Romania absorbed only 7.78% of the money the EU allocated for the country in 2007-2008. Elsewhere in the news, "Mare Nigrum", Romania's single research ship, is mapping in the Black Sea what could be one of the largest hydrocarbon resources in the world. Last but not least, the Romanian press reads about Unirea Urziceni, Romania's football champion, and its 4-1 win against Scotland's first team, Glasgow Rangers.
Romania absorbed only 7.78% of the money the EU allocated for the country in 2007-2008, despite the fact that the approved projects cover 57% of the structural funds available, Cotidianul reads. The sum to be paid for Romania for the mentioned year - 5.64 billion euros - can be spent until the end of 2011, or else the money is lost. 12.975 projects have been submitted for funding by the end of September, out of which 2,672 were approved, 4,740 were rejected and 4,365 are still being evaluated.
The money is divided on seven departments. The largest sum is allocated for the Environment, a sector that managed to absorb only 13.26% of the funds. According to the European Commission's funds special report, Romania also risks loosing non-refundable money by the end of next year, worth of almost 1 billion euros. Part of it is PHARE money, available for projects adapting the Romanian law to the European law, projects of strengthening institutional capacities and of social-economic cohesion.
"Mare Nigrum", Romania's single research ship with a crew of 22 sailors plus 25 researchers, managed to find hydrocarbon ores 2,200 meters deep in the Black Sea, Romania Libera reads. Specialists say that the available technology does not permit extraction so far, but countries such as Japan are on the way to develop the means. "Mare Nigrum", the 40-year old ship, is known internationally for its involvement in various EU research programmes. It is considered the most complex floating research unit from the Black Sea.
"Geoecomar" research institute manager is convinced the Black Sea has one of the largest hydrocarbon resources in the world, with significant ores it in the Ukrainian and Romanian waters. According to him, the Black Sea will soon become the new Middle East in terms of natural resources. The US representative for energy Richard Morningstar talked during the "Energy and Economic Black Sea Forum" in Bucharest about the region becoming "Europe's main energy source".
Most researchers on the ship are aged between 35 and 40, with law salaries reaching a maximum of 3,200 lei, plus a 15% bonus for the ones holding a PhD. Lately, the "Geoecomar" researches started to leave to other countries for better incomes. Despite being a unit of national interest, only 26% of the necessary budget comes from the state, the rest coming from the EU or various agents. A day out with the research ship means 10,000 euros and the managers resort to commercial solutions, like allowing film crews on.
Another research project established the presence of the tsunami phenomenon in the Black Sea every 20 years, but the consequences in this region are not always catastrophic. The vessel, formerly known as "Somes" was built in Germany and was initially used by Romania for fishing. It is the only survivor from a 50 ships fleet. After the transformation, it was equipped with laboratories for biology, magnetometers, earthquake acoustics, geochemistry, hydrology, gas measurements and water analysis.
The Romanian press reads about Unirea Urziceni, Romania's football champion, and its 4-1 win against Scotland's first team, Glasgow Rangers. The team is trained by Dan Petrescu, a former Romanian national team favourite, who also used to play for the English Premiership club Chelsea, Steaua Bucuresti and Sheffield Wednesday. According to Gandul, Unirea Urziceni comes from a locality whose population could easily fit on "Ibrox Park".
The Romanian team not only surprised the national football scene, but it also managed to qualify in the Champions League. This is the biggest victory in the history of the club. It sees the team on the second position, with two points ahead of Stuttgart and three ahead the Scottish team. People in the Romanian football industry like Mircea Sandu congratulated Dan Petrescu and predict he will soon be training English teams.