Oil stories of old shock with every single piece of the puzzle found in the Rompetrol case that shook Romania over the last several months. Ex-PM’s paintings also shock. Salaries received by some state employees shock again, as do future plans of Romanian intelligence services.
Everything shocks in today’s newspapers after a spectacular weekend when everything seemed pulled from TV entertainment shows.
Recent revelations by Hotnews.ro on how Romanian company Rompetrol behaved with a major oil operation it held and lost in Libya keep making waves in the media.
Newspaper Romania libera investigates the affair and writes that despite Dinu Patriciu, the head of Rompetrol, denies he sucked illegally the millions of dollars invested by the ex-Communist regime in the African country, even his political partners believe he might have stolen from Romanian state.
Focusing on the Murzuk affair that Hotnews has written comprehensively about, Romania libera recalls that following fiscal inquiries the Finance Ministry in Bucharest believed in July 2005 Dinu Patriciu was to blame for losses of some 75 million USD to the state budget, related to Murzuk.
And in July last year, the Finance ministry was run by Ionut Popescu, a fellow Liberal of Dinu Patriciu.
Meanwhile, most newspapers comment on an invitation over the weekend that journalists visit House speaker Adrian Nastase’s home in the Zambaccian Street in Bucharest, to see for themselves that he "has nothing to hide" from prosecutors. Nastase’s invitation came as he continues to resist prosecutors’ a request to search his house in a graft case involving the house in Zambaccian.
While Nastase and his wife Dana – also indicted in the Zambaccian case - invited only the editorial managers of six newspapers, Cotidianul notes how the journalists, "overwhelmed by Nastase’s personality and the huge number of paintings in his house", failed to question the ex-prime minister about why he truly objects to prosecutors’ searches there.
Evenimentul Zilei tries to be objective and asks real estate and art critics about Nastase’s lodge: opulence, grandiloquence and lack of style – that is how the experts describe the man’s house.
And Ziua believes the event was a major hit for Nastase’s effort to defend his image, but this shouldn’t allow prosecutors to pursue their investigation.
Returning to more earthly issues, Cotidianul discovers that the six new draft laws on national security revealed recently would allow the Romanian Intelligence Service – SRI – to get involved in business and politics and to bury certain state secrets for a century.
The draft laws are one of the issues debated at the talks launched yesterday between President Basescu and leaders of the parliamentary parties.
And Evenimentul Zilei follows recent media reports on the salaries of state-employed personnel and shows huge discrepancies between the average incomes of several classes of "budget employees".
The newspaper writes that at least half a dozen presidents and CEOs or state institutions, such as the National Bank, earn more than the President himself.