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Romanian daily "Cotidianul" of November 30, 2001

The moratorium on adoptions creates diplomatic problems for the Government in its relations with Tel Aviv, Washington and Paris

(Romanian Prime Minister) Nastase, caught between a rock and a hard place

(French) President Chirac has requested a solution for the 20 families waiting in France

This is a new test for the political diplomacy of Adrian Nastase.

In the spring of this year, Emma Nicholson's draft report to the EU was critical of the dubious way intercountry adoptions were made in Romania, and spoke of illegal adoptions and child trafficking.

The Nicholson report has created a mediatic storm, and, as a result of the pressure applied by Baroness Nicholson, the Bucharest authorities have suspended in the summer the registration of new international adoption applications. In a later report, this decision of the Romanian Government was praised by the baroness who noted that significant progress has been made.

The only problem is that, during official visits to Tel Aviv, Washington and Paris, Prime Minister Nastase was asked to resume adoptions and solve pending applications - not fewer than 14 to Israel alone.

In Paris these days on an official visit, Prime Minister Nastase was confronted by the same request, this time from President Jacques Chirac. Chirac's recommendation to Nastase was that he should "kindly re-evaluate" cases in an advanced stage of being legally finalised, underscoring the fact that there are 20 such cases involving French families.

Nastase's reply was equally intended to satisfy the French President's request, but also to avoid hurting Baroness Emma Nicholson's sensibilities. The Prime Minister said that there is at this point in time an independent working group of experts in the field which is evaluating the problem and which will make recommendations for such cases. Based on these recommendations, the Prime Minister himself will issue decisions.

It remains to be seen if his decisions will be able to satisfy everyone without endangering Romania's EU accession negotiations.