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What the newspapers say: April 15, 2010

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Joi, 15 aprilie 2010, 8:40 English | Press Review

Romanian Government has mysterious plan to sack state employees in order to satisfy President Traian Basescu. Elsewhere in the news, asked by his old comrade Romanian ex-President to address the debate, Mikhail Gorbachev denies any Soviet intervention in Romania's 1989 Revolution. Last but not least, one Hungarian to save Romania's forests.

Gandul reads about the Romanian Government's mysterious plan to sack state employees in order to satisfy President Traian Basescu. The chief of state declared on TV he wasn't happy with the small number of state employees made redundant so far. Ministers got together in a meeting to decide on their response. Officially, they did not touch the redundancy issue. But official sources told Gandul that PM Emil Boc gave a three-week deadline for ministers to list those that can still be laid off.

Health, Agriculture and Regional Development and Tourism ministers initially said they did not remember having talked about redundancies. The latter, Elena Udrea, changed her mind and admitted having talked about it, but only about those already sacked when state agencies were joint or dismantled. Labour minister Mihai Seitan was straight about the fact that they had to assess how many were laid off and how many jobs can still be cut.

The deal with the IMF rules that the budget spending on salaries needs to drop by one billion euros, from 9.4% of the GDP to 8.7%. Ministerial agencies sacked 7,800 employees in 2009 and Finance minister announced 10,000 more job losses in the state-financed sectors for 2010. Later he redrew and denied the figures.

Transport Ministry has already sacked 6,400. Education ministry announced 15,000 jobs to be cut this year. Interior had to sack 17,000 people, but minister Blaga said this was the old plan and a new one needs to be discussed with the IMF. Official figures read 765,000 registered unemployed at the end of Q1, the highest level in the last seven years. 141,000 have been made redundant by the state system.

Asked by his old comrade Romanian ex-President Ion Iliescu to address the debate, Mikhail Gorbachev denies any Soviet intervention in Romania in December 1989, during the Revolution, Adevarul informs. Gorbachev lost his temper when asked straight questions that contradicted official statements about the Romanian Revolution.

Gorbachev was invited to assist the cutting of the red tape of a new Romanian daily, namely Puterea (The Power). After the official lunch, where Ion Iliescu also took part, he spoke about the Revolution. Iliescu admitted publicly having asked Gorbachev to dismiss, once and for all, the allegations according to which the Soviets were involved in the bloodshed from December 1989.

The last Soviet leader said the end of the Cold War was decided by a Bolshevik Mikhail Gorbachev and "dinosaur" Ronald Reagan. He rejected having discussed with George Bush the removal of the communist regime from Romania. According to Gorbachev, the Russian secret services did not get involved in any East European country.

Gorbachev gave a clear "Niet" when asked whether he had a connection with Ion Iliescu at that time. He claims they met during the Russian stage of the end of the Cold War and that he considers Iliescu a very good friend. Gorbachev's explained the Romanian Revolution by indicating the problems between the society and its rulers and the changes in the region.

Asked how he could explain the fact that there were twice as many Soviet tourists in Romania in December 1989 than one year before, Gorbachev got irritated and claimed he did not understand the question. After his interpreter translated it again, he responded ironically, saying he was waiting for a letter from the man who asked the question to which he would answer by post. Holding on to his irritated tone, Gorbachev said it would have even been better for Romania if the number of Russian tourists had been higher.

A Hungarian to save Romania's forests, Evenimentul Zilei reads. Romanian MPs adopted three weeks ago the law that allows the selling of Romania's forests tree by tree. Some of them now say they've made a mistake. Environment minister Laszlo Borbely is due to announce today the measures he proposes to "repair" the law, which currently splits the Parliament in two: those who say they were wrong to pass it and those who blindly support the right to property.

Environment minister Laszlo Borbely said he called all those responsible to see what can be done. Despite the Deputies Chamber Agricultural Commission authorising the law, many members of this commission say now "the law is wrong". Some of them admitted they did not agree with it and that it brought serious prejudices to the forest fund. Some of them admitted to having backed the law, despite knowing "it was wrong".

An the other pole are those who claim the law was necessary because the old norms breeched the right to property. "Those who made the law in 2008 indicated that people who bought only small areas were doing so only to build houses there. I believe we have corrected an error", a LibDem deputy explained. One of his colleagues says that if 10 people own a hectare, the forest is not going to be cut down.


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