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What the newspapers say: June 4, 2007

Luni, 4 iunie 2007, 0:00

The release of a top political detainee in the Moldovan breakaway region Transdniestr just to receive a good beeting from local security forces on his first day “out” receives quite a coverage in Romanian newspapers today. Papers also debate the role of the media in the tragedy of a teenager who committed suicide because of his love for a teacher.

How Palm D’Or award winner Cristian Mungiu’s film was received in his home country also features prominently in the newspapers today.

Andrei Ivantoc, the last member of the so-called “Ilascu Group” of political prisoners in Moldovan Republic’s separatist region of Transdniestr, was freed on Saturday just to receive a good beeting from Transdniestran security forces, Evenimentul Zilei reports.

The Ilascu Group were a group of men arrested under terrorism charges at the peak of the conflict between the Moldovan Republic and the separatist region of Transdniestr in the early nineties. The group was led by Ilie Ilascu, freed in 2001.

Ivantoc, the last of them to be let go, said that on his departure after 15 years of penitentiary he was beaten and humiliated by Transdniestran security forces, who told him he was a persona non grata there.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, the Moldovan office of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights shared its concern about the case and said that those who were involved in the accident should be called to account.

Meanwhile, Cotidianul pays considerable more attention to a case that has kept the headlines of Romanian tabloids for much of the past week - the death of a 18-year-old student, Bogdan Costache, who killed himself over his love for his Romanian language teacher.

According to the newspaper, the media, either general interest or tabloid were very quick to find the one to blame for the death of Costache - the teacher, whose life was trashed in public despite investigators have yet to announce in what circumstances the student did commit suicide. The paper notes that no less than 148,000 visitors accessed a short film dedicated to Costache.

For its part, Gandul discovers another suicidal act worth debating - that of a 17-year old ethnic Rroma girl, Grancsa Szoma, who killed herself because her parents would not let her continue school, complaining that other girls of her kin would already be married and mothers of two-three children by that age.

According to the paper, some 800 cases of suicide attempts among teenagers were reported at a Bucharest hospital alone in 2006.

Elsewhere in the papers, Romania libera reports on how Palm d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu and his film “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” was received in his own country at the Transylvania Film Festival this weekend. According to the paper, the opening projection caused people to faint as the theater was overcrowded.

The paper also quotes Mungiu who said the worst news he’d heard for a long time was that his film was already being copied illegally on peer-to-peer networks.

Also in the newspapers today:
  • Evenimentul Zilei reports that an Israeli group with strong interests in Romanian real estate, infrastructure and financial services market has gotten control over land previously owned by Romanian businessman Sorin Beraru, who fled the country and named on an international arrest warrant over his involvement in major corruption scandals early this decade.
    His properties are now controlled by an off-shore company that covers Israeli investment giant Kardan, a manager of which is General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, a former Army chief and head of a company that named a group of Israeli, American and Romanian consultants to refurbish the image of Romania’s Liberal PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

  • Gandul focuses on the implications of the troubles at the Arpechim refinery, owned by Romania’s largest oil company Petrom. The paper notes that Arpechim is the most important domestic producer of bitumen for road constructions.

    Its possible closure, caused by the lack of a proper environment authorization, may let the second biggest oil company, Rompetrol, to conquest the profitable bitumen market of which it currently controls only 10%, the paper claims.

  • Cotidianul presents the list of Romanian members of the Parliament who have come to prominence by moving fast and efficiently from one party to another as interests and governments changed over the year.
    The paper notes that one deputy managed to change four parties in two years; another managed to go through no less than five parties; and a third covered all the political spectrum with his move from Left to Right over the years.

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