Press review (Jan 14)

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The dailies write on Wednesday about the recent developments in the political scene, as well as news, analyses and commentaries from the economic-financial area, with the main topics regarding the anti-crisis programme proposed to the government by the social partners, the fall in the inflation rate in 2008, and the prognosis of the market of constructions in 2009.
 
"A resignation for the peace of the coalition" (Adevarul), "Oprea resigned at the right time" (Cotidianul), "The resignation of Oprea makes the Social Democratic Party (PSD) remain at rule" (Ziua) are some of the headlines of the articles presenting the consequences of the decision of minister of the interior Gabriel Oprea, threatened with withdrawal of the political support after he appointed Virgil Ardelean at the head of the secret service of the Interior, DGIPI, without having the approval of the leadership of the PSD.
 
"PSD vice-president Liviu Dragnea has the biggest chances to be designated minister of the Interior and Administration, instead of Gabriel Oprea, who has resigned," writes Cotidianul.
President Traian Basescu takes from the drawer a report of the presidential commission of analysis of the Political and Constitutional Regime, on which basis a debate should be officially launched, on the modification of the fundamental law," writes Evenimentul Zilei.
 
According to daily Financiarul, the presidential commission is led by professor Ioan Stanomir and it was set up for drawing up a document "identifying the political and constitutional limits of the ruling regime, and suggesting the frame of the debate on the revision of the Constitution and the institutional reorganization of the Romanian state."
Cotidianul writes that the "presidential draft for the modification of the Constitution, which could lead to the increased power of the head of state, will be presented, on Wednesday, at Cotroceni presidential Palace."
 
The leaders of the Democratic Union of Hungarians of Romania (UDMR) said they are worried that "the specialists" of the party could be replaced, on "political criteria" from the leadership of some institutions, writes daily Gandul. "We have received signals of worry as regards the Hungarian specialists present in the leadership of various institutions, and, possibly, these specialists will be victims of political criteria. Nothing of this kind has happened so far, but there are concerns," said UDMR head Marko Bela.
 
"The inflation rate fell last year, up to 6.3%," frontpages Financiarul, stressing in this way the fall compared with 2007, when 6.57% had been reached.
The evolution, due to a drop of 3.86% in the price of fuel, was below the expectations of analysts, the Central Bank of Romania (BNR) failed to have an inflation rate of 3.8%, adds the daily.
 
In 2008, the inflation peak stood at 9.04% in July, the highest level in the past three years, and in a classification of price rises in 2008, made by daily Ziarul Financiar, first comes natural gas, whose price was raised by 22.01%, more than the double compared with the increase in the price of thermal energy, of 10.1%, and almost five times more than the advance in the price of electricity, of 4.51%.
 
Second in price rises last year is the food sector, with the average price of cheese registering in 2008 a 20% surge, followed by the price of cow milk, with a 19.29% rise, and that of eatable oil, 18.10%.
The main anti-crisis measures in the focus of the government are presented in Adevarul and Romania Libera, which say that all these are proposals coming from the employers' associations, trade unions and bankers.
 
According to daily Adevarul, proposed was the institution of a moratorium of two years on the foreclosure of the real estate guarantees of the population, for bank loans for the purchase or building of dwellings.
Another measure for countering the immediate effects of the crisis regards the fall of the rate of the obligatory minimum reserve set up by the commercial banks, as well as the drop by 2% of the interest rate for the facilitation of loans, granted for the continuation of investments.
 
Daily Romania Libera writes that "analysts regard skeptically the wave of anti-crisis proposals, because they resume older themes, are given not many arguments enough and are not based on an economic calculation."
 
"Many proposals are not feasible. It is clear that all the ideas from drawers have come to light. Things are more serious, and one cannot fight with the money in the budget, or with protectionist measures, in order to solve the problems which have emerged, for half of the export does no longer have orders," writes analyst Aurelian Dochia.
 
For his part, daily Cotidianul stresses that the minister of Finance does not assume the document. "One has to rely on nothing which is written there. There are older proposals, even previous to the ruling programme, which have been put on the table by mistake, they have been subsequently made public by the trade unions. I will make public the anti-crisis plan after Jan 22, after talks with all the partners – banks, trade unions, businesspeople, the Central Bank," said Finance minister Gheorghe Pogea.
 
The constructions market will slow down its growth pace of this year, to 9-10%, up to 12.89 billion euros, from a rise of 27.4 in 2008, if there is funding for the projects in the field, writes daily Romania Libera, quoting head of the Romanian Association of Entrepreneurs in the Building Sector (ARACO) Laurentiu Plosceanu.
Last year, the relevant market slowed down its growth pace, from 34%, in 2007, and the estimates for 2009 are uncertain, according to Plosceanu.
 
"It is hard to make a prognosis. I like to think we will have some growth, but everything depends on the existence of work financing. Our estimate is of 9-10%, but it is conditioned on the existence of funding," said the ARACO head.
The media write that, according to a report of the European statistics office Eurostat, Romania reported, in 2007, the highest surge in the EU, in the number of air passengers, of 41%, compared with 2006.
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