Today, Romania celebrates 17 years since the Revolution begun in Bucharest. While many struggle to prove it was a coup d'etat, even more seem to forget the importance of the day. Less than 200 parliamentarians took part in the solemn session yesterday, including the both chambers' speakers, the Romanian President Traian Basescu, PM Tariceanu and many others.
While Evenimentul Zilei is simply sad about the mass absence, Romania Libera goes further and reminds that many of the parliamentarians who did attend the solemn session were the ones turning the session into a circus when president Basescu officially condemned the Communist regime.
But life goes on and we have to return to our businesses. One of the largest affairs in Romania is the RAFO refinery, where Financial Times "smells" the involvement of dubious Russian interests, as quoted by Evenimentul Zilei.
FT believes that controversial oligarch Mikhail Tchernoy, involved in many Mafia-like actions, is behind the people trying to take over RAFO.
The rest of the country is as we all know it: high taxes, high corruption and political pressure on the economy. At least that's what the business owners see. Plus: bird flu, black market and problems with the international transportation.
Still, employers also see some good things happening lately: industrial growth of 4-5%, GNP growth 7% and the appreciation of the Bucharest Stock Exchange,
Romania Libera reads.
A scandal about to burst, if the article is proven right, comes from Gandul: the European Union sent 1 million expired pig plague vaccines in Romania, with a label containing the December 22, 2007 expiration date glued on top of another label saying 2005 instead of 2007.
Meanwhile, Transparency International measures the way the Justice system feels independent. The results are scary: most of the judges and prosecutors believe the media is putting them under pressure. Only second, the Government involves in the way the Justice goes.
Prosecutors believe that their work is influenced by chief prosecutors (58.3%) and media (38.1%).
27% of the judges have knowledge on cases where political influence was involved, 32% know about influenced verdicts, 30% were subject to pressure and 62% claim that the Presidency, Government and the Justice Minister exercise their influence through the media, Gandul reads,
Not all news is bad today: the IMF is overwhelmed by the grace the Romanian Govt. and the Central Bank handled the problems in 2006. "What more could we ask for, more than you already did", was the rhetorical question thrown by Jeroen Kremers, Chief Executive of the IMF Constituent, as quoted by the same Gandul.
Last but not least, Cotidianul tells about how president Basescu declined the 'Best Politician Award" in the "Ten for Romania" campaign. This may be a first in Romanian politics.