Press review (Sep 23)

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The main topics grabbing headlines in Romania's national dailies of Tuesday are the kidnapping of a Romanian citizen in Egypt; the preparations of the political parties for the November 30 general election; the leading National Liberal Party (PNL) having launched its candidates for the general election.
 
Romania libera notes that foreign tourists were kidnapped and robbed in Egypt, quoting local officials and diplomatic sources as telling international news agencies that one Romanian, five Germans and five Italians on a holiday in Egypt on their won have been kidnapped by bandits of Sudanese origins in Aswan, southern Egypt, some 700 km away from capital city Cairo.
 
The paper quotes Romanian consul in Cairo Marian Stan as saying a Romanian female aged 33 was apparently kidnapped and shipped with the other hostages to Sudan. The name of the woman would be Irina Oana Kalis, a doctor settled in Germany. She would have left for Egypt on a holiday on her own, where she would have bought a safari trip in the desert from a local tour operator.
The Egyptian Tourism Minister Zouhair Garana is quoted as saying this is an instance of bandit action, not terrorism, and that negotiations with the kidnappers are underway.
 
Ziarul financiar notes that one Romanian female and 18 other foreign tourists have been kidnapped in Egypt, quoting the Romanian Embassy in Cairo as confirming that one Romanian woman was kidnapped, but that the kidnapping occurred at the border between Egypt and Libya, not in Aswan. According to Egyptian sources, the kidnappers would have asked for a 6-million-euro ransom, while Ansa news agency reports that the kidnappers would have asked for $15 million.
Evenimentul zilei remarks that the Romanian authorities have been caught on the wrong foot, as they were out of synch about the kidnapping and were not able to offer information about the mishap.
 
Business Standard remarks that the major three parliamentary parties – the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Democratic -Liberal Party (PD-L) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) are taking the last electoral steps before the November 30 general election: PNL launched its candidates, PD-L discussed nominations for the single-vote electoral colleges and PSD discussed the agenda of the extraordinary convention of the party scheduled for late this week.
 
Romania libera remarks that the Liberals on Monday hasted to launch its candidates and boast about all the actions of their Government, adding that PNL is approaching the election from the left. It reports that over 6,000 PNL members, 400 of whom are candidates in this autumn's election, attended. PNL national leader, Prime Minister Calin Poescu-Tariceanu, named the official opponent of his party in the election campaign: the opposition PSD, the paper says.
 
Business standards reports that the Romanian Government is expected on Wednesday to discuss issuing more work permits for foreigners, a proposal included in a memorandum on this issue. It quotes Labour Minister Paul Pacuraru as saying the permits will not be increased to more than 2,000.
The paper quotes the Romanian Immigration Office (ORI) as saying the 10,000 work permits for extra-Community workers approved by the Romanian Government for 2008 have been used up and employers filed this September 1,500 requests for additional permits, currently under consideration.
 
Bursa informs that Romania is ranked 9th among Europe's energy markets, quoting to this end the Romanian electricity market operator OPCOM SA, which cites a survey of the wholesale electricity markets in the European Union, released by Moffatt Associates Partnership placing Romania 9th among the most liquid and efficient EU energy markets. Moffatt has judged moderate the number of market participants in the Romanian energy market, the number of newcomers and the influence of the existing dominating players.
 
Evenimentul zilei remarks that the first Romanian victims of the world financial crisis have been recorded in Romania, saying that property developers are the first Romanian business people to be seriously hit by the ongoing world financial crisis, according to officials of the Association of Romanian Business People (AOAR). AOAR officials say that after taking in the rises in labour costs and the prices for raw materials, the builders will now have to face rising loan costs.
 
Ziarul financiar remarks that corn is bringing 1 billion euro into the accounts of Romanian farmers, informing that this year's corn yields are put at 7 million tonnes, double the 2007's figures, which, for a selling price of RON 0.7/kg (0.19 euro/kg) estimated by the farmers, will give some 1.33 billion euros in farmers' earnings.
A previous announcement by the Agriculture Ministry that the corn yields would reach 10 million tonnes brought about a drop in corn prices to RON 0.35 /kg (0.09 euro/kg), but farmers are expecting the prices to bounce back to at least their 20007 values.
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