Romanian newspapers today provide a concoction of light reports and aggressive investigations dealing with anything from a scandal related to two frigates Romania has bought from Britain to the spectacular but ugly conclusion of the national football championship. Mix in some politics, a bit of EU policies and a grain of CIA flights for a hectic dish of information.
Jurnalul National breaks a long silence on the sale of two second-hand British frigates to Romania several years ago with a report that two of the people involved in the deal were arrested in London yesterday.
Romanian Georgiana George, 42, and British Barry George, 61, have allegedly received “secret” commissions to intermediate the transfer of the BAE Systems to the Romanian Navy.
Barry George was a consultant for BAE at the time of the deal and was arrested as part of an investigation related to a 7 million pound bribery.
Sources of the British agency investigating the case, quoted by Jurnalul National, say two commissions were delivered in the affair – some 1 million pounds for Barry and Georgiana George, on one hand, and some six million to another person, most probably a Romanian politician.
But that would not be the only investigative report in today’s Jurnalul National.
The newspaper says he found out that a major role in the bird flu crisis that hit Romania in May belongs to an insurance bill, covering the activities of poultry farmers in the Codlea agricultural platform in Central Romania.
According to the newspaper, one of the farms where the H5N1 virus was first discovered in this wave of bird flu, Patiprod SRL, signed an insurance contract covering its poultry for some 1 million euro in late april. The contract included a clause that excepted bird flu from insurance-covered problems.
That may explain, according to the newspaper, why Patiprod failed to inform the authorities about the “bomb” in their courtyard.
The Jurnalul National report may be ugly in its facts, but it would not compare to the ugliness of the last round of the national football championship.
According to Cotidianul, the end of the champs season lets winner Steaua to play in the Champions League, Rapid and Dinamo in the UEFA Cup.
But at a terrible price: Steaua defeated Vaslui in a devastating 4-0 on rival turf yesterday, while Rapid lost the psychological control and faulted enough to have five of its players ousted from the field and match suspended – thus providing a 3-0 tabled victory for their rivals Jiul Petrosani.
“It was circus and melodrama” that let Steaua become the national champion for the 23rd time in its history, Evenimentul Zilei complements the reports.
Steaua’s match against Vaslui was rather “funny”, while Rapid could no longer hold their nerves in Petrosani, the newspaper comments on such an unprecedented end to the season.
Fun also bursts from the pages of Cotidianul, which mocks the plans announced yesterday by Dan Voiculescu, leader of the Conservative Party (a junior member of the governing coalition) in case his nomination as a deputy prime minister was approved.
The newspaper compares Voiculescu to Superman as his plans include a solution to the chronic problem of medicine supplies in Romania in just two years and activities covering most of what social ministries do at the time being. His ultimate goal: the salvation of Romania, as Cotidianul puts it.
The newspaper also quotes an educational association that has found out Dan Voiculescu has received a PhD from a university that only organizes masters’ degrees – the US-based Pacific Western University, which is blacklisted in America.
Also in Cotidianul, the Romanian government replies to a Council of Europe report published yesterday charging Romania with allowing the CIA to establish secret prisons in the country.
The authorities in Bucharest say the findings of the Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty are “speculative” and finds “the accusations based on ‘signals’ as unacceptable”.
Last but not least, Adevarul writes that a European Commission report on Romania and Bulgaria will not be published in October as initially considered, but in September to allow member states hurry up the procedures to ratify the accession treaty of the two countries.
The announcement was made by European Integration minister Anca Boagiu after meetings with EU officials in Brussels.