Press review (Sept 28)

The Romanian newspapers on Monday give main coverage to the debates on the adequacy of calling a referendum on reducing the Parliament to a single chamber; plans to cut the public sector jobs; an announcement by Renault Romania that it will launch its first electric engine motor car in the local market in 2012; and the Romanian women’s national handball squad having won the World Cup in Aarhus, Denmark.

Prime Minister Emil Boc was mandated by the Steering College of his Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) late on Sunday to remove the Social Democrat (PSD) ministers from the Government if PSD leader Mircea Geoana refuses to dance to the PD-L tune, the Jurnalul National says.

Political sources quoted by the Adevarul say that a hot topic at the Democrat Liberals’ meeting was a statement made by Social Democrat Interior Minister Dan Nica regarding suspicions of a possible electoral fraud at the presidential polls in this November by means of repeated voting. According to those sources, the Democrat Liberals decided to issue a statement rejecting Nica’s allegations, after they make an internal analysis.

Romania’s salary budget will be some 15 percent higher in 2014 than it is at present. However, the state sector workers will see their salaries go up more than 45 percent. This means around a third of the public sector staff will have to be laid off in order to pay for the future rise in the system’s wages, the Gandul says in a front-page item.

The Romanian presidential hopefuls have already gone electioneering by visiting monasteries, museums or traditional festivals, but they avoid telling the voters that a significant part of the public sector workers, i.e. of the electorate, will have to be sacked, the daily adds.

The Democrat Liberals have booked the Bucharest Palace Hall on Oct. 10 and Oct. 17, party sources told the Gardianul. The move is due to the fact the President Traian Basescu has not yet communicated the Democrat Liberals the precise date when he is going to announce he will run for re-election. The official reason for booking the hall is the PD-L National Conference, which 6,000 guests from Romania and from abroad are expected to attend.

President Traian Basescu said on Sunday he would make public the transcript of a meeting held at the presidential Cotroceni Palace in 2005, when all the attending political party leaders had agreed with the revision of the constitution.

‘The political class must modernize too. This is the reason why I was in favour of the single-voting system, that is why the Parliament reform is necessary, so that we have a single-house Parliament with 230-240 parliamentarians’, the Bucharest-based papers quote Basescu as saying.

The nation’s social and economic life can no longer back an unreformed Parliament, in spite of the inter-war tradition, the Cotidianul quotes the president as saying.

Now President Basescu proposes the Romanians to back a one-chamber legislature by referendum. However, from 2013 Romania will be forced to have two chambers of its legislature by its European Union membership, the Cotidianul explains.

The president’s plans to propose a one-chamber Parliament run counter the changes to take place in Romania in the next three or four years. It deals with Romania’s administrative reorganisation, when the country will be divided into administrative-territorial regions. Such an administrative system calls for the existence of the two chambers of Parliament, the Cotidianul stresses.

With less than two months to go till the presidential elections, the Romanians clearly say Romania has big problems. According to a survey conducted by Avangarde, 75 percent of the Romanians say the state is going to the wrong direction, while 12 percent believe the country is on the right track and 13 percent cannot answer, the Gardianul reports.

Furthermore, 67 percent of the polled believe criminality has risen, 21 percent say it has stayed unchanged, 4 percent say it has dropped and 8 percent cannot give an answer. When asked ‘how much satisfied are you generally with the way you live’, 49 percent of the Romanians answered ‘pretty satisfied’, 37 percent ‘not too satisfied’, 6 percent ‘highly satisfied’ and 4 percent ‘not satisfied at all’, the poll shows.

The Romanian branch of French automaker Renault will launch the first electric engine model in the Romanian market in 2012, provided it manages to implement the infrastructure required by such type of motor cars. ‘We are currently in talks with the local community representatives from big Romanian cities on the implementation of the infrastructure required by electricity-powered cars’, the Ziarul financiar quotes Fabrice Cambolive, Renaul commercial manager in Romania, as saying.

The social security state budget, which pays the pensions, has recorded a deficit of 3.725 billion lei (some 880 million euros) in the eight months, according to the budged implementation made public by the finances ministry. At this year’s second budget revision, the Government transferred an additional 5.54 billion lei from the state budget to cover the pension budget gap, the national print media reports.

Romania will come out of the economic crisis a year after western Europe switches to growth, but even under the current circumstances the sales of IT security solutions will not drop, the Ziarul financiar quotes officials of local security solutions producer BitDefender as saying.

The George Enescu Classical Music Festival hosted by Bucharest over Aug. 30 – Sept. 26 has attracted 70,000 audience, grossing 1.16 million lei (280,000 euros), which accounts for 3.5 percent of the event expenditure, say the organisers quoted by the Romania libera.

All five concert halls that hosted the event were 98 percent to 100 percent full at nearly all concerts, as the festival offered performances by an impressive number of renowned artists and ensembles.

Romania women’s handball squad won the World Cup in Aarhus, Denmark, winning 28-27 (19-13) over Olympic and European champions Norway. Romania scored four wins in Aarhus, over Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway, and it lost only one game to world champions Russia, the Bucharest print media reports.

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