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What the newspapers say: May 9, 2006

Marţi, 9 mai 2006, 0:00

The hernia surgery undergone by president Traian Basescu is differently approached in the dailies, some of them criticising the political overturn of the situation, and the political conflict between the minister of Health and the head of a first commission set to examine the health condition of Traian Basescu.

A vigorous comeback of Theodor Stolojan, currently a close counsellor of the Romanian president, and former leader of the Liberal Party, also takes the newspapers today. On Europe’s Day, Romania’s accession is a topic debated in the local but also by foreign media, while a new tax for gas companies looms large at the horizon of economy.

Cotidianul elaborates on the happenings of yesterday, when the president had to take a decision regarding the hospital where to be operated, but also on medical explanations about the lumbar disc hernia, the condition that put the Romanian president into the hospital. The lumbar disc hernia represents a slipped disc that may paralyze the legs.

The president’s health condition is a result of the years spent by sea and stressful political activity.

Evenimentul Zilei writes about turning a severe health condition into a political subject by the minister of Health and the head of the commission of specialist physicians that first examined the president. Dr.

Sorin Oprescu, the head of the commission, announced yesterday in a press conference that the president had decided to undergo the surgery at a hospital in Bucharest.

Later on, the minister of Health, Eugen Nicolaescu, a vocal political foe of dr. Oprescu, asked for a second commission to examine the president, and decided to send Traian Basescu in Austria to be operated right away.

The hospital "AKH" in Vienna provides better security for the Romanian chief of state, and promises a faster recovery. These were the arguments Adevarul presented as decisive for the president’s decision regarding the hospital where to undergo the lumbar disc hernia surgery, recommended by a second commission of specialists, among whom the best Romanian physician specialised in spine problems.

Jurnalul National writes about the TV show on Antena 1 yesterday evening, where journalist Marius Tuca invited Theodor Stolojan, a close counsellor of president Traian Basescu, former president of the National Liberal Party, and the initial presidential candidate of the alliance between the Liberals and Democrats, who decided to step aside due to medical problems and leave Traian Basescu take over the electoral race.

Stolojan criticised the political activity of the current liberal leader, his successor, Premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu, and announce plans of a vigorous come back on the Romanian political scene after almost two discrete years behind Traian Basescu.

Stolojan vowed for a merger between the liberals and the democrats and blamed Tariceanu for the political estrangement between the two alliance parties.

Gandul writes on the front page about the Government’s intention to tax petrol companies with extra 10 -16%, following substantial profits they earn from the increase of crude oil prices. The Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu explains that this is a special tax to be levied from Petrom-OMV and the other gas companies. The representatives of the gas companies disagree with this new extra tax.

However, the minister of Economy Codrut Seres says the two price hikes of the gas in April by Petrom are not justified, hinting such a tax would be welcome.

On Europe’s Day, the dailies write about the coming Commission’s monitoring report expected by May 16. Cotidianul quotes European sources that say a date for Romania and Bulgaria’s accession is not to be announced yet, but in the fall.

The delay of the date recommendation would disappoint the authorities in the two countries which relied on a May verdict that might speed up the Accession Treaty endorsements. The good part of this postponement is, according to the quoted sources, that the governing coalition will have to stick together and work jointly towards better ends.

Gandul also quoted the Austrian daily „Der Standard" which wrote that the May report of the European Commission would not include a recommended date for the accession of the two countries.

Bulgaria is not prepared for January 2007, but a one year postponement is not favoured by states such as UK, Poland, and Germany which plead for a joint accession of Romania and Bulgaria. Hence, the conclusion regarding the date will only be presented in the fall.

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