Romanian newspapers today would rather bet on the spectacular. Their sigh of relief after Romania football team’s victory in Albania sounds more dramatic than the match itself.

An intervention of President Basescu in a TV show recently is debated through the “cool factor” angle, while Romanians’ love with everybody in the world is promptly noted in a new German Marshall Fund study published yesterday. The media also witnessed a new war - between the three Romanian journalists kidnapped and released in Iraq last year.

And the Google “time machine” reveals interesting stuff from Romania’s communist past.

Adevarul publishes parts of the travel reports that Romanian President Traian Basescu submitted to the Communist authorities in the eighties, when he worked as a ship captain.

The documents, Adevarul considers, describe Basescu as a rough but fair captain, whose explanations for his decisions and demands show interest both for his sailors and for the national economy.

The documents show him asking for sailor salary boosts, explaining how he managed to save money in specific shipping operations and how he sanctions a couple of workers on the ship because they were drunk during service.

The newspaper publishes the documents as a reply to Basescu’s wish to see the documents he submitted to the state officials under the communist regime. Basescu expressed his wish during a live intervention in a TV talk show two days ago, to defend himself against media allegations that he collaborated with ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s secret police, the Securitate.

During the same intervention, Basescu mentioned that he had also explained his view on this issue on the forum of newspaper Adevarul.

That is a subject of irony for Cotidianul, which reports that the current Democratic president and Adrian Nastase, the former Social-Democratic PM, have discovered a common hobby: to post comments on newspaper reports on the Internet.

Cotidianul reports that a day after Basescu posted his comments on the Adevarul website, Nastase was also posting on the Internet - on the forum related to an op/ed article of his own published by Jurnalul National.

And he was attacking critical posters who claimed they believed Nastase’s reasoning was following his own personal interests.

Speaking of the communist past. Evenimentul Zilei reports that the new archive search service provided by Google reveals interesting facts about ex-dictator Ceausescu and Romania’s first post-Communist president, Ion Iliescu.

Documents included in the search show that Ion Iliescu was seen as a potential successor to Ceausescu since 1986, according to an article in a Time Magazine issue during that period - three years before the anti-communist revolution that propelled Iliescu to power.

The love-hate relationship of Romanians with others is also tackled in various forms by today’s media.

Evenimentul Zilei reports that clashes have intensified between the three Romanian journalists that were kidnapped - and later released - in Iraq last year.

During hearings in a case related to their kidnapping, one of the three, Ovidiu Ohanesian, charged another, Marie-Jeanne Ion, of an “intimate relationship” with Mohammad Munaf, a businessman who was also kidnapped with the three and who is seen as a partner with Omar Hayssam, the fugitive businessman of Arab descent who is thought of organizing the abduction.

Meanwhile, Cotidianul reports that Romanians burst with love for other countries, as revealed in a poll published by the German Marshall Fund yesterday. It shows Romanians’ feelings towards the US are the warmest in Europe.

The level of warmth - compared to other countries included in the survey - is similar towards the EU, UK and Latin countries such as Italy, Spain and France.

On the same issue, Gandul points out Romanians love George W. Bush more than Americans do, with a 42% level of support for him - some 10 percentage points than the average reported by the rest of the countries.

The love is not necessarily mutual. Evenimentul Zilei writes that the Italian society was shocked when it learned from media reports about the inhuman situation Romanian immigrants working on vegetable plantations in Italy live in.

The newspaper writes that Italian authorities have called a full evaluation on the situation of the “Puglia slaves”, as the Romanian workers there are called.

Last but not least, most newspapers react warmly to the 2-0 victory reputed by Romania against Albania in the preliminaries for Euro 2008 last night.

“Romania - small game, big victory”, the same Evenimentul Zilei comments, noting the importance of the three points this victory brings for the country after the unexpected 2-2 draw against Bulgaria recently.