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What the newspapers say: June 12, 2007

Marţi, 12 iunie 2007, 0:00

Romanian newspapers on Tuesday use all sorts of tones - from serious to mocking - to describe a motion against the government that failed in Parliament yesterday. The papers also report the moves behind the scenes in President Traian Basescu’s decision to suspend the IT&C minister, and they discover all kinds of surprises in the process.

Also today: Americans do the talking, Russians do the shaking and the Dutch learn that Romanian kids adopted in the nineties were not orphans.

The Parliament rejected a motion tabled by the Democratic Party, the main backers of President Basescu, against the Liberal government on Monday and newspapers today are trying to find the meanings of the event.

Evenimentul Zilei believes the whole vote in the Parliament yesterday was another occasion for prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu to continue his war of words with Basescu as he accused the head of state of “believing he is God’s harbinger” on Earth.

The paper notes the motion did not have the least chance of success as the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, abstained from the vote in a move aimed at “letting people see how Liberals and Democrats bear the fight of two groups of interests - one around President Basescu and another formed around PM Tariceanu”, as one politician put it.

Romania libera notes that not even Tariceanu, the main target of the motion, was moved by the importance of the event. The prime minister was late for his speech in the Parliament, while many MPs would rather sit in the parliamentary buffet than in the plenary session.

Gandul writes that the whole session was so boring that even the leader of the Democratic Party, Emil Boc, left it before it ended.

And Cotidianul considers the options the Democrats are considering now and writes that the party’s “Plan B” is to form a shadow government and bombard Tariceanu’s team with simple motions on its main initiatives.

Meanwhile, the same Cotidianul reports that President Traian Basescu suspended IT&C minister Zsolt Nagy yesterday as the Hungarian Democrat politician is investigated for association with an organized crime ring involved in many of Romania’s privatization cases and led by a Bulgarian citizen, Stamen Stanchev.

According to the newspaper, Nagy claims his suspension by the President comes as an “act of political blackmail” because his party, the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR), refused to support the motion tabled against the government.

Gandul quotes other UDMR members who also claim that Basescu’s decision to suspend Nagy was an “act of revenge” for the failure of the Democratic Party to get UDMR support for its motion. UDMR is a minor member of the governing coalition.

Romania libera notes that Nagy’s suspension comes as the privatization of yet another Romanian company, Electrica Muntenia Sud, concluded yesterday as the company was officially acquired by ENEL, the Italian group.

The paper writes that among others prosecutors are accusing Nagy and former Economy minister Codrut Seres of leaking data to Stamen Stanchev’s network, which was interested in many strategic companies including Electrica Muntenia Sud.

Digging on the story, Evenimentul Zilei learned that Nagy received “gifts” from Stanchev including a trip to Bulgaria last year, where the minister did not travel alone, but accompanied by a woman subordinated to him. Digging even further, the paper learned that the same subordinate also traveled with Nagy to China two years ago. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Also in the papers today:
Evenimentul Zilei and other newspapers report that the leader of the far-right Greater Romania Party (PRM), Corneliu Vadim Tudor, was left without access to television because he decided to remove an old friend, Dan Claudiu Tanasescu, from the party yesterday.
Tanasescu, who controls the small Cosmos TV, said Vadim would have to pay from now on if he wanted air time on the TV channel, one of the very few where the far-right leader can speak out. Tanasescu is the 24th PRM member ousted from the party since 2004.
Cotidianul writes that two Russian businessmen have bought Metalexportimport and the Fortus Iasi metallurgic plant, the last such plant still owned by Romanians. The Russian businessmen, who did not reveal their identity, bought over 50% of the company, according to Fortus manager Paul Tudor.
Romania libera interviews Mark Taplin, deputy head of mission at the US Embassy to Bucharest, according to whom the US are very pleased that Romania will host the 2008 NATO summit.
Taplin also said his country would rather not see issues on the two countries’ long-term agenda, issues that would not be influenced by what government is in power now or then, engulfed in the current political disputes in Bucharest.
Romania libera also quotes a former official of the European Commission, Roelie Post, who told a Dutch radio that the thousands of Romanian children adopted by foreigners in the nineties were not orphaned as believed, but were sold by their parents to adoption agencies across Romania.

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