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What the newspapers say: February 12, 2008

Marţi, 12 februarie 2008, 8:59 English | Press Review

The government in Bucharest is forced to strengthen the lines as President Basescu prepares to attack it forcefully, all newspapers read on Tuesday. Elsewhere in the news, Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the 2008 NATO Summit organized in Bucharest. Last but not least, Nokia officially opened  factory near Cluj, Romania on Monday.

Gandul reads that Liberal PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu was forced by influential radical Liberal Party members to take another step forward in the political battle between the Presidency and the Chancellery.

Thus, the Prime Minister announced the party's new nominee for the seat of Justice minister - the current Defense Minister, Teodor Melescanu who has also been managing the Justice Ministry since earlier this year. For the Defense Ministry PM Tariceanu proposed Senator Radu Stroe.

Plus, Tariceanu also plans to reshuffle his government under the excuse that some Ministers wish to take part in local elections. The newspaper reads that one of the new proposal is somehow targeted to annoy President Basescu as Radu Stroe is known to be an older political enemy of the President.

Cotidianul reads that Senator Norica Nicolai, previously pushed for the Justice seat but rejected by President Basescu, is still not out of the cards as Liberals plan to name her for the Defense Ministry in case Basescu rejects Liberal Senator Radu Stroe. What is more, the paper argues that Ludovic Orban, Liberal Vice President explicitly said that his party should nominate someone who would definitely annoy Basescu.

Evenimentul Zilei reports that Vladimir Putin is expected to join the 2008 NATO Summit organized in Bucharest this year and could be the first Russian President to visit Romania since Mikhail Gorbachev. Russian daily Gazeta quotes first deputy PM Sergey Ivanov who, in his speech delivered in a security related conference in Munchen implied that his leader would attend the Summit.

During his two terms in office Putin avoided any visits in Bucharest due to increasing tensions between the two countries. Ivanov's declaration cuts loose Western officials' imagination as they start considering Putin's visit as a real possibility.

One of the main disputes between Westerners and Russians is, among others, the independence of Kosovo. Russia made it very clear that they will not recognize the independence of the province.

The 2008 NATO Summit is considered to be one of the most important events in Romania's recent history since global leaders like Bush, Sarkozy, Merkel and Gordon Brown will attend. Some 3,000 heads of state, Prime Ministers, Ministers, diplomats and high level militaries from 49 states will attend the Summit.

Last but not least, Romania Libera reads that Nokia Romania finally opened up its gates and started to produce phones in Jucu near the city of Cluj, NW Romania. However, Nokia's big surprise is that the Romanian factory will produce the brand's cheapest model 1200, targeted mainly on Middle East and Africa consumers.

The opening ceremony in Jucu yesterday hosted high level Finnish officials, Nokia officials and Romanian local authorities. Nokia Senior Vice President Juha Putkiranta said that Romanian workers at the Nokia plant receive an attractive salary package and hot meals, but refused to comment on other production details.

Local authorities say that Romanians working at Nokia receive a salary package between 200 and 300 euro, as compared to a starting salary of about 1500 euro in Western countries.

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