Romania is on the verge of a social crisis as the government plans to lay off over 100,000 people, most newspapers read on Wednesday. The only safety net, at the time, could be the country's option to take up another 30 billion euro loan from the IMF. In the political and economic entanglement, Tourism minister Elena Udrea is investigated, in an attempt to determine how she saw fit to spend public money.

Cotidianul peeks into what 2010 might bring about: a smaller inflation, a stable exchange rate and a moderate economic increase with massive layoffs among state employees. The newspaper reads that next year, Romania might register a shy economic increase but authorities will have to cut massively into budgetary spending to adjust the deficit.

The IMF delegation allowed the government to postpone some of the painful measures planned initially for 2009 and agreed to a spending decrease of only 1 billion euro. IMF delegation chief Jeffrey Franks declared that the country's economy might have a positive trend next year.

For 2009, IMF accepted a 7.3% of GDP budgetary deficit, a lot higher than the 4.6% target, initially planned. For next year, IMF forecasts a 6% budgetary deficit which presumes a 2.5% spending adjustment which translates into 3 billion euro at least.

And it's clear that the government plans to cut spending by laying off most of its personnel. This year, salary spending amounted to 9% of GDP. In 2010 the government should spend half the percent with its employees to be able to adjust the deficit.

Finance minister Pogea admitted that all measures point to some 100,000 to 150,000 layoffs by mid 2010, however, Pogea declared that at the time, there is no certainty in either direction.

The only safety net, at the moment seems to be another loan from the IMF, which Romania can take up, Gandul reads. Finance minister Gheorghe Pogea announced on Tuesday that taxes will not be increased in 2010 and anti-crisis measures implemented so far does not seem to bring about tangible results - which leads to the newspaper's interest for the future.

When prompted by journalists, Pogea declared that the government's back up plan is to continue to take up loans from international and internal banks. At the moment, Romania can still take up loans.

Thus, Romania could take up another 30 billion euro loan without having to face any sanctions from the EU. According to UniCredit Tiriac Bank chief economist, Rozalia Pal, Romania's public debt could amount to 33-34% of GDP this year. She added that experts estimate that this will increase up to 37% of GDP in 2010.

Thus, Pal suggested that Romania could take up a loan worth up to 25% of GDP, which is about 30 billion euro. In the first five months of the year, Romania's public debt increased by 10% in lei to 120 billion lei compared to 109 billion lei last year.

Meanwhile, ministers continue to lavishly spend public money, despite the crisis: Cotidianul reads about Tourism minister Elena Udrea who spent some 120,000 euro for personalized pens and lighters.

Udrea is currently investigated by the Parliament on the way she saw fit to spend the ministry's money.