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What the newspapers say: March 18, 2008

de A.C.
Marţi, 18 martie 2008, 8:59 English | Press Review

Newspapers on Monday read about the tango Liberals and Social Democrats are portraying on the political stage as elections approach. More in the news, most Romanian natural resources are owned by foreigners. Last but not least, Romanians complain most at the European Court for Human Rights.

Gandul reads that Romania's governing Liberals and the Social Democrats, the main opposition group reached a final agreement after weeks of pampering: local organizations are free to cooperate in order to win local elections due later this spring. However, an official, central-level protocal is still on hold, for strategic reasons.

Liberal PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu declared that local Liberal organizations are free to decide their own electoral alliances. Tariceanu argued that Democratic Liberals - the main backers of Tariceanu arch-rival, President Traian Basescu - have no intention of refusing any alliance with a party that might help them win elections. Therefore, Tariceanu said that Liberals would do the same.

The newspaper reads that local Liberal administrations fear that Democratic Liberals will forge a deal with Social Democrats before they receive the go from the center. In the same vein, Social Democrat's spokesperson Cristian Diaconescu argued that local administrations could make deals with any party.

More in the news, out of 304 oil perimeters in Romania, only 9 are fully managed by Romanians, Evenimentul Zilei reads. Oil and gas reserves in Romania continue to raise controversies. The newspaper reads that the state only receives 6.3% of the value of the oil produced in the country.

On March 28 the National Agency for Mineral Resources will name the winner of the bid for the exploitation of further 15 exploitation perimeters, from a total of 31 offers received. The state received 782.89 million Romanian Ron from the exploitation of such resources in 2006 alone.

The total amount of mineral resources discovered in Romania amount 2,600 million tons of crude and 1,800 billion cubic meters of gas, out of which 650 million tons of crude were already depleted along with 1,050 billion cubic meters of gases.

Last but not least, Romania Libera reads that one in 2600 Romanians has complained at the European Court for Human Rights, which makes Romania the first on numbers of ECHR complaints per citizen even if countries with most complaints are Russia and Turkey.

The 2007 Court report shows that there were 8,275 Romanians complaining at the Court , at a total population of 21.6 million. Experts quoted by the newspaper argue that the main causes are distrust in the domestic justice system.

Romanian Academic Society's anti-corruption expert, Laura Stefan argues that magistrates have failed to step up their education and instruction once Romania joined the EU. Moreover, she argues that Romanians are dissatisfied with the legislative inertia.

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