The recent interventions of the Economy Minister on the fuel price has unexpected echoes in the media. An investigation in Evenimentul Zilei reveals that the largest oil operator in Romania may be involved in a fraud that made the natural gas price rocket.
While most of the news remain in the electoral campaign area, two articles also draw attention towards the fact that Bucharest may soon lose two more parks, although it is obvious for everyone that the city is suffocating, due to its lack of green space.
In Evenimentul Zilei, a piece of investigative journalism points at a major problem: the former national oil company, Petrom, now owned by OMV (51% of it), does not contribute to the national "natural gas basket" - the mix between imported natural gas (more expensive) and locally extracted natural gas (cheaper). According to the proportions in the "mix", the price is set on a national level, ensuring equal access to resources.
Still, the newspaper claims that Petrom did not deliver 1.07 billion cubic meters of gas, out of the 5.89 billion cubic meters extracted last year by the company, but preferred to report it as consumption within its own companies. The reporter calculates that only this measure brought 10% more on the natural gas bill of the final consumers.
Hopefully, Romanians won't have to pay for natural gas in hotels, since over 900,000 of them prepare to spend their summer holidays abroad (30% more than in 2007). The number of those who chose Turkey this year doubled, from 75,000 to over 156,000, Cotidianul reads. The same newspaper estimates that the number of foreign tourists to visit the Romanian seashore will be only 40,000.
New problems arise when it comes to green space. Some 8 hectares from the IOR park, a former sports base, may become before 2011 a real estate treasure, with a 1,200 apartments complex and 3,000 parking lots, Romania Libera found out. At the same time, Jurnalul National tells about a residential project for the Moghioros park, targeted by the developers at South Pacific Group (SPG).