Press review (Feb 1)

The start of the ordinary session of the Chamber of Deputies, the evolution of the national currency at the beginning of this year, the necessity to change the defence industry into a national security industry, the prospects of unemployment in Romania in the European context and the ever increasing interest taken by French youths in studying medicine in Romania are the main subjects dealt with by the central dailies on Monday, February 1.

The Chamber of Deputies resumes activity on Monday with this year’s first ordinary session, which was convened by Speaker Roberta Anastase. The parliamentary groups in the Chamber of Deputies begin the current session with an number of legislative objectives, which lay emphasis on the pension law and the local public administration especially, inform all the newspapers on Monday.

The Ministry of Transports does not have the money to pay Bechtel to build half of the Transilvania Motorway, namely the 200 km long stretch between Brasov and Targu Mures (both in central Romania).

The solution suggested by the relevant minister, Radu Berceanu, as far back as last year, and officially made known by Premier Emil Boc at the end of last week, is that the state should lease this stretch, to Bechtel too, for a certain span of time, which means that the Americans will have to ensure the funding of the project, most probably with money from banks, reads Gandul daily.

The inauguration of 100 kilometres of the motorway in 2010, a promise made by the Ministry of Transports, will be delayed for the year to come after the Government allocated to the National Company for Motorways and National Roads in Romania a third of the necessary money only. This sum does not even cover the debts of the companies to the Bechtel company or to the ‘kings of asphalt’ for completing the portion between Moara Vlasiei and Ploiesti (both in southern Romania), informs Romania libera daily.

After beginning this year forcefully, when the exchange rate dropped from 4.22 to 4.1 lei/euro, the national currency entered a slack period. If, at the end of this year, most bankers expected that one euro should cost about 4 lei, their estimates of the mid-of-year quotation are somewhat more pessimistic, reads the economic press.

Thus, 12 of the most important 16 banks on the local market stake on an exchange rate amounting to more than 4 lei for one euro in late June, the highest estimated exchange rate being 4.25 lei/euro, according to a poll conducted by Business Magazin publication among bankers.

After suffering because of record lows which killed 52 people in only one week, the Romanians will have to go through rains, followed by abundant snowfalls in the next two days, especially in south-eastern Romania.

The Ministry of Finance intends to borrow, in February, 3 billion lei (about 700 million euros) from the local market in government bonds, a ceiling that is lower than the 4 billion lei level planned for January. It remains to be seen if the schedule will be observed, considering the fact that in January too the Treasury topped the level that was predicted and borrowed 6.1 billion lei, informs daily Ziarul Financiar.

The defence industry must be saved and preserved, but not disregarding terms. It must be changed into a national security industry. The state is duty bound to spend the money in an efficient and responsible way, presidential counsellor for national security questions Iulian Fota said in an interview with daily Bursa. According to the clarifications he made Romania needs a national security industry based on peak knowledge and advanced technology.

‘We do not only need good carriers, we also need advanced systems and solutions that should guarantee the cybernetic security, the energy one or help us achieve the protection of the critical infrastructure. We need a national security industry that should go on including a defence component part too,’ said Fota in his interview.

The unemployment rate in the European Union in December 2009 reached its highest level since the beginning of the measurements for the entire region (January 2000) and amounted to 9.6 percent. The data sent to Brussels by the National Employment Agency indicate the fact that the Romanian authorities are optimistic about unemployment in 2010 too, reads daily Evenimentul zilei.

As a matter of fact the number of vacancies in January this year doubled as against December 2009, from 3,800 to more than 7,400. And all this in spite of the gloomy predictions made both by the European experts and the ones of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Head of the IMF delegation to Romania himself Jeffrey Franks estimated that Romania would have 1,000,000 unemployed people in late 2010.

Whereas in France 85 percent of the medical students fail at the end of their academic first year, the University in Cluj, which is situated in the centre of Romania, recruits them, their files included. This is reason enough for ever more numerous French people to leave the Hexagon, Gandul daily quotes Le Figaro as reading.
If a few years ago there were only two or three French people among the Romanian students, now there are 262 who started studying in Cluj. The exodus began about the year 2000, concurrently with the creation of a section in French, read newspapers Gandul and Cotidianul.

‘Romania is the country I was born in and I feel that I owe something to this country,’ says Matei Bucur Mihaescu in earnest. He is called ‘little Mozart’ or ‘Romania’s Mozart.’ At only 14 he has 50 compositions for piano and for orchestra, tens of national and international prizes and as many concerts given together with prestigious orchestras, informs Jurnalul National daily.

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