Romania’s acting premier seeks to reassure business community as political crisis continues

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romania’s acting Prime Minister Florin Citu on Friday sought to reassure the country’s business community that his center-right Liberal party would continue to support the private sector despite political uncertainty.

Political bickering

Mr Citu’s Liberal-led government was dismissed in a no-confidence vote in parliament on Oct. 5 after it lost its majority when a junior party walked out of the coalition. Parliament has failed to approve a new government amid ongoing political bickering. The options for a new coalition are limited.

President Klaus Iohannis, who has already designated two premiers, says he won’t pick a third until it is clear it will have the backing of a parliamentary majority.

The Liberals are mulling forming an coalition with the Social Democrats, parliament’s biggest group, which would create a solid majority.

It would also be unpopular with some supporters, however. There are concerns about more political bickering, excessive spending and the anti-graft fight.

Anti-corruption fight

The Social Democrats have, in the past, been associated with moves to water down the anti-corruption fight. They support a bloated government and are lavish with subsidies which have been criticized as unsustainable and populist.

Under Florin Citu, a former banker who served as finance minister, the Liberals have promoted business-friendly policies and are pro-EU. The government’s handling of the pandemic has cost the party support.

On Friday at a business event, Mr Cîţu thanked representatives for their ‘resilience’ during the pandemic, reported.

”I wanted to make the Romanian state an honest and trustworthy partner for the business community,” he said, saying he was opposed to lockdown.

‘Honest partner’

He said he hadn’t raised taxes and pledged to continue to be “an honest partner and not hike taxes” regardless of what coalition is formed.

“We will do everything we can not to close Romania….the country has the fastest  recovery in the European Union with a declining deficit and budget revenue.”

He said that the government could help consumers and smaller and medium-sized businesses with rising energy prices due higher-than-expected revenue.

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