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What the newspapers say: Tuesday, March 02, 2010

de C.B.
Marţi, 2 martie 2010, 1:59 English | Press Review

Romania did not spend the EU money to prevent floods. Elsewhere in the news, physically impaired retired are being hunted by Romanian authorities. Last but not least, the Hungarian pastor who sparked the Romanian '89 Revolution publishes a new shame list.

Romania did not spend the EU money to prevent floods, Adevarul reads. Floods in the last years have affected almost three quarters of the country. Except the region of Banat (south-west), where local authorities have taken measures after the 2005 disaster, when waters broke a dam and destroyed several villages, the rest of the regions are subject to the same scenario every year.

Starting with 2007, Romania could have resorted to European funds worth of 270 million Euros to prevent floods through Axis 5 from the Sectoral Operational Programme Environment. Its sole beneficiary is the National Administration "Romanian Waters" (ANAR), which did not touch a penny. Houses built in regions at risk are common phenomenon in Romania. So far, ANAR would never authorise the building of a household in such a region, but the authorisation had a consultative nature. And maps with the regions risking floods are yet to be drawn, but no later than 2013.

The region around the Danube has been issued yellow code until March 6. Despite Romania’s fighting with floods every year, local authorities did little to insure this will never happen again. In 2005, Banat, Oltenia, Muntenia and Moldova were affected. In 2006, it was the Danube's Meadow turn. In 2008, North Moldova and North Transilvania had to put up with the same damages. Authorities in Maramures spent some money to try and secure the region against similar calamities, but the dam promised on Prut bank has never been built.  

Physically impaired retired are being hunted by authorities, Evenimentul Zilei reads. Romanian citizens from towns with a high number of impaired wishing to retire will be subject to serious tests before being released into retirement motivated by an illness. Locally issued medical certificates will have zero value and those wishing to conclude their career will have to stand the tests of specialists from Bucharest. Plus, their retirement files will depend on the Romanian National Institute of Medical Expertise and Labour Capacity Recovery, according to a decision met by the National Pensions and Social Insurances Authority (CNPAS).

People wishing to retire in Mures and Bihor, two counties featured in the top 10 counting physically impaired (53,000 and 36,000 respectively), have already stood the new tests. 3,000 files have been rejected, namely half. A similar case occurred in Dambovita in 2007. Bucharest leads the way, with over 100,000 such cases. Among the cities with reported retirement issues are also Arges, Valcea, Prahova and Maramures. There are currently 900,000 retired due to illness in Romania, 50% more than in 2001.

Romanian Labour minister Mihai Seitan believes that almost 25% of the illness retirements are false, but the data experts collected contradict him: 0.5 to 2%, CNPAS official said, explaining that their findings have been hindered by lack of adequate materials allowing investigations. Most illnesses taking Romanians into retirement are related to the cardiovascular system - 29%, mental issues - 18%, and nervous system illnesses - 10%. According to the law, the retired have to be medically reassessed every six months. Almost all retired due to illness from Bucharest, when reassessed, have been declared able to work last year. Authorities want to investigate all suspect files in the next three years.

Laszlo Tokes, the Hungarian pastor who sparked the Romanian '89 Revolution, published a new shame list, Romania Libera reads. Two weeks ago he made public a list with 100 names and today he adds 36 more to name and shame ex-Securitate and Militie officers and second officers. The people listed have informed the communist authorities on Reformed Church priests and pastors. Among the names he gives he mentions a member of the Hungarian Party from Romania (UDMR), deputy Lakatos Peter. He extracted the names from the dossiers put together by the Securitate before 1989, except the UDMR deputy.

Lakatos Peter retaliated by saying the pastor wars throwing dirt and lies to anyone who did not agree with him, but he admits having been firemen captain until 1985, part of the Interior Minister. Lakatos claims the denigration campaign started in 2001, when he became UDMR Bihor president by defeating one candidate the pastor was close to. He also indicates that the Romanian National College for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) ruled out that he was not a collaborator of the ex-political police. The Hungarian pastor added names of Securitate collaborators from counties like  Bihor, Arad, Bistrita Nasaud, Satu Mare, Salaj, Mures, Brasov, Cluj and Harghita.

One of them is Aurel Stamatu, with a secondary role in the Interior Ministry in 1989. Others are  Mihai Dulama, Florea Ghitea, Liviu Radu, Petru Oros, Ioan seres and a certain "Ochea", someone whose identity Tokes could not discover,l but found out he was senior lieutenant. The MEP claims they should be taken to court and it should be found out who directed the bloody events from Targul Mures, the mineriads from 1990 and the events from Bucharest – Piata Universitatii, stating that it was unacceptable for these persons to be public persons.

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