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What the newspapers say: July 5, 2007

Joi, 5 iulie 2007, 0:00

Romanian newspapers on Thursday report that a pensions scandal is stirred up by continuous attacks from different camps. Controversies have been rolling since the opposition Social Democrats proposed a low boosting pensions and Parliament passed it with the support of the governing Liberals.

This time, other opposition camps summon the Ministry of Economy to make public the financing sources of such a big change in pension policies, claiming it was troubling the budget.

Elsewhere in the newspapers today, Americans worry that the Black Sea corridor might be a perfect way for weapons of mass destruction, terrorists or drug trafficking.

However, American plans seem to be spoiled by Russian influence in the area. At the other end of the continent, Romanians working in Spanish agriculture have become the subject of a Spanish researcher on immigrant integration, read the newspapers.

Cotidianul reads that the issue of pensions became an electoral fight, among the two most important institutions in the state, namely the Presidency and the Government.

President Basescu voiced his fears in a TV interview that the law establishing a boost in pensions could turn out to be an electoral bluff.

On his turn, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu defended the increase by saying that first, the government had already generated economic growth that would sustain the new proposed budget for pensions.

Gandul reveals the solutions envisaged by the Minister of Economy, Varujan Vosganian.

He says that the 400-500 million euro needed for the pensions’ increase will come from the value added tax and consumption - both being increased by the fact that now people having a bigger pensions, will consume and thus buy more.

Romania libera reads that PM Tariceanu has strongly defended his government’s identification of financing sources for the new law, but notes that ministers were unable to provide specific details in this regard.

Also in the news today, the Black Sea corridor, seen as a gateway to regional strategic moves for Romania, has also a reverse side, as Americans fear, reads Romania libera.

Russia and Turkey seem to counter Americans in the region as they allied against its initiatives at a Summit in Istanbul last week.

Citing a Turkish newspaper, Romania libera suggests that every NATO initiative proposed to increase the American presence in the Black Sea area was firmly rejected by the Russians and Turks.

Additionally, Romania is currently acting as the Trojan horse of the Americans in the area, as at the Summit Romania more than gladly endorsed American proposals.

Talking about regional cooperation, Evenimentul Zilei reads that a Spanish researcher on immigrant integration published a book on Romanian immigrants working in Spanish agriculture - the so-called strawberry pickers. The book profiles Romanian immigrants in Spain as ‘individualists, invisible and over-qualified for the jobs’.

Miguel Pajares, the researcher, argues that Romanians are the third biggest immigrant nationality in Spain and his book conclusions do not differ much from that of ordinary Spanish citizens except that they are scientifically proven.

Thus, the researcher found that the Romanians lack a sense of community, of belonging which is a characteristic of other immigrant groups in foreign countries. Pajares argues that Romanians are individualist and because they feel they are judged by their Spanish counterparts, prefer to be ‘invisible’ and not attend any social events surrounding them.

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