Wednesday, 22. May 2013 - 09:05
30. 04. 12. - 14:00
The Social Democrat Leader Victor Ponta, 39, is expected to present his cabinet on Tuesday (tomorrow), following negotiations with the Liberals and the Conservatives (part of the Social Liberal Union, USL) over the weekend.
Ponta has been nominated for the Premier office by President Traian Basescu on Friday night, following the success of the vote of no-confidence against the Cabinet of outgoing Prime Minister (PM) Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. USL was the only political group in parliament to nominate a PM, after the fall of the Cabinet.
Former ruling party Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) and the Democratic Union of the Hungarian in Romania (UDMR) went in the Opposition, while the other party of the former Majority, the Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) said it will back the new cabinet of Mr. Ponta.
The new cabinet will include, besides, USL members several technocrats, Victor Ponta said on Sunday.
"I will nominate all the portfolios and I will ask for the endorsement of the leading structures of our respective parties (Social Democrat, Liberal and Conservative) and of the USL", Ponta said. He thanked Liberal leader Crin Antonescu for his support and loyalty and also announced that the leader of the Conservatives Daniel Constantin will have a portfolio in his government.
After presenting his cabinet list tomorrow, the PM –designate will start together with his minister to draw a government program for the next six months.
"Our government will work only six months. On 7 May, we will ask the Parliament for a confidence vote on the governing programme", Ponta said.
Ahead of the presentation of his cabinet, Victor Ponta was due to meet today (Mon) with the team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission.
Speaking ahead the meeting, Ponta said he hopes IMF to leave Romania with another letter of intent, hinting that he intends to re-negotiate some of the provisions of the 3.6 billion Euros stand-by-agreement (SBA). Romania signed in March 2011 a new agreement, following the conclusion of the 2009 SBA worth 20 billion Euros.
Following the latest assessment mission in Bucharest, in February the IMF prescribed Romania strict spending discipline and further cuts in the health system.
USL announced the new government will respect all the international agreements agreed by the previous governments, saying however that some of the financial and economic aspects should be re-negotiated in order to ease the populations' austerity burden, boost the economic growth and create jobs. This is the reason why, the PM-designate decided to create a new ministry for the economy, by splitting the former Ministry of Finance and the Economy.
Sources close to USL said, the next cabinet will keep the 16 percent flat tax. The Social democrats are opposed to the flax tax, and plead for the introduction of a progressive tax, but such a measure will be enforced only if USL will take over the government in November, after the legislative elections, they say.
The increase of the public wages, slashed by 25 percent in August 2010 as part of the austerity package decided by President Traian Basescu and the IMF and the return of the 5.5 health tax on small pensions, recently ruled illegal by the Constitutional Court, are two major priorities for the next cabinet.
Speaking at Cotroceni Palace during the nomination ceremony of the new PM, Traian Basescu said the change of the government should not create panic as the country’s finances are stable and the move is just part of the democratic process. Basescu tried to appease the nervousness felt on the forex market by the unexpected fall of the Ungureanu cabinet. The local currency, RON, witnessed a major depreciation on Friday, reaching almost 4.4 Ron/1 Euro.
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