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What the newspapers say: February 4, 2010

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Joi, 4 februarie 2010, 3:51 English | Press Review

Romania is planning the extradition of famous Israeli arm trafficker Shimon Naor. Elsewhere in the news, Algocalmin nation: Romanians swallowed 383 million pain killers in one year, containing a forbidden substance. Last but not least, American company Bechtel threatens to shut the Transilvania motorway construction because the Romanian state would not pay up.

Romania is planning their extradition of famous Israeli arm trafficker Shimon Naor, Evenimentul Zilei reads. There are talks of having him brought to Romania 10 years after his fleeing the country. On February 1, the Bucharest Tribunal authorised the Justice Ministry's request requesting the extradition of Shimon Naor (Simen Herscovici). The Israeli was condemned to serve 11 years in prison in 2006 for arms traffic. He got an additional six years in 2008 for border crimes and forgery.

Shimon Naor contests the sentence and the trial is in its recourse phase with the Supreme Court, to be resumed on February 19. According to his lawyer, Shimon Naor has been summoned at an address in Israel. Since there is no contract of that sort between Romania and Israel, the European Convention of extradition will be enforced. Both countries have the option of refusing to extradite their own citizens.

Algocalmin nation: Romanians swallowed 383 million pain killers in one year, Gandul informs. In 2009, Romanians bought analgesics worth of 37 million euros. One of the substances they contain is illegal in other countries. International independent pharmaceutical studies company CEGEDIM claims that Algocalmin is the best-sold pill in Romania: 29 millions of such pills were prescribed and 109 millions were sold off prescription.

In terms of analgesic sales in Romania, Algolcalmin is followed by Nurofen - 108 million pills, and Paracetamol - 56 million pills. Pharmacology professors at the Medicine and Pharmacy University "Carol Davila" Ion Fulga says the pills contains a substance – Metamizol – that provokes an illness leading to the destruction of the bones' marrow.

Next, Romanians also buy antibiotics and drugs for hypertension. Although these drugs are not usually sold without prescription, studies argue that 75% of the Romanians prefer to get pills by-the-ear to going to hospital. One "Carol Davila" University study shows that each Romanian consumes half a pill of Algocalmin per day. This is because it fights off any type of pain.

But the drug contains Metamizol, a substance made illegal in Great Britain in 1965, in Sweden (1974), Saudi Arabia (1977), Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Japan, Australia, Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh. In Israel, the substance only is available in hospitals, whereas in Germany and Spain, it can be bought with prescription. In Romania, Egypt, India, Poland, Macedonia, Mexic, Russia and Turkey the drug is available off prescription without any restriction.

American company Bechtel threatens to close the Transilvania motorway construction because the Romanian state would not pay up, according to Gandul. Bechtel didn’t even get the money for last year's works, namely over 200 million euros and it announced collective redundancies. Romanian National Motorways and Roads Company (CNADNR) says there is no money to continue the motorway. Plus, the necessary expropriations have not been carried out.

If the Transport Ministry comes up with the money, workers will keep their jobs. Transilvania Motorway project manager Michael Swinford said talks with the unions will continue, in order to have the smallest number of fired workers possible. Unions say that the decision to sack all the 1,933 Bechtel staff has already been taken. Swinford says Bechtel is ready to support the Transport Ministry and the Government in finding the resources necessary to resume works.

Road infrastructure administration manager Adrian Ionescu declared that the 200 million euros will be paid by April, but for the moment, there is no money. Bechtel is to continue the construction of the motorway believing in the promises of the Romanian Government. Ionescu expects more money for infrastructure from the Finance Ministry at the budget rectification.

Transilvania Motorway project stretching from Brasov to Bors has been assigned, without auction, by the Nastase Cabinet to American company Bechtel. The estimated value was 2.3 billion euros. Only 42 out of 415 km of high way were finished only last year, between Campia Turzii and Gilau. Last week PM Emil Boc and Transport minister Radu Berceanu proposed to the company to restart the works on the Brasov - Campia Turzii section or give up the project. Otherwise the motorway will no be finished before 2015 due to insufficient funds, Romanian officials claimed.


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