Press review (Dec 15)

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The ruling of the Constitutional Court, according to which Traian Basescu won the presidential election, the negotiations for creating a government, the visit to be paid to Bucharest by a technical team of the International Monetary Fund, but also the heritage the Boc Government leaves to the future government are only a few of the headlines catching readers’ eye in Tuesday’s Romanian newspapers.

‘Basescu-Geoana, 9-0 in the Constitutional Court,’ reads Adevarul daily. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) had requested that the runoff presidential election should be repeated as Mircea Geoana had lost by a difference of about 70,000 votes to the advantage of Traian Basescu. On Sunday Geoana had informed that he would go on contesting it to the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission, informs Cotidianul newspaper.

Chairman of the Vrancea County PSD organization Marian Oprisan congratulated Traian Basescu for winning the presidential election, reads Gardianul daily, who, on the other hand, appreciates that the Head of State should leave political ambitions aside and not forget that Romania ‘is a country in which poverty worsened alarmingly.’ The Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) collected the necessary number of parliamentarians to get the Government validated, reads Gardianul newspaper.

The Liberals on Monday designated leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Crin Antonescu as Premier in case this position was assigned to their party. But they did no longer condition government by his being the Head of Government and said that they would also accept an independent as Prime Minister, informs daily Ziarul Financiar.

In order to ensure a consolidated right-wing majority the leaders of the Democrat Liberals on Monday, during the meeting of the national standing bureau (BPN), adopted a resolution in keeping with which the future majority must be centred on PD-L, PNL, the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania, minorities and independents, reads daily Curentul. ‘The position of premier is not to be negotiated for, considering the results of the parliamentary and presidential elections,’ said Boc.

It goes without saying that the days of Mircea Geoana as PSD leader are numbered, informs Gandul newspaper. The one to start the beginning of Geoana’s end is his political father himself, Ion Iliescu. He admitted on Monday that PSD needed a national congress by means of which its members should examine the action they had taken so far.

‘An examination is needed. We do not need to ask for it during the BPN meeting . This is but natural for any party. But this is not what we are interested in now. Now it is a stage that has to be covered, that has to come to an end. This is why we shall have to take the right position, in every local organization and in the central organization, in a party congress and draw the necessary conclusions. We are starting another political age,’ Curentul daily quotes the former President as saying before the meeting of the PSD BPN.

Incumbent Finance Minister Gheorghe Pogea and Incumbent Premier Emil Boc say that there are very good chances of our receiving both tranches from the IMF in January, amounting to a total value of 2.3 billion euros, comments Cotidianul newspaper.
‘It goes without saying there are chances of our getting the third tranche from the IMF in January. We are equally concerned with ensuring the financing for the end of the year and with solving the situation for the first quarter of next year. We are also considering the money that should come from the IMF and the European Commission,’ the Minister of Finance told Ziarul Financiar daily.

If there are very slim chances of our getting the money from the IMF this year, the Incumbent Premier is optimistic about out getting in January at least one of the next two tranches of the IMF loan, if not both of them.
The bill the Boc Government leaves to the future government to pay, no matter what that government might be, includes the overdue VAT, the interests to bank loans and about 2.4 billion euros for the work done and not paid for, reads daily Evenimentul zilei.

Work that has partially been paid for, enormous interests to the loans taken from banks and a seemingly heavier and heavier burden of salaries, pensions and social aid. This is the bill the current Government leaves to the next cabinet of ministers to pay in the coming year.
The economic situation, the increase in prices, unemployment and delinquency are the most important worries of the Romanians, according to the latest poll. It also says that three quarters of the Romanians think that economy will be in a similar or even a more precarious state 12 months later, reads Gardianul daily.

According to the results of the study, which were presented by the European Commission on Monday, more than half (53 percent) of the Romanians think that the economic situation is the most serious problem Romania faces at present. Almost four of every ten respondents mention the increase in prices and a similar percentage, 36 percent of the participants, regard unemployment as the greatest threat.
Anti-corruption prosecutors on Monday heard businessman Marius Locic in the file of Reserve General Catalin Voicu of the Guard and Protection Service, who is currently a PSD senator.

Judicial sources quoted by daily Romania libera say that, in 2009, Locic was said to have resorted to Catalin Voicu’s services for solving some of his legal problems. The same sources also inform that PSD Senator Catalin Voicu is said to be one of the most influential politicians with magistrates, prosecutors and judges, as, immediately after the Revolution of December 1989, he had the General Prosecutor’s Office as his subordinate and then, in his capacity as an adviser of the Supreme Council for the Country’s Defence to former President Ion Iliescu, was said to have had access to classified documents, which he was said to have subsequently used for his own purposes.

Moreover, Voicu, who is close to Marian Vanghelie, was said to have benefited by some classified information received from the Directorate General for Information and Domestic Protection at the time the Interior Ministry was run by PSD member Dan Nica, reads daily Ziua.

Actor Radu Beligan on Monday started again playing the part of the famous character Leon Saint-Pe in ‘The Egotist’ at the Bucharest National Theatre by the side of his colleagues Simona Bondoc, Damian Crasmaru, Marin Moraru. Radu Beligan, who turns 91 on Tuesday, says that the secret of his long life is ‘love.’ ‘We live on this earth for this unique thing, to love,’ Adevarul newspaper quotes the actor as saying.

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