Romanian newspapers on Thursday boil with excitement after President Traian Basescu launched a fierce attack on PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu yesterday, showing “evidence” that the head of government asked him to “ally with the oligarchs”. Tariceanu hit back on the same note, sparking talk of an imminent break of the difficult governing coalition in Bucharest.

The papers also tackle peril on Romanian construction work sites, the country’s planned post-EU accession strategy and the goods and bads of EU membership.

Cotidianul tells the story and shows how President Basescu showed the media yesterday a note sent to him by Tariceanu in early 2005, in which the prime minister urges the head of state to make his point in a judicial case involving oil mogul and Tariceanu’s friend Dinu Patriciu.

That, in Basescu’s mind, equals an effort to co-opt the president in a partnership with the country’s oligarchs.

PM reacted promptly by denying the charges and took his time to retort with accusations that the head of state himself was involved in deals with oligarchs, not from the oil industry but from construction companies.

Cotidianul balances the business groups close to each of the two and says the new scandal is a public recognition of the war that’s been evolving between the two power-sharing “coalition partners” in Bucharest.

Adevarul, a newspaper that is owned by Dinu Patriciu, publishes a balanced report including the businessman’s own statements - that what Tariceanu did two years ago was proof of normality and that he himself discussed the issue with Basescu as early as October 2005.

And it quotes President Basescu who yesterday said that he did not express his concern about the incident because it would have lead to terrible losses for the credibility of the government and Romania would have lost in its efforts to join the EU this year.

Both Romania libera and Evenimentul Zilei tell “adios” to Tariceanu as a result of revelations yesterday as both newspapers take stand about the need for the prime minister to stand down.

Evenimentul Zilei calls Wednesday, January 17 2007 Tariceanu’s darkest day in his political career and argues that he had taken the easiest way out of the corner by counter-attacking to the President’s criticism in the same accusing terms.

Jurnalul National calls the prime-minister’s charges related to the presidential circle of “oligarchs” “an unprecedented attack as he accused the head of state of “sticking to his action to undermine the political system and to discredit the Government”.

Also in the newspapers today, the same Jurnalul National reports that one of the people charged with treason in a major judicial case related to the privatization of Romanian energy assets will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the paper, Dorinel Mucea, a former public official during the Social-Democratic government in 2001-2004, says he goes to ECHR to challenge the “lack of evidence against him” for “nonexistent” crimes, for which he claims 100,000 euro from the Romanian state for each day he spends behind bars.

Romania libera focuses on government moves to establish a post-EU accession strategy for Romania, as PM Tariceanu summoned all political party leaders to discuss the issue yesterday.

But while he promoted his own Liberal strategy during the talks, the Liberal Party’s main coalition partners, the Democrats, argued against the document despite they lacked one to support.

As a crane crashed killing four people and injuring another two in Bucharest yesterday, Adevarul reports that the event does not mark a new phenomenon, as accidents have become common for many years on Romanian construction work sites and the only measure employers apply to protect their workers is to ban alcohol consumption at work.

And Evenimentul Zilei focuses on the performance of Romanians in Europe in two separate reports. One says Romanian firms start to matter in the EU as five companies report business figures of over one billion euro.

The second says that a group of Rroma of Romanian origin, living in misery on the streets of Milan, have taken media the attention away from the Milan Fashion Week this year.