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What the newspapers say: June 13, 2007

Miercuri, 13 iunie 2007, 0:00

Wednesday begins like a quiet day in Romanian politics. Lacking scandals and clinging on rumors, newspapers prefer to offer more space to Sarkozy's troubled state of mind and Bush' missing watch. Back home, former president Iliescu's health issues are already more important than the official divorce between Liberals and Democrats.

Still, it's official: Democrat Party head Emil Boc announced on Tuesday that his party will start the official procedures to solve the D.A. alliance ("Dreptate si Adevar" - The "Truth and Justice" Alliance) formed by Democrats and Liberals for the 2004 elections.

Democrats accuse Liberals of undermining the Alliance, Liberals accuse Democrats of trying to destroy, along with president Basescu, the entire Liberal party, according to the official quotes published by Cotidianul.

As foreseen, the political scandals in Romania have no major impact on the European stage. "The rumors on activating safeguarding clauses on Romania are pure speculations" said Jose Manuel Barroso, head of the European Commission, after meeting Romanian PM Tariceanu.

"The country report wasn't even written yet. It will be an objective, fair and documented report", said Barroso, according to the same Cotidianul.

Romania is already in a difficult position as a newcomer in the EU: it won't be able to access the structural and cohesion funds before 2008 and, even so, the demand for funds is extremely low in some areas, barely passing 50% in the small and medium enterprises field, Jurnalul National reads. Some 19.7 billion euros can't be accessed before the end of 2007.

Returning to politics, the only spark that may prove able to re-launch hostilities in the exhausted political arena is a parliamentarian initiative coming from both Democrats and the main Opposition party, Social Democrats, who prepare to block any governmental ordinance during the summer, Gandul reads.

It was a common procedure during the past 17 years to have the Government enabled to govern through Ordinances during the Parliamentarian holiday and it would be a first for the Romanian politics, in case the initiative proves successful.

Former president Ion Iliescu had a minor heart surgery performed last week, with maximum discretion but, although everything went well, he still has to take a two-week holiday due to a herpes zoster development due to stress, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

In other news:

- Evenimentul Zilei: The main cigarette producers in Romania, JTI and BAT accuse the Justice Minister of "petting" the tobacco smugglers: although the amount of counterfeit cigarettes on the market tripled after the last wave of excises, the Justice Minister tries to decrease the penalty from 2 to 7 years in prison, as it currently is - to at most 3 years of detention.

- Evenimentul Zilei and most other newspapers: Romania commemorates 17 years since the miners, summoned to Bucharest by former president Ion Iliescu, brutally repressed the anti-Communist demonstrations in the University Plaza, Romania's first "Communist-free area".

- Jurnalul National: The retrocession of the Bran Castle (better known as the Dracula Castle) was illegal, because the papers weren't signed by all parties involved.

- Cotidianul: Two Saudi billionaires made the best bid in the privatization process at the Romanian locomotive producer Electroputere Craiova - 120 million euros.

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