Prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu had a motorbike accident on Tuesday night, but the event only gets a few short reports in newspapers today as it happened too late for Romanian print media that is happy with sending its first issues of the day to print as early as 7 p.m.
The papers preview President Basescu’s visit to Washington today, amid renewed political confrontations related to the intelligence services. And several polls and studies are published to let Romanians wonder about their behavior and values.
PM Tariceanu crashed into a car while riding his motorbike north of Bucharest late on Tuesday. While he and the car driver got away with minor injuries, the head of government was hospitalized promptly for thorough medical checks. Tariceanu is generally seen as the guilty part in the accident, as he lost control of the bike while on the lane coming from the opposite direction.
Evenimentul Zilei, one of the few newspapers to get a chance to report the accident, notes that the Security and Protection Service - SPP lifted the Harley Davidson bike from the scene of the accident without police approval.
That means the police could not establish the speed Tariceanu was riding at when he lost control of the bike and crashed into the car.
And the newspaper notes the lack of information over the car driver’s state of health.
Jurnalul National, which provides a short report of the disputes between the SPP and the police, says the accident leaves the prime minister without a driving license for three months.
Meanwhile, Cotidianul focuses on the visit President Traian Basescu is due to pay to Washington this evening - the second there in less than a year. The newspaper notes the scarcity of protocol marking Basescu’s scheduled meeting with his US counterpart George W.
Bush and the very few political issues included on the agenda, which is dominated by military and trade talks.
The visit comes amid renewed disputes in Bucharest related to plans to reveal the names of people who collaborated with the communist secret police, the Securitate. During a Supreme Defense Council reunion on Monday, President Basescu managed to force the Council to decide opening the classified Securitate files of current Romanian politicians and other personalities.
But, as the same Cotidianul notes, while the files may be declassified fast, the links between politicians and the Securitate might come to light years later because the Council Studying the Securitate Archives is lacking enough personnel to speed up the process.
And in order to get the necessary resources, it has to appeal on the very same politicians.
And Adevarul notes that prior to Basescu’s visit to Washington he met Serbian President Boris Tadic, whom he told he opposed the independence of separatist region Kosovo.
Basescu said that in the case Kosovo gets its independence, the international community would be forced to send twice the number of troops to keep the peace there, the newspaper reports.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei reports that “despite shocking news, less and less Romanians commit suicide”, as a new report shows. A National Forensics Institute report that suicide acts make up for 26.57% of the total number of violent deaths in Romania last year.
But the suicide “slice” is down by almost a quarter, to 2900, compared to the years of 2000-2004. Most suicide attempts are recorded among ethnic Hungarians in the region of Ardeal, according to the newspaper.
For its part, Adevarul quotes a UNICEF study showing that beating is still seen as the most efficient method to bring discipline among children in Romania. Punishment against children is practiced in over 90% of Romanian families, and physical punishment in about two thirds of these families.
And the report shows over 65% of Romanian parents still use old and bad child care methods such as baby wrapping, which was proven to affect the development of the child physically and psychically.
Gandul focuses on a poll aimed at evaluating the image of Romanians in Germany. It shows Germans associate Romania with poverty and thieves, but also with nice landscapes.
And while 16% of Germans have never heard of a Romanian personality, the others named ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, gymnast Nadia Comaneci, businessman and former tennis player Ion Tiriac, rocker Peter Maffay and Dracula as Romanians they know about.
The same Gandul quotes the state secretary for Francophony in the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Cristian Preda, who announced yesterday that the delegations of countries to attend a Francophones Summit in Bucharest in September would be considerably reduced because of the high costs in Bucharest.
“We live in a poor, but very expensive country”, Preda explained, specifying that the top level delegations would not be affected, but only low-level delegates.