Taxation was the word of the day on Wednesday with a key vote in Parliament and clashes between the two top tax officials, Romanian newspapers report on Thursday.
The way Romanians see their leaders and their country is analyzed in a public opinion barometer that claims many headlines, while today’s dailies also speak of yoga guru Gregorian Bivolaru and the exodus of an “entire city” to work in Spain.
It was hard for the governing coalition to force through a draft law changing the Fiscal Code in Parliament yesterday after two junior members of the governing alliance threatened to boycott a vote on this piece of legislation in the key vote scheduled in the House.
The law was eventually passed, but only after harsh negotiations between the Liberal Party, a senior member of the coalition, and the Hungarian Democrats-UDMR, one of the two boycotting parties, Adevarul reports.
As the law had to be voted yesterday in order to come into effect early next year, Liberal Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu promised UDMR he would promote a law on the status of national minorities, which the Hungarians have pushed vainly for a long time, the newspaper writes.
But the Liberals could do nothing in the case of the Conservative Party, who opted to boycott yesterday’s vote en masse after their amendments to the Fiscal Code changes had been rejected.
The events in the House overlapped with a clash between Liberal minister Vladescu and the head of the Fiscal Guard - ANAF, Sebastian Bodu, a Democrat.
The conflict between the two resurfaced yesterday when Vladescu suggested Bodu to resign after the top fiscal control authority complained about the lack of money for his institution, caused by obstacles laid by the Finance Ministry itself, Cotidianul reports.
The newspaper quotes Bodu who warned his Agency cannot collect more tax money because it lacks budgetary and organizational autonomy.
Cotidianul also announces the Romania-IMF stand-by accord will officially end tomorrow but, according to Vladescu, the country’s relationship with the Fund will continue at permanent expert levels.
Meanwhile, Gandul focuses on a new public opinion barometer published on Wednesday, which shows Romanians trust President Traian Basescu, populist politician-businessman Gigi Becali and far-right leader Vadim Tudor most.
If elections took place on Sunday, Basescu would receive 60% of the votes, the Gallup barometer for the Open Society Foundation shows.
Evenimentul Zilei is more interested in what the poll says about Romanians’ view on their country. The perfect description according to the study would be that Romania is “corrupt, poor, bureaucratic and flooded”, the newspaper headlines.
And it notices a high level of discontent over many issues: 86% of Romanians complain about prices, 79% about jobs, 81% about pensions, 83% about corruption and so on.
Which, in Adevarul terms, shows Romanians no longer believe in “Live well” - the slogan used by President Basescu in his electoral campaign in 2004.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Cotidianul reports that prosecutors have concluded their investigations in the case of runaway yoga guru Gregorian Bivolaru, leader of the Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute (MISA).
But there’s one problem - Bivolaru is nowhere to be found so that he be sent to court over charges related to sexual relations with a minor, dodging criminal investigations and fraudulent border crossing.
Bivolaru was supposed to be in Sweden, a country which has rejected a call from Romania to extradite the yoga guru, according to Cotidianul.
And Evenimentul Zilei reports about the “duplex of the home-sick Castellon-Targoviste”. The “whole city” of Targoviste in Southern Romania moved to work in the Spanish area of Castellon, as people hope for better earnings than in their home country.
The situation leads to the extreme a drama seen in many parts of Romania: departing Targoviste people left their children en masse in the care of others.
That has led to a peculiar situation in Castellon, on the Mediterranean Sea coast, where one in six dwellers is from the region of Targoviste.