Press Review (Jan 6)

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The optimism of analysts on the outlooks of the Romanian economy in 2009, depreciation of the leu currency to 4 lei/one euro, the situation of Romanians who requested the evacuation from Gaza Strip, the possible wave of bankruptcies for small brokers from the real estate sector, the record temperature of minus 31 Celsius degrees, the celebration by Romanian Christians of the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, are the main issues approached on Tuesday by the Romanian dailies.
 
Analysts are optimistic about the outlooks of the Romanian economy in 2009, daily Business Standard reports and shows that analysts improved in December the perception on the outlooks of the Romanian economy in the next six months, compared to the estimates made in November, according to a survey conducted by the German Institute ZEW and Erste Group Bank.
 
Over 47% of the interviewed analysts deem that Romania's economic situation is bad, however the share of experts who asses Romania's economy as being good grew in December to 23.5%, whereas 29.4% of analysts deem that the situation is normal.
As regards the expectations on the development of the economy, the index for Romania reported the biggest growth of Central and Eastern Europe.
 
Analysts are more optimistic as regards Romania's outlooks, compared to the expectations on the economies of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but more pessimistic about the anticipations for Austria, Croatia and Hungary. The share of experts who forecast a normal development t for Romania's economy grew by 10.6% to 39.2%, considering the number of pessimists went down to 56.9% and the number of optimists to 3.9%.
 
The registrations of Dacia cars in France grew by 33.5% last year, compared to 2007, on a market which dropped by 0.6% according to figures of the French Car Makers Committee (CCFA), daily Gandul reports. Almost all Dacia cars which were put into traffic in Frame last year were Logan Sedan and Sandero.
 
The leu currency exceeded the threshold of 4 units/one euro, dailies Business Standard and Adevarul report. The national currency leu started the year directly above the level of 4 lei for one euro, whilst analysts deem the tendency of depreciation will maintain, the next threshold expected being of 4.2 lei for on euro.
 
The depreciation of Monday of the leu occurred just before the National Bank of Romania (BNR) take a decision on the interest of monetary policy, a prospective diminution being expected to step up the diminution of the national currency. Most analysts expect, however, that the central bank maintain the interest to the level of 10.25% and say the diminution of the leu currency was mainly prompted by "strictly speculative" operations. The National Bank of Romania will have on Tuesday the first meeting on issues of monetary policy this year.
 
Dailies Gandul and Adevarul report that one bus carrying about 200 refugees, among who four Romanians returned on Monday from the border of Gaza Strip with Egypt, because of the artillery barrage unleashed by Israeli forces and Hamas militants which blocked the road to Erez crossing. The bus came back after it had only 500 metres left to reach the border.
 
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), the Red Cross which organized the transport, did not assume responsibility for the continuation of the trip to Erez. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is keeping in touch with all the Romanians who requested the evacuation, but a new attempt of crossing the border falls also to the Red Cross.
 
"Shock in the real estate sector: 2009 brings a wave of bankruptcies for small brokers", headlines daily Business Standard, stressing that up to 80% of the 10,000 real estate agencies active before the crisis might be swept off the market this year, because they do not have the financial resources to withstand, considering the real estate transactions are almost inexistent. Setting the fashion is real estate broker Coldwell Banker, which is to release a system of franchises that will represent, on one hand, the expansion to all the areas of the country but on the other hand, it will be the lifeline for the small agencies that will post a big brand in order to overcome the crisis.
 
Like all Christians, the Romanian Orthodox, Catholic and Greek Catholic believers celebrate Epiphany also called Theophany or Hierophany, on Jan 6.
The Epiphany marks the last day of the winter holidays and is devoted to the environment purification, mainly to the blessing of the water.
The holiday has different meanings for the Orthodox and the Catholics.
 
On Jan 6, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. While the Catholics celebrate the Epiphany, the visits of the Magi to the Infant Jesus, but both churches celebrate the recognition of Jesus as the Messiah.
 
The Orthodox holiday reminds about Jesus Baptism in the Jordan River, when He was 30, just before entering the public life. According to the tradition, the Orthodox Church officiates the liturgy of the Great Blessing of Water, which symbolically means the cosmic regeneration, when Earth receives new germs of creations.
 
"Record low temperature" headlines daily Jurnalul National. At Intorsura Buzaului in Covasna county (center Romania) a record high temperature for this winter was reported on Monday – 31 Celsius degrees.
The low temperature will maintain this week, however stating the mid-January the temperatures will go up to +10 degrees Celsius in the warmest days, according to the National Meteorology Administration (ANM). Even warmer days will come in February of +15 Celsius degrees in southern Romania.
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