The Black Sea Forum organized in Bucharest draws little attention from neighboring countries. President Traian Basescu finds himself in the position of approving a deputy prime minister he would rather not see before his eyes. Homosexuals in Romania – a case study. And renewed frictions in the Government. All in the newspapers today.

The Black Sea Forum organized by Romania to improve cooperation and development in the region started less than optimally in Bucharest yesterday as the nations who hold the key to solve the problems of this part of the world were not represented.

Cotidianul notes that while the summit in Bucharest lured the presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, the Moldovan Republic, Armenia and Azerbaijan, it failed to draw any interest from Russia. The country refused the Romanian invitation, thus showing its position towards such an initiative.

”There are many initiatives around here… too many!”, says Russian Ambassador to Bucharest, Aleksandr Tolkaci, quoted by Cotidianul.

But the newspaper also quotes Bruce Jackson, head of the Washington-based Project for Transitional Democracies, who when asked whether the Bucharest summit had any chance of success without the Russian presence says “the world goes on without the permission from Moscow”.

Gandul, meanwhile, writes that Russia’s absence looks bad for the initiator of the regional forum, Romanian President Traian Basescu.

It shows that not only Moscow was cautious about sending top representatives to Bucharest, but also Bulgaria – which only sent its Foreign minister, Turkey – which only sent a minister without portfolio, and Greece, which also sent a minister.

That’s why President Basescu of Romania had no other NATO counterpart to support his dialogue, as Gandul insists

That would not be the only problem for the Romanian head of state.

According to Adevarul, Traian Basescu bitterly learned yesterday that the Conservative Party - PC, a junior member of the governing coalition, has nominated its leader Dan Voiculescu to take over the seat of deputy prime minister in the current government, after the resignation of another PC representative.

Basescu and Senator Voiculescu – who has consistently refused to take over governmental seats – has been rather tense especially after the 2004 elections, when the head of state said he had to allow “the immoral solution” of a partnership with PC in order to be able to form the government. PC had been elected in Parliament on the lists of the opposition Social-Democrats.

Gandul, meanwhile, notes that a businessman replaces a businessman in the second highest position within the Government.

While the former deputy PM’s resignation was blamed in the media on his judicial problems due to a suspicious deal with the Romanian lottery, Vociulescu is well known for his business in the energy field, the source of many a scandal over the past years, as Gandul reports.

And the nomination was received differently by the major members of the governments: while PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s Liberals lacked arguments against it, Basescu’s Democrats were open in manifesting their displeasure with the PC nomination.

Meanwhile, Cotidianul reports that the head of a sexual minority rights organization has left for Spain in order to accomplish something he would never dream of in today’s Romania: civil marriage.

Florin Buhuceanu of the Accept organization and his male partner Raul will now become a family before the Spanish state, after they got religiously married in Romania – by the bishop of the Metropolitan Community Church of Canada.

According to official sources quoted by Cotidianul, it is not likely Buhuceanu’s civil marriage in Spain will be recognized in Romania, because of the lack of a legal basis – which raises a lot of issues including some related to the EU rights of free movement that Romania will have to comply with once in joins the Union.