The Harley crash caused by PM Tariceanu on Tuesday and his appearance in shorts and wrapped in plaster at a government meeting yesterday reverberates for another day in Romanian newspapers. Recent moves by various politicians spark talk about “shadow” and “mini-“ governments in Bucharest. The dailies also report the worries of local and foreign businesspeople in Romania.
And a French newspaper is quoted in Romanian media with its own speculation about fugitive businessman Omar Hayssam.
PM Tariceanu had quite an appearance at yesterday’s government meeting, in shorts, beach slippers and one leg in plaster.
A picture that conflicted terribly with him going to war again with his minister and President Basescu, over issues such as the reorganization of the government and the judicial reform of the national security, Evenimentul Zilei reports.
And such major issues come in terrible contrast with Tariceanu’s own turmoil: he had his driver license suspended after he crashed his Harley Davidson into a car near Bucharest on Tuesday - the same newspaper completes the picture.
Jurnalul National goes in-depth and tries its own investigation into the unanswered questions related to the accident: where was Tariceanu going? Who was the car driver and why was his identity kept secret? The newspaper finds some answers, but still nothing spectacular.
What is surprising is the total silence covering the case in the village where the car crash occurred, as nobody there ever saw anything to clear things up.
The crash and yesterday’s government meeting are tacked by one headline in Cotidianul: “Tariceanu drives the Government without a license”.
Still, between the many unanswered questions, Cotidianul learns that the PM has only had his driving license retained for the period of police investigations, and not suspended as the media reported yesterday.
Adevarul writes that depending on the gravity of his leg affection, for which he spent a night in hospital after the accident, PM Tariceanu may suffer a surgical intervention.
Meanwhile, the boiling of the political scene leaves the limelight for the backstage.
Cotidianul reports that during party talks yesterday, the leader of the main opposition group, Mircea Geoana of the Social Democrats (PSD), made a risky compromise: he let ex-Economy minister Dan Ioan Popescu the position of coordinator of activities related to the monitoring of the current government, thus forcing him to leave the chair of the PSD Bucharest branch.
That means, Popescu will be the prime minister of the PSD “shadow government” - or future prime minister of the country, in case the party wins the next elections.
And Gandul reports that Bucharest Mayor Adriean Videanu forms his own “mini-government” within the City Hall of the Romanian capital, as recent legal norms turn him from an administrative official into a public dignitary.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei reports that foreign investors in Romania fear the country’s reputed cheap workers may have already left the country. That would leave foreign firms nobody to work with in their Romanian projects, as suggested by Ana-Maria Cristina, head of the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments ARIS.
The newspaper quotes her as saying that foreign investors have started to raise the issue in talks with ARIS, where they no longer ask about the average salary, but about the money they should pay to prevent workers from leaving to work abroad.
And Adevarul quotes a World Bank report according to which some 50% of business people in Romania are troubled with the level of corruption in the country.
Despite the perception of graft in the business environment has fallen considerably, half of employers in Romania believe bribes they have to give here and there prevent a good functioning of their firms.
Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei quotes French newspaper “Le Figaro”, which suggests in a recent edition that Bucharest authorities have made a deal with Omar Hayssam, the businessman of Syrian descent who fled Romania despite facing terrorism charges here.
The French paper speculates that the whole story - from the abduction of three Romanian journalists in Iraq last year, for which Hayssam, the sponsor of their trip in the Gulf country, was placed under terrorism charges, to the disappearance of Hayssam recently - was well planned from the very beginning with the help of Romanian intelligence services.