A positive review of progress in Romania and Bulgaria on the path of EU accession grants extensive coverage in today’s newspapers who quote European Commissioner Olli Rehn’s statements before the EP Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday.

The media also warn about the dangerously high levels of Danube, the high level of political tensions around the archives of the former Communist secret police and prepares for the final round of the Steaua-Rapid confrontation in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals.

Romania and Bulgaria’s target to join the EU in January 2007 is "feasible for both countries", Cotidianul quotes European Commissioner Olli Rehn as saying before the EP Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday.

It says the European official mentioned a long series of issues still to be solved by the two countries, from the pace of the fight against corruption to agricultural setbacks and the VAT system.

Cotidianul also quotes European Socialist leader Martin Schulz who said that the postponement of Romania and Bulgaria’s accession would lead to a politically unstable Black Sea region.

For its part, Evenimentul Zilei notes Rehn's stand before the EP Committee was the first official, preliminary confirmation that the Commission wants the two countries to join the EU next year, after a long series of unofficial hints over the last year.

The newspaper also quotes German daily Die Welt saying that the EC recommends the accession take place on January 1, 2007.

A final EC decision in this regard is due on May 16 this year.

The same newspaper warns of another danger for Romania, though – that of the swollen Danube, a river that has already exceeded the average april level of 4,000 cubic meters/second and threatens even worse. In certain areas close to the Danube Delta, it has even reached 13,000 cubic meters/second, determining flood warnings in over 100 towns and villages in 11 Romanian counties.

All this comes as the authorities in Bucharest have not invested a penny in improving flood emergency services across the country following since the devastating floods last year, as Cotidianul points out.

Gandul is more careful about the latest events on the political stage, where President Traian Basescu held a key speech at the presentation of the latest activity report of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).

According to the newspaper, Basescu threatened to change the legislation that sets the guidelines for CNSAS, an institution studying the archives of SRI’s Communist predecessor, the Securitate, unless the ongoing political conflict for the top position in CNSAS stops.

And two days before the final confrontation between Bucharest-based teams Steaua and Rapid in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals, Evenimentul Zilei shows that starting yesterday Rapid has become the best placed Romanian club in the history of a world football club chart, set by the International Federation for Football History and Statistics.

With 217 points, Rapid comes 14th in the chart, up 10 positions compared to March. Steaua is the second best Romanian team with 180 points and a 41st place, up 13 positions since the latest IFFHS report.