Romania’s national dailies of Thursday give main coverage to the political offers for the June 7 European election on the eve of the electioneering campaign; the impact of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) cutting its monetary policy rate from 10 percent to 9.5 percent; funding for agricultural programmes backed by the European Union; the European Film Festival, to be held May 7 -31 in Bucharest, Brasov, Timisoara and Iasi.
The June 7 European elections are giving creeps to politicians amidst public indifference, political analyst Stelian Tanase remarks in an editorial called ‘A magic trick’ carried by Adevarul.
‘I believe the source of this situation is not the remoteness of Brussels, but what happened at the last election to date. The candidates and the parties endorsing them have already started their habitual image game. I can detect here imprudence in repeating the same known techniques that everyone can see through. I believe this time the ‘promise anything to anyone’ formula will no longer be successful,’ says the analyst.
Gardianul carries the findings of a recent study called ‘The decline of vote participation in Romania’ conducted by the Institute for Public Policies (IPP) indicating that only half of the voters of the 1990s are still interested in voting today.
The conclusion reached by the IPP is that vote turnout is getting 10 percent smaller with each new electoral cycle. IPP Deputy Director Adrian Moraru says that vote turnout in 1992 was 86 percent, going down to 76 percent in 1996, further down to 65 percent in 2000, 58 percent in 2004 and just 39 percent in 2008.
Adevarul reports that eight parties, one electoral alliance and three non-affiliated candidates are vying for 33 seats in the European Parliament. More than 100 central and local television channels and 132 radio stations from around the country are expected to cover the electioneering campaign.
The parties having lodged full lists of candidates for the June 7 European election are the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L); the National Liberal Party (PNL); the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR); the Greater Romania Party (PRM); the Christian Democratic National Peasant Party (PNTCD); the Ecological Party; the Civic Force and the Green Party.
The only alliance registered with the Central Electoral Bureau is that of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Conservative Party (PC). The three non-affiliated are Elena Basescu, the daughter of Romania’s President Traian Basescu; retired chief of the National Anti-Drug Agency (ANA) Pavel Abraham and singer Mihaela Mihai.
Romania libera notes that the National Bank of Romania (BNR) took the market by surprise on Wednesday, when it cut down it monetary policy rate from 10 percent to 9.5 percent in an attempt to calm down the movements in the RON interest rates and to stimulate the economy.
Most analysts were expecting the cut in the key rate, but they now believe that such a consistent cut indicates BNR is worried by the economic prospects, Ziua remarks. An immediate effect of the BNR’s decision will be less costly Government borrowing, and by the third quarter interest on deposits and loans should also go down.
Although a reduction in the monetary policy rate is conducive to a depreciation of the local currency, the leu (RON), the favourable global and local contexts has shielded the leu against the moves in the forex market.
Curentul notes that BNR cuts its policy rate to 9.5 percent, taking bankers by surprise.
Ziarul financiar reports that foreign investment in Romania increased by 80 percent in March, carrying data released by the National Companies Registry Office. Foreign companies are seen continuing to inject capital in their local subsidiaries, despite the ongoing financial crisis, and foreign investment as a contribution to the share capital stood at 230 million euros in March.
The Government has authorised the Finance Ministry to transfer to the Agriculture Ministry funds of RON 1.87 billion (some 450 million euros) from its privatisation revenues in order to cover the pre-funding costs of the EU-sponsored agricultural projects.
The money will be earmarked from the Treasury’s general current account on a temporary basis and interest free through the end of the year to stimulate the absorption of European funds earmarked for agriculture, reads a decision approved by the Government.
Jurnalul national notes that the Government transfers 450 million euros worth of privatisation revenues to the Agriculture Ministry.
Almost 4 million hectares out of Romania’s total of 7 million hectares of arable land will be affected this year by the drought expected to start late this May, Curentul reports, quoting to the point Chairman of the Agrostar Federation Niculae Stefan. The worst affected areas would be the southern part of the country, eastern Moldavia and Dobrogea.
Stefan also says that only 300,000 hectares can be irrigated out of almost 5 million hectares under seeds.
Curierul national quotes Stefan as saying the negative effects will also concern animals because of the ensuing lack of fodders.
The papers quote Deputy Prime Minister Dan Nica as saying the uniform pay law for Romania’s public employees has to be urgently applied and the most recommended model is the German one, which could also solve the issue of the teaching staff, which in this case will gain their desrved place in the scheme of social importance.
Jurnalul national informs that 40 films from 24 countries will be projected in the 13th edition of the European Film Festival, to be organised May 7 – 31 in four Romanian cities. Absent from this marathon are British productions, but Russian films will be showed for the first time.