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What the newspapers say: August 20, 2007

Luni, 20 august 2007, 0:00

Romanian newspapers on Monday are awed by the new, record award of the Romanian lottery as nobody has managed to win the big bucks for many weeks. They also discuss an alleged wave of violent xenophobic acts against Roma people of Romanian origin in Italy.

And one newspaper raises the possibility of a high representative of the Romanian Catholic clerics in Romania, a majority-Orthodox country, to be named a cardinal in Vatican.

Evenimentul Zilei announces that the award for the Romanian lottery game Loto 6/49, which reached a record level of 28 million RON (over 8 million euro), remain unclaimed last weekend, putting the award closer to the all-time record of 10 million euro for this week.

The paper sais the game has not had a winner for 15 weeks despite unprecedented sales.

The same Evenimentul Zilei discusses the letter sent by an alleged extremist group to two Italian newspapers claiming that they caused the fire that killed three Roma children of Romanian origin in Italy earlier this month.

According to the newspaper, the idea that the fire was caused by a candle remains the main lead for Italian investigators as the claims by radical group GAPE (Armed group for ethnic cleansing) that they killed the Roma children seemed unfounded.

Gandul also discusses the issue and reports that the radical group, unknown so far, has threatened all Roma people to leave Italy within 20 days or risk attacks on their communities. The paper quotes a Romanian diplomatic official who says the claim could not be confirmed as real by Italian authorities so far.

Still, Cotidianul writes that the parents of the three children killed in the fire two weeks ago have always said that they felt it was a racist attack. And it reminds that the Council of Europe asked Italy after the incident to take supplementary action to integrate the Roma population with the society.

The same paper writes that according to a poll ordered by a Roma people’s rights organization, Romani Criss, only one in two Romanians would accept living close to Roma people and over 30% of them would like segregationist solutions when it comes to Roma people.

Meanwhile in the papers, Romania libera writes that the name of Archbishop Major Lucian Muresan, head of the Unitarian Greek Catholic Church in Romania, may appear on a list of top Catholic Church representatives to be advanced as cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI.

That would come after a series of changes within the organizational system in Vatican, as announced by Italian media, quoted by Romanian website

Elsewhere in the papers today:

Gandul reports that Romanian prosecutors are facing real trouble in dealing with older cases, which contributes substantially to slowing down the act of Justice in Romania. According to the paper, checks by Romanian magistrates have identified serious deficiencies in how prosecutors deal with files older than a year.

Evenimentul Zilei publishes an interview with Tudor Serban, head of development at Romanian electricity supplier Electrica SA, who says that contracts concluded by so-called “smart guys” - an elite few businessmen involved in controversial and possibly abusive deals with Romanian energy producers - with his company have put Electrica in a disadvantage.

Cotidianul writes that while Romanian politics start to move again with the summer holidays coming to an end, a plan by the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (PSD) to use a motion and bring down the government has risen issues within the PSD itself.

The plan, suggested by party leader Mircea Geoana, has not been understood by other PSD members, who wonder what the Social Democrats (unable to govern alone and apparently in a difficult position to negotiate with other parties) should do after a possible fall of the current government.

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