Press review (Dec 10)

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The appeal to reconciliation made by President Traian Basescu on Wednesday, the stance of the National Liberal Party (PNL) on a possible participation in government, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) contesting the presidential election, the consequences of the political and economic crises, the situation of the budget for 2010, the situation of the banking system and of people’s loans, the increase in unemployment are the main subjects dealt with by the central newspapers that appeared on Thursday.

President Traian Basescu urged the political class to reconciliation, reads newspaper Cotidianul. In a press statement made on Wednesday, December 9, at the Cotroceni Palace, President Traian Basescu urged the political class to reconciliation. ‘From my point of view I think that the time of competition has come to an end and now it is time for us to go back to priorities, if we ever forgot them by any chance, to the priorities of the country and of the citizens.

I should say that it is compulsory for a reconciliation process to take place within the political class if this process is necessary. I think it necessary as it is only a reconciled political class that can take the messages all of us have got from the citizens during the referendum and the presidential election,’ a newspaper quotes Basescu as saying.

The Liberals gave a vote or confidence to PNL chairman Crin Antonescu for him to hold all the discussions with the other parties about creating a possible governmental coalition, but this vote does not give too much hope that they will come to power, reads daily Jurnalul National.
Crin Antonescu on Wednesday, during the meeting of the central standing bureau of the party, declared against an alliance with the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) and at the end of the meeting he said that PNL would not take part in setting up a Traian Basescu ‘puppet government.’

Newspaper Ziua reads that, in the meantime, the Liberals in former Premier Tariceanu’s camp lobby in the provinces for the branch leaders to vote in favour of participating in government. Sources of the party leadership estimated that, actually, time passed to the detriment of Antonescu and Tariceanu took advantage of a few days to ‘call up his soldiers’ with whom, next week, during the standing delegation, he should attack both the PNL leadership and the participation in government by the side of PD-L, informs Ziua daily. PD-L leader Emil Boc sent Crin Antonescu a letter inviting him to negotiations for setting up together a right-wing majority that should create the Government.

The Liberal leaders accepted the opposition suggested by Crin, but the battle with the supporters of government by the side of PD-L has only started, comments Evenimenul zilei daily. Other headlines of articles dealing with this subject are: ‘Calin Calls Up His Soldiers’ (Ziua), ‘Crin’s Paradox:
We Are Not Going to Participate in a Traian Basescu ‘Puppet Government,’ but I Would Be Ready to Assume Position of Premier’ (Gandul), ‘PNL Dilemma: Which Is the Best Variant, with PD-L in Power or with PSD in Opposition?’ (Ziarul Financiar), ‘Confidence for Crin Antonescu’ (Cotidianul).

The central dailies also say that the scandal of the election rigging goes on. ‘The war of the rigged election continued on Wednesday, with the Social Democrats as accusers and the Democrat Liberals being on the defensive. The Social Democrats say they have submitted the proof of the theft to the Constitutional Court and that they still get notifications from Romania and abroad. The Democrat Liberals put counter-arguments forward and say there are ‘zero chances’ for the magistrates of the Constitutional Court to admit PSD is right,’ reads Ziua newspaper.

‘Sequestration on Votes in Diaspora’ (Jurnalul National), ‘Vote Riggers Abroad Go On Denouncing Themselves’ (Azi), ‘Revolt of Romanians Abroad: ‘We Are No Second Class Voters” (Gandul) are some other articles dealing with the same subject.

Contesting the election worsens the crisis in Romania, inform newspapers. Jurnalul National daily notes that the international mass media mentioned the step taken by PSD with a view to contesting the correctness of the Sunday election to the Constitutional Court and asked for the election to be repeated.
‘But this situation leads to delaying the creation of a new government, which is necessary for the aid from the IMF and the EC against the background of the economic recession. The political and economic crises risk leading to division, polarization, revolts, analysts warn,’ reads Jurnalul National daily.

The IMF expects the new Government and the budget for 2010, reads Evenimentul zilei daily, which mentions that the Government did not approve the budget. ‘The international financial bodies asked the Bucharest authorities to approve the budget for 2010 by December 10, otherwise it will not be possible to send a new evaluation mission.
IMF representative to Romania Tony Lybek said yesterday that the experts of the Fund, of the European Commission and of the World Bank would come to Bucharest when the authorities were ready to welcome them. Namely after Romania has a lawful Government and a budget for 2010 approved by Parliament,’ reads the above-mentioned newspaper.

Evenimentul zilei daily also remarks the fact that ‘the Romanians have turned more moderate as regards ‘pawning’ their future in the relation with the credit releasing authorities.’ If, before the first signs of the crisis were obvious, people borrowed money for anything, currently the uncertain day that will come made many future clients of the banks think twice before asking them for services, reads the above-mentioned publication, which also says that eight of ten Romanians do not want loans.
In its turn Jurnalul National newspaper emphasizes the fact that people do not trust banks and Gardianul daily publishes the article titled ‘Upsetting Predictions. Banking System Will Have Much Difficulty Next Year, but There Will Be No Bankruptcies.’

The unemployment rate is on the increase, also inform the central dailies. The unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percent in November from October and amounted to 7.5 percent. According to newspaper Evenimenul zilei, which quotes officials of private companies, ‘the survey the Government made of dismissals shows the tip of the iceberg only.’

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