Economy minister Mihai Fifor is taking over the Defence portfolio, while deputy Gheorghe Șimon will replace him at the helm of the Economy Ministry, PSD National Standing Bureau decided on Tuesday.
President Klaus Iohannis has signed the decrees appointing the two ministers, with the swearing-in ceremony due at 15:00.
PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea announced the swap, adding that he has also informed President Iohannis about the two nominations. Dragnea said that the head of state had “formally” agreed the two proposals. “Of course, the President will analyse the nominations (…) , but last night he had no objection. He will decide today,” Dragnea stated.
About the nominations, the PSD chairman explained: “Our common decision was Mihai Fifor (for the Defence Ministry) for he is a responsible man, he has the advantage that he has worked as minister of Economy in the past months and has travelled through the country, has seen economy objectives and he has worked a lot with the Defence Ministry for the defence industry lately. Gheorghe Șimon has a large expertize on economy and has an old activity inside the party.”
According to his resume posted on the Chamber of Deputies website, Gheorghe Șimon was born in 1961 in Vișeu de Sus. He has studied at the Polytechnic Institute in Cluj Napoca, graduating the Mechanic Faculty during 1983-1988.
He has been vice-president of the PSD Maramures branch since 2000. Șimon used to be councilman at Viseu de Sus Local Council and county councilman at Maramures County Council.
He is married and has two children.
As for Mihai Fifor, two years ago, he was nominated to run the Transport Ministry in the Ponta Cabinet, but President Iohannis rejected ex-premier Ponta’s nomination of Mihai Fifor as Transport minister, arguing in a letter sent to the premier’s office that the nominated person doesn’t have the necessary managing expertise and experience.
Social Democrat senator Mihai Fifor was president of the Senate’s transport and energy committee at that time and had been designated to take over Transport minister position, which had been vacant since Ioan Rus quitted. Mihai Fifor was senator of Dolj and also chairman of the Social Democratic Party’s branch in Craiova. He was state secretary within the Interior Ministry twice, in 2009 and in 2012.
PM Ponta accepted Rus’ resignation in June 11, 2015 after the former minister had made controversial statements about Romanians working abroad and their families.
Later on this year, Fifor has eventually entered the Government, as Economy minister, nominated by the current prime minister Mihia Tudose.
Minister of National Defence Adrian Tutuianu resigned a week ago. Tutuianu said that the reason was the lack of communication regarding the wage rights that the MoD employees had to receive on 15 September.