All newspapers on Thursday read about the new Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel, who was elected by the Orthodox Church Synon on Wednesday. With 95 votes, Daniel outclassed his main counter candidate, Bartolomeu, archbishop of Cluj.

On a more earthly side, the American company Ford officially took over the Romanian automobile factory in Craiova. The first Romanian made Ford car will be available by the end of 2008.

Cotidianul reads about the new Romanian Orthodox Patriarch elected yesterday according to the custom, with no tie countercandidate.

The only surprise of the day was IPS Ioan, proposed by one vote for the Patriarch seat. However, he was eliminated in the second tour of Synod voting, leaving Daniel to eventually defeat a third candidate, Bartolomeu, with a total of 95 votes.

Unlike traditionalist Bartolomeu, Daniel stands for modernism and for reforming the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR). He is considered a very good manager, as in 10 years time as archbishop of Moldova, he managed to develop and multiply the assets of the Church.

Cotidianul quotes priests arguing that he is the only one that can lead the reform the Church needs.

Gandul reveals that among those voting for Daniel were also politicians and important people with which Daniel is accused to have a connection.

The Church’s electoral college is mostly made up by civilians and about a half of its members are priests, archbishops or bishops.

Elsewhere in the news today, Romania libera reads about Ford’s acquisition of Automobile Craiova car factory. Considered the first important American industrial investment in Romania, the contract was signed for 57 million euro in Frankfurt on Wednesday.

PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu says Ford will become an important financial contributor for the state through taxes.

Moreover, the transaction has important political and economical impacts: one employee at Ford creates another four in the industry.

Ford chief executive for Europe John Fleming said the acquisition was very much expected. Plus, he estimated that about 90% of the production will be exported.

Evenimentul Zilei reads that Fleming announced that Ford would not compete with Renault and its Dacia Logan series, even if initially it said so. Fleming assured that Ford will not make low-cost cars in Romania.

Investments will amount to 675 million euro in about four years to support a total production of 300.000 cars and motors. In the first year, Ford will produce 48.000 cars while by 2013 the number will reach the targeted 300.000.