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What the newspapers say: July 21, 2008

de A.C.
Luni, 21 iulie 2008, 7:53 English | Press Review

The European Commission seeks justice be made in Romania, according to its last report on the state of Romanian justice sector, one newspaper reads on Monday. Elsewhere in the news, Hungarians almost finished building their highway close to Romania's border while Romanian authorities are blocked by bureaucracy in their attempt to develop a continuation of the highway. Last but not least, Romania's tourism strategy after 1990 lags behind others. 

According to a draft of the report to be published by the European Commission on Romanian justice, Romania registered some progress in its fight against corruption but there are no finished cases, Cotidianul reads on Monday.

Prosecutors are encouraged by the document to continue their battle while parliamentarians and judges are warned. The main conclusion of the report is that Romania has started off promising but without clear and visible results.

European officials underline the progress achieved by prosecutors within the system. Nonetheless, the draft report warns that prosecutors stumble upon judges and parliamentarians who block high corruption cases.

Moreover, Parliamentarians are urged to prove their involvement in the fight against corruption by supporting the efforts prosecutors make. As compared to the January report, the new document registers more positive signals. European officials thus declare that Romania is on the good track so far.

Even if the document concludes that no safeguarding procedure will be launched against Romania, the supervising mechanism will be maintained for an unlimited period. Plus, Romanians might fail to join the Schengen area or Euro zone if their fight against corruption does not offer valid results.

Gandul reads that Hungarians have almost reached Romania's border with their new highway, in an attempt to link the IV Pan-European corridor which should continue in Romania through Arad, West Romania, Timisoara, Lugoj, Sibiu, Bucuresti to Constanta - South East Romania.

In Romania, however, the highway is still stuck in bureaucracy. The process is slow and burdensome. A feasibility study is expected to be completed by November this year. In these conditions, it is clear that the highway built by Hungary is most likely to stop at the border.

Highways in Romania turn out to be difficult to be build: in 2007 some 13.6 km of highway were built while in 2008 only 25 km will be finished. Overall, Romania has only 280 km of highway which basically means that we lag behind most European countries.

Another sector where Romania's progress is hardly noticeable is tourism, Romania libera reads. The newspaper informs that in this sector Romania is not only behind all other European countries but also behind Bulgaria.

And one of the main reasons for this is the lack of infrastructure, which pushes Romania on 76 in a world listing, between Azerbaijan and El Salvador. Nonetheless, the potential of the industry is widely known, as the World Tourism and Traveling Council ranks Romania on 7 in terms of development potential.

International hotel branches that chose Romania over the past 18 years have increased the attractiveness of the country. In the same time, rural development boomed in the past years through European funds but Romania still lacks a coherent overall strategy and fails to attract foreigners.

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