Romanian Parliament approves former banker as new prime minister to head pro-European coalition government

Foto: Inquam Photos / George Calin

Romania’s parliament approved a new center-right coalition government on Wednesday which has pledged to invest in the healthcare system an boost investor confidence dented by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new prime minister is Western-educated banker and the former finance minister, Florin Citu, who takes office at a time when Romania is struggling to cope with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

Some 260 lawmakers in the 465-seat, two-chamber legislature for the new three-party government, while 186 voted against.

Mr. Citu was greeted by applause and jeers when he entered Parliament on Wednesday

„From today, I am telling you that I will keep an eye on all the goals we have set for ourseoves,” he said. “There will be more work and fewer statements,” he said.

The 48-year-old new prime minister who studied in the U.S. worked for the European Investment Bank among other jobs and is a member of the Liberal Party which has governed as a minority government for the past year.

President Klaus Iohannis  said at a swearing in ceremony later that “the new Parliament, the new government, together with me and all the state authorities will do what we promised. We will carry out reforms, we will put the econonomy back on its feet, and undertake substantial reforms to benefit citizens.”

Party chairman Ludovic Orban resigned his post of prime minister after coming a poor second in Dec. 6 parliamentary.

The progressive Save Romanian Union-Plus and a party that represents the ethnic Hungarians are also in the coalition.

The Liberals will hold nine posts in the coalition, USR-Plus seven posts and the ethnic Hungarian Party UDMR four .

The opposition Social Democrats came first in the elections, winning about 30% of votes but were unable to find coalition partners to form a government with a majority. They won elections in 2016.

When they took office, they moved to water down anti-corruption laws triggered the largest protests since the anti-communist revolution. Parliament dismissed them in a no-confidence vote in Oct. 2019,


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