Anger over Romanian ships sell-off: Foreign company 'getting control of strategic fleet for a pittance'
Saturday 26 June 1993
In a scathing editorial the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper declared: 'With the connivance of government officials a foreign company is getting control of Romania's strategic fleet for a pittance.' Calling for heads to roll, other commentators described the proposed sell-off variously as incompetent, corrupt or even a case of sabotage, and urged parliament to intervene to stop the deal.
The fury of the onslaught prompted some to speculate that the government might yet renege on the hastily concluded agreement to sell a 51 per cent stake in the Petromin shipping fleet to the Greek Forum Maritime company.
With more than 100 vessels, mainly used for transporting oil and minerals along the River Danube, Petromin is the largest of Romania's three state- owned shipping companies and a strategically important player in the country's overall economy.
The prospect that it could fall into foreign hands has enraged critics, as has the proposed sale price of dollars 335m (pounds 228m) - which they say is well below the scrap metal value of the ships.
On Thursday President Ion Iliescu defended the deal on the grounds that Petromin was on the brink of bankruptcy and its only hope of survival lay in a buyout. He described the deal as a joint venture and argued that, as the company would still be based and registered in Romania and would mainly be employing Romanians, it did not involve a surrender of control to foreign interests.
His statement was hardly enough to silence the critics, many of whom are convinced that the proposed sale has been masterminded by corrupt officials out to make a killing - and that the President himself may even be implicated.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...