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What the newspapers say: August 2, 2007

Joi, 2 august 2007, 0:00

As temperatures cooled way down in Romania over the past couple of days, newspapers today focus on the internal political debate again.

Papers read about the political capital enhanced by some after the death of the Romanian Patriarch. Elsewhere in the news, parliamentarians spend almost 10.000 euro a month to be able to legislate.

And a Romanian journalist petitions the European Parliament to address the right of the local authorities to temporarily arrest him.

As the Romanian Orthodox Church prepares for the funeral ceremonies of late Patriarch Teoctist, who has ruled it for the past 21 years, politicians apparently try to take advantage of his death.

Adevarul reads that as the trust in the Church is among the highest in Europe, the political capital present in the theme is too important to be left aside.

Thus, politicians start to put forward a project that proposes a huge People’s Cathedral in the heart of Bucharest, which was supported by the Patriarch. The political speech makes use of terms such as “the Patriarch’s heritage” or the “dream of the Patriarch” when speaking about the Cathedral.

As the newspaper reads, opinions are diverse as some consider Romanians do not need such an impressive Cathedral to consolidate their faith while others argue the contrary to that, in an increasingly atheist Europe, Romania needs the symbol as one of faith.

Augustin Ioan, the architect who sketched the winning project declares for Adevarul that a Cathedral is just as much a priority as it is the expansion of the Government’s current location.

However, he does not support the Church’s intent of not organizing a tender. The architect believes that a tender would on the one hand bring more ideas into competition and on the other, would bring the costs of the project down.

Local authorities already announced that the process is on its way. The remaining issue to be resolved is that the land on which the project is to be set up is claimed by individuals who claim the terrain was taken from them by the pre-1989 Communist regime.

Slightly changing the register, Evenimentul Zilei quotes an Institute for Public Policies (IPP) study as it reads that a parliamentarian spends about 7000 euro a month for his legislative function.

Even if the study regards only parliamentarians with an important function and those who represent another county than the ones they live in, the costs are not by far inconclusive.

A top of the total spending on foreign visits or internal ones amounts to that some easily.

Plus, the study shows that parliamentarians who leave outside Bucharest are paid hotel rents that exceed the rent for an apartment lease.

The study conducted by the Institute of Public Policies shows that one big spender is House speaker Bogdan Olteanu.

Gandul goes even further and argues that the sum amounts to 10.000 euro as the IPP study did not take into account the costs of hosting a parliamentarian in the Parliament. Other costs imply utilities, internet access and phone bills which add up to the initial sum.

Moreover, the newspaper argues that the rates paid for housing at hotels in Bucharest would be significantly lower if the Parliament would lease apartments for its parliamentarians.

Romania libera reads that Marian Garleanu, a Romanian journalist harassed by authorities as he made public a confidential military CD found not long ago, petitions the European Parliament about his case.

The journalist petitions at the Petitions Committee signaling the abuses he and his family were subjected to. As the petition was approved, it will be further discussed in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs Committee.

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