What the newspapers say: August 10, 2009

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 august 2009, 8:33 English | Press Review

All 1.4 million state employees will be forced into a 10-days unpaid holiday by the end of 2009. Further in the news, the Romanian sailors taken as hostages by the Somali pirates have been released. Last but not least, runners for Romania’s presidency might have to pay up 2,000 minimum salaries.

All 1.4 million state employees will be forced into a 10-days unpaid holiday by the end of 2009, as a means to save money for Romania’s state budget, Cotidianul informs. According to a recent Business Standard analysis, the unpaid holiday might save the budget around 350 million euros, meaning 0.37% of the GDP. The pensions will not increase in 2010 as planned. The measures are meant to keep the country budget deficit at 7-7.2%, figures that the IMF agrees with, while estimates indicate a 8.5% deficit.  

Pensions and salaries might be frozen temporarily, until a new income scheme is enforced. Plus, 150,000 state employees - about 10% - are likely to lose their jobs, in the Government's chase to reduce the budget deficit close to 3%, indispensable to see Romania joining the euro zone, according to Romanian news agency Mediafax.

According to an analysis performed by Gandul, the next 1.9 billion euros, which the IMF is going to pour into the Finance Ministry's budget, is expected to cover the state pensions, salaries and social insurances for almost one month. Romanian Finance Ministry told Gandul reporters that Romania's plan B is to borrow more money.

Adevarul reads the Romanian sailors taken as hostages by the Somali pirates have been released. In fact, all 16 crew members - 10 Italians, 5 Romanians and one Croat - are now free, according to the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry. The sailors from an Italian tug boat belonging "Micoperi Marine Contractors" society have been under Somali pirates' arrest since April this year. Four of the Romanian sailors - Nicuşor M., Adrian G., George D., Marius A. - are in Constanta (South-East Romanian port) and one is in Bucharest.

The Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry constantly claimed that the negotiations were being led with the Somali authorities and not with the pirates. Paying a ransom and an armed intervention was excluded by the Italians. According to the Italian press, Somali pirates initially requested a 30 million euros ransom, letting it drop later to 3-2 millions. This is the first Italian ship to be retained by Somali pirates.

According to Evenimentul Zilei, the runners for Presidency might have to pay up 2,000 minimum salaries. Romanian Permanent Electoral Authority might decide today on a new law project that sees the runners for Romania's executive paying a 300,000 euros bail. Another measure might have the elections' date announced only in mid-September. Lib-Dem deputies leader Mircea Toader says the money are to be returned should a runner gain enough votes, but this could cause a problem for the independent candidates, which lack the financial support if a party.

The AEP said the fee was justifiable in the context that a candidate spends too much money in the campaign, but receives a little number of votes. The measure will discouraged half of the usual presidency runners, the publication claims and might influence the future election scores. Plus, the number of signature to back a candidacy might increase from 200,000 to 500.000.

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