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What the newspapers say: December 28, 2009

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 28 decembrie 2009, 9:00 English | Press Review

"Romania will remain an under-developed country, without foreign power". Elsewhere in the news, Romania absorbed less than 3% of the European structural funds made available. Last but not least, arms for the underworld: the Romanian press reads about the arrest of leaders of the underworld, suspect of involvement in one of the biggest Romanian arms theft.

Cotidianul reads anthropologist Claude Karnooun, specialist in social anthropology, sociology and linguistics, believes that "Romania will remain an under-developed country, without power overseas". Claude Karnooun taught students in universities from France, US, Italy, Romania and is a member of the French National Centre for Scientific Research. He first came to Romania in 1971 and in 1973 he carried out several ethnographic and folkloric studies.

Asked which the sins of Romanian capitalism are, Karnooun says it does not differ for the main sins of any capitalist society: the only Weltanschauung is the profit. But in Romanian capitalism, the citizen has no legal protection. And according to the EU, the existent laws fail when faced to the huge amount of corruption. He believes that the elites are blinded by their immediate interest.

Karnooun said that Western countries had no interest in interfering in the way capitalism was implemented in the ex-communist countries because the East-European countries "behaved well, like good slaves, without contestations. By paying generously several tamed elites, like circus dogs... everything is like the West wanted".

Talking about Romania right after the 1989 Revolution, the anthropologist believes that "in the beginning of the 90' much seemed possible, but the West played its game and those planning the state blow immediately took hold on the economical-political power, with the West's blessing. Even if the crocodiles left the naive innocents play a little, they soon took over the serious issues."

"The economic and political power is in the hands of the important ex-Romanian Communist Party members, namely many big Securitate members or their children. I'm talking about the top Securitate members." Karnooun says Romania will remain an underdeveloped country, without foreign influence due to its quality work sold very cheap. "This is what the West wanted".

Romania absorbed only a drop of the EU money ocean Evenimentul Zilei informs: Romania has attracted les than 3% of the structural funds allocated for 2007 - 2013, three years after EU membership. The money can be accessed by companies, public authorities and Romanian organisations without any interest. During 2007-9, Romania has made payments using 9.58% of the European money. Consultants say it's not that bad, since the money for the 2008 projects arrived in 2009 and auctions for public acquisitions often take long.

Consultants say that other EU members have had a slow start before a real take-off in absorbing the European funds and believe Romania would have seen a boom in 2010 were it not for the economic crisis. They say Romanian authorities would be pushed into doing something, so they expect to see more from the Romanian authorities in the year to come.

Most projects address roads, water supply, sewerage and public lighting. Many local authorities were forced to give up their projects due to the depreciation of the Romanian currency, the leu. Consultants see a huge potential in the development of the national agriculture and say the leaders need to come up with a coherent plan.

Adevarul reads arms for the underworld: leader of the Preda clan, Eugen Preda was arrested by police on December 26, accused for alleged implication in one of the biggest arms robbery from Romania. 62 fire arms disappeared from a military unit in Ciorogarla 11 months ago. Investigators found 47 so far. Seven persons were arrested in February this year. In March, 11 soldiers were sent to court for theft, consensus breech and disrespecting the arms and ammunition regime.

On December 23, the Romanian Military Court of Appeal revoked the arrest warrants of seven accused soldiers. On December 26, investigators searched 45 locations in Bucharest and Ilfov county (South-East), finding 47 out of the 62 disappeared fire arms. Over 40 people have been retained for hearings. Many suspects were already monitored in a case for international traffic with drugs. After the January 09 theft, the then Defence Ministry signed the resignation of 17 Army leaders. The value of the arms and other stolen objects amounts to about 35,000 lei.

Eugen and Adrian Preda, members of the Preda clan, are main suspects. Eugen Preda, a K1 fighter, was involved in the Mall Plaza scandal in the capital, while his brother is under homicide attempt suspicions. They claim they are innocent and that everything was a set-up. The investigations led to the Preda clan after their phone-calls have been under close monitoring for several months. Other suspects are a K1 fighter Alin Viorel Caca and an ex-biathlon national team member Dan Stinghie.
























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