Romanian newspapers on Friday discuss the renewed conflict in Lebanon and its implications for Romanians starting with the Economy minister and ending with the several thousands living in the Middle Eastern country.
The papers have good news for one mobile telephony company and bad news for another, continue de debate on the fate of Romanian seaside tourism and report what in Romania scares the European Union most.
Adevarul writes that over 2,000 Romanians in Lebanon were caught in the middle of violence after the Hezbollah attacks in Israel and the Israeli offensive in the neighboring country.
The newspaper quotes Romanian Ambassador to Beirut Aurel Calin, who says, however, he did not have any information of Romanians suffering because of the military operations.
Evenimentul Zilei reports that Romanian Economy minister Codrut Seres, who was visiting Lebanon when the Israeli offensive was launched, had to “escape” from Beirut by car, going to Syria and then Turkey before taking the plane to Romania from there.
That is because the flight to Bucharest minister Seres and his delegation should have taken was annulled after the bombing of the Beirut airport yesterday.
The newspaper reports that businessman Nassar Nassar, husband to Romanian deputy Rodica Nassar and owner of a series of properties in Romania, was also blocked in Lebanon.
And Cotidianul argues that both Iran and Syria have all the interest in fanning the flames in the region, as Damascus tries to keep its influence on Lebanon and hinder a UN investigation in the murder of ex-PM Rafiq Hariri, while Iran has publicly supported the idea of bringing down the Israeli state.
But Romanian newspapers return to proximity stories quickly. Evenimentul Zilei shows continuous interest in the current state of Romanian Black Sea tourism.
According to this daily, while Bulgarian hotel owners invest for the long term, Romanians want quick gains, which makes prices rise by 10 to 20% yearly while the services remain weak and the beaches dirty.
And the Romanian tourism is more expensive than those of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, which provide considerable better services and thus gain the upper hand in the competition for a generally unchanged and limited number of European tourists, an industry association representative is quoted as saying.
The same Evenimentul Zilei has bad news for Vodafone Romania, the mobile telephony company. The national authority that regulates the communication industry threatens it with an unprecedented fine for keeping the secret of how it computes its interconnection tariffs.
According to the newspaper, the authority may apply a fine of 5% of Vodafone’s business figure (that is, 50 million USD out of a billion dollars).
Meanwhile, Cotidianul has good news for another mobile operator. The National Audiovisual Council has rejected a request by Valentin Ceausescu, the son of ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, to stop a commercial for the mobile services of Zapp, which used his father’s image.
Still, the head of the audiovisual regulator is quoted as saying that while the vote stood in favor of Zapp, this kind of commercials may bring prejudice to some Romanians and the issue of who owns the rights for the image of a relative remains, no matter that this was the case of a dictator.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Adevarul reports that corruption and the state of psychiatry in Romania are frightening the EU. The newspaper quotes a new report showing Romania is a champion in misspending the funds received from Brussels, especially for agriculture programs.
And it also writes about a visit to Bucharest of EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, who will focus on the lack of vital reform in the field of psychiatry in the country.