Only days after the European Commission announced the opening of infringement procedures against Romania because its non-functioning 112 emergency call service, the head of the Special Telecomm Service (STS) announces that the 112 number may be closed for good, because the institution lacks the funds for paying employed operators.
And this is just another of the already classic Romanian blunders. The controversial car first registration tax is now about to be refunded, in a time when all budget income is utterly important.
Romania risks to become the only European country without an unique emergency call number. Still, STS general manager Marcel Opris says that the service may be shut in February, lacking the funds for salaries, Evenimentul Zilei reads. Although the paper has a blackout when it comes to the recent history of the 112 number, Cotidianul reminds that the statement made by Opris comes only one day after the European Union opened the infringement procedures against Romania for the Telecomm market, exactly for the problems related to the unique emergency phone number.
"There are suspect interests involved", says Opris for Cotidianul. "Minutes after the EU announced opening the infringement procedures, I was called by the representatives of two major companies, who offered to solve the problem", Opris declared, mentioning that at least 16 EU countries don't have a 112 service as good as Romania does.
An older argument between Romania and the EU, the car first registration tax, may be solved in favor of the EU and the taxpayers. After deciding that the tax was discriminatory, the European Union pushed the infringement process one step further, Romania being on the last run towards the European Court of Justice. Whether Romania goes to trial or not, the car tax will have to be refunded to the 300,000 taxpayers who were forced to pay it, same Cotidianul reads.
For some better news, an Al-Quaida leader was arrested on Wednesday in Galati. The Italian media was the first to find out, since the terrorist may be expelled to Italy, Gandul informs.
But there is little hope that this success will change anything in the way Romanians are seen abroad. In the "most civilized country of them all", a talented Romanian youngster, Alexandra Martha Ursache studies violin at Cambridge. Because the scholarship she earned for her international competition results doesn't cover the food and the accommodation, and her family is extremely poor, she may have to give up her studies. The simple solution - to get a job - is not a realistic option: she is not allowed to work because she is Romanian, Jurnalul National reads.