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RADOR: News from Romania, 98-05-14

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 14, 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Prime Minister Radu Vasile Presented Parliament with Draft Budget;
  • [02] PDSR, PRM and ApR Will Reject the Budget;
  • [03] "Operation Cigarette 2": Further Hearings;
  • [04] General Gheorghe Florica Was Not Released;
  • [05] ApR Opinions on Budget, Bucharest City Hall Elections and "Operation Cigarette 2";
  • [06] President Emil Constantinescu Attends a Political Forum in Berlin;
  • [07] Interior Minister Gavril Dejeu Back from Italy;
  • [08] US War College Delegation on a Visit to Romania;
  • [09] MAE Spokeswoman on Hungarian Elections;
  • [10] PDSR Leader Ion Iliescu Back from Yugoslavia.

  • [01] Prime Minister Radu Vasile presented Parliament with draft Budget

    According to the draft Budget as presented by Prime Minister Radu Vasile in Parliament on Wednesday, its main tasks include: an enforced effort of macroeconomic stabilisation and deeper structural reforms, prevention of GDP decline, investments, deficit and balance of bayments redressed and consolidation of hard currency reserves. The governing programme is proposing lower inflation rate, growing exports and imports, developing agriculture and building works, lower industrial production. The budget deficit is expected to hit 3.6% of the GDP. Revenues as result of privatisation are to be used in financing reform programmes, preserving the mines and EXIMBANK recovery. The number of public workers is expected to drop by 10% while salary funds for loss-making autonomous companies are to be freezed. The unemployment rate is to hit 11.2% by the end of the year. RADOR

    [02] PDSR, PRM and ApR will reject the Budget

    Though criticised by many parties, only three opposition parties clearly declared they would vote against the draft Budget. The three parties include the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), the Greater Romania Party (PRM) and the Alliance for Romania Party (ApR). Though bitterly criticising and contesting the Budget, the Romanians' National Unity Party (PUNR) said that many of its members would vote for it as "they respected the community which, according to recent opinion polls, still supported the governing coalition". Florin Georgescu, senior PDSR member and former finance minister, said the draft Budget was imoral and antisocial. PDSR has expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that their over 80 amendments were not taken into account during debates by special commissions. RADOR

    [03] "Operation Cigarette 2": further hearings

    The Commission for defence, public order and national security in the Romanian Senate has questioned on Wednesday generals Cornel Grigoras, a SIE (ed.n. Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service) chief, and Nicolae Berechet, head of Romanian Police. After the hearings, Chief Commissioner Nicolae Alexandru concluded that the affair at the Otopeni airport was the result of an operation which actually crossed the Romanian border covering a large area between North-Africa and Moscow. According to Mr Alexandru, irrespective of the people already detained, the cigarette smuggling scandal involved many other people, some of them representing the ruling bodies. The commissioner informed that the Otopeni affair also involved worker of foreign embassies in Bucharest and some other institutions abroad. Further hearings have started at the Military Attorney's Office. Wednesday morning, Gabriel Negoescu was subject to further questioning while in the afternoon Mihai Ghezea was questioned as he was the man who drove Colonel Gheorghe Trutulescu to Arad. RADOR

    [04] General Gheorghe Florica was not released

    General Gheorghe Florica is still under arrest. The Military Attorney's Office has rejected the Bucharest Military Court ruling concerning the his release. On Wednesday, the court has approved the petition of former Financial Guard chief Florica against his arrest on May 4 under the accusation of complicity to smuggling and association to crime. According to the general's lawyer, his client has been actually accused of avoiding taxes for cigarette imports through the port of Constantza between 1996- 1998. RADOR

    [05] ApR opinions on Budget, Bucharest City Hall elections and "Operation Cigarette 2"

    The ApR position towards the Budget was similar to the position the PDSR adopted on Tuesday. The ApR has announced it would vote against the Budget. The party claimed that none of the proposed 60 amendments was taken into account. At a press conference on Wednesday, ApR First Vicepresident Mircea Cosea said the Government should announce shortly the date for the City Hall elections as the regulations in the local public administration law have been already violated. Referring to the "Operation Cigarette 2", Mr Cosea said the time has come to denounce an activity which, for many years now, has got the support of state institutions - the underground economy. RADOR

    [06] President Constantinescu attends a political forum in Berlin

    Romanian President Emil Constantinescu has left for Berlin on Wednesday to attend an international forum on the concept of nation in countries where several minorities lived. Mr Constantinescu said that his address to the forum was expected to present the Romanian concept of the role the nation should play in creating and consolidating democratic structures and market economy. Referring to his visit to the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, the Romanian president expressed the hope that the local authorities would take concrete measures to improve the economic and administrative management and solve the social problems. He announced he intended to resume the programme against poverty. RADOR

    [07] Interior Minister Gavril Dejeu back from Italy

    Romanian Interior Minister Gavril Dejeu was on a visit to Italy following an invitation by his Italian counterpart, Giorgio Napolitano. Minister Dejeu has offered details about a future training programme for Romanian officers in Italy. He also spoke about a renewed two-year cooperation contract with the Italian Antimafia Department. Mr Dejeu has informed that the Italian Interior Ministry representative in Hungary could soon extend his responsibilities to Bucharest. During his three-day visit to Italy, the Romanian minister met Italian Police chiefs and other representatives of the "carabinieri". When asked about recent rumours concernig his virtual dismissal, Mr Dejeu replied: "There are forces who would like me out of the ministry. I will continue however to do my job as before". RADOR

    [08] US War College delegation on a visit to Romania

    State Secretary Constantin Dudu Ionescu, the head of the Defence Policy Department with the Romanian National Defence Ministry (MApN) met the US delegation of the War College on Wednesday. The Americans are interested in issues concerning the modernisation of the Romanian army, defence facilities and budget as well as Romania's efforts to meet NATO standards. Quoting a Defence Policy Department communique, the RRA informs that the American delegation has only visited two countries in the region this year - Romania and Bulgaria. RADOR

    [09] MAE spokeswoman on Hungarian elections

    Referring to the results of the first round of voting in the Hungarian general elections, the spokeswoman of the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE), Anda Filip, said it was too soon for Bucharest to express its official position on the matter as long as the electoral process was still going on. Mrs Filip expressed however her regrets about the recent revival of communist and far right movements in some European countries. RADOR

    [10] PDSR leader Ion Iliescu back from Yugoslavia

    The leader of the opposition Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) Ion Iliescu was on a private visit to Yugoslavia early this week and met Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Mr Iliescu has expressed his support for the position of the authorities in Belgrade towards the conflict in Kosovo province. While back to Romania on Tuesday, he explained his attitude. Mr Iliescu said: "It is very dangerous to promote such ideas, I mean, to impose international mediation in an attempt to solve a domestic problem. Ion Iliescu believes that authorities in Belgrade are expected to solve the Kosovo crisis shortly: they may amend the Constitution in order to grant autonomy to the province. According to a communique issued by the PDSR leadership, Ion Iliescu was invited to Yugoslavia in "gratitude for his efforts during his presidential mandates to restore a fair peace in the region". Some sources indicate that the gratitude may refer to the help that Romania has provided during the embargo allowing a state refinery to export its oil products to Serbia. Ion Iliescu denies any involvement of his officials at the time, but he stops however short of referring to the "Solventul" refinery. RADOR
    The Press Agency of the Romanian Radio (RADOR Society) Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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