Press review (Sept 24)

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New information on the hostages in Egypt, among whom a Romanian, the suspension of Labor Minister Paul Pacuraru by President Traian Basescu, the international financial crisis and its implications on the Romanian economy are the main topics grabbing headlines in Romania's national dailies of Wednesday.
 
"Hostages in Egypt, threatened to be killed," Romania libera daily reports. The paper notes that the kidnappers of the 19 tourists, on Tuesday threatened to kill all hostages if the attempts to locate them by air means continues, Reuters quotes an Egyptian official who wanted to remain anonymous.
 
Some 11 European tourists – five Italians, five Germans and a Romanian -, as well as eight Egyptians – three guides, four drivers and a bodyguard working as a border guard and responsible with the group's safety – were captured on Friday by four criminals in southwestern Egypt, while heading towards the area of the caves. According to some sources with the Egypt Embassy in Bucharest, the group would have included, besides the European tourists, only four Egyptians.
 
Traian Basescu suspended Paul Pacuraru as minister of labor, family affairs and equal opportunity through a presidential decree, Ziarul financiar, Gandul and Ziua dailies announced.
Labor Minister, Paul Pacuraru, resigned last evening, following his suspension by President Traian Basescu , pending the conduct by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation of a criminal investigation into alleged bribe taking involving Pacuraru, in a file in which the leader of Gorj branch of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Dan Ilie Moga is also involved.
 
According to Gandul daily, Pacuraru resigned from the Government on Tuesday, pressured by his party colleagues. "Though Pacuraru said on Tuesday morning that the Prime Minister had not asked him to resign, one of the people close to the Liberal president told him it was better for him to leave by himself. Those who sent him this message were the Interior Minister Cristian David and the Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu, with the latter being appointed interim Labor minister," Gandul writes.
 
In the context, Business standard daily, reporting on the same topic, adds that Paul Pacuraru said yesterday that Traian Basescu's decision is "a political and unfair one" given that his file is based "only on suspicions."
Ziarul Financiar daily carries a series of articles debating the international financial crisis and its influence on the Romanian economy.
"The Romanian banking system is resisting the crisis because is solid, not primitive," Ziarul Financiar writes, quoting Governor of the Romanian National Bank (BNR), Mugur Isarescu.
 
"The Romanian economy has faced very well many external shocks: the 8-9% economic growth is by far the biggest in the EU, the inflation entered a downward trend and might go down towards 6% by year-end, the foreign deficit seems to have stabilized, the banking system continues to develop at a high pace while the currency exchange seems to oscillate within the normal limits, on a free market," the BNR Governor, Mugur Isarescu, said.
 
Tuesday he commented for the first time on the implications of the international financial crisis on Romania, in a speech delivered in Ramnicu Valcea (southern Romania). He highlighted that, though some of the mother-banks reported losses following exposures on the American banks that have gone bankrupt, these losses have not affected the operations of their branches in Romania.
Isarescu is even talking about a performance of the Romanian economy that exceeded expectations, supported by a solid domestic demand.
 
In an item headlined "Hotel owners in Romania have started to feel the world crisis," the same paper remarks that the best hotels in Bucharest felt the effects of the international financial crisis, in the summer months, when the occupancy rate significantly dropped against last year. The summer months were a test for the hotel owners, who mostly focus on the business traffic.
 
Under the headline: "The Prime Minister: Inflation will not exceed an annual rate of 4%," Ziarul Financiar reports that, according to a statement made on Tuesday by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Romania will record a 10% pace of economic development in the second half of the year, and, as far as inflation is concerned, it will not exceed 4% in 2009, thus being placed below the average of some western countries.
 
"Romania will record an increase in the Gross Domestic Product of over 9%, while in H2 we will surely have a plus of 10%," the PM said. In H1, the GDP went up 8.8% against the same period of 2007, while in H2 of this year the economic growth stood at 9.3%. The Government's forecast indicates, for the whole year, an increase of the GDP between 8.5% and 9.1%.
The PM mentioned that these supplementary budget revenues were allotted to infrastructure investment and mentioned that the budget deficit would maintain at the set level, which is 2.3 of the GDP.
 
"PRO TV, the first television in Eastern Europe winning an Emmy award for news," Ziarul Financiar headlines, while Evenimentul zilei remarks, in the context, that "The Oscar of the news goes to PRO TV!"
The team of the "PRO TV News", composed by Paula Herlo, Cosmin Stan, cameramen Sergiu Matei, Marius Ivan and Eduard Tarna and producer Alex Livadariu entered the competition with three feature reports of the campaign "Do you know what your child has been doing?" alongside other 800 journalistic materials from all over the world.
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