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What the newspapers say: April 1, 2011

de A.C.
Vineri, 1 aprilie 2011, 9:27 English | Press Review

Millions of people around the globe celebrate April Fools’ Day on April 1st, trying to fool their friends today. New dilemma’s at Brussels around which institution is to investigate the case involving the three MEPs including Romanian MEP Severin in the “laws for money” scandal. The government decided to cap salaries in education. Romania’s National Public Television decided not to attend the tender organized by the Football League. 

Evenimentul Zilei acknowledges April Fools’ Day today, reminding readers of the origins of this habit. Millions of people across the globe celebrate the day, by playing tricks on the public, on friends and relatives. According to the newspaper, one of the most popular theories talks about the French calendar reform back in the 16th century. In 1564, France shifted the beginning of the yar from March – April to January 1st.  

Those who refused to accept it and celebrated the starting of the year in March – April were targets of ironies and jokes. However, the theory does not explain any references before 16th century. 

In some countries like New Zeeland, Ireland, Great Britain, Australia and South Africa jokes can be played by mid-day only. Some British publications create a special first page with false information and funny information but only for their morning edition. 

To more serious news, Romania libera notes a new dilemma of the European Parliament in the case of the three MEPs, including Romanian MEP Severin, involved in the laws for money scandal revealed by The Sunday Times. More specifically, the European Parliament is not sure who should investigate the matter. 

Two days after The Sunday Times revealed their undercover investigation, the European Parliament sealed the offices of the MEPs. Naturally, the European anti-fraud office, OLAF requested access to the three MEPs offices and the information found. However, the EP refused the right, on grounds that the MEPs should be investigated by the national anti graft institutions. Romania’s anti-graft prosecutors started an investigation of MEP Severin shortly after the scandal broke. 

Meanwhile, after presenting new judicial arguments, EP President Buzek said that the European anti graft office should investigate but refused to grant them access to the offices. Sources declared for the newspaper that the European anti-graft prosecutors are dissatisfied that they are being refused access to the information in the MEPs offices. 

Either way, the investigation is an administrative one because the European anti-graft prosecutors have to right to request a lift of immunity of those investigated. At the end of the investigation they will set up a report that they will send to their Romanian counterparts.  

Elsewhere in the news, PM Boc decided to cap salaries in education, arguing that the government cannot afford to pay a 50% salary increase to those professors who sued the government and won. Gandul quotes Boc saying that while some are entitled to a 50% raise, others are entitled to a smaller raise which is why the government will submit a draft capping salaries and imposing a unique salary scheme law. 

In the same time, unions threaten to attach the government’s new normative act to court and do not wish to have their salaries capped in minus.

Romania libera rejected the possibility of the National Public Television to attend the tender organized by the Professional Football League to purchase air rights for League 1 matches. TVR board member Ada Mesesan declared for the newspaper that she does not agree with the decision, saying that a media institution should be standing on audience rates and that sports matches bring about important audience rates.  

She announced her plans to quit after the decision of the board. Mesesan said that she put forward a proposal to cut budget expenses in other sectors to find the money to purchase air rights. Starting process for each package, except 8 and 9 is 12,900,000 euro (4,300,000 euro/season) plus VAT. The starting point for packages 8 and 9 is 10,500,000 euro each (3,500,000 euro/season) plus VAT.

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