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What the newspapers say: August 6, 2007

Luni, 6 august 2007, 0:00

A new day of mourning for newspapers in Romania as one of the most reputed actors in the country died on Sunday - just two days after the funerals of Patriarch Teoctist, the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

The papers also mourn the fate of many state employees, for whom the Labor minister promises a harsh future.

Also in the news today, ex-Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu, now a state secretary within the Economy Ministry, has come at loggerheads with his minister over governmental plans of boosting pensions and threatens to quit.

Cotidianul remembers the life of Florian Pitits, Romanian screen and stage actor, singer, radio and TV producer and overall one-man show who died of prostate cancer on Sunday.

The paper recalls him as an ambitious man - one who watched a play for 236 times, among others, while taking enunciation lessons before his first job as an actor.

The newspaper also reminds that he was one of the very few Romanians to sport long hair under the ex-Communist regime - and appeared as such before millions of youth in his capacity as a folk player.

Evenimentul Zilei, meanwhile, reports that days before his death Pittis asked doctors at the Fundeni Hospital where he’d been hospitalized early last week not to reveal any information about his condition to the media.

He even asked for a hospital room without windows, so as nobody could ever see his suffering. Despite his wish that details of his suffering pe kept away from the press, the newspaper publishes details of his suffering over the past several days.

The same newspaper publishes a portrait of the man it says has most chances to become the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church after the death of Patriarch Teoctist, who was buried on Friday.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, Dan Ilie Ciobotea, better known as head of the metropolitan church of Moldova and Bucovina, managed to become second in command in the Church after only two years since turning to priesthood, back in 1990.

That is because once he concluded his studies at the Theological Institute in Sibiu in 1974, under the communist regime, he managed to continue his studies in France and Germany and even teached at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Romania libera focuses on a couple of harsh measures considered to deal with compensation payments for workers in the public sector, as announced by Labor minister Paul Pacuraru last weekend. Pacuraru said that the number of workers in central and local administration is 10% higher then needed.

He offered two alternative solutions - payroll cuts or establishing lower salary fund levels.

Cotidianul puts it a bit more bluntly: the Labor minister, it says, announced he would either dismiss 10% of state employees or cut salaries by 10% to all of the 1.2 million workers in the public sector.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, minister Pacuraru sees the measure as a way to improve financial resources to cover a boost in pensions that was promised by the government and signed into law recently.

The issue of pensions, meanwhile, is troubling the Economy Ministry where minister Varujan Vosganian and his predecessor, current state secretary Sebastian Vladescu, have come at loggerheads over plans to improve pensions forcibly.

According to Vladescu, the pension boost was unsustainable and because the ministry he was working with did not provide sources to support the boost he had no other option but leaving the ministry before the end of the year, Romania libera reports.

Also in the news today:
Gandul accuses the Italian state of “kidnapping” four Romanian children.

The paper reports that the four children, all Romanian citizens, disappeared in a “black hole” in Italy as the Italian state took them away from their mother in Turin and even started adoption procedures without ever notifying authorities in Bucharest about the situation.

According to the paper, after two years of pressure, Italy informed several days ago that three of the children will be adopted by various families - no names given, so that the mother, who lost her parental rights in Italian justice, could no longer track them down.

Gandul reports how the mirage of a 6 million euro prize brought tens of thousands of people to lotto kiosks yesterday. The prize, one of the highest in the history of Romanian lotto, had no winner this time either.

Romania libera interviews Matthew J Bryza, a top US State Department officer for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, who says Romania should work more closely with Turkey, the other big NATO country at the Black Sea, to coordinate their positions in the region.

Bryza believes the South Stream gas pipeline signed upon by Gazprom and ENI in June this year was a Moscow’s attempt to undermine the building of another pipeline - Nabucco, which involves Romania with the support of the EU.

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