Romanian energy security and privatization deals in the security sector keep the front page of most Romanian newspapers today. So do new tensions within the governing Liberal Party, hidden between an apparent, rare political agreement between the prime minister and the President.
The cremation of late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s daughter also draws considerabile attention, along with the usual reports related to the EU accession.
The National Security Council discussed a series of issues related to Romania’s energy security yesterday, including the issue of how abusive the contract for the privatization of Romania’s biggest oil company Petrom, sold to Austrian group OMV, was.
The main piece of news extracted by newspapers such as Gandul from the event is a confirmation by President Traian Basescu that the Petrom privatization contract has landed in the hands of prosecutors.
Cotidianul also deals with the issue and reports that Basescu pushed for the creation of an expert commission to produce a new energy security for the country over the next three to six months.
The commission is due to be established next week and, aimed at reducing Romania’s dependency on energy imports, would cover ten years, according to the paper.
For its part, Evenimentul Zilei reports that prosecutors have already put the man who negotiated the sale of strategic state energy companies under the previous government under criminal charges for acts against the national security.
The man, Dorinel Mucea, was first mentioned publicly as a key player in the privatization process in Evenimentul Zilei reports recently.
The papers also discuss the conflicting situation within PM Tariceanu’s National Liberal Party (PNL). Tariceanu urged President Traian Basescu to revoke Agriculture minister Gheorghe Flutur, also a Liberal. Flutur no longer has the political support of PNL because of joining the ranks of a group of dissidents close to the President, who’ve been calling for thorough reform within PNL. In an unexpected move, Basescu agreed to support the revocation.
“PM Tariceanu flinged minister Flutur from the Government”, Evenimentul Zilei reports. Cotidianul notes that is not necessarily a good move for Tariceanu, as supporters of PNL reform are already calling for Tariceanu’s resignation.
That for Gandul means the prime minister’s chair is also threatened.
With less political support, Jurnalul National considers that the fate of the Government now depends on the votes of the parliamentary opposition, which may disagree with Tariceanu on major issues such as the 2007 budget.
Current politics is not on everybody’s mind, though. Cotidianul reports that hundreds of Romanians, from present politicians and old Communists to people in the street gathered to mourn the daughter of late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Zoe Ceausescu, who died of cancer earlier this week.
The newspaper quotes people who recalled the “human face” of the dictator’s daughter and who wondered about her decision to be cremated, considering that she used to be a religious person.
Gandul also describes the event as a grotesque scene bringing together old people, VIPs and members of the former nomenclature, but also with shouts of “We regret communism!”
Meanwhile the same Gandul reports that the Romanian Government reserved a supplementary 1.76 million euro for celebrations related to Romania’s EU accession on January 1, 2007. The money adds to another 3.34 million already reserved for the Bucharest City Hall.
And also in Gandul, PM Tariceanu said he would form a special body to inform Romanians working abroad of the advantages of returning home, where salaries and employment terms are changing fast.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Adevarul reports that the villagers of Glod, the Romanian settlement where the first part of the Borat movie hit was shot, have become a subject of talks in Downing Street 10.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev mentioned the “poor area of Romania” when asked by journalists about Borat, in a press conference after a meeting with PM Tony Blair.