Press review (Jan 13)

The dailies are publishing, on Tuesday, news, analyses and commentaries from the political and economic-financial area, with the main topics regarding the trends in the rate of exchange of the Romanian currency, the prospects of spa tourism and the crisis of the auto leasing.
The dailies frontpage that Interior minister Gabriel Oprea will be expelled from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), after he appointed Virgil Ardelean as head of the secret service of the Interior, DGIPI, without the okay of the PSD leadership.
Daily Ziarul Financiar wonders "Where does this decision come from, Oprea's indiscipline or the power of Ardelean ?" According to the daily, Ardelean is thought to be "a person close to president Traian Basescu, or at least ready to obey him."
"Ardelean has a long, controversial history. He can blackmail some, but he can also be blackmailed. PSD does not want to have this service out of its check, that it why it has acted swiftly, in unity. The party has been united in front of Traian Basescu, and Mircea Geoana has been really the head of the party in these circumstances," believes political analyst Stelian Tanase.
The possible removal of Virgil Ardelean from the head of DGIPI, where he had been just installed, makes the head of state no longer have the direct or indirect check of the last secrete service where he had not placed his people, writes Cotidianul, stressing that DGIPI is the only secret service which Basescu does not control now.
"The appointment of Virgil Ardelean, who had shown his usefulness, both during the rule of PSD and after Basescu came to Cotroceni presidential Palace, is only the last episode of a longer series, by which, the head of state secured for himself the direct or indirect control of the other Romanian secret services," Cotidianul also writes.
In the article "Have they stopped him ?", in Romania Libera, analyst Cristian Parvulescu says that the removal of the political support for minister Oprea announces a split in PSD.
For his part, journalist Adrian Ursu says, in Cotidianul, that this is an attack to Basescu.
After Romania's Central Bank (BNR) published, on Monday, a reference rate of 4.2684 lei for a euro, a new historic low of the Romanian currency, the dailies write on Tuesday, about the consequences for the population and makes an estimate of the trend of the Romanian leu currency on a short term.
In this context, of depreciation of the Romanian currency, writes daily Ziarul Financiar, "the Romanian banks think of an increase in the euro up to highs of 4.5-4.7 lei, this autumn."
In the opinion of Nicolaie Alexandru-Chidesciuc, the chief economist of ING, "BNR allows the leu to get weaker, targeting a correction of the foreign deficit."
"This pace of depreciation by 3-4 bani a day is high, and I cannot see it sustainable. The rate is already high, and I count on a correction in the first quarter. I expect a sinusoidal trend this year, but no doubt the leu will remain weak, with an annual rate slightly over 4 lei/euro, but without reaching 5 lei/euro," commented, for Ziarul Financiar, Lucian Anghel, chief economist of BCR.

"Following the bout of depreciation of the Romanian currency, the producers of food announce ups in prices of up to 25% for meat, bread and dairies. Loan installments will also be higher, and so will be the bills for mobile telephony, and the subscription for cable tv," writes daily Adevarul.
The companies in Romania which are importing natural gas through intermediaries agreed on by Russian supplier Gazprom lost in the first week of crisis around 35 million dollars, which represents the value of the imports which it should have received in this period, writes daily Ziarul Financiar.
Romanian tourism could draw European funds worth one billion euros, and the "zero" priority of the incoming tourism minister Elena Udrea will be spa tourism, writes the aforesaid daily.
"Romania boasts one third of the thermal springs of Europe and I believe we can come to be one of the top European destinations in spa tourism," said Udrea, showing that Bucharest lies on a thermal spring, which has to be turned to good account.
These statements were made following a meeting of the Consultative Council of Tourism, where the setting up of a committee was decided, in charge of the promotion of Romanian tourism, in 2009, writes daily Gandul.
More and more cars are given back to leasing companies, which succeed to re-sell them with difficulty. The last two months of last year brought an avalanche of files on the activity of companies specializing in recouping debts, writes Cotidianul.
The growth in 2008, compared with 2007, in the number of people with arrears to leasing companies was of around 88%, 50% of them were added to the portfolio of our agency in the last two months of 2008 alone, when there was an avalanche of customers of leasing companies, which started to give back the cars, unable to pay the installments," said for the daily above Iulian Urban, the founder of a Bucharest company of financial recovery.
The employees of the Romanian Commercial Bank will go on an indefinite all-out strike, as of Wednesday, because of pay discontent, write dailies Adevarul and Romania Libera.
The management of the bank says that in the current economic context such claims are not realistic, and Cotidianul gives details in an article on "The first all-out strike in the Romanian banking system."
Following a dramatic and continuous drop in the car market, in that in Romania, in particular, Dacia carmaker suspends its production Jan 26 – Feb 8, announced the factory. The company resumed production on Monday, after a month of halt, and the new announced stoppage is the fifth in the past months, remarks Romania Libera.
The sports media write that two Romanian ski jumpers, Szilvester Kozma and Remus Tudor, qualified for the Olympic Winter Games, due in Vancouver, in 2010 and for the World Cup, thanks to their good results in the Continental Cups. The two are the first two Romanians qualifying for these competitions.

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