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What the newspapers say: March 12, 2008

de Radu Rizea
Miercuri, 12 martie 2008, 8:40 English | Press Review

On Wednesday, old scandals are renewed, for political reasons mainly. The car tax, the political pressure on Justice, the labor force crisis, the USA visas, the financial adventures of former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and the ever-dying infrastructure return to the front pages of newspapers with a new momentum. It is an electoral year after all.

President Traian Basescu decided out of the blue to demand Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu to cancel the car tax. The open letter sent by Basescu uses the famous presidential tone: "I appreciate it is necessary for you to limit the prejudice you caused to Romania by not applying the European Union Accession Treaty and to decide the restitution of all illegally received sums because, as we have all seen, in you may be force Court to pay back the sums plus interest and court expenses". Despite the fact that the letter ends with a approximate expression "with great respect", the president demands the prime minister to stop disregarding the citizens.
Of course, Tariceanu replied instantly, saying that Basescu is chasing cheap votes. "He should stop wasting paper for his letters. I get most of his letters via TV stations anyway. Instead of being interested in the deep problems of the people, he is interested in gaining electoral capital out of any problem", Evenimentul Zilei reads.

Some good news for the EU officials who have an eye on the Romanian Justice: former prime minister Adrian Nastase will be sent to court even in case his fellow parliamentarians decide to protect him. One of the cases he is investigated in refers to actions took while he was the president of the Social Democrat Party, not prime minister, Cotidianul informs.

With or without such a Justice miracle, it seems that Romanians will be able to travel freely to the United States starting in 2008. The European Justice Commissioner, Franco Frattini, declared on Tuesday that EU made a goal out of having all its citizens travelling without visas to the US, after January 1, 2008, Gandul reads.

In other news:

- Romania is the EU country with the largest demand for employees - 43% of the companies will hire new personnel during the following month, 49% will maintain their number of employees, while only 7% will cut personnel. With this report, Romania also ranks second worldwide, after Singapore, Gandul informs.

- The European Commission recommends Ukraine "not to hurry" with the construction of the Bastroe canal, reminding that Ukraine signed an agreement to respect the Danube Delta ecosystem (Gandul).

- 22% of the prosecutors accuse political pressure, twice as many as in 2007. Only 73% of the magistrates believe the Justice is independent, compared to 80%, in 2007, a Transparency International study reveals. (Evenimentul Zilei)

- Romanian Railroad Company (CFR) has funds to cover only 6% of its necessities. With thousands of kilometers of expired lines, almost 1,000 dangerous points and a general poor shape of the railroads, the funds this year are barely enough to cover 6% of the needs. (Evenimentul Zilei).

- Supermarkets and hypermarkets are nearing a new scandal: the price, as labeled in the store, is not the same with the price at the counter. Out of 5,500 denunciations made in Bucharest only this year, the Consumer Protection Office found out that two thirds were correct. (Evenimentul Zilei)

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