replaced by Prime-Minister Emil Boc in the run for presidency. This might be just a manoeuvre to strengthen Liberal Democratic Party’s (PDL) position before the EU Parliamentary elections, the newspaper adds.  

The Austrian diplomatic letter, addressed to the Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry and signed by Ambassador Martin Eichtinger, goes on to say that Traian Basescu will run for the next elections if Romania will come out of the crises with "a minimum damage for the people". The Austrian Embassy from Bucharest denies that the document represents an official position, Adevarul reads.

President Traian Basescu neither confirmed nor denied the discussion. He declared in an interview for Romanian TV channel Realitatea TV that he would not run in the next presidential elections if, in case of a severe economic downfall, the unemployment recorded a two figures number, and if he considered the tones of offences addressed to him over the last four years. „The crisis is my opponent”, he said.  

Cotidianul informs that the „Austrian Embassy profoundly regrets the fact that a document attributed to the embassy, regarding a meeting the Romanian president had with the EU states ambassadors, has been made public. The Austrian authorities have launched an investigation and will take all the necessary steps for clarifying the case”, according to a press communicate Romanian news agency Mediafax received.

Romania Libera reads Romanian Social Democratic party (PSD) leader Mircea Geoana doubts the reliability of the Austrian report when it comes to Emil Boc as a possible runner for Romania’s presidential elections. Geoana believes no right-wing candidate stands any chance to win the presidential elections.

Adevarul reads incumbent president Traian Basescu will leave the political scene after he ceases to be president, according to an interview Traian Basescu gave Realitatea TV.

Eurovision discussions continue. The Daily Mail accuses Romanian Eurovision contestant Elena Gheorghe of playback, Adevarul and Gandul read. According to the British publication, Lucia Dumitrescu, the vocal backing singer, is the main voice of the song and has been isolated on the competition’s stage, Adevarul goes on. Elena Gheorghe declared for Gandul that „the allegations are ridiculous”. Romanian delegation chief for Eurovision Dan Manoliu said that if the allegations were true, the Romanian team must be genius for convincing the Russians to play the recorded version of the song, or the Romanian singer sang so well that it all seems recorded, Gandul reads.

Romania’s economy has dropped dramatically during the first 2009 quarter: the contraction is currently 6.4%, the fifth contraction in the EU, Romania Libera reads. The Romanian Government did not take any measures to support the national economy. On the contrary, the fiscal burden has increased and Romania’s Central Bank (BNR) relaxed the monetary policy too late, the newspaper adds.

The publication goes on to say Romania’s economic contraction was higher than the authorities have expected it to be. The analysts forecast a gloomy -9% contraction for the next 2009 trimesters. The only positive outcomes from the last three months are the Romania – IMF – EU agreement and the decrease of foreign exposure, which could ease the pressures leading to the depreciation of the national currency, the leu.

Romania’s economy is officially in technical recession, the newspaper reads. BNR representatives keep their economic optimism and say there could be a visible correction, while the business analysts forecast a further downfall. Incumbent president Traian Basescu cannot state that Romania is on the verge of emerging from the crises, Romania Libera reads.
























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