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What the newspapers say: March 3, 2011

de V.O.     HotNews.ro
Joi, 3 martie 2011, 9:26 English | Press Review

The case behind the arrest of a top fiscal authority ANAF official, involving an Italian businessman, figures prominently in Romanian newspapers on Thursday. They also discuss record gasoline prices. One paper tells the history of a court decision expected today in a case where influential businessman and politician Dan Voiculescu tried to get rid of the stamp that he collaborated with the Ceausescu-era political police, the Securitate. And another paper reads that realtor is a job close to extinction in Romania.

Romania libera tells the story behind the arrest of ANAF official Adrian Nicolae Gavrila and of a lawyer under charges of claiming a total amount of 1.8 million euro in bribes from an Italian businessman. The paper reads that the arrest hides a controversial and complicated story, as Italian Antonello Celestini, who denounced the two, seems a honest businessman who was forced to pay bribes to Romanian authorities in order to develop his business. But things get complicated when one sees Celestini was involved years ago in the controversial privatization of the Romanian Tobacco autonomous company, which turned into Galaxy Tobacco following the privatization. Since then, the company was involved in several public scandals.

Adevarul also presents the case and points out that Celestini was himself indicted by anti-graft prosecutors last year over charges of tax evasion amounting to 40 million euro. And the paper points out that in the Celestini case a former Democratic Liberal deputy, Gratiela Iordache, was also involved.

Adevarul is also one of the many newspapers to discuss the record-breaking gasoline prices in Romania. It reads that gasoline prices managed to exceed the 5 Ron threshold on Wednesday and that the most expensive products are 13 bani (1 RON=100 bani) from the psychological threshold of 6 RON. The price boost comes as the Government changed the fiscal code and biofuel is no longer tax exempt.

Gandul points out that the price increase on Wednesday comes after oil companies increased prices repeatedly within days. Last week, the prices rose because of political and social tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, as one LukOil representative said. Those changes had been forecast by the general manager of Romanian oil company Petrom when she presented the company results for 2010.

Also in the papers today: realtors is a species close to extinction, as Gandul puts it, quoting statistical data showing that real estate agents saw the least demand on the labor market. A representative of the Romanian Association of Real Estate Agencies is quoted as saying that during the ciris years the number of employees in real estate agencies dropped by 50% in Romania.

And Evenimentul Zilei tells the story of a court battle by which businessman-politician Dan Voiculescu tries to get rid of a stamp that he collaborated with the Ceausescu-era secret police, the Securitate. The High Court of Justice is expected to give a final say to his challenge of the verdict that he collaborated with the securitate. The newspaper reads that while he opposes the collaboration verdict, his work with the Securitate was known years before the council studying the files of the Securitate announced his findings in this regard.
























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