Newspapers on Thursday keep their focus on the issues of the week - the competition between Romania and Bulgaria in the field of seaside tourism offers, the drama of the US citizen of Romanian origin who blew up a building in Manhattan and the usual revelations about economic abuses.

All spiced with news about the Logan car, the local gambling records related to the World Cup and the “branding” of Romania’s most venerated poet Mihai Eminescu.

On the political front, newspapers report an offensive by governing parties to strengthen their public support with the help of others.

Evenimentul Zilei writes that the Democratic Party, a member of the governing coalition, has decided to solve a dispute between the dominant Orthodox Church and the Greek-Catholics, after the former threatened it would abandon its political neutrality unless something is done with the proselytism of the latter.

The Democrats have now announced it would call for a law on the retrocession of properties held by the Orthodox to the Greek Catholic Church, according to the number of their followers in specific regions, as a way to solve the disputes.

But what Evenimentul Zilei considers to be the most spectacular issue of the day is the still fiercer competition between Romania and Bulgaria in terms of summer tourism.

According to the newspaper, the degree of occupation of Romanian seaside resorts has managed to reach 60% eventually. But the only reasons for this are the improving weather, the start of school holidays and most importantly the fact that demand on the Bulgarian seaside exceeded their offer.

Tourism operators quoted by Evenimentul Zilei say the neighboring country has “stolen” those Romanian tourists who used to accommodate in above average hotels in Romania or who preferred Greece.

Another main topic of the day is the fate of Nicholas Bartha, the US citizen of Romanian descent who earlier this week blew up a four-storey building in Manhattan, New York, because his ex-wife planned to take control over part of the building he owned.

It is the Curse of Gold, people of Rosia Montana, Bartha’s birth place, say, quoted by Jurnalul National. Rosia Montana is well known for environmentalists and gold industrialists internationally these days because of gold mining plans of a foreign company there.

The elderly in Rosia Montana say Bartha’s family used to be very rich in the days before the Communists came to confiscate everybody’s fortune in the area. The Barthas were the second richest family in Rosia Montana in those pre-1950 times as it was involved in the local gold mining industry.

And after their properties were nationalized, they started to raise eyebrows about a possible collaboration with the dreaded Securitate, the dreaded Communist political police, because they were so often in and out of the country.

Adevarul, meanwhile, focuses on something a bit different. It debates the effects of a recent proposal by a cultural website to “rebrand” national poet Mihai Eminescu in the idea that he lost much of his glitter by the simple fact that he was forcefully implemented in the “official culture” thought in schools.

The website,, challenges readers to find ways to use Eminescu’s image creatively, the way the image of Shakespeare, Hugo or Dante are used as a branding trick in Western countries.

According to Adevarul, the idea was welcomed by many cultural personalities in Romania, who agree with providing a consumer-friendly status to the national poet.

But it is also opposed by many others, who find the move too risky for Eminescu’s national symbol status.

Evenimentul Zilei also reports that with its new Logan car, Romanian carmaker Dacia, part of Renault, managed to boost its sales by about 150% in the first two quarters of 2006 compared to the same period last year.

And the success should be largely linked to exports, as Logan now sells in 42 countries, a number due to rteach 50 by the end of the year.

Last but not least, Cotidianul reports that in the Romanian gambling industry the state is the only winner of the World Cup 2006. Gambling activities related to the matches in Germany poured some 4 million euro in taxes paid to the state budget, while betting rooms reported overall losses of some 300,000 euro.