A decision by three prominent Liberals to take stand against their party, a senior member of the governing coalition, draws considerable interest in Romanian newspapers today. The papers also discuss what happens with Romanian citizens evacuated from Lebanon, with the privatization of the Savings House bank and the Romanian advertising market.
Three challengers of the current leadership of the National Liberal Party - PNL stood together against the party policies of PNL president, prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu and his faction for the first time yesterday, Evenimentul Zilei reports.
Ex-Liberal president Theodor Stolojan with fellow party members Mona Musca and Valeriu Stoica called for unity within the political group and dismissed accusations against them that they want to break the party.
But the newspaper quotes Tariceanu&Co, who proved irritated by the three’s appeal. They said they could not clearly understand what are the problems of the three and why they needed a press conference to present their position instead of discussing their issues within the party.
Cotidianul quotes various PNL officials who suggested a reconciliation between the two groups is unprobable because, as one put it, Stolojan, Musca and Stoica represent the ideas and strategies of President Traian Basescu.
PNL shares the leadership of the government with the Democratic Party, formerly led by Basescu. But after a series of internal conflicts of the governing alliance the Democrats and Basescu managed to improve their image in opinion polls, while PNL’s fell rapidly over the past several months.
Adevarul reports that the appeal of the three produced conflicting reactions in the territory, where some party branches expressed support for the Liberal unity appeal, while others called for the expulsion of Stolojan&Co. from the party.
Meanwhile, Cotidianul investigates an initiative of what it calls “the followers of the Communist Youth Union” of old, an association called the National Foundation for Youth - FNT.
According to the newspaper, FNT is running a fraud scheme involving a revolutionary machine that produces electricity and thermal energy at costs 100 times lower than anywhere in the world.
The machine was invented by FNT leader Nicolae Mavrodin and another man. The newspaper reports that FNT got its name shortly before a law in 2002 established that the patrimony of the Communist Youth Union would be managed by an association to be named the National Foundation for Youth. FNT includes a series of former parliamentarians that have been investigated for various acts of fraud.
The same Cotidianul reports that according to a new report by international evaluator RECMA the advertising revenues in Romania this year will be boosted considerably to 365 million euro. The money is shared by 15 media agencies and is up 20% compared to 2005, when the industry reported revenues of 309 million euro.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Adevarul reports that the first phase of withdrawal of Romanian citizens from Lebanon concluded successfully last night when 283 Romanians arrived on the Bucharest airport. 107 children, 136 women and 40 men were carried by bus to Alep in Syria, where they left by plane to Bucharest.
Also in Adevarul, PM Tariceanu calls for a full analysis of offers for the Romanian Savings House - CEC, which were submitted yesterday at the beginning of the CEC privatization process. Tariceanu said the offers must not only be analyzed financially because CEC has one of the most extensive banking networks in rural Romania.
Gandul reports that the representatives of the three foreign banks that submitted offers for CEC - Raiffeisen, National Bank of Greece and OTP Bank - opted to dodge the press by entering the Finance Ministry HQ through the backdoor yesterday.
The newspaper reports that Raiffeisen and NBG have larger assets than the cumulated value of the whole Romanian banking system.