Romanian media on Wednesday fuel the fire sparked by a defected officer of the communist-era intelligence services, who named but failed to prove several senior politicians as former collaborators of dictator Ceausescu’s political police.
Newspapers also focus on various problems related to the imminent EU accession, discuss the strife within both the government coalition and the main opposition party, and turn a scrutinizing eye on businesses run by the Mayor of Bucharest.
Liviu Turcu, a former head of the Romanian communist intelligence until he defected before the fall of the Ceausescu regime, showed up at the CNSAS, the body studying the archives of the dreaded Securitate, Ceausescu’s political police.
He was there to support his charges carried in the media over the past several days, that important political personalities including two former prime ministers had collaborated with the Securitate.
According to Cotidianul, Turcu failed to bring any proof in support of his charges or to deliver any palpable information at the CNSAS.
That prompted a member of the CNSAS, Mircea Dinescu, say that Turcu “offered a fishing pole but no fish”, while another said he was sceptical about Turcu having any access to documents supporting his accusations.
For its part, Jurnalul National, the newspaper that first gave a platform for Turcu, argues that his revelations have a major impact as there were signs that if used properly may lead to data that has disappeared from the Securitate archives.
To provide a scale of the importance for these events, Adevarul accompanies its report on Turcu-related controversies with another, announcing that the CNSAS rejected an appeal submitted by ex-Culture minister Mona Musca, currently a respected member of the Parliament, confirming yesterday a previous decision that she was a Securitate collaborator.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei interviews Justice minister Monica Macovei, who accuses the lack of political support for Justice reform in the governing coalition.
In the interview, she says she’s been feeling the government formed around a strife-hit alliance of Liberals and Democrats was no longer acting as a team since early this year.
But not only the governing coalition faces troubles these days. According to the same Evenimentul Zilei, ex-PM Adrian Nastase is preparing to resign from the main opposition party, the Social-Democrats (PSD), after 12 low-profile members of the group decided to apply him a disciplinary sanction earlier this week.
According to Gandul, the resignation would be announced in a press conference today, at the peak of a lasting confrontation with the new leadership of the party.
Meanwhile, the same Evenimentul Zilei reports that the Belgian office against money laundering has notified the similar body in Romania about its suspicions related to businesses run by Bucharest mayor Adriean Videanu and his brother, Fanel Videanu.
The Romanian office has already accomplished two checks on businesses between the two and a British firm, involving the transfer of six million Belgian francs. But the case was classified after it was found that part of the money “may have resulted” from a consulting contract.
On the European front, Cotidianul quotes the conclusion of a meeting between Dutch Ambassador to Bucharest Jacques Louis Werner with representatives of the public administration, NGOs and the media, which say Romania does not really have a post-EU accession strategy, is losing time preparing for early elections and risks losing important EU funds as a result.
In a separate report, Cotidianul also tackles the issue of labour migration and discusses a national program that would allow Romania to “import” cheaper workers from Eastern countries, in order to lower the risks posed by a flow of Romanian workers westwards in search for better paid jobs once the country joins the EU.
Evenimentul Zilei points to one of the paradoxes posed by Romania as a future EU member state: on the real estate market, the city of Ploiesti, somewhere north of Bucharest, is becoming more expensive than Rome, the Italian capital.
According to experts, the situation is caused by the over-evaluation of real estate offers, favourd by a strong deficit of houses in many Romanian cities.