A party celebrating the victory of Bucharest football team in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals last week turns into a sour event for President Traian Basescu, according to newspaper reports that insist on the head of state’s driving under the influence from the party.
Media attacks on the President are accompanied by political quarrels between Basescu’s Democrats and their Liberal partners from the governing coalition. The threat of floods is also tackled in the papers, as do a series of fiscal moves and the spiraling real estate prices across the country.
The drink he had in the company of Steaua football players and their owner Gigi Becali gives Basescu headaches, Evenimentul Zilei writes on the margins of a party Traian Basescu threw in their honor after their victory against Rapid last Thursday, that sent the Romanian team in the UEFA Cup semifinals.
That day, Basescu had refused to attend the match in protest against Steaua owner Gigi Becali’s mockery of prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu. But when the game was over Basescu changed his mind and partied along Becali and his team. And worse, he was seen drinking – then leaving the restaurant at the wheel of his car.
According to Evenimentul Zilei, the fact that he drank with Gigi Becali, a populist politician-businessman better known for his loose mouth and relentless insults for political and business rivals, may affect the credibility of the President while boosting Becali’s.
Cotidianul, on the other hand, insists on Steaua owner’s behaviour following the party and quotes Gigi Becali: "When I become close to somebody, I join the fight against his enemy" – a reference to Liberal PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, whom Becali insulted before the Steaua-Rapid match and whom President Basescu had previously criticized harshly for failing to stay in line with his policies.
And Gandul opts to quote Becali’s statements on Saturday bluntly: "One cannot compare PM Tariceanu with me. He’s a 10 year old hiding behind his mother’s skirt, he didn’t do anything in his life. He has other principles of life. Four wives – that’s where one can see his principles of life.
The series of events prompted other newspapers to focus on attacks by PM Tariceanu’s Liberal Party against their partners in the ruling coalition, Basescu’s Democrats.
According to Romania libera, Liberal leaders may discuss a possible scission between the two groups at a reunion today, at the request of Defense minister Teodor Atanasiu.
But Adevarul maintains a skeptical line based on Tariceanu’s own words – that waters are cooling down between the Liberals and Democrats after a savage confrontation last week.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, Evenimentul Zilei interviews Claudiu Secasiu, the new head of the CNSAS – the institution studying the archives of the former Communist secret police, the Securitate. According to Secasiu, former Securitate officer are still able to influence the distribution of public funds these days.
He also promised CNSAS would study Securitate files of major importance in the coming period, including those related to top politicians leading the country today.
Speaking about public money, Cotidianul reports that the government has dropped the idea of a possible increase of the VAT, but prepares a long series of other taxes and excises to cover the lack of funds in the state budget. Everything will be taxed supplementarily, from cigarettes to gas to luxury products, the newspaper writes.
Adevarul reports continuously increasing land prices around major Romanian cities, as plots of land at under 10 euro/square meter are nowhere to be found anywhere near major Romanian cities.
People interested in favorable real estate deals should look further, to 30 kilometers away from urban areas, if they hope of a price as low as that.
And Gandul reports on the preparation of authorities to tackle Danube floods announced for the period.
The newspaper quotes PM Tariceanu who was in the eastern Danube port of Galati this weekend to assure the local population that the situation is "not as serious as some suggest" and that the authorities are prepared to face a possible Danube flood in the region.