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[15.09] The Golden Team- "Honorary Citizens" of Deva

A nice, warming welcome, from a 2000 people crowd which have mostly filled the Deva central square.

This was the way people of Deva have showed their enthusiasm for the Golden Team coming back "home"-at Deva.

The municipal council have awarded to all girls and coaches the "Honorary Citizen" title and a 200 millions lei cash prize ($6000). The County council have announced also that they will vote in next first session a cash prize of $28 000 for the team.

The whole ceremony took place in center of Deva, near a modern gymnasts statue. Mr. Belu express the team and his own grateful for the support they get in Deva.

By contrary, Mrs. Bitang did not showed much happiness and was showing a very skeptical figure, saying to all reporters (in public, to be heard by local authorities also), that she wants to have same kind of support not only for a day, when they return from Olympics with medals, but to have their (moral) support during all those hard months and years before a major competition."People have to understand that for such results to came, we need a full time support and constant encouragements, not only in one single day".

All the girls have received, from local private owned companies, gifts like Gold jewels, free trips from a travel agency, many, many flowers (each girl left with tens of bunch of flowers, their arms literally filed with flowers).

The team was also promised a new small bus for their trips to Bucharest and back (until we see them using it, we take it as a promise, because these days a lot of people made promises...will see later which one coming true; this is why we do NOT report here about some things until they really do happen.(Remember the Government last week Reception? Associated Press, which use to be a trusted source, at least in sport, has reported that girls have received checks-they don't , yet!).

This evening, an official reception will be hosted in Deva by the local officials (having many guests, including almost all pro-government local politicians, which want to use this event in their own benefit, due to near elections in November).

[updated 16,00GMT] According to Bucharest last minute reports, Romanian Antena1 TV station has reported about girls being welcomed in Deva, but have splitted in half Mrs. Bitang statements, leaving out the part about local officials (and others) being helpful only AFTER results, not much help, needed before. Antena 1 TV station used to be an independent channel, but due to her owners last week support agreement with the ruling party (PSD), they try to avoid now any criticism.They also reported that the money from local county were already paid (in fact, like we said, they have to vote only next week, due to their inability and bureaucracy)


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