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RADOR: News from Romania, 98-05-05

The Press Agency of the Romanian Radio (RADOR Society) Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: RADOR Press Agency <http://indis.ici.ro/romania/news/rador.html>

May 5, 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Statement of Presidential Adviser Zoe Petre
  • [02] PD Leader Petre Roman on the Otopeni Military Airport Smuggling Case
  • [03] Statements in Romanian Senate "Operation Cigarette 2"
  • [04] PNTCD Against Setting Up Special Inquiry Commission
  • [05] New SPP Director
  • [06] General Gheorghe Florica under Arrest
  • [07] French Newspaper "liberation" on "Operation Cigarette 2"
  • [08] Government General Secretariate Restructuring
  • [09] State Secretary Positions Distributed
  • [10] MEN Facilities for Romanian Students Learning Abroad
  • [11] Talks on Mining Personnel Status
  • [12] Bucharest: International Conference on Ways of Fighting Organised Crime
  • [13] Romania at the 102-nd Session of Council of Europe's Ministerial Committee
  • [14] Meeting of Romanian and Canadian Habitat Ministers

  • [01] Statement of presidential adviser Zoe Petre

    Monday evening at Cotroceni Palace, presidential adviser Zoe Petre said that all actions against basic state institutions - mainly those entitled to fight corruption and organised crime - were aimed to block the initiative of cleaning up the comunity. Mrs Petre has insisted that there was a "flagrant" at the Otopeni military airport during the night of April 16/17. According to former SPP Colonel Trutulescu's request, the cigarette tracks were to be allowed access to the presidential residence of Scrovistea, but, as Mrs Petre stressed, his request was rejected for two reasons: firstly, such a decision would have been against the SPP (Guard and Protection Services) regulations, and secondly, the wife of the president was in the residence at the time. Mrs Petre explained that the information was delayed because the SPP inquiry started only after the SPP Chief Nicu Anghel resigned. RADOR

    [02] PD leader Petre Roman on the Otopeni military airport smuggling case

    Before leaving for Madrid on Monday, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) has made a statement. Here are some excerpts: "We had few political interventions on the matter - I am speaking about the PD - and we still would not like to intervene. The only matter that was really and mostly bothering us was the authority and credibility of the state institutions following the operation as their reaction was very unprofessional (or less professional, to be fair) because they did not reacted at the right time. We believe that those institutions, their authority and credibility were badly affected, and I am speaking about the institutions involved in the incident. We do not agree with the PDSR (Party of Social Democracy in Romania) proposal concerning the setting up of an inquiry commission into the affair. The decision was already made, and I really trust the institutions responsible - the Police, the Attorney General's Office and the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) - because the affair also involves matters of national security. I do not see why the Parliament should intervene with means that it actually could not afford. On the other hand, we believe that the Parliament could make its duty according to its rights: it could control the institutions involved". RADOR

    [03] Statements in Romanian Senate on "Operation Cigarette 2"

    The Romanian Senate continues to concentrate on the smuggling scandal. During political debates on Monday, the leader of the opposition Greater Romania Party (PRM), Corneliu Vadim Tudor said that the main responsible involved in the "Operation Cigarette 2" included presidential adviser Dorin Marian, businessman Costel Boboc, Customs Chief Nini Sapunaru, former SPP Chief Nicu Anghel, presidential aqdviser Dan Petre and Dragos Constantinescu, the son of Romanian President Emil Constantinescu. In his opinion, the president should dismiss the interior minister, the justice minister and all his team of advisers at Cotroceni Palace. In his turn, PDSRSenator Constantins Sava has announced that his party has asked for the dismissals of the interior minister, the SRI chief, the air force commander, presidential adviser Dorin Marian and Attorney General Sorin Moisescu. According to the PDSR demand, President Emil Constantinescu should make an official statement explaining the affair to both the Romanian and foreign public opinion. The main opposition party says that in case the president would try to cover up tha affair, then the PDSR was seriously considering the suspension of President Constantinescu. RADOR

    [04] PNTCD against setting up special inquiry commission

    The ruling Christian Democrat National Peasant Party (PNTCD) believes that a special inquiry commission to investigate the Otopeni affair is not necessary. At a press conference on Monday, PNTCD leader Ion Diaconescu said that, as long as the state institutions responsible were working efficiently, the opposition request had no reason. Mr Diaconescu said the interior minister made his duty and his personnel had good results in dicovering and annihilating the smuggling network. He accused the Opposition that it was trying to minimalise and misinterpret negatively their success. Mr Diaconescu said that both the PDSR and PRM have tried to discredit the state officials in order to create chaos and disorder. RADOR

    [05] New SPP director

    Romanian President Emil Constantinescu has designated Division General Anghel Stefan Andreescu as the new SPP director. According to a press communiques issued by the Romanian Presidency, the president has ordered the new SPP director to present a SPP restructuring plan before the Romanian Security and Defence Council in 15 days time. At the end of the ceremony on Monday, the SPP director said he would ask his employees to declare their estate. General Andreescu added that if the inquiry would prove the involvement of some SPP units in the Otopeni affair, then they will be punished both disciplinary and legally. He also promise to present his own restructuring plan of the SPP in 15 days time. RADOR

    [06] General Gheorghe Florica under arrest

    While coming back from Athens on Moday at 15 PM, General Gheorghe Florica, former chief of Romanian Financial Guard, was arrested at the Otopeni International Airport. Some undercover sources have declared that General Florica protested when the Romanian border police put him under arrest. He then was transfered to the Bucharest Police headquarters in Calea Rahovei. The journalists were denied access to the plane and contact the detained because, as the airport authorities put it, Transport Minister Traian Basescu forbade it in order to prevent the airport to get involved in the case. According to the same sources, airport officials said they would have liked to organise a press conference in the presidential hall, but Police Chief General Berechet rejected the proposal. RADOR

    [07] French newspaper "Liberation" on "Operation Cigarette 2"

    The French newspaper "Liberation" has dedicated a whole page to the smuggling ciggarette scandal in Bucharest. The author of the article, Tania Enescu, says that President Constantinescu was not involved directly in the affair, but his popularity is getting down slowly. Political analyst Silviu Brucan is accusing the president that he was not careful in chosing his advisers. He insists that the affair could have disastrous consequences if the SPP was not to be subject to general restructuring. The Romanian public opinion is astonished to see how deeply the corruption was penetrating some high level departments especialy now, after Colonel Trutulescu declared that the 5-6 million dollar benefit from the cigarette affair went to several political parties. RADOR

    [08] Governement General Secretariate restructuring

    Government Secretary General Radu Stroe has announced that his department restructuring was completed in an attemt to eliminate previous mistakes and draw up improved draft documents. When the Budget law will get into force, the personnel is expected to be reduced by 10%, and some services and departments are to merge. RADOR

    [09] State secretary positions distribution

    Representatives of the parties in the governing coalition have completed negotiations concerning the distribution of state secretary positions. There are 58 state secretary positions in the government: 21 go to the PNTCD, 13 go to the PD, 10 go the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Democratic Union of Ethic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), 3 go the Romanian Social-Democrat Party (PSDR) and 1 to the Romanian Alternative Party (PAR). Participants decided that the nominations for state secretaries with the Foreign, Defence and Interior Ministries should be based on proessional criteria. According to the same source, the acting mayor of Bucharest, Viorel Lis, was designated as single candidate for the job. He is the representative of the ruling Democratic Convention in Romania (CDR). RADOR

    [10] MEN facilities for Romanian students learning abroad

    The Romanian Ministry of National Education (MEN) has issued an order recently stipulating that Romanian students receiving MEN scholarships abroad are to benefit from some additional facilities. Referring to the issue, Romanian National Education Minister Andrei Marga has announced that a contract was to be signed between his ministry, as representative of the Romanian state, and the Romanian institution (university or research institute) where the student was expected to return after finishing his school abroad. The contract stipulates that the student's position should be preserved until his coming back. The ministry should pay all the instalments of the scholarship as agreed while the graduating students should remain in the country and work with their former institutions the double of the scholarship period. "We should stress that the contract concerns only the students benefitting from Romanian scholarships. The contract does not include other sorts of scholarships", the Romanian minister said. RADOR

    [11] Talks on mining personnel status

    While in Deva on Monday, Romanian Labour and Social Protection Minister Alexandru Athanasiu met representatives of economic units and trade unions in Hunedoara county. The talks focused on issues concerning the mining industry such as restructuring and unemployment in the region, ways of improving working conditions and honorary pensions. The minister said that some labour groups were to be reduced or eliminated while the employer should concentrate on ways of improving working conditions, preventing professional diseases and eliminating working injuries. RADOR

    [12] Bucharest: international conference on ways of fighting organised crime

    A conference on "Financial Research Concerning Economic Crime and Illegal Activity in the Banking System" has opened in Bucharest on Monday. The coordinators - French and German police along with Romanian authorities - are ready to improve the cooperation between the security services in the three countries in order to fight the most dangerous cases of organised crime. RADOR

    [13] Romania at the 102-nd session of Council of Europe's Ministerial Committee

    Romanian Foreign Minister Andrei Plesu left for Strasbourg on Monday to attend the 102-nd session of the Council of Europe's Ministerial Committee. While leaving the Otopeni International Airport, Mr Plesu said: "I will attend the 102-nd session of the Council of Europe's Ministerial Committee which may be seen as a government of Europe. Each country is represented by its foreign minister. This government session has its own agenda, and its topics focus mainly on recent developments in South-East Europe. There are also some topics concerning the restructuring of the body. Romania will announce its accession to some legal instruments reflecting the standards and requests of the European Council. We shall also announce our participation in the group of states fighting corruption. Romania has made its contribution to the setting up of this new institution and, along with other countries, we are committed to participate actively in the project. Irrespective of this, let's say, routine operation which the Ministerial Committee actually is, I am expected to have some important bilateral meetings with my colleagues and European counterparts attending the session in Strasbourg. I shall meet, of course, the secretary general of the Council, the speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly and some foreign ministers including Evgueny Primakov on Monday, and Mr Geremek and Mr Klaus Kinkel on Tuesday. RADOR

    [14] Meeting of Romanian and Canadian habitat ministers

    While on a visit to Canada, Romanian Habitat Minister Nicolae Noica his Canadian counterpart. The talks focused on issues concerning the house building in Romania and ways of redressing it. The ministers agreed to use the Canadian experience in the field successfully based on mortgaging credits. A communique issued by the Romanian Habitat Ministry (MLPAT) says that Canadian experts have agreed to cooperate with their Romanian counterparts and examine the Romanian problems and opportunities on the matter. RADOR


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