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What the newspapers say: March 11, 2008

de A.C.
Marţi, 11 martie 2008, 8:48 English | Press Review

Governing Liberals are pressured by the opposition Social Democrats to announce an official electoral alliance unless they push for a government reshuffling, one newspaper reads on Tuesday. Elsewhere in the news, Bucharest Mayor is in the spotlight due to his 4 million profits from a private business. Last but not least,  rumours spread about Bush meeting Putin a day before the NATO Summit begins in Bucharest this spring.

Evenimentul Zilei reads about a new political strategy pushed forward by the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) who are determined to compel governing Liberals to make an official electoral deal. Thus, PSD members have given Liberals one week to consider their proposal.

PSD leader Mircea Geoana said that the Liberals have made public a meeting which was supposed to be private. However, when prompted on Friday, Liberals denied they opened talks with the opposition party.

Nevertheless, this is for sure: Liberals admitted that they would take anything against President Basescu and his party, the Democratic Liberals (PDL). PSD leaders plan to determine the Liberals to publicly admit a coalition, formal or informal, between the two parties against the common 'enemy', according to the paper.

The Social Democrats seem to take advantage of any possible strategy: they have just signed a parliamentary agreement with the Conservatives in order to gain more weight in legislative initiatives or even censure motions.

More in the news, Gandul reads about current Democrat Liberal Mayor of Bucharest Adriean Videanu who is under anti-graft spotlight due to his profitable business he undertakes as a private person. Thus, anti-graft prosecutors are investigating his 4 million euro profit business to determine whether Videanu has used his influence to impose the business on the market, according to the paper.

Videanu declared that he was happy to give any information to the prosecutors as solicited and would wait for a ruling on his case. The Mayor is confident that the report will not mention his family's business since it is a supplier of materials for the City Hall construction works contractors.

However, the newspaper reads that anti-graft prosecutors have documents attesting a clear connection between the two and it seems that the papers were handed from the City Hall. Opposition member, New Initiative Party head Cosmin Gusa declared that he submitted some papers proving Videanu's wrong-doing.

Last but not least, Evenimentul Zilei reads about the mysterious high level meeting bringing together Vladimir Putin and George Bush, supposed to be organized a couple of days before the Bucharest NATO Summit this spring, at the Romanian seaside resort, Neptun.

According to official sources quoted by the newspaper, it seems that the Russian presence at the meeting is not yet sure. The newspaper reads that Moscow experts are still not sure whether the Russian leader should meet his American counterpart.

Russia's ambassador to NATO quoted by German daily Der Spiegel has said that Russia is outraged due to the behavior of Western countries to co-opt Georgia and Ukraine into NATO structures. However, official sources argue that some 100 secret Russian police will fly to Romania a week before their leader to make sure all 'technicalities' are met.

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