Grim weather forecasts for the period of Orthodox Easter are accompanied by revelations of irregularities in the efforts of Romanian officials to limit the damage produced by Danube floods over the past week, according to Romanian newspapers today. They also discuss the new legislation on national security and review the Steaua-Middlesbrough match in the UEFA Cup semifinals tomorrow.

Cotidianul writes that several villages the Danube has flooded in southern Romania might have escaped the wrath of the river had the authorities approved in due time a controlled flooding in their area.

But they did not approve it because saving the villages of Rast, Negoi, Catana and Bistretul Nou, some of the most affected by rising water levels, would have meant the flooding of a fish farm and an agricultural farm in the area, belonging to a businesswoman that was also a PSD official in the local administration.

And while many people hoped for an improving situation as Danube levels were going down on Tuesday, today’s Evenimentul Zilei warns the crisis may start all over again following the rains expected all across Romania in the period of Orthodox Easter. It will rain continuously in much of the country for at least 48 hours, the newspaper writes.

It’s bitter news for the thousands of people who have been evacuated from the Danube flooded areas.

Just as bitter are for many newspapers the fact that the national security package of legislation recently approved by the Supreme Defense Council and made public for the first time earlier this week are not as clean as many would have wanted to.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, while some controversial provisions of the legislation were eliminated, many have remained, including that of who controls the National Intelligence Community – CNI.

As it stands, CNI will answer before the Supreme Defense Country, that is, before the President and not before the Government, as the Liberal Party, a senior member of the governing coalition, would have wanted. And the same draft legislation allows the Romanian Intelligence Service to run businesses on sight or under cover, a thing that Liberals are promising to change.

But while the intelligence community continues to raise many eyebrows in Romania, some things don’t. Reader’s Digest, quoted by the same Evenimentul Zilei, has run a study called Trusted Brands to see what brands on the markets of 15 European countries including Romania are most trusted by the population.

In our country, these brands are Nokia for mobile telephony, Connex-Vodafone as mobile telephony operator, Asirom for insurance, Mercedes for cars, Petrom for gasoline distribution, Intel for computers, Philips for home appliances and Metro for retail.

A Mercedes ML is one of the cars favored by local officials in Bucharest, according to an investigation by Cotidianul, who says the deputy mayor of the Romanian capital controls such a car, along two others, thanks to a protocol with two sanitation services.

The newspaper investigates how deputy mayors of Bucharest take benefit from car gifts from companies that have won public tenders organized by the City Hall as another deputy mayor, Ludovic Orban, has damaged one such car while in traffic on Sunday morning. The car belonged to a firm that runs services for the City Hall.

And Adevarul takes another lead and accused the police of failing to lift Orban’s driving license for that traffic accident, as he escaped only with a minor fine.

Elsewhere in the newspapers, Gandul reports that from now on to public tender contract will contain secret clauses, according to a Romanian Senate decision recently.

The bill was initiated by a Democratic Senator who showed public tenders run some in average 12 billion Romanian ley annually, so a lot of transparency was needed to control operations with state money.

The same Gandul newspaper writes that all tickets for the Steaua-Middlesbrough football match in the UEFA Cup semifinals in Bucharest on Thursday were already sold yesterday and the only hope for a surplus ticket came if subscribers didn’t pick their reserved tickets before a deadline last night.

The match receives considerable previews in today’s newspapers, with Evenimentul Zilei recalling the last European semifinals played by Steaua in 1986, when its most glorious team defeated Anderlecht 3-0. That game, on April 16 1986, allowed Steaua to advance in the European Champions finals.