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What the newspapers say: August 21, 2009

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 21 august 2009, 2:25 English | Regional Europe

The Romanian president's brother is holding shares in a company producing military techniques. Elsewhere in the news, local taxes and fines are to increase by 20%. Last but not least, Romanian doctors complain that the European work schedule which the Health minister plans to enforce will prevent them from working in the private sector.

The Romanian president's brother, Mircea Basescu, is associated, next to leaders from the defence industry, in a company for military techniques, Evenimentul Zilei reads. According to the publication, Traian Basescu's brother holds 30% of Defence Security and Intelligence Co. shares. His business partners are Ion Eftimie Sandu (5%) - ex-staff of Romania's Arms Department from Defence Ministry, and Maria Cazacu (5%) - daughter of
the Defence Agency chief within the Economy Minister.

Despite the National Trade Register Office data, Mircea Basescu denied any involvement for Romanian TV channel Antena 3 reporters. But Cazacu admits to plans of modernising the frigates, saying the president's brother is the way into Cotroceni. However, Mr. Cazacu stated that the company hasn't signed any contract yet and its current single activity is to organise exhibitions and talks.

Cazacu wants his daughter out because two shareholders intend to allegedly take the company into a direction he doesn’t agree with. He believes that the president's brother, who has been an associate since July 22, will leave the business, but believes that "one cannot do arm trade without the country's elites".

Local taxes and fines are to become 20% more expensive in 2010, Romania Libera informs. They haven't been updated since 2006 and now they’re meant to catch up with the inflation rate from the last three years to bring more money at the local council's budget. Although both authorities and association representative consider the measure to be justified, all fear that the increase in taxes would shock the population, burdened already by the economic crisis.

The most likely taxes to increase are: the council tax for buildings and land, advertising costs, the tax for live entertainment and for hotels. But the local councils can add up to this list. The council tax is the main source of income for them, since the homes and land make for people's most valuable assets. According to Eurostat, 96% of the Romanian citizens are home owners, while in European countries the percentage reads less than 50%.

There are some common taxes that people find abusive, like the tax for the activity schedule, for fireworks, for wedding and for meteoric water. The latter has always been contested, but the people never got their money back. In Iasi (East), several taxes have been cancelled: the tax for selling pets and exotic fish, for market entrance, and the fee previously enforced for cars heavier than 2.4 tones that entered the city.

Doctors complain about the European work schedule, according to Cotidianul. The Romanian Ministry of Health wants to enforce an 8 to 5 working schedule for hospital staff, who complain that their state salary is too small to live on and that the measure will prevent them from working in the private sector. Some doctors consider that the new scheme does not take into consideration the time allocated for scientific research and education, details included in most of European countries' law.

The president of the Romanian College of Physicians said that doctors got a number of clients in they private system and, should the need arise, they could come to the hospital to sort out the problem and pay doctors later, after working hours, Romanian press agency NewsIn reads. The Romanian Ministry of Health published online three version of the new working week, but minister Ion Bazac prefers the 8 to 5 version, with a lunch break, and the night shift lasting from 5pm to 8am.

Some doctors say the schedule was in line with the ones overseas. One hospital manager declared that some doctors have engagements with four clinics and spend little time diagnosing a patient since they're in a rush. But in many hospitals overseas, professors can consult their clients in the hospital one afternoon per week, retrieving all the money for those particular consultations. Other managers say that except the ones on call, most doctors leave the hospital at 12.30pm. They suggest for the minister to set the fees for private consultations.  The schedule to be enforced is still being discussed.
























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