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What the newspaper say: February 17, 2005

Vineri, 17 februarie 2006, 0:00

Parliament stays united over money (Photo: Gandul)

"A failed arrest" would be how most Romanian newspapers today view prosecutors’ attempt yesterday to retain Dinu Patriciu, the head of the Rompetrol oil group, pending investigations on the many facets of the scandal he is involved in.

But there are lots of other issues that draw media attention, from yet another luxury project in the grim Bucharest downtown to real estate opportunities to "beggars" taking without asking in Parliament.

A decision by the Bucharest Court to postpone a decision on a request to arrest businessman Dinu Patriciu and his foreign partners was to be expected somehow, many papers agree. Evenimentul Zilei notes Patriciu – who was the target of a similar move last year – left free again for the same reason as before: the procedure was wrong.

Cotidianul takes it all with a grain of irony and writes how Patriciu weapt yet another tear for the humiliation he had to suffer. And Jurnalul National sums it all: "The Patriciu case – a failed arrest".

Then the newspapers move on. Also in Cotidianul, the Bucharest City Hall plans to invest 2,200 million euro in a new, luxurious boulevard downtown is described in detail.

The boulevard, stretching for 1.5 km close to the Parliament Palace, is seen by Hall officials as the most efficient method to cool down traffic from the north to central Bucharest and to bring about a new downtown point on the map of the city.

The boulevard will be named Uranus, after the city district erased completely by the Communist decades ago in order to build the House of People – the current Parliament Palace.

Back to the northern part of Bucharest, Gandul writes that 20% of the Baneasa Airport was transferred to the Proprietatea Fund in a move that signals an intensified fight over land in this part of the city. "Disbanding the airport would mean a huge profit for businesspeople involved in real estate deals in the area", the newspaper writes.

No moral profit, though, for the family of rocker Teo Peter, allegedly killed by a US marine in a car crash in Bucharest last year.

As pressure in Romania is rising for US to explain how come an American military court found the marine not guilty, newspapers such as Jurnalul National and Cotidianul debate on a statement by US colonel James Mallon yesterday:

"I can’t tell you who killed [Teo Peter], but I can tell you what did it: the accident".

Speaking of cars, Romania libera attacks former Privatization minister Ovidiu Musetescu for the way he dealt with the sale of the ARO car maker to Cross Lander USA. The Romanian state lost some USD 45 million, but gained USD 180,000 in the deal, the newspaper claims.

That is because everybody in power is thinking of its own money. Including the current members of the Parliament who, "like beggars", opted not to remove from the draft law on their statute the provisions providing for special pensions and unemployment assistance when they leave Parliament, as the President requested.

They only cut part of that money and argued that when unemployed miners receive assistance, so should the MPs, Romania libera writes.

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