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What the newspapers say: November 5, 2008

de A.C.
Miercuri, 5 noiembrie 2008, 2:47 English | Press Review

All newspapers spotlight the US Presidential elections on Wednesday and their preliminary results. Meanwhile, in Romania, Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu started approving the construction of buildings which do not comply with the Bucharest General Urbanization Plan. Elsewhere in the news, the government's negotiations with teachers unions fail. Last but not least, for the first time, the Romanian electoral law gives televisions the right to charge politicians for their electoral appearances in talk shows. 

Cotidianul reads about Bucharest's mayor, Sorin Oprescu who started approving the construction of buildings which do not comply with the general urbanization plan of the capital city. The main reason is that the government passed an emergency ordinance ruling that, starting March 2009, exceptions from the general urbanization plan will not be easily granted.

Thus, Oprescu approved 60 construction works which were announced on Tuesday on the official website of the city hall for public debate. The 60 plans could actually be the last to receive the exceptional ruling since each decision needs to be open for public debate for 30 days before receiving the general council's approval.

The projects approved are not new ones: former mayor Adriean Videanu refused to approve any constructions in the last months of his term. Moreover, it was only after Sorin Oprescu won the seat and after firing Bucharest's chief architect Adrian Bold that these projects were finally approved.

According to the current Bucharest chief architect Gheorghe Patrascu, all projects were approved under the exception rule. Patrascu declared that he was compelled to approved them because they had all required authorizations.

Elsewhere in the news, dozens of teachers continue their strike as negotiations with the government over increased salaries fail, Evenimentul Zilei informs. The biggest teachers' union in Romania, Spiru Haret, was on strike on Monday and thus teachers resumed to watch the kids rather than teach.

Romania's Prime Minister announced that he would increase teachers' wages over the average next year but underlined that such decisions needed to be taken by the new government and parliament after elections this fall. He underlined that economic realities always come to correct the political nonsense.

On the other side, Spiru Haret union head Marius Nistor declared that the talks initiated by the government were not a negotiation but a lesson of political and social economy. He added that the executive made it very clear that they would stand by their decisions.

However, strikes continue to arise: on November 10, all other unions will organize a warning strike. If a consensus is not be reached, the unions threaten to organize a general strike on November 18.

Last but least, Gandul reads about the tariffs politicians planning to attend talk shows in this electoral debate. According to the law, each television needs to establish a fixed price for all interested parties, per time and show. Thus, politicians can pay from 1,500 euro for an afternoon show or up to 10,000 euro, depending on the television and talk show.

However, moderator Radu Moraru declared that he will only offer politicians some 20 to 30 air hours because only some politicians increase the audience rates. Those wishing to pay less can choose other radio or television shows. Moreover, they still can attend electoral debates that run for free, irrespective of the television.

The Hungarian Democratic Party (UDMR) refused to attend electoral shows due to the high prices requested by televisions that the party cannot afford.

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