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What the newspapers say: May 22, 2009

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 22 mai 2009, 8:46 English | Press Review

Another billion euro wasted for the future highway linking Bucharest to Brasov, central Romania. Elsewhere in the news, one newspaper reads that even though Romania is due to organize the European Football League in 2012, the financial crisis and the politicians' lax threaten modernization works of the national stadium. Last but not least, penitentiaries offer detainees as cheap labor force in search for financial revenues.

Cotidianul reads about another billion euro wasted in the officials' papers for the Bucharest - Brasov highway. The newspaper reads that the cheapest offer for building the highway was rejected and the reasons are by far controversial.

Authorities refused to select, in the public tender procedure the offer put forward by Strabag - Euravia - Egis consortium even though the overall difference between the other offers could amount to one billion euro on the long term.

In an official complaint, Strabag contested in court the reasons put forward by local authorities when they rejected their offer.

Evenimentul Zilei reads that Romania's National Stadium, Lia Manoliu was abandoned since the economic crisis even though Romania will organize the 2012 European League Championship. When official modernization works started, the deadline was set for 2010.

Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu announced in April that the budget for the works amount to 10 million euro coming from the local city hall budget and another 40 million euro from the government. However, the newspaper reads, he forgot to mention that the City Hall money were initially promised by the previous mayor and officials would need to request the money from the Interior ministry.

The newspaper investigated the issue and concluded that neither the government nor the Interior ministry received any request for the money even though time runs fast. Bucharest City Hall Vice President  Mircea Raicu declared that due to the economic crisis, the current government is unlikely to offer the promised money. Official talks are still to be scheduled.

Romania libera reads that penitentiaries adopt a new market plan, in an attempt to increase their revenues. Detainees across the country are offered, as cheap labor force through advertisements. For example, one penitentiary in Iasi, North Romania uses both its website and local newspapers to advertise their offer.

Iasi penitentiary head Marius Vulpe declared that their prices are very competitive and that their offer is addressed to both individuals and companies. On the other hand, detainees are also interested to work because this reduces their time in jail and they earn a pretty good salary, Vulpe said.

Thus, each detainee receives 30% of the value of contract of which 20% they can use in the shops within the penitentiaries and 10% are added to an account which can be cashed when the person is set free.

In Iasi, the discipline committee approves weekly some 400-500 detainees the right to work both within the penitentiary and outside. Vulpe explained that those working inside are not paid but that their time in jail is still reduced, according to the law.























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