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What the newspapers say: December 11, 2010

de C.B.
Luni, 11 ianuarie 2010, 2:30 English | Press Review

The Romanian 2010 budget, unable to sustain the country’s economy. Elsewhere in the news, future LibDem internal elections have brought the party to a boiling point. Last but not least, President of 1989 revolution veterans' organisation threatens with hunger strike.

The Romanian 2010 budget project and its amendments have been criticised to be unable to sustain the economy, Adevarul reads. It counts on the incomes collected from companies and has been accused for not having been shaped "to consider the business environment", but the public institutions' interests, the publication goes on.

The Government proposed the cancellation of the minimum tax. The measure has been assumed to bring one billion lei loss to the budget. Another amendment sees that a 5% VAT will be applied on residential constructions. If adopted, the drop in VAT is estimated to result in another 960 million lei minus. Liberals proposed that micro-enterprises' incomes be taxed 3%, and asked to reduce the penalty for delaying to pay up dues from 0.1% to 0.03%. MPs rejected it, approving a PSD proposal for this tax: 0.05%.

The pension standard was wished-for to increase to 45% of the average income. MPs voted against, as well as declining the employees' social insurances fees. On the other hand, the Agriculture Ministry got additional funds - 2.1 billion lei more, with 500 million lei to go to the Development and Tourism Ministry, headed by Elena Udrea.

The Permanent Electoral Authorities will be able to employ 46 more staff. National Audiovisual Council and National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) staff will enjoy increased salaries. While the Romanian Cultural Institute gets the same budget as in 2009, the Romanian Academy was refused a 19.5 million lei increase in funds.

Business people in the agricultural sector claim the Agricultural Ministry budget is insufficient and president of the Food Industry Unions Federation believes the money will dry up until summer. Energy producer and supplier CEZ Romania president was not happy about the energy budget either - around 90 million euros. According to Romania's Energy Strategy, the total amount of investments necessary in this sector should amount to 35 billion euros by 2010.

The future LibDem internal elections have brought the party to a boiling point on all levels, Evenimentul Zilei reads. Mayors and local council chiefs demand money, branches have started to fight over state secretary positions, while leaders in Ardeal, Transylvania, who refused any cooperation with the Hungarian Party UDMR, have been summoned to Bucharest. MEPs accuse PD-L of growing oligarchs.

A change in the party's leaders was supposed to occur around April or May, but at this point it is not decided. The party's elections might only take place next year. While "fresh" deputies gather signatures to overthrow their imposed chief, leaders negotiate for the highest roles.

President of the revolution veterans' organisation December 21 Association Teodor Maries declared on Sunday that he will start a hunger strike on January 12 if he is not to receive the classified documents addressing the 1989 Revolution from the Romanian National Defence Ministry and Special Telecommunication Services, plus a copy of the "Mineriade" file, Cotidianul reads, quoting Romanian press agency NewsIn.

The leader says he needs the Army and STS documents in order to send his defence conclusions to the European Court of Human Rights (CEDO) by January 15. December 21 Association president mentioned that, so far, he has received 98% of the requested documents, including the classified ones from the Romanian Intelligence Services (SRI) and CNSAS.

Teodor Maries has undergone hunger strike in the past, for two months and a half, because he wasn't allowed to copy all the documents in the Revolution file, including the classified papers. He ended up in hospital with breathing and stomach problems. He gave up the strike after some documents have been made available to him.

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