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What the newspapers say: January 27, 2011

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Joi, 27 ianuarie 2011, 9:54 English | Press Review

Price of petrol increased without justification, a government report says but the industry contradicts the government, on grounds that it fails to do the math correctly. In politics today, Democrat Liberals started strategies to obtain majority in the Permanent Offices of the Parliament’s Chambers, as President Basescu calls for mobilization. Last but not least, activity in the justice sector is blocked after the Court’s decision to declare the Senate’s validation of the new Council of Magistracy members unconstitutional.  

High petrol prices are higher than the increase of costs of the raw material while high sales did not make even higher profits according to official documents which leads to the suspicion that petrol businessmen hide their profits in fiscal havens. Last year, petrol companies increased prices without any connection whatsoever with the evolution of the oil, or the increase of taxes by the state or with the depreciation of the national currency to the American dollar, a report on the Romanian petrol market reads quoted by Gandul

The government urged authorities to check whether price increases are also found in the taxes paid to the state and urged the Competition Council to start an investigation and establish whether there was a monopoly situation. According to the report, in the first nine months of 2010, Petrom, owned by the Austrian group OMV had a profit of 337.2 million euro, a 46% increase to the similar period in 2009. 

In the same time span Rompetrol Rafinare, owned by KazMunaiGaz registered losses of 139.6 million dollars, 30% higher than the same period, last year. Petrotel – LuckOil controlled by the Russian group LukOil increased its social capital by 136 million euro to cover losses and continue activities. 

Authorities suspect these companies for hiding profits in fiscal havens.  

President calls the mobilization in the Democrat Liberal camp, for the party to obtain majority in the Permanent Offices of the two Parliament Chambers, by placing independents in key positions, Evenimentul Zilei reads. If the governmental coalition had majority in the two Chambers of the Parliament, the situation was different in the Permanent offices where the opposition lead by one extra vote.  

However, things might change after the Constitutional Court validated the independents lead by Gabriel Oprea as a parliamentary group. Therefore, these are entitled to receive positions in the Parliament’s leading positions which presume all seats are to be re-negotiated.  

Romania libera blames the Senate and the old Superior Council of Magistracy for the blockage in justice and the bad image created during the controversy over the elections in the Council which were carefully supervised by most Western executives who will have a say on whether Romania will join Schengen on not.  

According to the newspaper, the old Council is guilty for organizing internal elections without respecting the law so that a few members of the “old guard” can maintain power and the Senate is guilty for validating the elections. The decision of the Constitutional Court brought about a blockage of the system: if new elections are organized, for six months people cannot retire, cannot transfer or detach judges to other courts, courts cannot be created, judicial inspections cannot be conducted, penal investigation approvals cannot be offered and neither can judges or prosecutors, who are suspected of corruption cannot be temporary arrested. 

What’s more, former members of the Council do not consider themselves guilty of anything. Former Council President Florica Bejinariu claims that the Council organized correct elections. However, some of her decisions blatantly contradict the law: she extended the mandates of three members when the law interdicts it, she rejected the contestation of National Judges’ Union on the same issue on grounds that the Council cannot judge contestations and neither can invalidate candidacies.
























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