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What the newspapers say: March 20, 2006

de     HotNews.ro
Luni, 20 martie 2006, 0:00



Football and politics – the dreadful combination makes it to the front page in most Romanian newspapers today, following difficult negotiations to name a new speaker for the House of Deputies and the President’s "lobby" for football moguls, eased by the recent victories of two Romanian clubs in the UEFA Cup.

The Governing alliance gathered Sunday night to discuss who it would support for the top position in the House of Deputies. Negotiations failed as the parties failed to agree on a single candidate, as a minor party in the coalition said it would stick to his idea to support its own nomination.

The deputies are due to vote on who will take over as speaker of the House today, after corruption allegations forced ex-PM Adrian Nastase to leave his official positions within the opposition PSD party and as House speaker last week.

Evenimentul Zilei notes that the minister for the relation with the Parliament Bogdan Olteanu, nominated by the Liberal-Democratic D.A. alliance, resigned from his post in order run for the House speaker seat. But he did this before the governing coalition – formed of the D.A.

Alliance, the Hungarian Democrats and the Conservative Party could agree on a single nomination.

Cotidianul points out that the negotiations had deep implications on collateral issues, as the Conservative Party was even promised control over the Romanian Lottery in exchange for its support for Olteanu.

That makes Gandul believe the hard bargaining would threaten the very structure of the current government.

Most newspapers are also analyzing the situation within the opposition PSD party following the fall of Adrian Nastase.

While Ziua believes ex-President Ion Iliescu is making his way back to the top by taking advantage of the top honorary position he was given within the party, Cotidianul focuses on the things that are.

That is, the alleged preparations of three high profile members of the party – Dan Ioan Popescu, Miron Mitrea and Viorel Hrebenciuc to resign from their seats in the party leadership.

And Evenimentul Zilei takes the hard way and "now that we got rid of Nastase" calls for the ousting of minister George Copos, for his incompatibilities as a minister-businessman. Copos’ involvement in shadowy deals with the Romanian Lottery "have let the minister without a trace of credibility", the newspaper says.

Copos also controls the Bucharest-based football club Rapid, one of the two Romanian clubs in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals, along Steaua Bucharest. Both Rapid and Steaua reported a meager 1-1 and 0-0 against two poorer teams, FC National and FC Arges respectively, in the national championship over the weekend, being the media reports.

But that didn’t prevent Rapid and Steaua to receive a top honor from the Romanian President Traian Basescu for their European success.

And Cotidianul, along other newspapers, criticize Basescu for publicly lobbying in favor of the clubs in disputes launched by Steaua club owner Gigi Becali, who has expressed his discomfort with the fact that stadiums in Bucharest, including Steaua’s, are still under the control of ministries.






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