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What the newspapers say: November 2, 2009

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 2 noiembrie 2009, 1:46 English | Press Review

Swine flu shuts borders and imposes emergency alerts, the Romanian press reads. Elsewhere in the news, war veterans are betrayed by their own country. Last but not least, a Romanian newspaper publishes an open letter addressed to the European Commission's president, accusing Traian Basescu of undemocratic practices.

Swine flu shuts borders and imposes emergency alerts, Romania Libera reads. 40 A/H1N1 flu cases have been reported during the weekend at Sinaia hotel from Prahova (Central-South). A Portuguese woman was the source of the infection and she refused to be hospitalised for 48 hours after the diagnosis was confirmed. All 40 tourists are now hospitalised with Matei Bals Institute.

The hotel was shot down for two days, while Romanian authorities have started to rethink the swine flu management strategy. The number of infections is increasing. More money is currently being allocated to buy the vaccine from the international market, despite the fact that Romania set itself to produce it locally with the Cantacuzino Institute. Authorities hope the buying procedures and bureaucracy will get the jab more quickly from outside the Romanian borders into the medical centres. In the meantime, authorities stress people to follow hygiene rules. According to specialists, the infected become contagious 24-48 hours before any sign of the disease is noticed.

Romania's neighbours have already taken drastic measures, the publication goes on. In Ukraine, the government declared national pandemic and closed down all schools, postponed all public meetings, concerts and movies and restricted train travel for the next three weeks. Poland is considering closing the border with Ukraine. In Bulgaria, it has been declared emergency state, schools were closed and Nicopole, a city close to the Romanian southern border, postponed all public meetings.  

War veterans are betrayed by their own country, Adevarul reads. According to the publication, many World War II veterans still alive receive from the state just several tens of euros, instead of a 500 square meters land parcel, big enough to hold a house or be used for agriculture, as ruled by the Romanian law in 1994. After long war years, Romania's WW II decorated veterans are now fighting in court the same state they once defended. Most of them have been fooled by a normative act passed in 2007, ruling that the state only needs to pay them 1,546 lei.

According to colonel in reserve Ioan Negru, representative of the War Veterans National Agency, in Romania currently live 60,000 war veterans who once fought on the front. In Prahova, Bucharest, Ilfov and Constanta (all South-East), none of them were made land owners. Most of the veterans are poor people. Part of the veterans decided to sue the state. But some die before the trial is over. Most of the veterans are very feeble, and they accept the money, since it would be difficult for them to move out of their house to attend trials.

Cotidianul newspaper publishes an open letter addressed to the European Commission's president, Jose Manuel Barroso, in which they raise the issue of the coming presidential elections, the much debated referendum and attack president Traian Basescu. The letter reads that the referendum is a mask for a failed presidential mandate and the idea of a single-chambered Parliament is a campaign against the main democratic power. The paper accuses partisan public information, handled by the Executive's administration.

The letter claims that the money-hungry state is backed by many secret services and justice institutions, whose economy is "conducted by a large number of the communist rule's sons and nephews". "We are only carrying out the moral duty to inform you that Traian Basescu's Romania looks worse from the interior than it looks from the Commission's data", the letter goes on. It concludes by stating that "in Bucharest, there's a Putinesque wind, dangerous for the quality of the democracy at the European Union's border".


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