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What the newspapers say: February 15, 2008

de Radu Rizea
Vineri, 15 februarie 2008, 9:20 English | Press Review

Secret negotiations between Social Democrats and Liberals for a future government, after the general elections, new quarrels on how, when and why Romania should send soldiers to Chad, a controversy that seems to live forever on the car tax and a bunch of new threats coming from Moscow - these are the main events making it to the front pages on Friday.

In the secret meeting on Tuesday, the Social Democrat (PSD) head, Mircea Geoana, suggested Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu to put up an alliance designed to marginalize the Liberal-Democrats, the party supporting president Traian Basescu. According to sources within the party, the Opposition PSD and the governing Liberals discussed a five-year strategy. The problem was that such a collaboration would be possible only in case Tariceanu resigns and early elections are organized, because Liberal-Democrats could win up to 60% of the votes, in case the elections take place in November, Cotidianul reads.

In the following days, Tariceanu had yet another confrontation with President Basescu, who refused to discuss about sending military to Chad in the last session of the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT). Tariceanu says that Basescu misinterpreted the reality and that Romania didn't promise to sent troops, but simply had a memorandum issued by the Defense Ministry, Evenimentul Zilei notes.

In another nearing political confrontation, independent candidate Silviu Prigoana may win 15% of the votes in case he runs for the Bucharest City Hall and the number may grow in case the runs representing a large party. Liberal - Democrat possible candidates, the mayor in office, Adriean Videanu, and Liviu Negoita, would both win more than certainly the mayor seat, but both seem to refuse to run, Gandul informs.

Besides politics, a fight that begun more than a year ago seems to be revived once again - the car tax. After causing endless quarrels, up to having the European Union threatening to activate safeguarding clauses, the tax is now changed again, so that it would follow the pollution level, Gandul informs.

But all this is nothing compared to the message sent by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, during his longest press conference ever: Russia needs to build more submarines and military ships, Putin said, according to Gandul. A thought that makes many neighbors shiver, despite the fact that the European Union promised on the same day investments worth 1 billion euro per year in the Black Sea area, as Romania Libera informs. 

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