PM Mihai Tudose said he hadn’t received the resignations of the ministers targeted by the reshuffle, deputy PM and minister of Regional Development Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, minister for European Funds.
Asked by the journalists if he had received their resignations, Tudose said: ”No”, yet avoiding to say if he is waiting these resignations.
Sources said that ministers Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, investigated in the Belina file, might file their resignations on Thursday before the PSD’s Executive Committee meeting where their dismissal is to be discussed.
Referring to Shhaideh and Plumb, the premier also said that there is “a perception” problem in Brussels and the two ministers are directly connected through their ministries’ activity to Brussels. “The reality is there is the benefit of doubt, there have been many cases when those charged or in various stages of the criminal trial proved to be innocent, yet with their lives ruined or anyway totally changed, but we also have a perception and the perception in Brussels is completely different from the reality here. So the problem comes up as the two colleagues are in charge with the relation with Brussels. So, I told you a personal opinion and also a position as head of the Government,” the premier pointed out.
PM Tudose met the Chamber speaker Liviu Dragnea on Wednesday morning and had a half-hour discussion in his office at the lower chamber.
The PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea also denied they had discussed about the two lady ministers’ resignations.
Meanwhile, the first names to replace the ministers to be reshuffled are rumored in the media. According to Digi 24, Marius Nica might replace Rovana Plumb at the European Funds Ministry’s helm, and Gabriel Vlase might take over the Transports portfolio.
Marius Nica was minister of European Funds in the Ponta Government and was former president of the Romanian Lottery.
Gabriel Vlase, former deputy prefect of Bacau, is currently vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies.
Deputy PM Sevil Shhaideh was heard at the National Anti-corruption Directorate in the Belina file on Wednesday, stating upon leaving that the decision on her potential resignation will be communicated at the PSD’ executive committee on Thursday.
“I believe I am still the same person, I have always respected the party and the executive committee is the one that invested me with this minister position. My decision, which is already taken, will be revealed in the CEx tomorrow. Allow me not to make statements about my position in the street or on the DNA’s steps,” Shhaideh said when questioned if she will resign.
She explained she had been subpoenaed at the DNA for procedural matters.
“I gave no statement. I was informed about the possibility of challenging an expert. I will decide on that together with my lawyer. The deadline is until tomorrow. I will give a statement when I study all the file,” the deputy PM added.
As for another minister targeted by the reshuffle, Viorel Ilie, minister for Parliament Liaison, and ALDE member, stated that he is willing to resign from the Cabinet, but that he would take a decision after his party chief, Calin Popescu Tariceanu returns to Romania.