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What the newspapers say: March 26, 2008

de Radu Rizea
Miercuri, 26 martie 2008, 8:54 English | Press Review

It's all about the NATO summit once again, in most newspapers. A yellow code for terrorist alert was instated in the entire country, although all events are related exclusively to Bucharest. The summit also fuels older scandals about road construction moguls, this time the fall being taken by the companies that failed to rehabilitate a landing strip on the Otopeni airport.

The terrorist alert level in Romania was increased to yellow code (moderate), superior to the blue code (cautious), but under the orange code (attacks are probable), Evenimentul Zilei informs.

Speaking of NATO: the same Evenimentul Zilei speculates that France aims at assuming a leading role within the Alliance. France announced that it will increase the number of soldiers it has deployed in Afghanistan. For the country, the NATO summit in Bucharest makes the return of France in the Alliance official, after 40 years of absence. More than just interconnecting the military forces with NATO, France seems to aim at a leading position, most probably at leading the Southern Europe troops, covering Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

But the summit also stands as reason to refuel some older scandals, at least in Romania. Two road construction and road rehabilitation moguls, Costel Casuneanu and Florian Busca, failed to repair an airport runway near Bucharest, for the airport where all the NATO officials will land. After more than one year after winning the contract, the companies didn't repair even one third of what they should have repaired in the first six months. Even more, rumors are that the companies will demand 15 times the price they asked for when they won the bid: 60 million euro, instead of 3.9, Cotidianul informs.

The rest is as it has always been. A controversial character, Ristea Priboi, returned to Romania after 3 years of magical disappearing. Romania Libera found out why: as a former intelligence officer, Priboi will testify in the case against former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase. According to sources quoted by the newspaper, the officer told the Anti-Graft Prosecutors that he gathered evidence accusing Nastase's wife of laundering some 400,000 euro, but that the Police official in charge gave Nastase the entire file, in exchange for being named head of the Anti-Money Laundering National Office.

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