Since December 1st is Romania’s national day, the celebrating spirit prevents most newspapers from approaching major subjects. With a few sparks in the energy and communication privatizations scandal, a few usual comments about the impotent political class and the same old calculus that shows how poor the elders are, the day goes by as smooth and shiny as any holiday.
The budgetary employees don’t work today.
The calculus: pensions will grow significantly: 16.8%. And it’s in advance, for the first time in years. But (there’s always a but) this is not good news for people living out of their pensions. Their low income used to mean that the thermal energy during the winter was 60% compensated by the City Hall.
Now, the pensions’ growth throws them into another income category and all they get as a plus from the state becomes an expense in energy price, Gandul demonstrates.
The same newspaper is interested in labor force numbers (it’s a good day for counting today) and finds that Romania will be forced to import some 400,000 workers from non-EU states just to cover its bear necessities, before 2013.
We already have 4% of old people at work, and the figure is the largest in Europe.
Still counting, Gandul adds up the articles in the Petrom privatization that serve no one’s interests, except for the buyer, OMV. Since the scandal is blossoming, here are some of these privatization contract articles, published yesterday by the Economy Ministry:
- During crisis, OMV should “consult” the Economy Ministry
- After 5 years, OMV may sell its shares without any agreement from the Economy Ministry
- Six articles in the Fiscal Code must remain unchanged until 2014, regardless the economic conditions
- Half of the employees are to be fired before 2009
- The maximum penalty for OMV breaking the contract clauses is 1.5 billion euros and can be fined only once
- The Romanian state has unlimited penalties to pay in case of environmental problems.
Meanwhile, the life goes on. Mobile phone users get to keep their number, even in case they change operators (Gandul). Vice mayor Ludovic Orban officially announced PM Tariceanu that he’s after the Agriculture Minister portfolio. Tariceanu waits for a green light from president Basescu (Adevarul).
The good news in constructions and urbanism is that building illegally may soon bring a prison sentence between 6 months and three years, Adevarul reads.
In the end, since is Romania’s birthday, Cotidianul comments on the way all presidents, all around the world, use the same speech on their national days: glorious past, problems in the present, shiny future.
All three Romanian presidents after Ceausescu’s fall used it, we heard it from president Basescu on Thursday, we’ll hear it again today.