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What the newspapers say: October 24, 2006

Marţi, 24 octombrie 2006, 0:00

Romania is ready to push a palm-reading Liberal as its future representative in the European Commission. Germany is about to welcome Romania and Bulgaria in the EU, but some call for specific clauses to be applied in the process. Romania’s diplomacy goes Asia this week, while one newspaper marks the 50th anniversary of the anti-Soviet movement in Hungary with a front page story.

And while revelations on shady, large scale deals continue, one Romanian woman managed to buy herself a trainstation. All in newspapers today.

Gandul reports that the PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu has pushed Liberal Senator Varujan Vosganian, an expert in economy, as Romania’s representative in the European Commission once the country joins the EU next year.

The newspaper quotes party sources who said Tariceanu did not want to announce the name as diplomatic procedures have it that EC President Jose Manuel Barroso should make the announcement.

And while other names such as those of EU Integration minister Anca Boagiu and of Foreign minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu are still circulated, Adevarul also gives Vosganian’s nomination for granted. And it recalls that the Liberal economy expert once confessed on a TV show that he has the gift of palmistry and coffee reading.

The same Adevarul reports that the leader of German land Bavaria, Edmund Stoiber, has demanded EC Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn to activate a safeguarding clause for justice and fight against corruption for both Romania and Bulgaria as the two prepare to join the EU.

Stoiber does not want German criminals to reach Romanian or Bulgarian jails over extradition calls, the newspaper reports.

Meanwhile, Cotidianul notes that President Traian Basescu has gone Asia for a couple of days. And it reports that in New Delhi yesterday he offered support for India plans to expand and develop its nuclear energy projects, at the United Nations.

Gandul also reports that Basescu managed to name a street in New Delhi after the name of Romanian capital Bucharest. And it writes that while the street was renovated recently and is guarded by residential buildings hidden beyond tall fences, once you step away on side streets the ghetto reveals itself in all its misery.

Cotidianul sticks to Asia and reports that Romania has become the fourth largest market for Chinese clothes after Japan, the US and Hong Kong. And analysts quoted by the newspaper warn that massive imports fueled by the prospect of further exports to the EU have boosted Romania’s trade deficit.

Closer to home, Evenimentul Zilei pays unequalled attention to events in Budapest as Hungary marks the 50th anniversary since its rise against the Soviet rule in 1956.

And it reports that the festivities attended by 47 heads of state and government in Budapest yesterday took place under extreme security measures as the events were marred by confrontations between the police and protesters who’ve been calling for the resignation of PM Gyurcsany.

Elsewhere in the newspapers, Gandul reports that the Romanian state has become a shareholder at SOV Invest, a controversial firm controlled by just as controversial businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, whose name has been linked to the collapse of a financial scheme in which tens of thousands of Romanians lost their fortune in the nineties.

According to the newspaper, the state now holds 40% of SOV Invest, through the Authority for State Assets Recovery-AVAS.

And Evenimentul Zilei continues its revelations on the “brotherhood of consiglieres”, which brings together a series of personalities including ex-Liberal leader, ex-presidential aide Theodor Stolojan in a series of deals involving a US-Romanian investment fund interested in the privatization of Romania’s energy outlets.

The “brotherhood” draws suspicions of “mega-tax evasion”, the paper writes.

But some deals are quite cool: for the first time in Romania, a woman from the city of Birlad has become the owner of a train station, Cotidianul. It is the first of a series of train stations to be sold by fiscal authorities in order to recover the debts held by the Romanian railway company CFR S.A. to the state budget.

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