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What the newspapers say: December 15, 2006

Vineri, 15 decembrie 2006, 0:00

The main event yesterday was a cake. A giant gingerbread cake, in the shape of the new Europe, shared through the afternoon by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, President Basescu and a lot of European officials in Brussels. “Welcome in Europe. Welcome home!”, said Barroso in Romanian.
Staring a the cuisine show, Romanian newspapers failed to see some of the news and concentrated mainly on simple, background data, usually filled with figures and statistics.

80% of the Russian officials in Moscow are former KGB officers, under the command of another former KGB boss, Vladimir Putin, Evenimentul Zilei reads. In Romania, the ghost hunt continues: we still don’t know who worked for Ceausescu’s political police, Securitate.

660 pages filled with names is a first answer to the question above. The Presidential Commission for Analyzing the Communist Dictatorship issued a 660 pages report denouncing former and present officials as pillows of the Communist regime.
Former president Ion Iliescu, today president of honor in the Social Democrat Party (PSD), along with the far-right leader Vadim Tudor and PSD Senator Adrian Paunescu are just a few in the hundreds of pages containing names of the victims and persecutors as well, Adevarul found out.

1.4 million dollars is the bribe accepted by the former PM Nastase, Iliescu’s right hand, as it was measured by prosecutors, although rumor indicate a much larger amount. Evenimentul Zilei has a nice story about the day when Nastase and his wife became ordinary citizens in court. Still, the first act was postponed, given the absence of some defendants.

90 million RON - some 27 million euros is the debt of the Romanian populace towards the State Assets Agency after the calculus on global income taxes for the past financial year, according to Evenimentul Zilei.

1 million euros was the bribe offered to a Democrat Senator by a Deputy in order to gain influence in the “duty free shops” area. Most duty free shops will close after January 1st 2007, so the remaining ones must be in good hands, Romania Libera informs, also saying that the Democrat refused and denounced the bribe.
Meanwhile, Gandul publishes a cover story on the way the duty free shops represented a gold mine for smuggling and for enterprising Romanians.

150 to 600 euros: this is the compensation to be paid by air travel operators in case of delayed or cancelled flights, after a new law draft is approved, same Gandul reads. In theory, the new rule will come into force on January 3rd.

25% of the bakeries in Romania may be shut before the end of the year for not complying with the European hygiene regulations, Gandul found out.

The same newspaper finds another number worth publishing: 26 years. That's how long it will take to launch a new driver's license, in unique format, for the EU countries. Starting in 2013 and ending in 2039, all driver's licenses must look alike.

3rd. This is the place where the Bucharest Stock Exchange ranks with its 22.2 growth, behind Moscow (67.75%) and Sofia (40.55%), according to Adevarul.

3 vs. Millions. Romania was the source for three major migration waves after 1990. Millions left to work in Europe before the accession and one Romanian out of ten had a contract abroad, Cotidianul reads in a long analysis.

Lot of numbers, lots more to come. European ones now.

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