Press review (Sept 17)

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The comments on the speech President Traian Basescu delivered before Romania’s Parliament, in which he surveyed his five-year term in office, the announcement of the Bucharest Mayor to make public, next week, his intention to run for President in November, the decrease in the Romanians’ interest in buying motorcars due to the limitations of expenses imposed by the crisis are the main subjects dealt with by the central dailies on Thursday, September 17.

The Head of State availed himself of the moment when the Government assumed responsibility and surveyed his five-year term in office, but especially presented his campaign subjects.

Although he has not yet voiced intention of running once again for the highest position in the state, Basescu said on Tuesday before the two chambers of Parliament that ‘the laws for which the Government assumed responsibility can only be the beginning of some deep-going structural reforms we should have begun as far back as 2007,’ reads daily Ziua.

Thus he mentioned the continuation of these steps, which he named ‘the medium-term priorities’ and which he promised to support ‘with arguments both in public and in the relation with the parties but also in the relation with the Government.’

‘The monologue’ of the Head of State marked the official start of Traian Basescu’s campaign for the presidential elections in November, Evenimentul zilei daily quoted Liberal candidate for presidency Crin Antonescu as saying. He compared the Head of State with Nicolae Ceausescu and said that the entire survey presented before Parliament was based on lies, the Romanians living today worse than in 2004.

Other headlines: ‘Basescu When Runners-up and Predecessors Are Examined’ (Cotidianul newspaper), ‘Basescu Thinks Survey of His Term in Office is National Question’ (Gardianul daily).

Traian Basescu’s speech before Parliament and Mircea Geoana’s and Crin Antonescu’s retorts are no political speeches, they are genuine TV advertisements. The Head of State adopted the formula ‘I have achieved it.’

I have achieved the single vote, I have brought about the accession to the EU, I have created the flat tax, I have told the truth about the crimes of communism, I have caused the liberation of some journalists in Iraq, I have accomplished it, namely the President accomplished all this, reads the leading article in daily Gandul.

All along last week violent pressure was put on the members of Social Democratic Party (PSD) on the Udrea commission not to make public the report on the irregularities discovered in the way the public money was spent by the Ministry of Tourism, informs Jurnalul National daily under the headline ‘Udrea Case: PSD is Blackmailed It Might Go Without Three Ministers.’

Without any hesitation PSD deputies were informed on all channels by their coalition colleagues belonging to the Democratic Liberal Party that, if they did not give up their anti-Udrea measures, Traian Basescu’s answer would be the immediate removal from office, at Emil Boc’s suggestion, of three ministers of the party headed by Mircea Geoana.

Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu told daily Gandul on Wednesday that he would inform of his running fro Romania’s presidency late next week. The current Mayor will run independently and his campaign may very well be coordinated by Octav Cozmanca, former PSD territorial head.

After our authorities did not say anything clearly about the economic turbulences the world over, Romania found it could not cope with the current situation and resorted to foreign loans. As early as the beginning of the crisis Romania’s high officials did not want to accept the fact that the turbulences occurring in the world would gradually hit their country too.

Thus almost all of them said in September and October 2008 that this crisis would not hit Romania, at least not directly. The entire Zen thought at that time had only one aim: to calm the population down in order to win the parliamentary elections, reports Evenimentul zilei daily.

After we came back to earth due to part of the effects of the crisis, analysis said that, in 2009, the new government would take all the unpopular measures to get out of the crisis. This has not happened either as 2009 is an electoral year, also reads the above-mentioned newspaper.

Businessman Dinu Patriciu bought, in partnership with former Georgian Premier c, the People’s Bank of Georgia from the Eurooil company, a subsidiary of RAKInvestment of the United Arab Emirates, the newspapers on Thursday quote sources of the Russian press as saying.

The purchase was made through the agency of a special investment vehicle set up by the two men. Eurooil bought the People’s Bank of Georgia at the beginning of this year, holding 89 percent of the shares.

The financial crisis made the Romanians be more careful than ever about their money, which they only invest in absolutely necessary goods. The car turned thus into a thing they are willing to give up, the percentage of those planning to buy such a thing in the next six months being by about 30 percent lower than in the same span of time of last year.

These data are included in the study MotoBus made by GfK Romania on the local relevant market. Statistically speaking, only 6 percent of the Romanians intend to buy a car in the next half of the year, most of them being young people up to 30 years of age, members of a well-to-do family, who attended higher education institutes.

Even so, more than half of them think of a second-hand model saying that the price (36 percent), the fuel consumption (24 percent) and the make (18 percent) are the most important criteria in choosing the car, reads daily Gandul.

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