Ciuca Cabinet gets the Parliament’s green light. Ministers swore in at Cotroceni, Iohannis: Many egos overridden

Ciuca Cabinet has been voted in Parliament on Thursday by a comfortable majority of 318 votes, more by 80 than the minimum needed of 234 votes. USR and AUR lawmakers voted against.

Senators and deputies met in a joint plenary session to vote the investiture for the government proposed by Prime Minister-designate Nicolae Ciuca. All the ministers proposed by Nicolae Ciucă received a favorable opinion at Wednesday’s hearings from the specialized parliamentary commissions.

The plenary session was attended by 298 MPs out of the total of 466, with the new Chamber speaker Marcel Ciolacu chairing the sitting.

While PM designate Ciuca said that PSD and PNL had got over those things that used to separate them, PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu stated that his party knows how to govern and that the past two years had  been two lost years.

Interim PM Florin Citu, also PNL chairman, has not attended the sitting when the political leaders delivered their speeches, but came to cast his vote.

Before the session, Citu said that Romania needs a full-fledged government as soon as possible. “It’s no need for such a big fuss. It’s mandatory we have a government as soon as possible“, he said.

PM designate Ciuca stated that this government can provide stability.

Today we are in a moment long awaited by all Romanians. We can provide stability and predictability. Together with all the ministers, we are committed to doing everything to improve Romania’s situation .I saw that there were people surprised by the partnership of the Coalition parties. I think they were more concerned with looking for the things that separate us than the things that unite us. We are determined to carry out this program. We show that we put the interest of Romanians first. Our common goal is to modernize Romania and that is why we will allocate 7% of GDP to investments. An essential program for the development of the country is the Anghel Saligny program. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan is the main axis in achieving our objectives. Citizen safety is a priority. We cannot afford the luxury of political animosities that can generate new crises. Increased attention should be paid to the family institution. We want to encourage population growth.Our goal is to ensure the development and prosperity of our country,” the PM designate pointed out.

Ciuca also announced that a government  sitting will be held on Friday to discuss budget rectification and the budget deficit, while assuring there will be financial resources to pay pensions and salaries, as well as funds “for the needs of the Ministry of Health” in the context of the pandemic.

PSD chair Marcel Ciolacu said that his party’s measures must be enforced from day one.

“Today, Romania is at a critical point. It’s one of those moments where decisions can change direction. They’ve been two lost years. Two years in which millions of Romanians were abandoned by the state. PSD is the most responsible and stable party in Romania, that’s why it has to make a choice. I accepted this challenge because PSD does not run away from responsibility. We must apply the PSD measures from day one. We’ll increase salaries, pensions and allowances. We must put an end to the sanitary chaos. I won’t lie that we defeated the pandemic. We cannot do this alone, bu through a partnership (…) Romania has not had a bailout so far. We have measures, professionals and a very good dialogue with the social partners,” Ciolacu claimed.

However, the PSD-PNL-UDMR government has been fiercely slammed by USR and AUR, and also by former Liberals.

Dan Barna (USR) ‘congratulated’ Ciolacu “for the acquisition”. “Mr. Ciolacu, congratulations, you managed what not even Iliescu has succeeded in doing, to take PNL out of history. PNL has handed over the ruling and the smattering of dignity that it still had. You brought the author of GEO 13 into the gov’t. Why haven’t you called Liviu Dragnea, too, to hand him over the Ministry of Justice? It is not a government of stability, it will be a gov’t of stagnation at best. Mr. PM-designate, I ask you to be honest and fair with the Romanians and tell them who is making the decisions in this Cabinet. Romania’s President is the godfather of the coalition. It is all about cynicism, indifference and bad luck. I invite all those who believe that Liberalism is a solution to join USR”, Barna said.

George Simion (AUR) attacked Florin Citu and urged MPs not to vote the Cabinet. “Where did Florin Citu hide? He is afraid, he is embarrassed, maybe he will have a nervous breakdown, where is the little one? He is probably with Mr. Klaus Iohannis, did he send him to win the PNL leadership, what happened? PNL, what happened? If you have dignity, one thing is needed: to put the black ball in the white ballot box”.

Former Liberal Violeta Alexandru, who has just resigned from PNL, slammed her former colleagues, accusing them they betrayed voters when they chose to team up with PSD.

“I want to tell my former colleagues that politics is about honor and word of honour. When you tell the man that PSD is the ‘red plague’ and that it is the one who destroyed Romania and you hoped that the man and some gave you the vote for this, what you are doing now is a lie, and I am not part of this lie. The PSD did the same – it cursed the PNL, spoke badly about the PNL, it said that he sold the country. You lied to the electorate when you asked them to vote. It is a betrayal of people’s trust in us, in the liberals.

But we are not all the same. It’s not all about money and throwing public money left and right under the investment banner. That money does not belong to the PSD or to the PNL, it is the money of the people who work in this country, and the Liberal electorate knows best that, beyond throwing money left and right, the word matters, what you say to the person matters when you look into his eyes and ask for his vote and trust to be able to do something in this country. You lied, dear colleagues from PNL, you lied to the Romanians and this will cost us, because they lost their trust in the right-wing government and this is exactly what you did today, betraying the Romanians.”

Ministers’ swearing-in ceremony at Cotroceni. President: Many egos overridden

After securing the Parliament’s vote, the members of Ciuca Cabinet went to Cotroceni Presidential Palace to swear in office.

In his speech, President Klaus Iohannis said that many egos had been overridden to have this Cabinet.

“The political crisis is over, but the other crises are not, nor the problems have disappeared. The pandemic is not over. The energy crisis is not over, it only takes new shapes. This year’s budget will have to be rectified, while the next year’s budget will have to be drafted and voted. People are waiting for their salaries and pensions to be paid in due time and there are many other things that need to be solved as a matter of urgency.

A solid government is needed for all these, with a consistent majority in Parliament.

Not only problems are ahead of us and you, but also many opportunities. The National Plan for Recovery and Resilience

Everybody expects consistent measures to guarantee on economic growth, in order to sustain salary and pension rises. Everybody expects investments, highways, roads, hospitals, schools and many others. And for all these, a strong, well led government is needed. And now we have this government.

It was not simple. I believe no one can imagine it was simple to have a coalition of two parties that have fought against each other until recently. Many egos had to be overridden, to find the common ground and to reach the confidence vote of today.

Mr. Prime Minister, honourable members of the government, the expectations are high. Romanians expect you get down to business and solve the problems you cited in the ruling programme. Citizens are sick of crises, of promises. People want to see facts, results. I invite you to deliver them!”, said President Iohannis.

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