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What the newspapers say: July 8, 2009

de C.B.
Miercuri, 8 iulie 2009, 2:31 English | Press Review

Nabucco gas pipe needs serious efforts in order for the project to be delivered, Romanian minister for Foreign Affairs says. Elsewhere in the news, Romania is to conclude 2009 with a 7% economic decrease. Last but not least, the Social-Democratic leader is a luxury homeless.

Nabucco gas pipe needs serious efforts in order for the project to be delivered, Romanian minister for Foreign Affairs Cristian Diaconescu stated, Adevarul informs. Nabucco is meant to relax EU's gas dependency from Russian gas, by connecting the Caspian Sea with Austria, passing through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, crossing 3,300 kilometres.

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Iraq could all contribute with gas. Nabucco consortium is made up by OMV (Austria), MOL (Hungary), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), Transgaz (Romania), Botaş (Turkey) şi RWE (Germany), each with 16.67%. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Egypt signed an agreement in May to speed up the regional pipe network construction, including Nabucco. EU will finance the project with 200 million euros.

Diaconescu said that finalising the project will take great energetic and financial resources. "There are surely other energy projects in Europe at the moment. All states, including Romania and Italy, are currently exploring the options", he added. Diaconescu met with his homologue Franco Frattini in Bucharest on Tuesday. Italy is one of the states to benefit from Nabucco's competitor, South Stream. The South Stream pipe will go under the Black Sea, connecting Russia and Bulgaria. From there, it will split into the North-West wing - towards Austria - and the South wing - towards Greece and Italy.

Cotidianul reads Romania is to conclude 2009 with a 7% economic decrease. According to Romania's representative at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mihai Tanasescu, this is the last chance Romania will get to come up with a vision for re-launching the country's economy. The first 2009 trimester saw Romania's economy shrinking by 6.2%. For the second and third trimester, the Government anticipates 8.9% and 9.1%, respectively.

"There has to be understood that the economic growth model based on imports and consumption credits cannot longer work. There are three elements to be considered: the sectors that constantly produce added value, the infrastructure that allows these sectors to function, and sourcing financial resources to start this plan", Tanasescu explained. He said IMF was working on a new prognosis for Romania, which will be higher than -4%, but will not reach -9%. An increase in the economic shrinkage will attract a higher budget deficit.

An IMF delegation will visit Bucharest in August to check whether the Government respected the finance agreement conditions, through which Romania received 20 billion dollars from the IMF and the European Commission. The Boc Government hopes to be in a position to request a deficit higher than 4.6% from the GDP. The argument could be a huge economic decrease, 3% above IMF’s spring prognosis.

The Social-Democratic leader is a luxury homeless, Evenimentul Zilei argues. He is in the run for a life registration for the state dwellings reserved for Romania's officials. In an interview he gave reporters from Romanian radio station Realitatea TV, he bragged about being a tenant for 24 years now. According to the Romanian law, Geoana could postpone buying his own house for another life if he manages to be elected Romania's president.

Geoana's home status attracted attention in 2005, after he ceased being a minister. Despite the law, he arranged to rent a villa from the Autonomous Authority for Administrating State Protocol Patrimony for a symbolic price. The press raised questions and the liberals increased his rent after three years. Geoana announced that he will get a credit from the bank to buy a house, despite that his accounts were counting hundreds of thousands of dollars. He took his time and was not asked to leave his villa after he became the President of the Senate. Geoana's electoral promises address 50,000 dwellings with subvention rent for underprivileged youth.

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