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What the newspapers say: August 27, 2007

Luni, 27 august 2007, 0:00

Romanian newspapers on Monday celebrate that somebody has eventually won the Lottery after a streak of 15 weeks without winners, which kept Romanians keeping their breath and diving into neverending debates about the correctness of the game.

An open letter issued by ex-President Ion Iliescu regarding violent events in Bucharest 17 years ago, the diplomatic and political tensions between Romania and the Republic of Moldova and reports on how Romanians working abroad are considering to never return home also profile prominently in the papers today.

Gandul and other media report that somebody has finally won the Romanian Lottery 6/49 after 15 weeks of waiting on Sunday evening. The big pot of 10 million euro before taxes will go to the winner, identified as a man from the city of Calarasi in southern Romania.

Gandul writes that foreign observers were invited to testify that the winning numbers were picked completely at random in order to repel accusations by a tabloid TV station that the whole lottery was rigged.

Evenimentul Zilei writes that this was a record win for Romania, almost double than the previous all-time-high.

And Cotidianul uses the occasion to publish a list of Romanian media that have profited from valuable advertising contracts with the Lottery under the previous administration of the institution, when a whole series of irregularities were identified.

Meanwhile, the same Cotidianul reports that ex-President Ion Iliescu, who ruled Romania for much of its post-communist history, issued an open letter on Sunday challenging what he calls a "smear campaign" against him.

Iliescu uses the occasion to defend his position in the events of June 1990, when violent miners caused havoc on the streets of Bucharest putting a bloody end to anti-Iliescu protests there.

Iliescu is the subject of an inquiry related to the events of the time.

He claims in the open letter that the media is carrying a smear campaign against him with the support of military prosecutors investigating his case and blaims the prime minister of the time, Petre Roman, of authorizing the events of June 1990.

According to Romania libera, Iliescu' claims part of the blame for the campaign against him belongs to current President Traian Basescu who allegedly tries to use this as a retaliation for his pioneering a campaign earlier this year to suspend Basescu from office.

Elsewhere in the papers today, Evenimentul Zilei reports that Romanian workers abroad have had enough of Romania and quotes sociologists who say Romanians abroad are now looking for a higher standard of living. When they return home, they find a country that is moving too slow for them, they say.

Also in the papers on Monday:
• Andrei Pavel will set a new record for earnings accomplished by a Romanian tennis player - some 5,000,000 million US dollars - as he is the only Romanian to attend the US Open, Evenimentul Zilei reports.
Cotidianul analyzes the chances of Romanian director Cristian Mungiu's film "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" of winning an Oscar in the next Academy Awards. It says that the film, which was nominated for a preliminary phase of the Awards, must push an intensive PR campaign if it hopes to have a chance at an award.
Cotidianul reports that a citizen of the Moldovan Republic, arrested in a Bucharest hotel last Friday for being a member of a group led by arms trafficker Shimon Naor, is a suspected Russian spy, as investigators claim.
• And Romania libera quotes Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin who accuses Romania of irredentism as it "allied with Hitler, Stalin, anyone you want only to reach its goals". Voronin outburst comes as the two countries have been involved in a diplomatic row over alleged corruption at the Romanian Embassy in Chisinau.

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