Football returns to the front pages today following the victory of Rapid against SV Hamburg and Steaua Bucharest’s failure to defeat Betis Sevilla on own turf in the UEFA Cup yesterday. Newspapers also debate the fate of the "Freed Romanian Lottery" following the resignation of its head in a huge scandal surrounding his earnings.
Political brawls, communism condemnation and second-hand Israeli F16s share their part of the top news.
Romania libera notes that the 2-0 managed by Rapid Bucharest against Hamburg SV, "a team that faces Bayern Munich for their title!" The newspaper pretty much ignores the indecisive score of Steaua against Betis (2-0) and focuses on that it calls the 7th consecutive success of Rapid on own turf in the current UEFA Cup.
"A dream game", Evenimentul Zilei writes on the same match in an article headlined "Hamburger swallowed in Giulesti" – Rapid’s home stadium. Goals by Daniel Niculae and Mugurel Buga took some 20,000 fans to heaven, the paper notes.
Cotidianul insists on the fact that Rapid managed the victory despite that in the first part "the Germans seemed indigestible".
On Steaua’s match against Betis, Evenimentul Zilei describes how the Spanish team proved unbeatable for the Bucharest football players, bringing a second disappointment for Steaua fans this year.
Meanwhile, Cotidianul salutes the removal of Nicolae Cristea from the all his top position in the Romanian Lottery yesterday, following media reports on irregularities and unjustifiable salaries in the institution in the 13 years Cristea managed it.
The newspaper makes sure who’s to "blame": Evenimentul Zilei itself, with 14 investigative reports on Lottery irregularities, including alleged businesses with current deputy-PM George Copos.
Evenimentul Zilei shares the joy and points out that not only Cristea was removed from office following an intervention of Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu earlier in the day. All other members of the Lottery management shared Cristea’s fate.
Also yesterday, differing points of view on the issue prompted a brawl in the Parliament, where a Liberal minister and a Democratic Party (PD) senator were about to get physical during a discussion on the privatization of the Lottery, as reported by most newspapers today.
Both parties are part of the governing D.A. Alliance.
Another minister, Zsolt Nagy of the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR), is attacked by Gandul for his statement on Wednesday that he leads a foundation that filters the money provided by the Hungarian Government to support the creation of a Hungarian-language TV channel in Romania. That, while Nagy serves as IT&C minister in the Romanian Government.
And yet another minister, this time a foreign one, makes the front page of the same Gandul. On a visit to Bucharest, Israeli Defense minister Shaul Mofaz offered to sell F16 fighters to Romania. The problem is, the planes are second-hand and Romanian authorities would spend the money too easily, as the newspaper insinuates.
Also from abroad comes a substantial support for a call by 300 personalities for the Romanian President to condemn the former Communist regime, Adevarul writes.
The call, supported even by ex-Securitate head Ion Mihai Pacepa, now living in the US, comes as Romania is the last country in the former Communist bloc not to have condemned communism.