Romanian newspapers look to the country’s neighbors on Tuesday, reporting on political disputes with Ukraine, tourism clashes with Bulgaria and social troubles with the Moldovan Republic. They also evaluate the impact of the World Cup on Romanian TV screens and turn an eye on nationalist movements in the country and abroad.
Gandul sizes the opportunity offered by President Basescu at a meeting with his Czech counterpart Vaclav Kaus and attacks the Romanian head of state again, charging him with describing the British as a negative example for the US.
While dismissing that the presence of Romanian troops in Iraq had anything to do with the US visas imposed on Romania, President Basescu said he would expect a much faster reaction from Britain, the only European country that still applies visas for Romanian citizens.
The statement is seen by Gandul as an exaggerated statement towards the second pillar of what President Basescu used to call the “Bucharest-London-Washington axis”.
But while this newspaper looks West, other newspapers look East, especially towards a UN decision that supports Romania’s decision in a dispute with Ukraine over the Bystraya (Bastroe) Canal near the Danube Delta.
While Romania has charged Ukraine with threatening the environment in the area by building the water channel, authorities in Kiev have dismissed the claims, Romania Libera reports.
But a UN investigative commission found that the construction had a significant negative impact at cross-border level and confirms that Ukraine is building the channel without prior notification to Romania, which comes against international accords.
For Evenimentul Zilei, most relevant in this regard is that the UN findings are the equivalent of a recommendation for Ukraine to stop the construction works.
And Cotidianul focuses on the impact these works would have on the environment, according to UN evaluations - the extinction of dozens of species of fish, birds and plants, many of them very rare, that live in the Danube Delta.
Evenimentul Zilei launches a series of documentaries presenting the live and politics in Transdniestr, the separatist region of the Moldovan Republic presented as ”the only theoretically non-existent country on Earth”.
With all its KGB influence, Mafia deals, conflicts, arms trafficking, and the role of Russian “peace corps” that would never leave the territory.
Also on the foreign affairs front, Adevarul reports that citizens of the Moldovan Republic who are married to Romanians living close to the Romanian-Moldovan border have to move back every three months to obtain the necessary documents to live their lives legally in Romania.
The same Adevarul writes about a “diplomatic and tourism war” between Romania and Bulgaria, sparked by recent travel advices for Bulgaria that the Romanian Foreign Ministry has issued and which were continued by similar moves in the neighboring country.
The newspaper notes, however, that the presentation of Bulgaria by the Romanian Foreign Ministry is similar to that shown on the website of the US Embassy to Sofia, which describes the hazards of robbery and police misconduct.
Gandul looks further to the East and reports that the National Council of Szecklers, reuniting ethnic Hungarians in Romania, has signed a protocol of collaboration with what it calls a “terrorist organization in China”, the Eliberation Front of Uiguristan.
While the deal is argued with the “historical relations between Hungarians and Uigurs”, an ethnic minority in Western China, the Front is well known for its violent operations in the past, including bomb attacks, according to the newspaper.
Evenimentul Zilei looks into Romanians’ own backyard and reports that followers of the Romanian far-right movement during the World War II, the Legionarii, have started pilgrimages to the tomb of Ion Zelea Codreanu, the brother of “Captain” Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the late leader of the Legionarii.
Flowers have been appearing at Codreanu’s tomb in the city of Husi, prompting talk of a revival of the movement in the area, whose members however would rather stay away from spotlight.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei reports that over five million Romanians from a population of 21 million watched the World Cup finals between Italy and France on Sunday night.
It shows that the public television TVR, the local broadcaster of the Cup, reported a 25% rating for the match won by Italy, which means 2.8 million people watched the event for its whole 120 minutes.