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What the newspapers say: April 1, 2008

de Radu Rizea
Marţi, 1 aprilie 2008, 8:30 English | Press Review

On the same day the leaders of the world start arriving in Bucharest and after a week with no other news than the ones referring to the NATO summit, Romanian newspapers find fit to approach new and older stories on their front pages. The general strike at Dacia Renault, the Moldovan Interior Minister arrested for leading a drug smuggling network and the car tax are finnally offered some coverage by the media. along, of course, with the main news about the summit.

"Putin's plan is to offer cooperation in exchange for limited NATO enlargement" is the headline in Evenimentul Zilei, which comments on the recent statements made by the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitri Peskov. 'The simple fact that the president will be in Bucharest demonstrates that Russia has a constructive attitude ans wishes to continue the dialogue", said Peskov.

Speaking of the wolf, George W. Bush will arrive in Romania this evening. Same Evenimentul Zilei contradicts the previous information - that Bush will land near Constanta and meet president Traian Basescu in a resort by the Black Sea - and claims that Air Force One will land in Bucharest. French president Nicolas Sarkozy, German chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will arrive in Bucharest tomorrow. Russia president Vladimir Putin is expected on Thursday.

"NATO hysteria enters last straight line", Gandul notes, adding some spicy details about the backstage of the Summit: the roads near Constanta were washed with shampoo, in case George W. Bush decides to land on the NATO airport; policemen are upset that they got rooms in the Police Academy and now are forced to eat their cafeteria meals and a citizen from Constanta spooked out all authorities after threatening to blow up a bridge on the officials route. Local authorities in Constanta simulated a biological attack.

"Madness starts today in Bucharest", Romania Libera reminds, starting the countdown to April 2, 24:00h, when the summit officially ends.

But there are also some major news on the front pages of newspapers today:
- Car producer Dacia-Renault lost 65 million Euro since the general strike begun, a week ago. The negotiations on Monday failed, as expected, after the management offered a 250 RON salary increase, instead of the 550 demanded by workers (Evenimentul Zilei)

- The car tax finally became environment tax. People who already paid the former "car first registration tax" will see their money refunded, in case they paid more than the current level of the tax. (Gandul)

- Moldova Interior Minister, Gheorghe Papuc, was put under house arrest on Monday, being suspect of leading the largest drug dealing network in Kishinev. Police already arrested three high-ranked officers involved in a heroine shipment towards Europe, all three indicating the minister as the head of operations.

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