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What the newspapers say: October 2, 2006

Luni, 2 octombrie 2006, 0:00

The success of a Romanian at the Miss World competition this year is hailed in the pages of most Romanian newspapers today.

They also worry about dramatic demographic changes in the country, about army plans to “spy” on its citizens”, about the costs of a virtual unification of Romania and the Moldovan Republic and the risk a recent summit of the French-speaking world may leave Romania still under the reign of the English language.

The “vice-queen of world beauty” is a Romanian, Evenimentul Zilei writes in a report on the success of Ioana Valentina Boitor at the Miss World 2006 contest in Warsaw last weekend, where she came the second after a Czech among the most beautiful women of five continents.

It is the best result recorded by a Romanian in such a competition, the newspaper reports. And it notes that of the 17 finalists, six were chosen “continental queens” and Ioana Boitor took the title of Miss South Europe.

Cotidianul quotes her motto: Once you start something, you must go all the way. And it reports that the success on Saturday night was preceded by two less then spectacular positions in the preliminary rounds of the contest - place 7/104 at swimsuit and somewhere in the top 10 at night dress.

And Gandul argues that because Miss World is considered one of the most watched TV events Boitor’s chances to be noticed by the fashion decision-makers grew exponentially over the past several days.

Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei reports a worrisome trend that shows Romanians are ready to work as hard as they can abroad, but are rather “lazy” at home.

A saying according to which “we pretend we work, you pretend you pay us” is still valid in Romania, according to an HR expert quoted by the newspaper, which also says when in foreign countries Romanians work incredibly hard to keep a hard-gained job.

The same Evenimentul Zilei newspaper reports the findings of the UN Fund for Population, according to which a low birth rate may lead to a Romanian population as low as 16 million from the current 21.6 million 50 years from now. And more than half of Romanians will be retired, according to Fund event in Bucharest on Sunday.

Gandul also writes about this and shows in 50 years one Romanian employee will bear the burden of no less than nine pensioners and children. For the time being, the employee/pensioner rate is three to four, according to the Fund.

Speaking of thrends, Cotidianul draws a line after the La Francophonie summit hosted by Bucharest last week and tries to establish for how long the nostalgic French speakers in Romania will be able to keep the pace with the ascension of the English language.

Not so long, it shows: some 80% of films broadcast by Romanian TV stations are in English; of 250 movies in theaters last year, 180 were in English and only 15 in French; most books in foreign languages sold in Romanian bookstores are English, while the top of French-language books is dominated by a South-American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And the list continues…

Also in Cotidianul, some numbers on a controversial issue: how much would the unification of Romania and the Moldovan Republic cost? Insisting that the calculus is not aimed at supporting or challenging the idea of a unification process, the newspaper argues it is needed taken into consideration recent statements on this issue -

supportive or otherwise - in Bucharest and Chisinau. In the first five years since the merger, the total cost would be somewhere between 30-35 billion euro, according to the newspaper.

For its part, Adevarul comes with a breaking news: the Defense Ministry in Bucharest may opt to spy on Romanians’ computers. A top secret project of the Army analyzes the possibility to procure computer “eavesdropping” machines and other equipment known as electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems.

The newspaper quotes Army sources according to which the procurement of such equipment is a NATO request aimed at evaluating IT security for rooms where secret data are processed.

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