BUCHAREST – Reuters
Romanian President Basescu (R) stands next to newly appointed PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu at the Cotroceni Palace, the presidency headquarters in Bucharest on Feb 6. AFP photo
Romania’s prime minister designate Mihai Razvan Ungureanu named his cabinet yesterday, replacing all ruling party ministers in an attempt to make a clean break from his predecessor who quit after protests against his austerity measures.
Parliament was expected to back the 43-year-old head of Romania’s foreign intelligence service, nominated by the president, today after he inherited a coalition of the centrist Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) and smaller groups.
Emil Boc became the latest victim of popular fury across Europe against belt-tightening measures after nearly a month of occasionally violent protests against salary cuts and tax rises taken under an International Monetary Fund-led aid deal.
The protests in the EU’s second-poorest country where the average wage is less than 350 euros ($460) a month, just a quarter of France’s legal minimum, have pushed PDL support below
20 percent before a parliamentary election due by November.
“This is a government that deserves trust and is ready to prove that this is a change of political generation and of governing principles,” Ungureanu said in a speech.
“This is a very young government. Among them are exceptional professionals.”
Ungureanu proposed all PDL ministers would be replaced with other members of the same party. He named Bogdan Dragoi, the experienced head of government debt policy, to be the new finance minister, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
Politicians from coalition partners, including justice minister and interim prime minister Catalin Predoiu, retained their jobs.
Lucian Bode, a former power company engineer and senior PDL member, would be economy minister also responsible for energy, replacing Ion Ariton, who failed to push through an ambitious privatization plan agreed with the IMF.