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What the newspapers say: February 4, 2008

de A.C.
Luni, 4 februarie 2008, 8:44 English | Press Review

Snagov, a village north of Bucharest which has changed into a luxurious residential location, is under the spotlight as an Australian company plans to set up a Formula 3 circuit there, one newspaper reads on Monday. Elsewhere in the news, EC officials will present today the report outlining the progress Romania and Bulgaria achieved in the field of Justice over the past six months. On local politics, former Social Democratic PM Adrian Nastase plans to reshuffle the political scene.

Cotidianul reads about South Pacific Australian company and its plans to build a 4 km Grand Prix One complex in Snagov, a residential village north of Bucharest. The investment would total 250 million euro for building a commercial mall of some 60,000 square meters and the Forumula 3 circuit.

The project will offer some 3,000 jobs for locals and other people interested. As for the Formula 3 circuit, this will be used both for competitions and drive tests for cars bought from the complex.

Local authorities fully support the initiatives as the investments will double the revenue of the City Hall and offer plenty of job opportunities for the people. Thus, villagers were urged to cast a vote in favor for the project.

However, Snagov Mayor Apostol Musat declared that young people were absent from the vote even if the investment will mostly help them rather than the old. Two hours before the voting closed, there were only 2,300 votes out of the needed 2,401 votes to validate the referendum.

Gandul adds on the same subject that political affiliations overheated the referendum and its importance. The Liberal mayor competes locally against its Democrat-Liberals counterparts as local elections are coming up shortly.

The European Commission presents in Brussels today the report on Romania and Bulgaria's progress over the past six months in the field of Justice and the fight against corruption, Romania Libera reads.

The Commission concludes in the report that, overall, the two countries adopted and introduced the required reforms. However, their introduction did not coincide with a thorough implementation or supervision of the changes, the newspaper reports.

Thus, Romania is highly criticized for the amendments to the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code passed in the Parliament, that hinder the development of a fair investigation and accusation process. Both Romania and Bulgaria seem to face the same problems as the report draws similar conclusions.

What Romania lacks however, is the organized crime which Bulgaria has to solve immediately. Moreover, EC officials criticize the way the Superior Council of Magistracy conducted their massive hirings.

The report is short and comprehensive, Romania Libera reads. It outlines the main progress made by Romania in the last months but it draws attention upon the fact that the June 2008 report is the decisive one.

Last but not least, former Social Democratic (PSD) Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase plans to re-enter the political stage, Evenimentul Zilei reads. However, party colleagues are pessimistic and argue that the plan will hinder the party's image.

The newspaper reads that party leader Mircea Geoana is summoned by party members to convince Nastase that his time has expired. For the moment, his bad image - after being targeted by anti-graft prosecutors in a file that has not yet been finalized - shadows his current intentions.

Thus, PSD members argue that the interest of the party is more important and should be highly regarded by Nastase.

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