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What the newspapers say: December 7, 2006

Joi, 7 decembrie 2006, 0:00

The political crisis in Romania worries officials in Brussels, while the scandal on strategic privatizations makes the Wall Street Journal say that Romania and the foreign investors are at a new Cold War. Meanwhile, the Economy Minister blames others for the entire scandal: “It’s a political move”, Seres cries.
The cherry on top comes from Russia, which seems to have woken up early and conducts rough negotiations with Europeans.

“Moscow replaces the nuclear threat with economic blackmail”, Evenimentul Zilei reads, as a conclusion after the two-day OSCE summit in Brussels.
USA and Russia fought on virtually any subject was approached. Kosovo independence, Russian troops in Georgia and Moldova, the ban on meat imports from the European Unions were just a few of the issues that stirred loud arguments during the meeting.

In the local news: the scandal on strategic privatizations grows every day. The presidency had to form a special commission, in order to decide whether the two ministers involved should fall under criminal procedures or not.
“Underlings accuse”, Romania Libera reads. Close collaborators and ministry employees told on the Economy Minister, Codrut Seres, and the IT&C Minister, Zsolt Nagy. Even the “brain of the spy network”, Stamen Stantchev, denounced the two.
Seres was allegedly involved in three cases: “Electrica Muntenia Sud”, “Romexterra Bank shares held by Transgaz” and “8% of the Petrom shares for Liviu Luca".
Zsolt Nagy is accused of acting in favor of the “spies” in cases such as "Posta Romana" (Romanian postal service), "Radiocomunicatii", "Romtelecom".

While this scandal should be enough to shake the ground, it seems that investigations never stop in Romania. The acquisition of seven transport airplanes by the Army was conducted so that only one company had the chance to win, Romania Libera reads.
Opponent bidder EADS CASA is about to dispute the bid results and conditions.

All the fuss in acquisition and privatizations made Wall Street Journal write that the investigations resemble a Cold War against foreign investors, according to Gandul. WSJ reads that “the image of a Swiss banker arrested in Romania is similar to the one of a Russian hitman walking in London”.

Of course, it’s always about other peoples’ mistakes. “I was an inconvenient minister”, says recently resigned Codrut Seres, claiming that all his actions were legal and fair. Seres blames Democrats and Liberals of causing the scandal so that they would take over the Economy Ministry, Jurnalul National reads.
The scandal also caused some concern in Brussels, according to an article in Financial Times, quoted by Adevarul, with EU officials being worried about Romania’s political instability.

As some may have noticed, the collaborators of the former political police, Securitate, were no longer a media subject during the past weeks. It seems that the “fashion” moved to Bulgaria, where the Lustration Law was modified on the last straight line, so that active officers or former political police informers who are now politicians won’t be unveiled.
Sensitive documents, public life persons and national security are to be protected by the recent changes in the law draft, according to Gandul.

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