A Romanian Television campaign to decide who’s the greatest Romanian has led to a shortlist that sparks a lot of talk in today’s newspapers. So does the “quing” of Britain, Prince Philip, with another one of his notorious gaffes - this time related to Romania.
The spectacle continues with negative political reactions against a not so orthodox computer game a Romanian team launched this year and a game of attrition between Bulgaria and Romania in the field of tourism.
On the political front, Gandul quotes a newly published poll that shows President Basescu lost six percentage points when it comes to voter satisfaction about his activity as a head of state. 57% of Romanians are pleased with Basescu now, compared to 63% in May-June, the newspaper points out.
The same poll is tackled in Cotidianul as well. The paper questions the validity of such poll as a previous study, ordered by the Liberals, showed the two senior parties of the governing coalition - the Democrats and the Liberals - neck in neck with about 45% trust among the population.
This latest poll challenges those findings, showing 75% trusted the Democrats while only 25% trusted the Liberals.
Cotidianul also questions a move by the latter party to call for the abolition of the Supreme Defense Council of Romania-CSAT, a body they consider to reflect the Soviet way of leadership. Their request comes as CSAT has recently rejected the Liberals’ call to withdraw Romanian troops from Iraq.
Speaking of which, Adevarul reports that the Liberals’ proposal has led to increasing tension among Romanian troops in the Gulf country, as they now fear spiraling terrorist attacks against them, aimed at hurrying up their withdrawal.
According to the newspaper, the situation is well known at Defense Ministry level, but soldiers are no longer allowed to say anything in this regard.
Adevarul also debates an ongoing campaign by the public TV station TVR, aimed at establishing who are the greatest Romanians in history. A shortlist has been put up, of which the audience is asked now to decide who is the single greatest Romanian.
Adevarul calls the shortlist a “hotchpotch” of leading Romanians, as it includes artists (Brancusi, Mihai Emisescu, Mircea Eliade), sportspeople (Nadia Comaneci), national leaders (Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Charles I, Stephen the Great, Mihai the Brave and Ion Antonescu) along with less known Lutheran priest Richard Wurmbrand.
Evenimentul Zilei sizes the opportunity to present its own “Greatest Bitter” Romanians, in which it challenged its audience to establish who harmed Romania most in its recent history.
So far, the “chart” is dominated by ex-President Ion Iliescu, followed by ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and popular businessman-politician Gigi Becali.
Meanwhile, Cotidianul reports that the “quing of England” Prince Philip, husband to Queen Elisabeth of Britain and Duke of Edinburgh, who committed a huge gaffe involving Romanian orphans. At a ceremony in Edinburgh, an award winner told Prince Philip he used to work in Romania.
The Prince asked him whether the man went there to help the orphanages in the country, and the answer was no. “Ah good, there’s so many of those orphanages over there you feel they breed them just to put in orphanages”, the Prince gaffed.
Cotidianul shows the incident comes as a group of 400 MEPs have demanded Romania to restart its international adoptions program as soon as possible.
According to Adevarul, the intervention of Prince Philip was an offence towards Romania, but it recalls that the man was well known for his long series of gaffes that in the past affected Russia, China and Australia.
Adevarul also reports that the Bulgarians have started to warn tourists to boost attention to luggage theft and corruption in Romanian custom points.
The warning comes in reply to “traveling tips” published by the Romanian Foreign Ministry recently, according to which Bulgaria poses an average degree of risk for tourists, similar to Iran.
The newspaper quotes a Bulgarian diplomat in Bucharest who said last week that the Romanian ministry tips are to be understood, “considering Bulgaria earned four billion euro from tourism last year, while Romania - just one billion”.
And speaking of good vicinity, Cotidianul reports the effects of a game “Romanians in space” launched by local company 2 Bad Design this year. The game - depicting a fantasy odyssey of Romanians under ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and President Traian Basescu - includes a mission to exterminate groups of Hungarian insurgents.
The game sparked negative reactions from the Hungarian press and the Romanian authorities, who have been calling for a check to see whether the game encourages racial hate.