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What the newspapers say: November 18, 2008

de Radu Rizea
Marţi, 18 noiembrie 2008, 9:02 English | Press Review

The Government funds a pro-Romania campaign in Spain, but Romanian immigrants prepare to return home, since it's more and more difficult to find jobs there. The same Government prepares to suspend the first car registration tax (adopted with a huge, endless scandal), while Romanians have less and less access to credits and financing sources.

The "Hola soy rumano" (Hello, I'm Romanian!) campaign in Spain, financed by the Romanian Government, was launched in September 2008, aiming at fairly reflecting the Romanian reality in the Spanish media. In fact, it tries to prove that Romanian workers contributed to the economic growth of the country and more, Evenimentul Zilei reads.

As paved with good intentions at it is, the campaign seems already obsolete. Due to the recession, an increasing number of EU states will continue to impose restrictions for the Romanians' and Bulgarians' access to the labor market, Ireland being the first to announce that the market liberalization will be postponed at least three years, because of the unemployment rate increase caused by the international crisis. Meanwhile, the European Commission tries to convince the EU states that the restrictions should be annulled, Cotidianul reads.

Same Cotidianul also publishes a report on the situation of Romanians in Spain. There are, at this moment, some 716,000 Romanians legally working in Spain, the fastest growing minority in the past years. The number of Romanians increased 41.5% in 2008 alone, surpassing the number of Morocco immigrants, traditionally the largest community in Spain.

Back home: Romania may receive money from the European Reconstruction and Development Bank (ERDB). The institution intends to put up a regional investments funds in order to support private companies in the Central and South-Eastern Europe, including Romania. The fund will also have as investors European and US private companies and institutions, Evenimentul zilei informs.

Romanians will also see less and less credits available in banks: the populace is no longer a target, being replaced by companies. The mortgage credit is "an endangered species", Gandul reads, mentioning that most banks now demand a 50% advance payment and huge salaries in order to approve a credit.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister announced that the car registration tax will be suspended for the following 3 to 6 months for new cars, in an attempt to discourage second hand cars imports and promote the acquisition of vehicles made in Romania. Romanian president Basescu also announced that he will give up his German limousine and get a Romanian car (Dacia, a company owned by Renault) and will start eating only Romanian milk, tomatoes and butter.

Car-selling companies already decided to offer major discounts, up to 25% of the price, in order to rise above the crisis, Cotidianul reads, adding that some attractive offers also exist for financing the car acquisition.

With no connection to the crisis, an even more important problem is discussed in Cotidianul: Romania may run out of drinking water before 2020, because of the high level of contamination of resources.

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