Romania risks being excluded from the European Council because of the European Court of Human Rights. Elsewhere in the news, the shame of the country: national roads made of plain soil. Last but not least, the country that does not inspire safety: how Romania scares away foreign tourists.
Romania risks being excluded from the European Council because of the European Court of Human Rights, Evenimentul Zilei reads. If Romania is not going to fix stressed issues it could be excluded from the EC. The ECHR is bored with dealing with cases addressing nationalised houses retrocession, for which the country has been taken to court, and it threatens with pilot-decisions.
Romania can also face a pilot-decision for disrespecting the right to an equitable trial, namely excessive length, not enforcing the court's final decisions and breaching the right of not being subjected to torture, the newspaper goes on. ECHR accuses the lack of a coherent mechanism for retrocession or compensation, constant breaching of fundamental laws, confusing and heavy bureaucracy and legislation and delays.
The ECHR gives Romania a deadline - usually between six months and one year - to fix the problems through administrative, legislative and budgetary means, or else face sanctions. The European Court clerk's office said that the pilot-decisions are to be enforced on Romania for the first time in the cases of returning houses confiscated by ex-communist authorities to their rightful owners. Romania has been sued by nearly 1,000 house owners.
Poland, Moldavia and Russia have been facing similar pilot-decisions. Poland managed to correct the deficiencies underlined by ECHR. It took four years, though. The last two countries are not EU members. Romania's Government agent at ECHR Răzvan-Horaţiu Radu, representing the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said the exclusion from the EC has never been enforced on a state. The public hearing is scheduled for June 8.
The laws addressing retrocession have been amended at least 20 times in the last years, resulting in contradicting articles. Plus Romania did not respect the deadlines imposed for solving a retrocession claims and cannot afford to pay financial compensations in the case of the houses that cannot be given back anymore.
The shame of the country: national roads made of plain soil, Adevarul reads. Road sections that have never been paved or have never seen asphalt bear the official title of national road. If anything, they are more similar to off-roads. The National Road 5A - Giurgiu county, National Road 65D - Arges county, National Road 1T - Salaj indicate how little authorities think of infrastructure.
According to the Romanian National Statistic Institute (INS) annual statistics, there are 17 kilometres of national roads made of plain soil. Despite the short length, nobody bothered to fix these sections, which the newspapers talks as shameful.
The reporters have taken a trip themselves and noticed that in reality, there are more kilometres than official statistics read. They recommended a 4x4 car. Local people and bus drivers say that these sections cannot be used, despite road taxes having to be paid.
The country that does not inspire safety: how Romania scares away foreign tourists, Gandul explains. Most first-time foreign tourists thinking of spending their holiday in Romania are held beck by the thought they would not be safe here, reads a THR research. THR is a company involved in creating the state's national tourism brand.
Foreign tourists are not expecting good infrastructure either, and want something different from folkloric dances, THR shows, according to Gandul. Most people who visited Romania changed their opinion on the lack of safety. The highest number of foreign tourists admired the landscapes and nature, which they said differentiated Romania from other countries, THR marketing and destination strategy manager Jorn Gieschen said.
In terms of the safety Romania offers tourists, this is below the EU average. Jorn Gieschen says tourists would like to take part in preparing Romanian traditional food. They don' seem to be bothered by poor infrastructure, which can only be in the country's favour. They accept living in authentic houses instead of five-star hotels.
The research shows that 29% of the interviewees would consider spending their time in Romania, while 44% have other plans. In terms of activities, Romania ranks sixth with 1.1%, preceded by Hungary and Turkey (2.4%), the Czech Republic (2%), Poland (1.4%) and Bulgaria (1.3%). Ukraine and Serbia ranked lower than Romania, with 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively, Romanian news agency Mediafax informs.
Out of the foreign tourists who have already visited Romania, 56% said they would return to Romania and would recommend it to others; 12% would recommend it, but do not wish to return (US and French tourists) and 30% said they would not recommend or return to Romania (Germans, Ukraine and Russia). 10.800 people from Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Russia, Hungary and the US have been interviewed over the phone for the statistic.