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What the newspapers say: March 25, 2010

de A.C.
Joi, 25 martie 2010, 8:24 English | Press Review

Once again, the government rushes into optimistic estimates regarding Romania's economic evolution in 2010 while the European Commission is more careful, one newspaper reads on Thursday. The government is about to introduce co-payment in health: find out how much we are to pay. Romania's military will shift gears from MIGs to F-16 planes - in theory, free of charge but in practice costs amount to about 1.3 billion dollars. In Parliament yesterday, the Democrat Liberals (PDL) attempted to introduce on the daily agenda the annual report of the public television, to dismiss the institution's general director, Alexandru Sassu. In Bucharest, citizens have new hopes for a subway stop in Drumul Taberei.

The 24 F-16 second hand planes received for free from the States will cost, in fact, 1.3 billion euro, Romania libera reads. The planes are just the first step of a larger agreement with the US Government as Romania will acquire another 24 new F-16 planes.

After for decades Romanian military flew with Soviet planes like MiGs, Romanian pilots will use American ones. The price covers all adaptation costs incurred by the Romanian party. The most important component will be training pilots and technical personnel in American military bases at US Air Force standards which will cost half of the total sum, sources declared.

This is not the first technical acquisitions offered free by the Americans: in 2006-2007, Romania received 22 Humvees for Afghanistan and Iraq operations. Even though they were free, Romanians had to pay about 6 million dollars in adaptation procedures.

Evenimentul Zilei reads that the government did not learn anything from its past experience and continues to rush into optimistic estimates for Romania's economic evolution in 2010. On the other hand, the European Commission, is, once again, reserved in its evolution estimates. While PM Boc wants to assure Romanians with good news, the Commission is careful not to make exaggerated estimates.

Therefore, the Commission draws the attention that a serious of targets included in Romania's Convergence Program for 2009-2012, approved on Monday by the government and sent for approval in Brussels are unrealistic - like unemployment, the budgetary deficit or inflation estimates.

A 7.7% drop in unemployment rates for 2010 is a rather optimistic target, the European Commission warns. Plus, this year's budgetary deficit might exceed the target assumed by the government, of 6.3%. The 2010 deficit might be unfavorable compared to the one projected in the program.

Gandul reads about the government's decision to introduce co-payment in health. The draft law, if approved, presumes that patients are to pay 5 lei when visiting their local GP, 10 lei when visiting a specialist, 1 leu for the analysis and between 100 to 200 lei when having a CT scan.

The Health ministry finished the draft law and published it for debate. 600 lei is the maximum sum the patient will pay in a year and once it reaches this sum, he/she is not due to pay for the rest of the medical services needed.

This is the only concrete sum in the draft law, which does not explain how the system of co-payment will actually work. These depend on the implementation norms, Health Ministry Spokesperson Oana Grigore said.

Ministry representatives hope that through this new system, they will gather about 700 million lei/year which is about 171 million euro - money that will be used for investments.

However, the minister says that this will not solve the financial problems of the system. If the draft law will be approved, it will be enforced starting July 1, 2010.

Cotidianul reads about the attempt of the Democrat Liberals to introduce on the daily agenda of the Parliament, the annual report of the National Public Television (TVR) with the purpose to dismiss the institution's general director, Alexandru Sassu.

The opposition contested the procedures and finally, they left the Parliament. The absence of 63 senators and deputies suspended the meeting, due to lack of quorum. The other parties were outraged of the situation, as the Permanent Office did not know a thing.

Cotidianul reads about the government's decision to ratify the financing contract between Romania and the European Investment Bank for the modernization of the subway and the introduction of a new subway stop, linking downtown Bucharest to Drumul Taberei.

The investment costs about 883 million euro of which 45% are financed by the European Investment Bank and the rest, about 488 million euro from the state budget. The subway line will have 9 km and about 14 stops. The project is due by 2015.

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