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What the newspapers say: July 20, 2007

Vineri, 20 iulie 2007, 0:00

Under a wave of extreme heat, politics and businesses seems to have fainted for real. The administration will produce even less news than during the past few days, since the program for public institutions will be cut down to a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the late evenings.
The weather alert not only continues, but expanded to 32 counties (more than half of Romania) and scorching temperatures are expected to continue until at least Monday.

The orange code alert expanded to 32 counties and stands until Monday. Temperature rose to above 40 degrees Centigrade in the shadow, forcing modifications in all activities, from public institutions to funerals, Jurnalul National reads.

The heat wave caused the electricity consumption to rise to the maximum winter level, people abusing air conditioning systems, freezers and refrigerators in the attempt to fight the boiling atmosphere in cities, Evenimentul Zilei informs.

Institutions working with the public will be closed between 11:00h and 17:00h and will work only between 07:30h - 11:00h and 17:00 - 20:00, a press release from the Labor Ministry informs, as quoted by Gandul.

The only major move in politics on Thursday was the unexpected support granted by former president Ion Iliescu (guru of the opposition Social Democrat Party - PSD) to his former Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase.

Taking advantage to the fall in popularity and internal party problems of the party head, Mircea Geoana, Nastase - who remained silent for about two years after losing the presidential race against Basescu and being involved in two criminal files - prepares to return as one of the PSD leaders.

"Iliescu chooses to be Nastase's advocate", Evenimentul Zilei notes.

Speaking of Nastase's main enemy: president Traian Basescu will enjoy the comfort and safety of a Romanian Air Force One. Two planes (one as reserve) with anti-rocket systems and a 24-hour flight capacity will be bought for the Presidential Administration, Cotidianul found out.

And, since it came to planes, Defense Minister Teodor Melescanu announced on Thursday that Romania will buy two out of the seven planes contracted with Alenia before the end of the year.

The Spartan short-medium courier comes to replace the ancient AN 24 used in Romania. Italian company Alenia won a bid a few months ago, but saw the contract challenged in court. The Appeal Court in Bucharest decided that the contract is valid and the army may proceed in the acquisition, Romania Libera reads.

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