Press review (Aug 24)

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Romania’s national dailies of Monday give main coverage to President Traian Basescu being more often and more variedly attacked; the two parties making up the ruling coalition stymieing each other; the obscene commission fees charged by some banks operating in Romania; the spectre of unemployment growing larger for more and more Romanians.

Romania libera remarks that President Traian Basescu is attacked from all sides; his camp is betraying him out of greed or ignorance, while his adversaries are setting up traps in a well-planned strategy.
The President was already with his back against the wall before his brother switched from doing business with ice cream to business with guns.

His family is tearing him down slowly but surely, the paper says, adding that his men in the Government could not resist the temptation of the pie and fell into the trap of corruption; the leaders of his party want to get rid of him so that the may return to business as usual. Basescu’s enemies, scattered throughout all the spheres of influence and backed up by strong political vested interests, have allied and turned nasty.

Their target, according to the paper’s editorialist Sabina Fati, is to get Basescu out of the presidential race.
Ziua notes that the Defence Intelligence Service (DGIA) knew about Basescu’s brother’s involvement in the Desintco SRL company and notified it to the President in due time.

Gardianul remarks that former head of the Production Department of the Economy Ministry Aurel Cazacu tendered his resignation after the scandal surrounding Mircea Basescu broke out as they entailed trade brokerage with industrial machinery and equipment, vessels and aircraft as well as business and management consulting, incompatible with his holding a strategic office in the country’s defence industry.

Evenimentul zilei remarks that the dubious business of his brother did not cost President Basecsu much in terms of electoral capital as they were covered every time by the breaking out of some other scandal.

Gandul remarks that the Social Democratic Party (PSD), in the ruling coalition with the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L), believe they laid their hands on the plan to win them the presidency: Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu would become the President and Basescu the prime minister.

The paper also notes that PSD is chased out of the Government after PDL has won over 18 MPs.

Gardianul quotes PD-L Deputy Chairman Cezar Preda as saying he wants PSD out of the ruling coalition, and PD-L MP Orest Onofrei as saying the party will table a motion of censure against Environment Minister Nicolae Nemirschi of PSD.

Coincidently, a strategy note is being circulated by the media, supposedly issued by the PSD campaign staff, that supplements Preda and Onofrei’s statements, namely the note mentions a sudden change in the configuration of the ruling coalition, that is PSD being chasing out.

PSD leaders deny knowledge of the note, which they term gossip coming from PD-L.

Gandul carries a statement by chief of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) Crin Antonescu that the President should have taken a clear and unequivocal stance on the fact that Tourism Minister Udrea refuses to obey the law, on Udrea’s attitude toward the parliamentary inquiry committee set up to investigate the minister’s activity and the activity of her ministry.

The President, says Antonescu, should have asked the prime minister to dismiss Udrea pure and simple for daring to act as she did in a democratic state and on the other hand he should have asked Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Roberta Anastase to step down for stymieing or attempting to stymie a parliamentary inquiry by a body that Anastase represents and in a way leads.

Romania libera remarks that smack in the midst of a severe crisis, the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI) has bought, through public procurement, tens of thousands of bottles of whisky, cognac, gin, tzuica, wine and beer, all for 140,000 euros in the first four months after the ministry’s 2009 budget was approved.

Most of the bottles were delivered to the storage house on Stefan cel Mare Road, the Dinamo Stadium of Bucharest, the Excelsior Hotel of Brasov, the Turist Hotel of Predeal and, later into the summer, to the Meridian Hotel of Mamaia, all the playing grounds of the country’s police officers, who, the paper says, are curing recession with fine drinks.

Jurnalul national quotes Minister of Labour, Family Affairs and Social Security Marian Sarbu as saying eliminating the possibility of workers drawing a wage and a pension at the same time is one of the main measures to cut spending in the public sector and will affect nearly 20,000 employees.

Curentul says the number of the unemployed in Romania is expected to reach 800,000 toward the close of the year.

Ziarul financiar quotes analysts as saying only 15 percent of the new university graduates will be hired this year.

Gandul also notes that the list of commission fees charged by a bank generally on all products stretches out to 13 pages, according to an analysis conducted by the paper on official data provided by the banks.

A study conducted by the Capgemini consulting company indicates that nearly 40 percent of the commission fees charged annually by bankers in Romania are for the use of cash, which makes it one of the highest such percentage at a global level.

Ziua notes that the law on personal bankruptcy is shaping up. From the incipient stage, which sent cold shivers down the bankers’ spine, it has developed into a draft law drawn up by Senator Iulian Urban and lawyer Gheorghe Piperea.

Urban is quoted as saying he will submit the drat to the Senate and if there are problems, the draft could be signed into law by President Basescu in February or next summer. Another solution would be promulgating it under an emergency ordinance.

Cotidianul reports that officials of the College of Romanian Doctors (CMR) is scolding the Government for having not held debates on the draft law on uniform pay in the public sector and that all that was circulated was disparate data.

A measure of such magnitude, they say, should be accompanied by much debate, even if the Government assumes responsibility for it.

All that has been circulated so far is disparate information, although the Government discussed the draft law at its latest meeting.
It has been repeatedly said that income will not be diminished, but all the times it was about wage.

In the case of doctors, there are many pay bonuses which would bring about a fall in their aggregate income if they were cut down to 30 percent.
The paper remarks that thousands of doctors have applied for permits to work abroad since 2007.

The paper also reports that Romanian film producer Daniel Mitulescu and film director Andrei Dascalescu won prizes in this year’s edition of the Sarajevo International Film Festival.

Mitulescu won the 80,000-euro CineLink trophy, while Dascalescu won a special prize in the documentary section.

Mitulescu, a Strada Film producer, won the Work in Progress CineLink prize, which consists of pot-production services worth 80,000 euros, for ‘Eu can vreau sa fluier, fluier’ (I Whistle Any Time I Feel like It), director Florin Serban.
Dascalescu won the special prize in the documentary section for his ‘Constantin si Elena’ (Constantine and Helena) featuring his grandparents.
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