First exclusively Liberal Gov’t in the past 80 years starts working

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The sixth government in the past five years starts working as of today. For the first time in more than 80 years, meaning since the inter-war period, Liberals are forming an exclusive Government. The last Liberal government led by Gheorghe Tatarescu dates back in 1937.

The Ludovic Orban Cabinet will have its first government sitting today, with ministers taking over their mandates.

President Klaus Iohannis will attend the taking over ceremonies at four ministries, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior and Justice and is also invited to attend the government sitting. The Orban Cabinet had though its first informal meeting on Monday evening.

Orban Cabinet has 16 ministers, a prime minister and deputy PM. Three of the ministers proposed by Orban received negative opinions in the parliamentary committees, but the prime minister refused to nominate new ministers. The rejected ministers in the committees are Florin Citu (Finance), Violeta Alexandru (Labour) ad Ion Stefan (Development). The last is accused of tax evasion.

After the investiture vote on Monday, PM Ludovic Orban said he won’t reshuffle any minister. “I refuse to accept such a situation. All ministers proposed by me are quality people, who have expertise and a proper professional background, who know how to run a public institution and they will perform”.

Asked how the new ministers will manage to pass their bills through Parliament, considering the government is a minority one, Orban replied: “Through discussions, negotiations, coming up with good projects- I imagine any MP will find hard to be against some projects that generate benefits and advantages for citizens. We’ll seek endorsement by showing respect to the Parliament, to every MP in person, the way the Governments in Romania haven’t done in a long time, as they treated the Parliament as an annexed-institution, disrespecting the lawmakers and trampling the Parliament’s fundamental duties. We’ll collaborate with the Parliament, we’ll initiate draft laws together with the Parliament, civil society and business environment”.

The new premier also announced that the emergency ordinance on Gov’t restructuring should be adopted at the earliest, most likely today, while asking the ministers of Economy and Labour to draft a normative document to unlock the situation of miners from Paroseni and Uricani (southwestern Romania).

“We should not forget about the miners trapped underground, the ordinance must be extended or, anyhow, an ordinance with very clear provisions must be adopted, so as not to endanger their health and life,” Orban said.

FinMin Citu: First priority-budgetary rectification, second- the budget

The new Finance Minister, Florin Citu announced that the first priority is the budgetary rectification and the second the budget draft for 2020. He said he cannot use the draft budget left by the Dancila Gov’t, as it is built on 28 ministries and the current cabinet has 16 ministries.

“December 15 remains the target for the budget, we try to stick to this date, but it depends on what we’ll find”, the minister said, adding he is not convinced Romania can fit into the 3 pc deficit target this year, considering the nine-month budgetary execution pointed to a deficit of 2.66% of GDP.

Labour minister: No pension or salary cuts

Labour Minister Violeta Alexandru has denied the PSD’s accusations that the Orban Cabinet is planning to cut pensions and salaries, saying there will be no such cuts.

The minister announces she will soon kick off talks with the social partners to find an objective solution on the minimum wage.

She also heralded “serious checks and correct assessments”, and voiced endorsement for the private entrepreneurs. Minister Alexandru added she would check the questions sent by the citizens to the ministry, while announcing a info-kiosk will be set up near the ministry’s office where people can have access to all the necessary information.

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