Romanian newspapers on Tuesday continue to dig into huge frauds in the country’s energy sector over the past decade. They also debate a new draft criminal code pushed by the Justice Ministry and announce renewed verbal attacks on Romania by Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin.
The papers go on and announce a criminal inquiry against a former top fiscal official. And as days are getting warmer one daily focuses on how Bulgaria delivers more than Romania in terms of tourism opportunities for the summer season.
Evenimentul Zilei continues its series of reports on a series of major frauds involving the Portile de Fier dams on River Danube. It says the Social Democratic government of 2001-2004 took over from its predecessors a fraud scheme involving technological upgrade works at the Portile de Fier 2 dam.
And it blames ex-Economy minister Dan Ioan Popescu of raising the value of the contract with a Swiss-based company, Va Tech Hydro, to 283 million euro abusively.
Romania libera sums up the money that have circulated in the Portile de Fier 1-2 projects since mid-nineties and concludes they created a whole of 1.2 billion USD.
The paper notes that despite the current political fights in which top state officials have been accused of participation to the PdF scheme anti-corruption investigators are reluctant when it comes to study the related contracts.
Jurnalul National believes otherwise and reports anti-graft prosecutors try to indict PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu for his role in the PdF deals back in the late nineties, which in turn may lead to the “almost instantaneous” suspension of the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the same Jurnalul National quotes a new verbal attack Vladimir Voronin, the President of the neighboring Moldovan Republic, launched on Romania these days.
According to Voronin, “Romania has a long way to go until it becomes a democratic European state… For 15 years, Romania imposed its primitive standards on the Moldovan Republic - both from the outside, and from the inside of the republic”.
Gandul tackles Voronin’s outbreak as well and reports that it came shortly after he met the deputy secretary of the Russia Security Council, Yui Zubakov, a former ambassador to Moldova.
And it quotes Voronin further: “We don’t want to be prevented from managing our own home, and those who would try to do that will be responded properly”.
Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei deals with new tensions related to plans of reforming the Romanian Criminal Code.
Days after the Justice Ministry tabled for public debate a new draft Code to replace the 2004 draft, which was due to receive parliamentary support, the paper quotes Justice minister Monica Macovei warning that the adoption of the old draft “would block criminal justice” in Romania.
According to Gandul, top Romanian lawyers say the new draft code is hugely better than the one pushed by the former Social-Democratic government in 2004, which sparked lots of controversies lately. But the lawyers deplore how the new draft is promoted, as lawyers have not been included in consultations on the bill.
Elsewhere in the papers, the same Gandul reports that the former head of the main fiscal authority in Romania, ANAF, is subject of a criminal inquiry for abuse in office. According to the paper, Sebastian Bodu, “the tax crusader”, is blamed of abuse by several heads of local fiscal bodies.
And Evenimentul Zilei turns its eye on the grim perspective of Romania losing its Easter and summer tourism market to Bulgarians once again this year, as Romanian services are much worse at a higher price than those in the neighboring country.