Romania’s government faces a no-confidence motion

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romania’s opposition Social Democrats will file a no-confidence motion against the minority government as coronavirus cases surge and the economy suffers an unprecedented contraction.

The Social Democrats said Monday that all the party’s 202 lawmakers had signed the motion.

The Social Democrats say the Liberal minority government should be dismissed over its handling of the health crisis saying “it has irremediably lost the confidence for the way it handled the pandemic.”

Acting Social Democrat chairman Marcel Ciolacu accused the government of not hiking pensions and child welfare payments in line with laws already passed by Parliament. The government says that Romania can’t afford the increases after the pandemic battered the economy.

Last week, a government statistics office said the economy had shrunk by 12.3% from the first to the second quarter, the biggest contraction in 24 years.

A vote could take place once most lawmakers return from vacation in the coming weeks, according to deputy speaker Florin Iordache.

The country has the biggest death toll in eastern Europe from Covid-19. Last week, it reported its second-highest daily number of cases since the start of the pandemic.

On Monday, it reported 733 new cases taking the total to 71,194.

But Prime Minister Ludovic Orban who heads the Liberal Party, called the move “an irresponsible act” which was “against Romania’s interests.”

“The only reason for it is to take power so they can organize (parliamentary) elections to steal the vote and use state institutions to maximize the electoral score ” he said.

Romania is scheduled to hold local elections next month and parliamentary elections toward the end of the year.

“It risks blowing Romania up at an extremely difficult moment, when a majority government is needed,” he said.

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