Press review (Dec 22)

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The Romanian dailies on Tuesday give main coverage to the beginning of President Traian Basescu’s fresh five-year tenure after he was sworn in on Monday, the hearings of the Emil Boc government ministers in the parliamentary commissions, the structuring of the 2010 state budget and events marking 20 years since the December 1989 Revolution.

President Traian Basescu took over a new term after winning in the presidential election on Dec. 6, the Bucharest-based newspapers report under such headlines as: ‘Basescu: I am the most credible vector of the Romanian society’ (Evenimentul zilei), ‘Basescu takes oath for the last time’ (Gardianul), ‘Basescu: I am going to be the enemy of the attempts to turn Romania into an oligarchy’ (Curentul). Ziua carries two articles on this topic: ‘Basescu is back with an appetite for change’ and ‘The president’s priorities’ respectively.

‘Since yesterday, Basescu has officially begun a new term. He was in such a hurry to cite his goals that he rushed to speak before Patriarch Daniel, who served a religious ceremony… As for the president’s speech, he looks determined to make a reform of the state, first and foremost’, Ziua writes. ‘We shall have more democracy if Parliament’s reform is the first step the to the state reform. We shall have a strengthened state of law if the justice reform and the combat of corruption continue. We shall have economic growth to bring welfare for everybody if the state resources are spent more efficiently’, Ziua quotes Basescu as saying.

Each vote counts for the Emil Boc cabinet, Tuesday’s print media points out with respect to the vote of investiture faced by the Democratic Liberal prime minister’s executive in Parliament. ‘The No.4 Boc government will get Parliament’s vote of investiture tomorrow, after each proposed minister is heard by the specialised commissions today.

Although the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) said they will vote against the ministers proposed by Emil Boc, he has managed to gather 240 lawmakers to endorse him, as his cabinet needs 236 votes to pass’, Jurnalul National says in an item headlined ‘PSD and PNL are against the No. 4 Boc government’.
‘The Liberals refuse being spurned by the Democratic Liberals (PD-L)’ headlines Evenimentul zilei, while Romania libera says that ‘The Democratic Liberals quarrel over the distribution of portfolios’.

Prime Minister designate Emil Boc has built a governing programme focused on the targets pledged to the International Monetary Fund, namely 1.3 percent growth and 5.9 percent budget deficit in 2010, the Business Standard reports. ‘At least 2.5 billion euros should be slashed from the budget expenditure in order to achieve such a deficit, which means massive job cuts in the public sector.
It is for this reason that the IMF forecast of the unemployment rate points to 10 percent in the first months of next year; however, this figure is not cited in the governing programme, which refers to the joblessness by merely saying: ‘Training and increased employment’, the Business Standards underscores.

Basescu proposes Parliament to adopt the 2010 budget by Jan. 16, Ziua reports. In an item on the budget plan, it also announces the public workers will no longer get vouchers and will not be paid the extra hours next year.

Romania has a huge public debt, Jurnalul National reports. ‘Each Romanian has to pay 1,639 euros, which are debts the state made on our account. The public debt surged by 7.37 billion euros in the last year, which brings each Romanian another 340 euros to pay because of the government’s inability.
Such debt will be felt in a lower level of the health care service, of the education, in the state’s curbed investments in building roads etc. And it could get even worse if the economy fails to recover fast, since the state will have to raise taxes and axe public jobs in order to cover the state debts’, the daily explains.

Ziua quotes military prosecutor Dan Voinea as saying ‘the (1989) Revolution files were not finalised because of political pressure’. The December 1989 Revolution files are 80 percent complete, but they are not finalised because of the political pressure, Voinea told RFI; he was in charge with those files until Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi took them over, as she was dissatisfied with the pace of the probes, Ziua reports.

Two of the people who played an important role in the December 1989 events – actors Mircea Diaconu and Victor Rebengiuc respectively – told their memories to Cotidianul, two decades after the fall of the communist rule in Romania. While Diaconu has become a politician, Rebengiuc has remained a constant critic of the older and of the current political class.
‘Cucuteni culture conquers America’, says Jurnalul National in the headline to an article reporting on the Romanian exhibition ‘The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley Between 5000 and 3500 B.C.’ opened at the New York University’s Institute of Old World Studies last month.

The American scientific world and public feel a genuine ‘cultural shock’ at this moment, as for the first time they are offered the opportunity to discover a nearly unknown page of the world history – the Neolithic Age cultures in Romania and the Balkan Peninsula, Jurnalul National reports. One of the great surprises this exhibition offers the Americans is the contact with one of the most refined European pre-historic cultures – Cucuteni culture, already famous due to its wonderful painted pottery.

Adevarul announces that Cotidianul daily is being closed – its staff was announced they will be made redundant from Jan. 1, since the daily ceases being published. Cotidianul director Cornel Nistorescu told the editorial staff on Monday that the daily will be issued by the end of 2009 only. Another daily, the Business Standard stops being published from Thursday, Adevarul announces.

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