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What the newspapers say: August 7, 2007

Marţi, 7 august 2007, 0:00

Romanian newspapers on Tuesday fail to find any common ground and publish disparate reports spanning from the growing costs of the the so-called “Bechtel highway” in Central and Western Romania to weather troubles and from memories of late Florian Pittis, a reputed artist of the hippie generation who died on Sunday, to reviewed inflation forecasts announced by the Central Bank.

Add in some fun with the President and reports that the Romanian Academy is involved in real estate businesses and the meniu is complete for today.

Evenimentul Zilei recalls what Florian Pittis - the Romanian actor and singer who died on Sunday to the dismal of several generations - met for Romanians under the communist regime by telling a story of the time.

The paper tells how Pittis, forever known for his long hair when such an attitude was banned, caused communist-era Culture minister Suzana Gadea herself to order the Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest, where he was working, to have Pittis’ hair cut in the eighties. To no avail.

On a different note, Evenimentul Zilei writes that the Transylvania Highway to be built by US company Bechtel is two billion euro more expensive that announced so far. The paper claims the Romanian state will pay 4.7 billion euro instead of 2.8 billion, according to evaluations made by a consulting company. The initial costs of the works have already been exceeded, the paper writes.

Also in Evenimentul Zilei, weather trouble returns with the coming of August as meteorologists issued a yellow-code warning for half of Romania, where strong winds, heavy rain and hail are expected and where 13 counties are facing flood risks.

According to the paper, these phenomena will be followed by more extreme heat days, while Romania should expect the first freeze as early as October.

Meanwhile, Cotidianul sticks to investigative reporting and finds out that the Transport minister has been naming people who played key roles in the anti-presidential campaign last spring to positions of top management in the transport industry.

Minister Ludovic Orban, a Liberal and known opponent of President Basescu, was found to have named in the boards of the Otopeni (Bucharest) and Timisoara airports three people who played key roles in the failed Liberal-driven campaign to oust the president through a referendum.

The same Cotidianul turns to economy and says that Romania central bank governor Mugur Isarescu pained a “small economic apocalypse” when he spoke to the media on Monday about the bank’s reviewed forecast on inflation.

Adding it all up, the paper describes Isarescu’s view of the Romanian economy: inflation above previous forecasts, a price growth at a higher pace than previously expected, a GDP below potential and possibly lower budget incomes.

Romania libera reports how local economy is blurring borders between relatively new and very new EU member states.

While Romania and Hungary joined the Union in a distance of two years, their economies are starting to entwine strongly in the border area as local people have learned to take advantages of each of the two sides of the border. While Hungary developed its tourism, agriculture and trade well, Romania lured more investments in the industry - and more jobs.

Also in Romania libera, the Romanian Academy is joining real estate businesses of 150 million euro as large swaths of land in the Constanta area on and near the Black Sea cost are to be given back to the institution, as decided by local officials.

Gandul is more interested in what happens with the moves behind close doors to elect a new head for the Romanian Orthodox Church after the death of Partiarch Teoctist last week.

The paper writes that despite promises to the public that it would be a transparent process, it keeps the names of the civilian electors of the future patriarch under strict secrecy.

And last but not least, the same Gandul mocks at President Traian Basescu, who attended events marking a top victory of Romania during WWI, 90 years ago. He said with the occasion that the victory in the Battle of Marasesti and other such moments allowed Romania to be united and, after long, even contributed to its membership in the EU.

That is subject to mockery in the paper, which headlines the report “From the military-political thinking of President Basescu: Fights in Marasesti allowed Romania to join the EU”.

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