Romanian newspapers on Friday discuss a series of measures considered by the troubled Government in order to improve budget efficiency and how it loses focus on issues of major interest for the fight against corruption. And one paper pays interest on the reasons for the rising Danube levels these days.
Adevarul reads that the members of the Emil Boc Government are putting up a black list of state secretaries due to be made redundant within days in order to cut costs at government level. Each ministry is due to be left with only two positions as state secretary. A decision in this regard announced Wednesday night raises difficulties within the governing coalition as the positions are negotiated politically, the paper points out.
Evenimentul Zilei, meanwhile, discusses the many problems that come about with Transport minister Radu Berceanu and his government's plans to apply a tax on Romanian highways. It reads that the minister wants to apply a tax for Romanians willing to reach the Black Sea coast but does not know when works on the highway connecting Bucharest with the coast will be ready, as they are already late. The tax would be applied on unfinished highways, the paper writes.
Berceanu's roads also draw the interest of Gandul, which reports that minister Berceanu has called on the so-called "kings of asphalt" - construction works businessmen involved in the development of Romanians roads and seen close to the current president and government - to work for free on the recunstruction of road and railway routes seriously affected by recent floods. The businessmen already promised equipment in this regard.
Berceanu called for their help because the government has no money to pay for such works, the paper reads, noting that the minister told them to send proposals of assistance by email, so that these offers not reach "other areas" of interest.
Elsewhere in the news, Evenimentul Zilei reads that the new law on the functioning of the National Integrity Agency (ANI), a key body in the fight against corruption, was sent for presidential approval despite the governing Democratic Liberals had arguments to challenge it at the Constitutional Court. The ANI law sparked public anger recently as the bill as adopted by the Senate strips ANI of most of its powers. While Democratic Liberals had procedural arguments to challenge it in Court, they opted to leave the final decision with President Basescu, the paper reads.
Evenimentul Zilei publishes an article on a series of studies on reasons for which floods along the Romanian shores of Danube take place these days. It quotes a WWF Romania study according to which forced damming during the communist regime, which do not allow the Danube shores to operate as a sponge for excess waters, are the cause of floods on Danube and other rivers in Romania. And another study funded by the Dutch Government proposes flood solutions for an area seriously affected by floods recently, but is ignored by the Romanian Goverment, according to the paper.