Romanian newspapers on Wednesday debate the decision of the governing Liberal Party to expel a top member who is close to President Basescu, a move that may trigger further turmoil in the governing coalition.

Basescu’s own issue - condemning communism - makes a comeback, as does another question: working in Romania or working abroad? And the personal “brand” of a maverick politician-businessman brings him back to the limelight again.

Cotidianul believes that the Liberal Party-PNL decision to expel its former presidents Theodor Stolojan and fellow party member Valeriu Stoica from the group was seen as a solution to resist their pressure for a smoother alliance with the Democratic Party, with which the Liberals share the government.

Stolojan, now a counselor for President Basescu, was first to be ousted from the party - a move that, according to the newspaper, allowed the current Liberal leaders to “steal” his plans of party reform.

Evenimentul Zilei notes the “total discretion” in which Stolojan was ousted several days before he and fellow party member were due to present their “alternative political program” aimed at reviving the party in polls after a series of setbacks.

And Gandul quotes a deputy recently forced out of PNL, who called Tariceanu “a mongrel of Romanian politics” considering his decision to oust Stolojan.


Evenimentul Zilei also interviews Adrian Cioroianu, a Romanian euro-obsever, who claims the European Popular Party which the Romanian Democratic Party wants to join forces with is supporting the Democrats’ push for early elections in Romania next year.

Calls for an early poll have multiplied as the friction between President Basescu’s Democrats and PM Tariceanu’s Liberals intensified over the past several months.

Cotidianul also publishes an interview - with Vladimir Tismaneanu, the head of a team commissioned by President Basescu to study the palpable crimes of the ex-communist regime in Romania.

According to Tismaneanu, Basescu is sentenced to sentence communism, as he welcomes the newspaper’s ongoing campaign to reveal figures and facts on the crimes committed by the Communist authority among Romania’s elites.

Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei reports that companies in Romania are increasingly tempted to employ foreign workers in place of Romanians who have left the country to work abroad.

That brings a paradox on Romanian labour market: while some two million people are away working in foreign countries, the number of foreigners coming to work in Romania is increasing and local companies are pressing harder to have them employed.

That comes in a period when, according to the same newspaper, the equivalent of working time for the price of a beer in Romania is 18 minutes - compared to 12 minutes in Poland and 8 in Hungary.

Also in Evenimentul Zilei, Gigi Becali, the maverick businessman-politician who’s been building his political career based on the recent successes of Steaua football club, which he owns, and on sharing money in chaotic programs of assistance for the poor, has filed for his name to become a “brand” - something rarely seen in Romania.

But the move has sparked outrage among his cousins, sports businessmen Ioan and Victor Becali, who challenged the request. The move would have allowed Gigi Becali to make and sell anything named Becali - from submarines to shoelaces, as the newspaper points out.

Jurnalul National shows another facet of the Becali “brand”. The newspaper reports that the businessman is eyeing the green area north of Bucharest - some 100 hectares of land which may be environmentally erased in order to make room for new real estate projects.

Meanwhile, Gandul reports that the number of Romanians suffering of depression or schizophrenia has doubled compared to 1989, due to an increasingly hectic pace of living. The report comes as the World Health Organization estimates psychic problems will become the third most important cause of morbidity by 2020.

Adevarul turns focus on Romania’s prisons, where conjugal rooms will be introduced to be used by newly-married prisoners, once the country joins the EU.

Something rather spectacular for Romanian prisoners: during the 48 hours they are allowed to spend with they new wives in these special rooms, they’ll be provided not only food - but also condoms.