Press review (Jan 26)

The Romanian dailies on Monday carry reports on the possible prosecution of former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, former Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu's plans to run in this year's presidential elections, possible state guarantee to auto industry loans, personnel restructuring announced by the transport minister, the suspension of production by Romanian carmaker Dacia, dropped plans on Nabucco gas pipeline, the issue of redundancies in times of crisis, and the measures taken by the companies to make up for the fall of the national currency.
"Nastase's scarification – the test of the PSD – PD-L alliance", says the Romania libera in a headline. "The Standing Bureau of the Deputies' Chamber decides today whether to send the Legal Commission the documents by which Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi requires the launch of a criminal case against (Social Democrat) Adrian Nastase.
The ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) and Democrat Liberal Party (PD-L) for the moment do not have a common standpoint on the Nastase issue." According to the daily, "the two ruling parties will have to firstly decide if they let Adrian Nastase into the hands of justice or if they keep on protecting him".
"The race for the Cotroceni Palace is orchestrated by Dinu Patriciu", says the Evenimentul zilei. "Calin Popescu-Tariceanu is seriously considering running for Cotroceni (the Romanian President's Office) and he discusses such possibility with his close allies, among whom oil tycoon Dinu Patriciu, sources of his National Liberal Party (PNL) say. In exchange for the candidacy, the Liberal head might get the senior party leaders' approval to stay their chief by 2010, although his term ends this year".
"The Government is ready to back the auto industry", the Romania libera announces. "Prime Minister Emil Boc called on setting up a Finance Ministry team to look into the possibility that the state guarantee the auto industry loans", with a decision to be made after the Government consults with the European Commission, the daily reports.
"Berceanu announces personnel restructuring at the Romanian Railways CFR", the Romania libera says in a headline. It reports that "Transport Minister Radu Berceanu plans to cut the personnel working at the firms belonging to the Romanian Railways National Company (CNCFR), as he deems them unwieldy. All the CNCFR companies will begin a sweeping personnel restructuring programme, as the roster has been overloaded in the last years, the minister said in the southern Craiova city yesterday".
"Dacia auto maker closes its plant for the fifth time in 4 months", the Business Standard reports. "Automobile Dacia suspends production again for two weeks, over Jan. 26 – Feb. 8, in the wake of ‘the dramatic and constant fall in the auto markets, the Romanian one in particular", with the company having halted production for a combined two months in the last four months", the daily reports.
The Cotidianul carries an interview with Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu, who says "the direct shipments of Russian natural gas are a priority not only for Romania, but for Europe too. Romania's priorities at this moment are to find alternatives or a more serious energy inter-connectivity and such priorities are economic, no one should interpret them as a kind of political response to what happened". The issue, obviously, should be tackled with the Russian partners, Diaconescu stressed.
"Europe tries to revive the Nabucco pipeline project, while Russia rushes the North Stream", the Business Standard writes. "The governmental leaders of the states involved in building Nabucco pipeline, among which Romania, European Commission officials and representatives for the potential gas suppliers will meet in Budapest tomorrow to discuss planning and funding the construction of the gas pipeline that is to ship Caspian and Central Asian gas to Austria, bypassing Russia. The meeting comes after a row between Moscow and Kiev that made Russia cut off gas shipments to Europe via Ukraine for two weeks", the daily writes.
"Redundancies, a big lesson to communicators", the Saptamana Financiara says. "Since the start of the financial crisis, the announcements of collective redundancies have kept on, stirring panic and anxiety not only among the involved companies, but outside too. The manner in which the communication of this issue is tackled has become extremely difficult, since several outside factors are involved in that process and such factors are often hard to control", the financial weekly writes.
"Some companies raise salaries in order to make up for the leu's fall", the Business Standard writes. "Part of the companies in the local market have raised salaries by 4 to 10% in order to offset the leu-to-the-euro difference. This move targets the fixed pay and is meant to motivate and retain staff, the human resources experts explain".
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