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Press review (Sept 10)

Romania’s national dailies of Thursday give main coverage to the last amendments, on the finish line, to the Education Law; new subsidies for the agriculture; simplifying the tests in the high-school leaving examination; the launch of the first Romanian space rocket.
Cotidianul remarks that schools will be divided along friendly lines, as the local leaders want more power.

The paper says that although the leaders of the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L), in the ruling coalition have repeatedly and strongly stated that the solutions proposed by former Education Minister Miclea, who headed a presidential board in charge with education reform, have to be introduced in the new Education Law, the MPs have realised that some decisions are unsatisfactory.

The paper quotes PD-L Senator Sulfina Barbu as arguing that in the current form of the law, school inspectors have control over everything.
Gardianul quotes Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) Mugur Isarescu as saying BNR has underestimated the magnitude of the crisis, but also that the economy will recover.

Isarescu also said that BNR warned about various economic risks and the adjustments to follow, which proves it anticipated the reflux, but even BNR underestimated the magnitude of the reflux.

Ziarul financiar quotes Isarescu as saying he does not think people would have woken up without a strong shock, and the crisis was both a trigger and a booster.

Adevarul remarks that 30 Romanian companies are ranked among the top 500 in the latest Delloite rankings of Central Europe, four more than in the previous edition of the rankings.

In 2009, five new local companies have made it to the league of the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Among the Romanian companies in the rankings are the Petrom and Romopetrol oil corporations, Automobile Dacia carmaker and the steel works ArcelorMittal.

Gandul notes that Romania will go down ten places in the 2010 classification of the World Bank in terms of how easy it is to do business, particularly because of excessive red tape.

The paper remarks that in order to pay 113 rates and taxes incumbent on them each year, the companies doing business in Romania have to spend no less than 202 hours, that is they have to wait in line eight and a half days and receive receipts continually.
As regards the total number of taxes paid by Romanian companies, it is larger by 34 in Ukraine only.

Ziua remarks that the introduction of a minimum mandatory business tax, coupled with economic decline led to the business suspension of more than 100,000 companies in the first eight months of 2009, almost 12 times more than in the similar period of the year before.

The paper notes that the economic crisis has not affected only private companies, as more than 3,000 Government-run companies in the portfolio of the State Assets Realisation Authority (AVAS) are facing financial troubles.

Gardianul mentions that a recent reportage by Deutsche Welle about the work conditions at the Nokia mobile phone factory at Jucu in the central Romanian county of Cluj indicates that the Romanian workers there work more hours than their German workmates and are as good as them.

The feature was made in reaction to offensive statements against Romanians voiced by German state official Juergen Ruettgers.
In an electoral speech, Ruettgers claimed that Romanian workers come and go from work as they please and they do not know what they do. His statement was in reaction to the relocation of the Nokia factory from Bochum, Germany, to Jucu, Romania.

Ziua reports that the Agriculture Ministry has prepared a new series of subsidies to be paid from the Budget starting in 2010. According to the accession negotiations with the European Union, Romania was allowed to take aids measure that are not in conformity with the European rules for state-grated aids in 2007-2009.

As from 2010, the Government will grant aids mainly to compensate for damage in case of natural calamities; to insure crops and livestock; to compensate for the culling of illness-stricken animals; to guarantee investment loans;
to reduce the excise duties on the diesel fuel used in agriculture, and also to reduce the excise duties on electricity used in agriculture.

Gandul reports that under an emergency ordinance passed on Wednesday by the Government, the national high-school leaving examination was simplified, so now the students will have to win three competence certificates in their senior year and sit three tests in three different subject matters at the end of the senior year.

Evenimentul zilei reports that a vaccination campaign against the swine flu will start in Romania in early December, less than three months from now on. The decision to vaccinate the population against the H1N1 virus was taken on Wednesday by the Health Ministry.
The Bucharest-based Cantacuzino Institute will be able to produce nearly 5 million doses of vaccine for the programme.

Gandul quotes the Romanian Association for Cosmonautics and Aeronautics (ARCA) as saying it will launch on October 1 the first Romanian space rocket. The Helen rocket weighs in at 1,800 kg, which is 100 times less than the weight of a usual NASA rocket.

The papers say ARCA is trying to win a $30-million prize pledged by Google to those who send the first private rocket to the Moon.
Romania’s national soccer team drew Austria 1-1 (0-0) on Wednesday evening in Bucharest in a World Cup 2010 qualifier.

The papers remark that this was the first home match for Razvan Lucescu in his capacity as the new selector of the team. Romania’s next match in the same series is scheduled for October 10, an away match against Serbia.


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