Press review (May 19)

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Romania’s national dailies of Wednesday give main coverage to President Traian Basescu voicing regrets over having brought the Social Democratic Party (PSD) to power to govern alongside the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L); Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu voicing distrust in the legal codes he has promoted himself; PDL bracing up for a cut in the number of intelligence services.
Evenimentul zilei remarks that it took President Traian Basescu six months to distance himself from bringing the PSD to power to govern alongside the PD-L, almost the same time it took him in 2005 to regret having appointed Calin Popescu-Tariceanu prime minister.
On Monday, at the Romanian Embassy in Paris, Basescu said he is disappointed with his own decision to bring PSD besides PD-L. ‘I believe the political solution I found back in December has disappointed many of you.
I want you to know that the solution has also disappointed me,’ Basescu told a meeting of nearly 500 Romanians of the local Romanian community, known as staunch supporters of the right.
Gardianul remarks that Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu stated the leaders of the PD-L- PSD ruling coalition did not consult with him when they decided that the three legal codes clear Parliament by assuming responsibility for them before Parliament. Predoiu is quoted as saying the draft codes do not reflect today’s Romania, although it was he to support and promote them in the Government.
PD- L and PSD leaders contradict him, arguing that the discussion on the assumption of responsibility took place earlier at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace in his presence. Some Liberals are sure that by adding these ‘nuances’ Predoiu is preparing to leave the stages.
Gardianul also notes that the head of Parliament’s committee controlling the activity of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Cezar Preda on Tuesday said that the members on the elect committee in charge with drawing up security legislation are preparing to overhaul the normative acts thought by the previous National Liberal Party government.
Moreover, he said that the reform of the intelligence services will be considered, arguing that their number should be curtailed and that the line ministries should have only internal protection services for their staff.
Gandul remarks that Prime Minister Emil Boc has been thinking of a way to correct foreign banks taking money out of Romania: levying a surcharge on profits, patterned after the so called Robin Hood tax his Italian counterpart has levied on energy companies.
The paper also quotes International Monetary Fund (IMF) official for Romania and Bulgaria Tony Lybek as saying the good IMF conditions are no excuse for delaying reform, that Romania needed the arrangement with the IMF because it is cheaper than a bank loan, but that Romania should not use the more humane conditions of the arrangement as an excuse to delay economic reforms.
dianul notes that the ongoing economic crisis continues to seriously affect the Romanian automotive market. Sales of new automobiles in Romania declined 35.7 percent in April, to 14,884 units, and 50.8 percent in the first four months of 2009, to 44,558 units.
The economic crisis seems to be a reason for the postponement of the mandatory insurance of housing. Evenimentul zilei quotes officials of the Insurance Supervision Board (CSA) as saying the mandatory insurance could be postponed for some time because of the companies that do not want to contribute cash to the project.
Former Education Minister Cristian Admonitei of the now opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) is quoted as saying he submitted to Parliament on Tuesday a package of education legislation. Gardianul notes that nearly two weeks ago, the Government received another draft education legislation package drawn up by the Presidential Board on Education, agreed upon by President Traian Basescu himself.
Jurnalul national reports that an expert delegation of the European Commission has come on a mission to Bucharest to monitor the activity of the institutions in charge with combating corruption in Romania. In the time since its inception on September 1, 2002 and late 2008, the National Anti- Corruption Directorate (DNA) sent to court 3,201 people, 670 of whom were sentenced under final and binding court sentences, and notified 16,886 corruption cases.
Adevarul remarks that Romania’s paupers will be by 370,000 more in 2009, estimating that the number of the poor in Romania will reach 1.59 million, according to a study on the social impact of the global economic crisis and the social security measures, drawn up by UNICEF and the World Bank and released on Tuesday at the Labour Ministry.
Adevarul also notes that the study indicates that 351,000 of the affected people will be children between 0 and 14 years. The study considers people living onMEPs campaigning for a new mandate at most $3 a day as falling into the absolute poverty category.
The paper also notes that the public of the Cannes International Film Festival on Tuesday applauded the screening of a short-film series called ‘Amintiri din Epoca de Aur’ (Recollections from the Golden Era), by Romanian film director Cristian Mungiu. The paper quotes festival president Gilles Jacob as saying if people want to meet the new wave of the cinema making they have to go to Bucharest.
The paper quotes Financial Times’ Nigel Andrews as saying ‘the best rebuke to ‘year of the genre’ prognosticators – and possibly the best film, though shown out of competition – is Romania’s ‘Police, Adjective’.
From the country that brought us the 2007 Golden Palm winner, ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days’, comes another masterwork. Writer-director Corneliu Porumboiu plays inspired games with his police-procedural format, as long early scenes of real-time realism.’
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