Continuous struggles affecting Romanian politics, scandals involving ministers of now and then, political abuses with business purposes: newspapers are back in full force on Monday after a largely bland weekend. The papers turn inside out parliamentary plans to suspend the President and blast the first errors of new government members.
Evenimentul Zilei report that MPs hostile to President Traian Basescu have few days to go to decide whether to pursue the procedures to suspend the head of state as promised. Their plans were countered by Basescu last week when he announced complicated political and constitutional times by promising to resign if suspended.
According to the newspaper, less and less members of the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (PSD), are certain the time is right for suspending the President and the party is now looking for an honorable exit from the situation.
Gandul also reports that this week is decisive - this time not for MPs, but for Basescu himself.
The paper reports that the Parliament is expected to vote the suspension proposal on Wednesday or Thursday, after the Constitutional Court officially publishes its recent decision that Basescu had breached the Constitution on several accounts, but not in so serious a manner as to have him suspended.
Cotidianul for its part reports that dissention is already affecting relations between the Liberals - who were left to govern alone after dropping an alliance with Basescu’s Democrats (PD) - and the PSD.
While the PSD supported the new minority government in Parliament, the party has suggested it would oppose key pieces of legislation due to come from the Liberal.
In these circumstances, Adevarul publishes an interview with the official head of the PD, Emil Boc, who says his party was “betrayed” when removed from the Government earlier this month and warns that Basescu’s rivals are facing a delicate situation: “politicians defeated by Basescu [in possible early elections] will have to disappear”.
Newspapers also focus on how a couple of ministers made serious gaffes over the weekend. Gandul reports that the new Defense minister, Teodor Melescanu, took ONU for NATO in a TV show on Sunday, when he said Romanian troops operate in Afghanistan “under UN mandate”, while in fact they act under NATO term.
And Cotidianul reports that Economy minister Varujan Vosganian mocked at the activity of prosecutors investigating cases of big corruption in the energy sector.
Vosganian said this weekend that “I put the ministry on full alert following the statements made by prosecutors”, and later explained his irony: “I don’t have information about the existence of threats [as the prosecutors have warned about the energy sector] and I cannot believe there is a silent conspiracy to hide such threats”.
Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei turns its eyes on shady political deals in favor of certain businesses. The newspaper cites charges brought by a maverick analyst, Mugur Ciuvica, head of a “center for political investigation”, against recently deposed Interior minister Vasile Blaga.
Blaga, a Democrat, is accused of allying with officials representing the opposition PSD to illegally support the development of a real estate project belonging to a controversial business group, Niro.
Cotidianul is interested in another way of intertwining political and business interests. The paper reports that the Parliament has decided to remove the criminal character of several banking abuses despite the opposition of both the President and the Prime minister.
Legislators amended a law to combat corruption and decided that deeds such as breaking the credit banking norms and the use of credits in non-contracted purposes should not have a penal nature.
And Gandul quotes Jerusalem Post in reporting that the former Israeli lawyer of Romanian-Syrian businessman Omar Hayssam, a fugitive facing terrorism charges in Romania, is caught in a political scandal in Romania.
According to the Post, Mordechai Tzivin informed that he was ready to inform a commission of the Romanian Parliament about what he called “corruption in Romanian secret services and the government”.
Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei reports that the Romanian winner of several international beauty pageants such as Miss Globe 2005 and Miss Bikini World 2003, Andrea Cojocaru, 22, is suspected on involvement in a drug trafficking ring in the region of Moldova.