Romanian newspapers on Monday discuss the chances of a new scandal involving President Traian Basescu and PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu; Tariceanu’s latest success at the National Party congress over the weekend; the seasonal hunting party organized by a Romanian mogul with the participation of many personalities from across Europe; and Romania’s own dealings as a member of the European Union.

Cotidianul notes that President Basescu has brought to a standstill a new scandal involving an alleged letter sent to him by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu back in 2005 supporting oil mogul and Tariceanu’s friend Dinu Patriciu in the latter’s war with prosecutors investigating him for various alleged economic crimes.

The story was brought to surface by ex-presidential aide Elena Udrea during a TV show last week.

While Basescu said on Friday that he recalled the existence of such a note from Tariceanu, whe shut up completely over the weekend - and Cotidianul notes that time flows in Basescu’s favour as Tariceanu dismissed the accusations.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, Tariceanu’s Liberals suggested him that once found the alleged note to President Basescu be sent to London for an analysis of the righting to prove it was not the prime minister’s.

And the newspaper quotes one Liberal Adrian Cioroianu, who says that should the note disappear Tariceanu and Basescu would have to share the blame.

The tension between Basescu and Tariceanu became obvious at the prime minister’s National Liberal Party-PNL congress over the weekend as well, according to Gandul.

The newspaper reports that Tariceanu, re-elected head of the party, surrounded himself with a series of vice-presidents known for their “radical” criticism of Traian Basescu. And many of those Liberals who are now holding official seats in the difficult share of power with Basescu’s Democrats have lost in their attempt to be elected in the PNL leadership.

The same Gandul quotes Basescu as well - in an interview published by Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Basescu says there that early elections are a tool of democracy and not one of instability and would give the Government a stronger support in the Parliament, as the current majority provided by the Liberals and Democrats is very fragile. And “it’s better to have early elections than having disloyal partners”, he says.

Meanwhile, Jurnalul National focuses on the latest hunting party organized by Romanian business mogul Ion Tiriac in the area of Balc. “Some of the most important people in Europe” attended the event where some 280 boars were shot down in a day and a half this weekend, the newspaper reports.

Evenimentul Zilei puts the figure at “at least 100”, while Cotidianul puts it at 240 boars, up from 185 in 2005 and 186 last year. And the best hunter was Baron Bich, heir of the Bic empire, with seven boars killed.

The least efficient was Wolfgang Porsche, heir to the car company with the same name. And the newspaper lists other European businessmen who joined the event, including Siegfried Wolf of Magna Europa, Carlo Pesenti of Italcementi, businessman Franz Rauch, Austrian politician Rudolf Streicher.

Elsewhere in the newspapers, Jurnalul National interviews Romanian Foreign minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu who lists the politics of good vicinity, the expertise on Western Balkans and the launch of a substantial policy of cooperation in the Black Sea area as Romania’s aces in the future foreign policy of the European Union.

And Ungureanu says his ministry prepares a foreign policy strategy for Romania, which is due to be outlined by President Traian Basescu on January 19.

Cotidianul reports that 35 new Romanian members of the European Parliament start work in Strasbourg today, at the plenary session of the EP.

The paper reports political disputes in Bucharest thus move to the European forum, while the accession of Romanian and Bulgarian far-rightists in the EP allows nationalist MEPs to form their own pan-European group after years of failed efforts.

Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei reports that Romanian singer Mihai Traistariu of Eurovision fame comes second in a list of the best ten songs for 2006, put up by reputed music journalist Fred Bronson for the online edition of the Billboard magazine.