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What the newspapers say: July 3, 2007

Marţi, 3 iulie 2007, 0:00

Romanian newspapers on Tuesday write that President Traian Basescu is prepared to launch a referendum on the introduction of an uninominal voting system if the Parliament fails to adopt a law in this regard.

Uninominal voting was the central theme that caused serious tensions between the Parliament and the President earlier this year, leading to a a referendum where people had to decide whether or not to dismiss the President.

Talking about Basescu, the President met German counterpart Horst Kohler on Monday and addressed "stringent issues" of Justice and regional cooperation between the two nations, newspapers read today.

Other papers spot the deficiencies of the Romanian Army, citing a NATO report concluding that the Defense Ministry invests in projects that are not a priority, has a minor contribution to joint air operations and lacks terrestrial forces.

Cotidianul talks about the uninominal voting system that seemed to be blocked by Social Democrats. MP Anghel Stanciu, a member in the Electoral Code Committee postponed the discussion of the text sustained by both Liberals and Democrats because the Committee needs to hear all proposals, not just one, he argues.

However, the MP's move disregards the common protocol signed by all party leaders which agreed to the change towards uninominal voting and, consequently, to its voting in the Parliament.

The uninominal proposition plan, set up by Liberals and the ProDemocratia Association, an active NGO in the field, is most favored and, according to MPs, the best proposition on the issue so far.

Evenimentul Zilei comments that the Social Democrat is likely to be excluded from the commission if he is not persuaded to cast a favorite vote to the draft. His 'golden vote' is needed to assure that the text gets the Committees` approval and reaches the two Chambers in order for the law to be passed.

Gandul reads that the Romanian President, Traian Basescu, in meeting his German counterpart Horst Kohler, approached the issue of corruption and admitted that German chancellor who criticized the Romanian approach early this year were right.

Basescu also discussed the issue of the Republic of Moldova, Romania's eastern neighbor, asking the German President to support the country in case the EU enlargement plans would ever include it.

Romania Libera emphasizes the economic aspect of the discussions among the two high officials. Thus, the paper reads that Basescu underlined the good cooperation scheme among the two countries and emphasized further regional cooperation is very likely.

The total value of commercial relations between Romania and Germany amounts to 10 billion euro.

Adevarul cites a NATO report issued a few weeks ago which highlights serious lacks in the Romanian Defense system. The report was presented to Brussels officials on April 24 by the General Directorate's secretary, Holger Pfieffer.

The report was presented in the Parliament and to the Ministry of Economy to allocate resources from the budget but since then Romanian officials do not seem to have taken any action.

The report shows that Romania will not be able to aid NATO and support the troops logistics on medium term. Even though Romania has chosen to invest in heavy equipment, the report informs that these investments are not a NATO priority.

Moreover, the document describes in the same light the equipment in the Naval and Terrestrial Forces, which will soon have to be changed because it dates several decades ago.

Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei tells the drama of two children, brother and sister, in a village in NE Romania whose parents chained them to the bed to prevent them from leaving home. The girl, 8, and the boy, 7, were found during an inspection by child protection agents in the village of Miroslava at noon on Monday.

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