Romanian newspapers on Wednesday discuss a series of controversial statements made by Romanian Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu, who attacked the European Commission over its role in the fight against corruption in Romania.
One newspaper interviews Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose country has been getting actively involved in the Romanian energy market.
Other dailies discuss the preparations for the voting day of November 25, when two polls are scheduled - Romania’s first European Parliament elections and a referendum on the introduction of uninominal voting in the country.
The papers also say good-bye to Romania’s most renowned stadium and point to the country’s extreme fiscal performance.
Evenimentul Zilei reports that Romania’s Justice minister Chiuariu attacks both Europe and the United States, commenting on the role of the European Commission and the US Ambassador to Bucharest in the fight against corruption in Romania.
At a meeting with foreign journalists in Bucharest, Chiuariu was quoted by Reuters as saying that the fight against graft in Romania was hampered by the EC’s opposition to bringing all prosecuting bodies under one umbrella.
At the same meeting, according to Evenimentul Zilei, Chiuariu also defended the position of a Liberal politician who harshly criticized a statement by US Ambassador Nicholas Taubman, who voiced concern about planned changes to criminal law in Romania last week.
According to Chiuariu, it was not in the attributes of Ambassador Taubman to say that the amendments to Romania’s criminal law encourage corruption.
Cotidianul reminds that the Romanian government has been under international observers’ constant criticism about the slow pace of reform in the judiciary since the country joined the EU in January 2007.
The same newspaper says that Chiuariu’s statements confirm accusations raised by President Traian Basescu recently, that the Government planned to dismantle the National Anticorruption Department by merging it with other bodies dealing with terrorism and organized crime. The Government denied the intention at the time.
Meanwhile, Romania libera focuses on the November 25 European elections - the first such poll taking place in Romania since it joined the EU early this year. The newspaper focuses on the more casual aspects of the vote, saying that Romanian churches abroad offered to organize voting sections in the „house of God”.
The paper also reports that while in France a voting section was set in a hotel, the Romanian Foreign Ministry established such sections in countries where Romanian citizens are hardly found, such as Vietnam, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Iran.
Cotidianul is more interested in the political dealings related to another vote due to take place on November 25 - the referendum on the introduction of a uninominal voting system supported by President Traian Basescu.
Several other systems have been circulating in the Parliament for years - including a more recent one, dismissed by Basescu but supported by the Government, as well as one initiated by the opposition Social Democrats (PSD) as early as 2005.
According to Cotidianul, a fault has appeared between Basescu and his main backers, the Democrats (PD), over his support for the PSD-initiated uninominal voting bill. PD officials refuse to approve of legislation initiated by the opposition, such as the PSD’s uninominal voting bill, the paper reports.
Also on Wednesday, Adevarul publishes an interview with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who pays an official visit to Romania today, only days after the European Commission approved the takeover of Romanian oil group Rompetrol, the second-biggest in Romania, by Kazakh company KazMunayGaz.
The newspaper belongs to businessman Dinu Patriciu, who owned Rompetrol until the transaction announced in August this year.
In the interview, Nazarbayev dismisses the worries of some analysts about the possibility that Kazakhstan sells its acquisitions abroad, including Rompetro, to Russia. Having a good relationship with Russia does not mean such worries are founded, he says.
Kazakhstan does not by assets abroad for short-term profit only, but has a long-term vision of its own development, including investments abroad, he says.
Also in the papers today:
The football match pitching Romania against Albania on Wednesday evening, the last in the Euro 2008 preliminaries, will be the last event hosted by the National Stadium in Bucharest, the most renowned stadium in Romania, which over the past decades saw major sports events, but also communist-era mass shows lauding dictator Ceausescu and major gigs such as Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson,
href="http://www.evz.ro" TARGET="_blank">Evenimentul Zilei reports. A new stadium will take its place, for which the Government and the Bucharest City Hall will pay 150 million euro..
Cotidianul quotes a PwC study according to which Romania comes forth worldwide and first in the European Union when it comes to the number of taxes a company must pay on a yearly bases, with no less than 96 taxes - twice the number of countries such as Poland and Slovakia.