President Traian Basescu's decision to call for a referendum the same day with the presidential election, to change the parliament into a single-chamber one and reduce the number of MPs, is discussed by Romanian newspapers on Friday. Economic troubles affect the Romanian troops abroad as well, one newspaper writes, while another points to the failures of authorities in charge with building the country's highways.
Evenimentul Zilei reports that President Basescu has signed a decree calling for a referendum the same day with presidential elections on November 22, in which he runs for a renewed term in office. He explained voters would have to answer to to questions - whether they agree with a single-chamber Parliament and whether they agree with cutting the number of MPs to a maximum of 300. He said he opted for such a referendum because politicians have failed to keep their promise and review the Constitution in this regard.
The paper also quotes the President fighting the position of politicians who claim the referendum is a "consultative" measure and resisted politicians' claims that a single-chamber parliament would not be democratic and would be a step towards dictatorship.
For its part, Romania Libera notes that presidential elections due to take place on November 22 are the first to take place in Romania without being associated with parliamentary elections. It quotes analysts who say these elections would see a higher voter presence as compared to previous polls, which saw the voter turnout decrease constantly.
Elsewhere in the news, Adevarul reports that Romanian troops in Afghanistan would spend 14 days without income as all Romanian Army employees are forced into a two-week leave without pay. The money for troops' salaries will be retained now, but they will have to take their days off only on their return home. The measure would be applied to all Defense Ministry employees according to a law cutting public spending.
And Cotidianul reads that CNADNR, the Romanian authorities in charge with building highways across the country, might have built 800 km of highway for the past ten years by using money it received from the state and from international financial institutions. But the company has no idea what 5 billion dollars it received during the period have been spent on.
Cotidianul reports that while it failed to see any significant progress in developing a highway system, CNADNR also ran a program to improve national roads, which was split into six or seven phases. Only three of these have been completed.