The sentence that may send ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to gallows makes waves across Bucharest media on Monday, with comparisons to the death of Romania’s own dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. The papers also debate the Romanian seat in the European Commission once the country joins the EU next year and the role the Romanian working expat community will pay in future elections.
Plus, a bit of the past via a new report on the victims of Communist dictatorship in the country.
The death sentence for Saddam Hussein profiles highly on the front pages of Romanian newspapers today.
While Cotidianul believes the sentence only solves one problem in Iraq, which is far from capable to put an end to violent strife in the Gulf country, Evenimentul Zilei quotes Amnesty International in calling Saddam’s process “sinister” and marked by huge irregularities.
And Adevarul compares the gallows sentence to the fire squad death of Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s own dictator, on Christmas 1989. If carried, Saddam’s execution will be much more terrible than that of the ex-communist leader, the newspaper believes.
Elsewhere in the papers, Evenimentul Zilei draws the profile of Romania’s nominated EU commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban, who leaves for Brussels today to prepare his hearing in the European Parliament, a key step in the nomination process.
Calling him a “model geek”, the newspaper reports that Orban is better known in Brussels than in Bucharest mainly thanks to an unspectacular biography that included work in Ceausescu’s factories and a shady, paper-burdened and politically immune presence in the post-Communist Parliament.
Cotidianul turns its eye on the political hunt of Romanian voters abroad and reports that Romanian citizens working abroad may have two deputies and one senator in the home country’s parliament starting 2008. That would happen if an uninominal voting system supported by the civil society is approved, according to the newspaper.
The issue is tackled in Adevarul as well. This newspaper interviews a deputy for the governing Democratic Party, William Branza, who claims that a party to represent the interests of Romanian workers in Spain would much more likely harm the interests of these workers.
According to Branza, the due-to-be-formed Romanian Independent Party (PIR), run by a young Romanian businessman, is badly received among Spanish authorities as it creates a dangerous precedent.
Cotidianul also quotes Italian newspaper Il Giornale, which reports that some 1,600 Romanian citizens have stuffed Italian prisons, accounting for the third largest ethnic group in the host country penitenciaries after Italians and Albanians.
And Gandul reports that US director Anthony Minghella, who’s been robbed by thieves twice during his stay in Romania for shooting at his Cold Mountain box-office hit, was inspired by his experiences to create his most recent film, Breaking and Entering.
Also in Gandul, a still higher number of Israeli citizens have been asking for Romanian citizenship. Most of them are Jews of Romanian origin willing to regain their Romanian citizenship or children from Romania-born parents.
According to Romanian Ambassador to Israel Mariana Stoica, this may have to do with Romania becoming an EU member starting January next year.
Meanwhile, Jurnalul National quotes the latest evaluations by Vladimir Tismaneanu, the coordinator of a presidential commission analyzing the effects of Romania’s former communist dictatorship.
According to Tismaneanu, an official report will be concluded this month saying that some two million Romanians were dragged into Communist prisons and labour camps - and about half a million should be considered victims of the Communist regime.
According to Cotidianul, once the Tismaneanu Commission report is adopted by President Traian Basescu, students in Romania may have another discipline in schools - the History of Communism.